Dell’s new spin on XPS 15 is billed as the most powerful 2-in-1 laptop ever

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

Dell has produced what it’s billing as the most powerful 2-in-1 laptop ever seen in the form of the new XPS 15 hybrid which has been unveiled over at CES.

The XPS 15 2-in-1 will doubtless be welcomed by those who found the XPS 13 2-in-1 lacking on the performance front, and this new convertible machine is certainly powerful.

It’s built around one of Intel’s 8th-gen quad-core processors: either the Core i5-8305G or Core i7-8705G clocked at up to 3.8GHz or 4.1GHz respectively. Both come with integrated Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics with 4GB of HBM2 memory on tap.

As for system memory, you can specify 8GB to 16GB of DDR4 RAM, with storage running from a 128GB SSD up to a 1TB PCIe SSD.

The display is a 15.6-inch InfinityEdge touchscreen with either a Full HD or 4K resolution with 100% Adobe RGB coverage. Dell Cinema tricks also help the screen show off movies and videos at their best.

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

Despite the power packed inside, this hybrid stays nice and trim, being 16mm at its thickest point (9mm at the thinnest point), and weighing in at 1.97kg. Gore thermal insulation helps to keep the laptop cool (as also seen in the new Dell XPS 13), and battery life is claimed at up to 15 hours.

Ports include a pair of Thunderbolt 3 connectors and a pair of USB-C 3.1 ports, plus you get a ‘maglev’ keyboard which is supposed to perform just as well as a standard keyboard in terms of its typing action and travel – but is slimmed down into a thinner design.

The XPS 15 also benefits from a Precision Touchpad, and optionally, an active pen (with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity) that magnetically attaches to the chassis. There’s also an optional fingerprint reader which is integrated into the power button for Windows Hello secure login.

Dell’s XPS 15 2-in-1 will go on sale in the spring with the price starting at $1,300 (around £960, AU$1,660).

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

Dell Mobile Connect

Also at CES, Dell unveiled new software that comes pre-installed on XPS laptops like the aforementioned hybrid (and also Alienware, Inspiron and Vostro machines) and allows the PC to hook up directly with the user’s smartphone (using a companion Android or iOS app).

The idea of Dell Mobile Connect is that it provides a secure point-to-point connection (i.e. not via a router) between PC and mobile handset, allowing you to leave your smartphone in your bag while getting notified of calls, texts and app notifications on your computer.

This means you can respond to texts on your PC with the added benefit of typing on the keyboard, for example. Or indeed you can use your phone apps on the desktop computer using the software’s advanced mirroring ability (this is Android-only, though).

You can even engage in a spot of casual gaming via this mirroring function – although don’t expect to be able to pull this off with CPU-intensive games, or indeed use it to display streamed content from your phone on the computer. It’s not up to that.

This is a pretty cool extra trick for owners of the relevant machines, for sure, and the software along with companion apps are set to go live this month.

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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).