Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 Was Redesigned Into a Tablet — And That’s Bad News for the Surface Pro

Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 Was Redesigned Into a Tablet — And That’s Bad News for the Surface Pro
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (Image: Dell)

Dell’s flagship convertible laptop is changing shape, transitioning from a laptop with a flexible hinge into a tablet with a detachable keyboard. The XPS 13 2-in-1 swaps the 360-degree hinge for an XPS 13 Folio keyboard case that snaps onto the bottom edge and props the tablet into one of three supported angles: 100 degrees, 112.5 degrees, and 125 degrees.

The transformation enhances the product’s mobility and offers additional flexibility, with customers gaining the option to use the XPS 13 2-in-1 as a standalone tablet or an ultra-thin laptop. Dell envisions its flagship convertible laptop as a one-stop shop for work, creativity, and entertainment.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (Image: Dell)Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (Image: Dell)

On that point, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is the first of its kind to offer optional 5G connectivity alongside eSIM support. The tablet also supports Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. It is powered by either a 12th Gen Core i5-1230U or Core i7-1250U CPU, those being Intel’s ultra-low-power chips. The tablet supports either 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR4x RAM and up to a 1TB PCIe SSD. Graphics are predictably limited to integrated Iris Xe. Dell didn’t provide any battery life ratings, stating only that the XPS 13 2-in-1 has a 49.5WHr cell.

For creative professionals, the XPS 13 2-in-1 supports an optional XPS Stylus that charges by attaching to a magnet on the top of the device. It was designed for both left- and right-handed users, should last about 50 days on a charge, and recharges in less than 2 hours. Perhaps my favourite feature is the built-in Tile functionality which should help you find the pen once it inevitably gets lost between your couch cushions.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (Image: Dell)Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (Image: Dell)

Getting back to the keyboard, the XPS Folio (which is sadly, also sold separately) has full-size backlit “zero-lattice” keys with 1mm of travel. It props up the XPS 13 2-in-1 using a folding mechanism instead of a kickstand (think: Apple’s Smart Folio Keyboard for iPad).

Binging your favourite shows is done on a 13-inch, 2880 x 1920-pixel display with a 3:2 aspect ratio. I have high hopes given that the panel supports DisplayHDR 400 and reaches 500 nits.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (Image: Dell)Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (Image: Dell)

There isn’t too much to say about the design of this tablet (or any tablet for that matter). It’s an attractive slate with an all-aluminium chassis and attractive “Dell” branding plastered in the centre. The tablet comes in two colours, Sky (light blue) and Slate (dark blue?), and has thin display bezels enabling an edge-to-edge screen. The slate measures 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.31 inches and weighs between 1.6 and 1 kg depending on the model (Wi-Fi vs. 5G). The Folio adds another 0 kg, keeping the total weight below 1 kg.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (Image: Dell)Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (Image: Dell)

Ports are limited to two Thunderbolt 4 with an included USB-C-to-USB-A adaptor in the box. You also get a USB-C-to-3.5mm port adaptor. Yes, I’m afraid that means there is no dedicated headphone jack on this tablet, so Bluetooth headphones are strongly recommended. On the front of the tablet is a 5MP, 1080p webcam with Windows Hello (facial recognition) support and on the rear is a rather prominent 11MP camera array capable of shooting 4K video.

The new XPS 13 2-in-1 will go on sale sometime this summer. Dell has not yet provided pricing info.