Dell’s adds Alder Lake CPU to XPS 13, but ditches the earphone jack

XPS 13 in Sky blue
(Image credit: Dell)

Dell has launched a revised XPS 13 and revealed an upcoming convertible tablet, both powered by Intel’s newest 12th Alder Lake processors.

The new XPS 13 is on sale right now starting at $999 on Dell’s website in the US and Canada with a Developer Edition on the way. The difference between the two is that the base XPS 13 runs on Windows 11 (Home or Pro) while the Developer Edition has Ubuntu 20.04. Dell states the Developer Edition is also on sale, but it currently can’t be found on the company website.

Lightweight power

Availability issues aside, one of the notable aspects of the XPS 13 is its size. It’s 0.55-inches thick with a starting weight of 2.59 pounds. Dell claims it had to create a new type of motherboard, the smallest it's ever made, in order to fit inside the thinner XPS 13. But this size comes at a pretty substantial cost: The XPS 13 only has two Thunderbolt 4 ports for power and outputting video.

There are no earphone jacks. Granted, the XPS 13 does support Bluetooth 5.2 for wireless headphones and comes with a USB-C to 3.5mm headset adapter. So there are ways around the missing port (as long as you don’t lose the adapter).

Hardware-wise, you have two choices for the Alder Lake 10-core CPU (i5-1230U or i7-1250U), three options for RAM (8GB, 16GB, and 32GB), and two SSD types (512GB or 1TB). Intel’s Iris Xe graphics card is the only GPU available for the XPS 13. All this power is displayed on a 13.4-inch Full HD+ screen that sports anti-glare tech.

At its most power-efficient, Dell claims the XPS 13 has a max battery life of 12 hours. Other notable features include a new woofer in the speakers and a fingerprint reader on the backlit keyboard.

XPS 13 2-in-1

Not much is known about the XPS 13 2-in-1 which is the convertible tablet mentioned earlier. Its price tag is still pending and is slated to release later this summer. 

Dell states the convertible XPS will be the first in its line to offer 5G connectivity. It will also have eSIM tech installed. Dell claims you’ll be able to travel with this particular model to other countries and connect to their network providers without much hassle. Like the base XPS 13, the convertible has just the two ports with the same headphone adapter.

Apart from the Alder Lake CPU, hardware specs are unknown. Dell did reveal the 2-in-1 tablet has a 3K resolution screen, plus it’s thinner and lighter than the base model (0.29-inches thick and 1.6 pounds).

The XPS 13 comes in Sky blue or Umber brown. The 2-in-1 model will have the same Sky blue plus a darker Slate. If you’re interested in shopping for a new laptop, TechRadar has a list of the top picks for 2022.

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.