Dell on Thursday upgraded its XPS 13 ultra-thin laptop with Intel’s recently introduced Kaby Lake-U processors. The new notebooks keep the chassis and display panel options, but sport faster CPUs, speedier memory, a Killer 1535 802.11ac WiFi card, as well as a higher-capacity battery. Dell plans to offer new XPS 13 notebooks in rose gold, gold and silver colors starting from October 4, 2016.

Since Intel’s 7th generation Core i-series Kaby Lake-U processors are drop-in compatible with platforms supporting the Skylake-U chips, the new Dell XPS 13 uses exactly the same chassis as the Dell XPS 13 introduced a year ago and based on the previous-gen CPUs. That means, we are talking about systems made of machined aluminum and carbon fiber, which are 9 – 15 mm thick and weigh 1.2 – 1.29 kilograms. Display panels of the XPS 13 also remained the same: users can choose between a QHD+ (3200×1800) panel and an FHD (1920×1080) panel with or without touch support.

Meanwhile, the new 7th generation Intel Core CPUs run at higher frequencies s compared to their predecessors, feature considerably improved video encoding/decoding engine, refined graphics as well as Speed Shift v2 technology. As a result, the upgraded XPS 13 will deliver higher performance and better responsiveness at the same power than the predecessors. Otherwise, as with the past generation of systems, Dell is offering from 4GB to 16GB of LPDDR3-1866 memory.

Yet another improvement of the upgraded Dell XPS 13 is Rivet Networks' Killer 1535 802.11 2×2 Wi-Fi + BT 4.1 controller that promises to add some useful features with the help of refined software.

Finally, the 2016 XPS 13 also comes with a 60 Wh battery, up from 56 Wh battery on the previous-generation model. Dell claims that thanks to the new battery and power optimizations of the platform, the FHD version of the XPS 13 will work for up to 22 hours and the QHD+ machine will run for up to 13 hours on one charge.

Dell XPS 13
  XPS 13
XPS 13
CPU Intel Core i3-6100U
(2.3 GHz dual-core 15W)

Intel Core i5-6200U
(2.3-2.8 GHz dual-core 15W)

Intel Core i5-6300U
(2.4-3.0 GHz dual-core 15W)

Intel Core i7-6500U
(2.5-3.1 GHz dual-core 15W)

Intel Core i7-6600U
(2.6-3.4 GHz dual-core 15W)
Intel Core i3-7100U
(2.4 GHz dual-core 15W)

Intel Core i5-7200U
(2.5-3.1 GHz dual-core 15W)

Intel Core i7-7500U
(2.7-3.5 GHz dual-core 15W)
GPU Intel HD 520 (24 EU) Intel HD 620 (24 EU)
Memory 4-16 GB dual-channel LPDDR3-1866 4-16 GB dual-channel LPDDR3-1866
Display 13.3" 1920x1080 sRGB
13.3" 3200x1800 sRGB
Storage 128 GB SATA SSD, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB PCIe SSD
Battery 56 Wh 60 Wh
Wireless Connectivity Intel 8260 802.11 2×2 Wi-Fi + BT 4.1 controller
Dell 1820A 802.11 2×2 Wi-Fi + BT 4.1 controller
Rivet Networks Killer 1535 802.11 2×2 Wi-Fi + BT 4.1 controller
Ports Thunderbolt 3 x 1 (Type-C)
USB 3.0 x 2
SD Card Reader
Dimensions 304 x 200 x 9-15 mm
11.98 x 7.88 x 0.33-0.6 inches
Weight 1.2 - 1.29 kg
2.7 - 2.9 lbs
Price $799+

Other specs and features of the new Dell XPS 13 are the same as those on the 2015 model: PCIe SSD on higher-end models (the entry-level one still carries a 128 GB SATA drive), one Thunderbolt 3 port (hence, one USB Type-C receptacle), two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader and audio connectors.

Dell will begin to sell its XPS 13 in silver, gold and rose gold colors on October 4 starting at $799. Traditionally, the company will also offer XPS 13 Developer Edition based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS starting at $949. 

Source: Dell

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  • Valantar - Friday, September 16, 2016 - link

    And there probably will be for this as well as soon as Intel launches Iris-equipped Kaby Lake chips. January-ish?
  • TheinsanegamerN - Friday, September 16, 2016 - link

    It took dell a long time to actually bring out that iris option last time. I think it was over 4 months after the chips were available?

    So Dont count on an iris option until springtime at the earliest, assuming intel doesnt delay them again. (according to a dell rep, the iris parts were delayed because they were still waiting on supply from intel. Intel appears to have a difficult time making iris parts.)
  • TheinsanegamerN - Friday, September 16, 2016 - link

    Same. I so want a laptop that runs linux but is capable of playing games. Iris pro or a high end APU based machine would be perfect, but nobody makes one anymore. It's all about being thin and having fewer ports...
  • mooninite - Friday, September 16, 2016 - link

    The last laptop I know of with decent Iris graphics is my Asus UX301LAA. I'd love a Kaby Lake update.
  • nonoverclock - Friday, September 16, 2016 - link

    My XPS 13 came with a Broadcom wifi card which had an extremely short range where I needed to be in the same room as the wifi router. I swapped it out for an Intel card which behaved fine.
  • niva - Thursday, September 15, 2016 - link

    Can anyone explain why the developer edition version is more expensive?

    Is there something about the non-developer edition that makes it incapable of running linux? Because I could just buy a regular one, wipe it out, and save $150 in the process of just loading linux myself...

    Someone please explain, my system76 laptop has died recently and if I'm unable to resurrect it after some more tinkering I'll probably take the plunge on one of these.
  • gnusense - Thursday, September 15, 2016 - link

    The $950 Linux version has better specs than the $800 base model. It's a bit cheaper than the same configuration with Windows 10.
  • patel21 - Friday, September 16, 2016 - link

    Yes, I really hope that they use the extra $150 on the CPU and RAM, instead of just shipping the base model with QHD screen.
  • spikebike - Thursday, September 15, 2016 - link

    Better spec, and upgraded (intel) wifi instead of the problematic broadcom chip.
  • BMNify - Thursday, September 15, 2016 - link

    Look at everyone here commenting on XPS 13 wifi chip without even owning this laptop, many owners were crying due to the pathetic intel wifi card used in the last xps 13 and many resorted to upgrading it themselves or returning the laptop.

    There are numerous guides posted online for replacing the wifi card of xps 13 and even the forums owners club is filled with such guides and reports. So, it is good to see Dell listening to their actual owners instead of whiners who have never owned the laptop and just shout intel card good, killer bad etc..

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