Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 becomes a Microsoft Surface-like detachable
Dell today unveiled the latest bits of its 2022 XPS 13 lineup. After releasing the XPS 13 Plus earlier this year, Dell has announced the more traditional and cheaper XPS 13 clamshell refresh. Dell also overhauled the design of the XPS 13 2-in-1, transforming it from an ultra-light laptop with a 360-degree hinge to a tablet with an optional removable keyboard cover sold separately.
XPS 13 2-in-1 Specifications
Available this summer, the XPS 13 2-in-1 (model 9315) in its base configuration is essentially a tablet running up to an Intel Core i7-1250U processor (two performance cores at 1.1-4.7 GHz , eight efficiency cores at 0.8–3.5 GHz, 12 threads). For comparison, the similarly designed Microsoft Surface Pro 8 detachable has up to an i7-1185G7 (four cores, eight threads, up to 4.8GHz).
Dell’s detachable will also be configurable with up to 16GB of soldered-on LPDDR4x-4266 RAM and a 1TB PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD.
Bezels measuring 9mm surround the tablet’s 13.3-inch touchscreen, which uses the 3:2 aspect ratio and 2880×1920 pixels. It claims up to 500 nits of brightness, 100% sRGB coverage and, impressively, an 1800:1 contrast ratio.
The screen is said to be both anti-glare and smudge-proof and uses Gorilla Glass 7 for durability.
Although the XPS 13 2-in-1 keyboard/cover/detachable stand will cost you more, the XPS stylus comes in the box. It can attach to the top of the device and charge wirelessly via NFC.
Perhaps as expected, the selection of ports on the tablet is sparse: a pair of Thunderbolt 4s is it. However, Dell will be kind enough to ship the machine with USB-C to USB-A (3.0) and USB-C to 3.5mm adapters.
With an optional detachable keyboard that doubles as a cover and a 13-inch tablet design, the redesigned XPS 13 2-in-1 is awfully similar to Microsoft’s Surface Pro line, specifically the flagship Surface Pro 8.
And, like the Surface Pro 8, you’ll have to pay extra for a Type Cover, or should I say XPS Folio. The XPS Folio attaches to the PC via magnets and pogo pins and wraps around the top of the screen with a microfiber liner for protection. Attaching the XPS Folio would add an additional 1.23 lbs to the computer while adding a 4.49×2.92-inch keyboard and trackpad.
But one of the reasons Microsoft manages to sell its Surface devices without the Type Cover is that the tablets have a built-in kickstand on the back. So it’s pretty easy to put a Surface Pro on a desk for more serious tasks, especially if you already have a compatible wireless keyboard.
The XPS 13 2-in-1, however, lacks a built-in stand, which makes the XPS Folio more critical. It allows for 100-, 112.5- or 125-degree angled accessories, Dell said.
Still, the comfort and performance of the keyboard will be key for anyone planning to use it for significant amounts of typing. I briefly checked out the XPS Folio, and my short experience was surprisingly similar to what I felt with the XPS 13 Plus’s built-in keyboard in terms of travel. They don’t just look alike; the keys of both keyboards have 1mm travel and large key shapes.