Dell goes big on Snapdragon X Elite with new Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13 (2022)
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Happy Snapdragon X Elite day! We’re anticipating a lot of news surrounding the new arm-based silicon that looks set to truly challenge the best MacBooks on both performance and battery life.

First out of the gate is Dell, and to say the company is “in” on Qualcomm’s new standard would be an understatement — we’re seeing new Latitudes, new Inspirons, and (most tantalizing to me), a new Dell XPS 13 armed with X Elite.

Meet the family

So let’s start with the biggest announcement of the bunch. We absolutely love the Dell XPS 13 (taking the DNA of the XPS 13 Plus), but the common obstacles of this lineage have been the underwhelming battery life and moments of thermal throttling.

Switching out Intel for a choice of either the Snapdragon X Elite or X Plus should (on paper) remedy a lot of these issues. Beyond this, the hardware and configurations remain the same: a gorgeous CNC machined aluminum shell with a Gorilla Glass palm rest/touch pad, a 55Whr battery, up to 64GB of LPDDR5x RAM and a potential 4TB of SSD storage.

Next, we’ve got the lower-end Dell Inspiron 14 and 14 Plus — both coming with Snapdragon X Plus. It’s very much the same story here, in terms of keeping the hardware identical to what you’ve seen from Intel counterparts, but just switching out the guts. 

And then you’ve got the work-centric Dell Latitudes in either X Plus or X Elite flavors. The 14-inch 16:10 aspect ratio display of the 7455 is great for work, and with up to 32GB of LPDDR5X RAM and a 1TB SSD, you’ve got plenty of variability to spec this machine for any workload. Oh, and the green credentials are on point with a chassis designed with recycled aluminum and a battery that packs 50% recycled cobalt.

The big things they all have in common

Of course, this is just a whistlestop tour — after all, what we have here is fundamentally the same laptops on the outside with new innards. But there are some other surprising changes, too.

First of all, the flip to Qualcomm means these have all been upgraded to support Wi-Fi 7. That means it supports up to a ridiculous speed of 46 Gbps (up from 9.6 Gbps of Wi-Fi 6). Next, as we found out about the Snapdragon X chips, you’re getting that beastly NPU with the potential of performing 45 trillion operations per second (45 TOPs). 

And finally, if the benchmarks we’re seeing are to be believed from the reference designs, you’re looking at a tasty performance increase that could challenge the likes of the M3 MacBook Air (not forgetting the touted all-day battery life too).

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Chip (laptop)Geekbench 6 (single-core)Geekbench 6 (multicore)
Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite (Reference design laptop)286415016
M3 (MacBook Air)308212087
M3 Pro (MacBook Pro)315414357
M3 Max (MacBook Pro)320021711
Intel Core Ultra 7 155H (Asus Zenbook Duo)247512867
Intel Core Ultra 9 185H (Samsung Galaxy Book 4 Ultra)242113124

As for pricing, we don’t know about the Latitudes or the standard Inspiron 14 just yet, but the new XPS 13 and Inspiron 14 Plus are available to pre-order today — coming in at $1,299 and $1,099 respectively.

For more Snapdragon news as it drops over the next few days, and our opinions on these laptops when we get to review them, keep it locked onto Tom’s Guide. Something tells me we’re starting to see Microsoft’s next big moment, similar to the tectonic shift of Apple silicon.

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Jason England
Managing Editor — Computing

Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He has previously written for Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.