Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 preview: Dell launches new 15in laptop hybrid at CES 2018


Dell has never shied away from Windows-powered greatness. The firm has deservedly earned a respectable legacy with two of its laptops, the XPS 13 and its larger-screened XPS 15 alternative. They both not only make their debuts in our best laptops list but laptop hierarchies from most of the world’s tech publications.Flash forward to CES 2018, and the Texas-based firm has a new variation of its 15in powerhouse to show off: the generously well-specced XPS 15 2-in-1. I’ve seen it in the flesh, and it’s about time I tried to convince you that this laptop/tablet hybrid is worth keeping an eye on in 2018.Dell XPS 15 2-in-1: UK price and release dateDell’s XPS 15 2-in-1 launches in Spring 2018 with configurations starting at $1,299. There’s no official word on UK pricing just yet, but a quick currency conversion suggests that Dell’s latest will cost roughly £959 over here in Blighty. Although, that’s certainly hopeful.Dell XPS 15 2-in-1: DesignImagine, if you will, Dell’s previously-released XPS 13 2-in-1 but a couple of inches bigger. All done? Yep, that mental image is precisely how the XPS 15 2-in-1 looks. It’s clear Dell is sticking with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it “ mantra, but that’s certainly not a bad thing.The brushed lid is still made up of the same anodized aluminium with a silver tinge, while the carbon fibre keyboard sits just below the new 360-degree hinge. However, something about that keyboard is slightly different.You see, this is what Dell calls a “maglev” keyboard. In essence, each key sits above a magnet, which provides feedback whenever your press, to give the sensation of mechanical-feeling clickability. Essentially, it feels like a deeper keyboard than it actually is.Elsewhere, you’ll find two Thunderbolt 3-powered USB-C ports on the left-hand edge, complete with a microSD card reader, while a pair of regular USB-C ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack sits on the right. The touch display supports Dell’s Active stylus, but the firm does not include one in the box.Dell XPS 15 2-in-1: SpecificationsAs for that 15.6in display, you can equip your XPS 15 2-in-1 with either a 4K (3,200 x 1,800) or Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) panel. Both displays are capable of reaching a maximum brightness of 400-nits, with a 1,500:1 contrast ratio, which should help ensure an image that’s vibrant and has plenty of impact.Inside the entry-level model, you’ll find Intel’s latest Kaby Lake-G Core i5-8305G processor complete with AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics, 128GB of SSD storage and 8GB of DDR4 RAM. The top spec model can be equipped with an Intel Core i7-8705G processor, 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage. Although, there’s no word on how much this beefed-up model will cost.Dell XPS 15 2-in-1: Early verdictTo think, Dell’s latest has all the hallmarks of achieving the impossible: altering this already cynical tech journalist’s pre-conceptions. Up until now, I’d have baulked at the idea of another large-screened hybrid – in fact our best 2-in-1 list doesn’t include a single device above 13.5in – but Dell’s convertible looks set to be the exception.Stay tuned for my full Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 review soon.

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