Dell XPS 13 refresh gets a serious power boost from 8th-gen Intel CPUs

Update: Dell has provided us with more information about the Dell XPS 13's price and availability in the UK.

The latest incarnation of the much-liked Dell XPS 13 has shown its face over at the IFA show in Germany, with the new model being powered by Intel’s latest generation of CPUs.

Yes, the new XPS 13 can be kitted out with an 8th-generation Core processor – up to a Core i7 8550U running at up to 4GHz – with the quad-core chip being bolstered by Dell’s ‘dynamic power mode’ that’s designed to squeeze out extra performance while guarding against overheating.

Indeed, the laptop vendor claims that this new 8th-gen CPU (combined with the power mode) offers no less than a 44% performance boost over what Dell describes as ‘similarly configured systems’ running Kaby Lake processors (based on the SYSmark 2014 SE benchmark). 

A lofty promise indeed…

The notebook can be configured with up to 16GB system memory and an SSD of up to 1TB in size.

The XPS 13 remains the same impressive feat of laptop engineering in terms of cramming a 13.3-inch display into an 11-inch chassis, and the new model retains the same slim profile and light weight as its predecessor.

Dell proposes users will have up to 22 hours of battery life in the case of the Full HD display (as was the case previously, the notebook can alternatively be configured with a 3,200 x 1,800-resolution screen, but that obviously has more of a hit on the battery).

Dell’s refreshed XPS 13 will be available on September 12 in the US with prices starting at $799 (around AU$1,000). However, in the UK, the company has said that only the 8th-gen Intel Core i7 model will go on sale on that date priced £1,199 – but additional (doubtless cheaper) configurations will be available in October.

Inspiring Inspirons

Dell has also wheeled out a clutch of new notebooks in the Inspiron 7000 series, headed up by a new Inspiron 17 7000 hybrid, alongside the Inspiron 13 and 15 7000 2-in-1s (all of which utilize a 360-degree hinge).

All of these machines have also adopted Intel’s new 8th-gen processors (again, up to a Core i7 8550U) for a nice boost in speed, and you can double-down on that nippier performance by plumping to add Intel Optane Memory into the mix (although the latter won’t be an option until early next year).

The Inspiron 17 comes with a 17.3-inch Full HD resolution touchscreen, with up to 16GB of system RAM, and Nvidia GeForce MX150 (Pascal) graphics with 2GB of video memory.

With the Inspiron 13 and 15, you can opt for a Full HD IPS touchscreen – or in the case of the 15-inch model crank it up to a 4K resolution display – with an Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU running the graphics show.

You can expect to see these hybrids come October 3 with the 13-inch model starting at $899 (around £700, AU$1,130) and the 15-inch model at $849 (around £660, AU$1,070), meanwhile the 17-inch hybrid weighing in at $940 (around £740, AU$1,200).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).