Dell's latest XPS laptops pack ray-traced graphics into the same slim frame

It also unveiled the XPS 17 with up to RTX 3060 graphics.


Dell has unveiled its latest XPS laptops using Intel's newly launched 11th-generation CPUs, and they have some impressive specs and looks. First up is the Dell XPS 15 with a 15.6-inch "InfinityEdge" display with the same tiny bezels we saw last year that allow for what Dell calls "the smallest 15.6-inch performance laptop."

The XPS 15 comes with 11th-gen 6-core Intel i5-11400H, 8-core i7-11800H and 8-core i9-11900H CPUs, with Intel UHD graphics on the lower-tier models. However, the highest-spec versions come with mobile NVIDIA RTX 3050 or RTX 3050 Ti GPUs that should allow for decent, though not incredible gaming performance. However, the laptops are designed more for entertainment and content creation, and Dell has built several Creator Edition configurations that come standard with NVIDIA Creator, rather than gaming drivers.

The displays are geared more to that audience, too. All have 16:10 aspect ratios and support HDR with Dolby vision and a minimum of 400 nits of brightness. That will make it easy (hopefully) to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services with Dolby Vision HDR.

The lowest spec panel is a 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,200 500-nit non-touch model, but you can also get one with a 3,840 x 2,400 UHD+ 500-nit touch display that delivers a solid 99 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut for HDR viewing. Another option is an unusual 3.5K (3,456 x 2,160), 400-nit OLED touch display with 100 percent DCI-P3 coverage and a 100,000:1 contrast ratio.

Much like with last year's model, Dell is also promising high-end build quality with materials like CNC machined aluminum "cut from a block of aluminum in two pieces," carbon fiber on the palm rest and Gorilla Glass 6. Other features include an up-firing quad speaker design with Waves Nx 3D audio, 2 Thunderbolt 4 and two USB-3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (with DisplayPort and Power Delivery), an SD card reader, 3.5mm headset port, up to 64GB of DDR4 3200 MHz SDRAM and 4TB of PCIe 4x4 SSD storage, max.

It weighs between 3.99 and 4.42 pounds, depending on the battery (either 56 or 86 WHr) and display. And yes, it does have a 720p webcam in that top bezel. The new XPS 15 models will arrive this summer starting at $1,250, but expect models with RTX graphics, extra RAM and higher-end displays to be well north of that.

Dell XPS 17 9000 Series (Model 9710) touch notebook computer, codename Stradale TGL MLK

Dell also unveiled the latest 17-inch XPS 17 with 11th-gen Intel CPUs, calling it the "smallest 17-inch on the planet" at just 19.5mm thick, again thanks in part to the very narrow bezels. As with last year's model, it comes with a special "Dual Opposite Outlet" fan design that's supposed to deliver more airflow and "improved skin temperatures."

This model is running the same 11th-gen Intel CPUs as the XPS 15, with the added option of Intel's top-end i9-11980HK 8-core CPU that runs up to 5GHz. It also offers either NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 or RTX 3060 4GB GPUs as discreet GPU options. Models range from 4.87 to 5.34 pounds with the non-touch and touch displays, respectively. All come with a 97 WHr battery.

You get the choice of two 16:10 17-inch displays, either a 1,920 x 1,200 500-nit model or the 3,840 x 2,400 500-nit touch display. Both panels support Dolby Vision HDR. Other features include up to 64GB of DDR4 3200 MHz SDRAM and 4TB max of PCIe 4x4 SSD storage, no less than 4 Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) ports, an SD card reader and a 3.5mm headset port. They'll also arrive this summer starting at $1,450.

Update (5/12): Starting prices on the 15- and 17-inch models have been updated.

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