Dell’s XPS 13 Plus brings a MacBook Touch Bar-like experience

Dell XPS 13 Plus in its platinum color.

Enlarge / Dell XPS 13 Plus in its platinum color. (credit: Scharon Harding)

Dell today unveiled the latest in its long line of XPS laptops. Previous updates have ranged from minor CPU refreshes to moderate redesigns with larger screen-to-body ratios, smaller dimensions, and critical changes, like the removal of the up-the-nose webcam. But the latest XPS 13 is one of the most unusual-looking in years. And with a design built to host a more power-hungry CPU, Dell is calling it the XPS 13 Plus.

Announced to coincide with CES 2022 this week, the XPS 13 Plus (9320) will be available globally this spring with Windows 11 or Ubuntu 20.04 (XPS 13 Plus Developer Edition). Dell hasn’t settled on a starting price yet but told the press it’s “targeting” $1,199.99 in the US. That’s a notable bump from the current non-Plus XPS, which starts at $850 (that configuration was out of stock on Dell’s website as of writing. The next cheapest available SKU starts at $950). Dell said it will confirm the XPS 13 Plus’ price closer to the shipping date.

One look at the XPS 13 Plus and you can tell that it offers a different experience than the prior XPS 13. The machine’s keyboard stretches across the entire deck with no space between individual keys. The touchpad isn’t outlined with a border or completed with left- and right-click keys. Instead, the entire deck is the touchpad, which responds with haptic feedback. And rather than topping the keyboard with a row of function keys, the XPS 13 Plus has an Apple Touch Bar-like capacitive touch strip that you can toggle to show function-row inputs or media functions.

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