Dell launches XPS 13 Developer Edition with Ice Lake, Fingerprint Reader

On New Year’s Day, Dell announced the availability of a new redesigned Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition for 2020.

 

Dell XPS 13 9300 Non-Touch Notebook
Dell XPS 13 9300 Non-Touch Notebook

Overview and New Features

The newly overhauled Dell XPS 13 uses the same core materials, carbon fiber, CNC-machined aluminum, and woven glass fiber, as does its predecessors, however, it is lighter and thinner now. Unlike current-generation XPS 13s that use Intel’s 10th-generation ‘Comet Lake’ CPUs, Dell’s latest offering uses the “Ice Lake” CPU, a 10nm chip that includes Iris Plus Graphics.

Dell XPS 13 9300 Non-Touch Notebook
Dell XPS 13 9300 Non-Touch Notebook

Along with the updated “Ice Lake” CPU, the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition comes with Ubuntu 18.04 preloaded and is available with up to 32GB of RAM and fingerprint-reader support.  However, the fingerprint-reader support will post-launch via an update.

The latest in the XPS 13 line features a 4-sided 13.4-inch “InfinityEdge” screen with a thinner bottom bezel.  This minor, yet significant modification, means that the new XPS 13 provides users more screen real estate, affording a 91.5% screen-to-body ratio.  Also featured in the 2020 XPS 13 is a broader keyboard with larger keycaps, and a 17% larger touchpad.

Dell also claims that Wifi will be up to 3x faster wireless thanks to its Killer AX1650 built on Intel WiFi 6 Chipset.

Baseline Specifications

  • Display Size:  13.40-inch
  • Display Resolution:  1920×1200 pixels
  • Processor:  Core i5
  • RAM: 8GB (Upgradeable to 32GB)
  • OS:  Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • SSD:  256GB (Upgradeable to 2TB)
  • Graphics:  Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • Weight:  1.20 kg

Timing of Launch

Dell’s launch of the XPS 13 comes just days ahead of CES 2020 set to kick off in Las Vegas, NV, this Monday, January 7, 2020.  While the XPS 13 featuring Windows 10 won’t be available until January 7, the XPS 13 Developer Edition will be available tomorrow.  The Windows-based XP starts at $999.99, while the Developer Edition starts at $1,199.  The disparity in pricing is because the Developer Edition features better baseline specs than do their Windows counterparts.

Conclusion

The XPS 13 Developer Edition, with its eye-popping features, is an attractive choice for developers, system administrators, DevOps engineers, and IT professionals alike.  Dell is one of the few established PC and laptop manufacturers (no offense System76, Kubuntu Focus, and Purism) that has shown some devotion to Linux users with their dedicated line of laptops that run out of the box.  That commitment, along with Dell’s exceptional reputation for support, makes the 2020 XPS 13 Developer Edition a most tempting option.  The reception that the XPS 13 receives at CES 2020 in a few days should prove interesting.

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