Dell’s XPS 13 has long held the title of the best Windows laptop you can get. It offers a great blend of performance, premium design and features that make it a no-brainer for just about every type of buyer.

Now, that same laptop is getting an upgrade. Dell has announced a new XPS 13 that builds on the previous generation with brand new specs, a thinner and lighter design and better-sounding speakers. It’s going up for sale today starting at $999. Scroll down to read about everything that’s new.

The new Dell XPS 13 is thinner, lighter and faster

Dell’s latest XPS 13 doesn’t stray from the looks of previous models, with the same edge-to-edge keyboard and minimalist aesthetic. However, the laptop does manage to get thinner and lighter. To do this, Dell had to redesign the insides of the laptop to fit everything. The company says it had to “miniaturize” the motherboard to be 1.8 times smaller, making it the smallest motherboard it’s ever shipped.

The result? The new XPS 13 is just 0.55 inches thick and weighs 2.59 pounds, compared to the 0.58-inch and 2.60-pound enclosure of the older model. It’s launching in two finishes: Sky (a silvery blue) and Umber (a soft maroon). They’re both a nice change from Dell’s usual white and black, and bring the colorful Surface Laptop 4 to mind. It’s made of CNC machined aluminum for a more durable and portable form factor, and it still looks every bit as premium as the XPS line historically has.

Looking around the laptop, Dell includes the same twin Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports as the previous XPS 13, but it drops the microSD card slot and 3.5mm headphone jack. Dell will make up for the lack of a headphone jack with an optional USB-C to 3.5mm adapter, but there’s no in-box replacement for the microSD card reader, which is a bit of a bummer.

For security, there’s a fingerprint reader integrated into the power button on the keyboard, as well as a special array of sensors in the top bezel for Windows Hello-enabled facial recognition. The speakers still sit below the keyboard on the XPS 13, but the 4W drivers have been enlarged with “studio quality” tuning thanks to Waves MaxxAudio Pro and Nx 3D audio technology. There are also dual microphones with Waves MaxxVoice technology to make your voice sound clearer when on video calls.

The XPS 13 sticks with the same-sized 13.4-inch display with InfinityEdge bezels around it, but there is a bump in specs to talk about. The company now lets you configure the machine with a 4K UHD+ resolution, which is slightly sharper than the previous model’s 4K screen at 3840 x 2400 versus 3456 x 2160. It’s touch-enabled, comes with 500 nits of brightness (enough to see outdoors), and has plenty of tech onboard to show vibrant and accurate colors. There’s no OLED option just yet, which is a bit disappointing considering that the previous Dell XPS 13 OLED is one of our favorite laptops.

Under the hood, Dell includes the latest 12th-generation Intel Core processors, with support for up to an i7-1250U. The laptop is available with up to 1TB of storage and 32GB of RAM, which is more than enough for most people. The battery has gone down slightly in size from 52Whr to 51Whr, but Dell still says you’ll get up to 12 hours of use on a full charge.

Rounding things off, there’s a 720p webcam on the latest XPS 13, which is disappointing given how most modern laptops have switched over to 1080p sensors over the past couple of years. In addition, Dell will sell the laptop in two OS flavors: Windows 11 (for regular users) and Ubuntu 20.04 (for developers).

The takeaway

We love the XPS 13 for its great performance, battery life and premium design. With the new model, it looks like all of that will be getting improved, which is pretty exciting. Of course, we’ll have to get our hands on the machine before we can reach any conclusions and tell you whether to buy it, so stay tuned for our review in the coming weeks.

Until then, you can order the new XPS 13 beginning today starting at $999 for the Windows model and $949 for Ubuntu.