Dell unveils new XPS 13, 14 and 16 laptops ahead of CES 2024

They all share the design of last year's XPS 13 Plus -- with a few notable improvements.

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Dell is bringing the bold design of last year's XPS 13 Plus to the rest of the XPS lineup ahead of CES 2024 in Las Vegas — and now that includes new 14-inch and 16-inch models. The "Plus" name is also gone entirely: the new models are simply called the XPS 13, 14 and 16. They all sport the defining featured of the XPS 13 Plus: A seamless glass wrist rest, which hides an invisible haptic touchpad right in the middle; touch sensitive function buttons above the keyboard; and large key caps for more comfortable typing. And notably, the larger two models fix some of my biggest issues with the XPS 13 Plus.

Once again, minimalism is the defining theme for Dell with these computers: They're all polished aluminum and glass at first glance. They're also dominated by their screens: in true Dell fashion, they feature the company's ultra-thin "Infinity Edge" screen bezels. (These computers are also among the first to get dedicated Windows Copilot keys.)

Dell arguably went a bit overboard with the minimalism angle last year. The XPS 13 Plus, one of our favorite laptops, only had two USB-C ports and didn't have a headphone jack. That's true of the XPS 13 this year as well, but not so for the XPS 14 and 16. They both feature headphone jacks, three Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports and a microSD card slot. (Dell also includes a USB C to USB Type A and HDMI adapters in the box, which notably don't come with the XPS 13.)

All of these new laptops feature Intel's new Core Ultra chips, which means they also include NPUs to deal with AI work. So even without a dedicated GPU, they have the potential to be more useful for some creative work compared to Dell's last XPS machines (or at the very least, deliver some killer Windows Studio Effect backgrounds during video chats). But if you need additional graphics power, the XPS 14 and 16 can also be configured with NVIDIA's RTX 40-series GPUs.

Each new XPS machine also includes variable refresh rate FHD+ screens, ranging form 30hz to 120Hz. But they can also be equipped with OLED screens: the XPS 13 and 14 have optional 3K OLED screens with a maximum 60Hz and 120Hz refresh rate, respectively, while the XPS 16 has a 4K OLED panel that can hit 90Hz. Those higher refresh rates make a big difference: Last year plenty of productivity laptops were achieving smoother screens thank to higher refresh rates, so it's nice to see that finally reach the XPS machines.

Dell XPS 14 (2024)
The XPS 14. Just look at that headphone jack! (Devindra Hardawar/Engadget)

I was a bit disappointed by the XPS 13 Plus because its touchpad was a bit finicky and it really needed more ports. But the XPS 14 seems like it could be the step forward Dell was originally aiming for — especially since its 14.5-inch screen looks almost as big as a 15-incher if you squint a bit. It's also relatively light at 3.7 pounds (3.8 pounds with OLED), so it's a potential powerhouse that would be easy to move around.

The XPS 16 also looks like a genuinely compelling option for Windows users who demand massive screens. Sure, its 16.3-inch screen is smaller than the old XPS 17, but it's also a half-pound lighter. For many power users, that tradeoff may be worth it.

Dell's new XPS lineup will be available soon, with the XPS 13 starting at $1,300, the XPS 14 at $1,700 and the XPS 16 at $1,900.

We're reporting live from CES 2024 in Las Vegas from January 6-12. Keep up with all the latest news from the show here.

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