Dell XPS 13 Plus adds a buzzy (and controversial) new touch bar

It’s no secret that the Dell XPS 13 is one of my go-to premium laptops. Over the years, this 13-inch laptop has added upgrades and new features, while maintaining a small footprint and enough power for your everyday laptop. And at CES 2022, we learned it was getting an upgrade.

Dell revealed an even more premium version, called the XPS 13 Plus. What makes it plus-worthy? There’s a new design that’s a bold break from the older versions, some new options for more powerful components, and some pretty interesting changes to the display and function keys.

Dell calls it “minimalist and modern,” and it’s definitely minimalist. There’s no obvious touchpad, only a single piece of glass all the way across the front of the system. However, that doesn’t mean the touchpad moves from one end to the other. The touchpad actually moves from the outer edge of one Alt key to the outer edge of another.

You’ll need to develop some muscle memory to get a feel for where it starts and ends. I can see that it’s controversial, or at least not universally loved, but I liked the clean look when I recently got a chance to play with one of these shortly before CES.

The keyboard now moves from edge to edge and the keys are larger, almost touching each other. Dell calls that style zero-mesh, and it reminds me of the keyboard on the old 12-inch MacBook.

More interesting is the one above that keyboard – a new capacitive function key row. That’s right, instead of physical function keys, there’s now a touch-controlled bar that can swap between the Fn keys and the media control keys. If it’s a little too much like the widely disliked Touch Bar on the MacBook, then you have a point.

In its defense, Dell says this version makes more sense because it just switches back and forth between the two layouts, not endlessly changing contextual buttons like the Touch Bar. It sure looks cool, but I’m not sure I wouldn’t miss having at least one physical Esc key.

The display can go up to a 4K OLED screen and 28-watt Intel processor, up from the 15-watt CPU on other XPS 13 laptops. The 2.7-pound system is 15.3mm thick and reduces the thickness and weight slightly by removing the top glass layer of the display, which Dell says won’t affect ruggedness. My only other real knock about this impressive debut is that it won’t have a Full HD 1080p-resolution webcam.

The XPS 13 Plus is coming this spring, starting at $1,199 in the US (which converts to around £885 or AU$1,655).

Presidents Day has come and gone, but deals are showing no signs of slowing down. Plenty of major retailers have sales all week long and with savings on almost everything, we’ve rounded up all the best Presidents Day deals that are still available to make things easier.

Whether you’re looking for a new TV, need a mattress or are looking for some replacement furniture or appliances, you’ll find them on sale this week.

Compared to other major sales like Black Friday or Cyber ​​Monday, Presidents Day sales are geared toward home goods like mattresses and major appliances. So if you’ve been waiting for the right time to pull the trigger on a big purchase like a new fridge or bedding, you’ll be getting some of the biggest savings of the year right now.

But there’s a lot of tempting tech on sale too, like $369 off this G15 gaming laptop and $50 off the Apple Watch Series 7. We’ve listed the best ongoing President’s Day sales and deals below. We’ll be updating this page throughout the week as sales come and go, so be sure to check back often.

In the market for a new laptop? Dell has you covered with its expanded Presidents Day sale, offering up to $400 on dozens of laptops, including the XPS 13, which has been named one of our absolute favorites for 2022.

The only catch is that there are many “limited quantity deals” that expire once you’ve claimed them all. If you have your eye on a specific model, we recommend that you act as soon as possible.

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