Dell announces redesigned XPS 13 2-in-1 with 5G and 12th-gen Intel processors

The company's first Surface Pro competitor is here.

Last updated:

Alongside a new XPS 13 (which you can read about in my article on CNN Underscored), Dell has unveiled a redesigned XPS 13 2-in-1. It’s the company’s first big push into the tablet-oriented 2-in-1 market, fighting the likes of the big dogs like Microsoft’s Surface Pro. However, today’s announcement seems to just be a sneak peek at the device. We don’t have a price for the device just yet, and its vague release date of “Summer 2022” doesn’t pin anything down in terms of when you’ll be able to buy it.

Still, this new 2-in-1 seems quite interesting, especially given it’s coming from Dell who’s a bit of a stranger in the space. It bolsters a familiar tablet-centric design and squared-off form factor, while the sold-separately XPS Folio boasts an edge-to-edge design for the keyboard as well as backlight. There are magnets on the bottom to attach said keyboard, a pretty large bulge for the rear 11MP camera, and two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports on its left side.

The XPS 13 2-in-1 comes with a 13-inch 2880×1920 3:2 display that supports 500 nits of brightness and comes covered by Gorilla Glass 7. Under the hood, you’ll find the latest 12th-genera Intel Core processors (up to an i7-1250U) with up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. The battery is 49.5Whr, but Dell doesn’t provide any metrics for how long it’ll last on a full charge.

The device is compatible with an optional pen to complete the experience, and you can pick between a Wi-Fi 6E-only model or one with 5G. If you opt for the latter, the XPS 13 2-in-1 gets a glass-covered backplate to improve cell reception, while the standard Wi-Fi model sticks with aluminum.

Dell also includes speakers tuned by Waves MaxxAudio Pro and Nx 3D audio, a dual-microphone array optimized by Waves MaxxVoice, an eSIM slot to make switching cell plans easy, and either Windows 11 Home or Pro. Two colors will be offered: Sky (for Wi-Fi models) and Slate (for 5G models).

This is Dell’s first big shot at taking on the Surface Pro and other devices in that vein. Whether they find any success has yet to be determined, but it at least seems they’re doing enough right to properly compete. I do wish the keyboard and pen were included in the box – that would give Dell a huge advantage over Microsoft. Still, the company seems to have a solid recipe for a Surface alternative on its hands, so I’m excited to see just how much it’ll cost when it launches in the next few weeks/months.