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Dell XPS 13 Tiger Lake refresh makes the best laptop even better

Dell XPS 13
(Image credit: Dell)

The Dell XPS 13 and the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 are getting an Intel Tiger Lake refresh, which should give them a boost in processor power and a proper hike in graphics performance. 

The new laptops look almost identical to their predecessors, sporting the super-slim bezels provided by Dell’s InfinityEdge displays. There are two new color options for the 2-in-1 though, with Dell offering it in “platinum silver with black carbon fiber” and “frost with an arctic white woven glass fiber palm rest.”  

Back to the specs boost. Both Dell machines get access to up to 11th Gen Core i7 mobile processors, which offer four cores and improved graphics courtesy of the new Xe integrated GPUs from Intel. And they will get access to LPDDR4x RAM —  up to 32GB of it — which runs at 4,267MHz as opposed to the previous generation's 3,733MHz. 

How much of a boost in performance that will deliver in real-world use has yet to be seen. But a hike in processor performance, with faster RAM and a much improved GPU — on paper at least — should give the XPS 13 and its 2-in-1 sibling a decent jump in performance over their predecessors. They will also get access to Thunderbolt 4 connectivity. 

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

(Image credit: Dell)

The new XPS 13 will get access to 11th Gen Core i3, i5, and i7 chips, all with quad-core processors. But you’ll want to opt for a Core i7 model if you want to get access to the most powerful variant of the Intel Xe GPU. With that chip there’s scope for some proper gaming at 1080p, though that’s only been shown off in demos; we’d need to put it to the test ourselves before we come to any concrete conclusions. 

The same is true of the XPS 13 2-in-1. Just bear in mind that both XPS 13 machines are rather thin laptops meaning they might not have a great amount of thermal headroom to allow the new Intel chips to run at full speed for extended amounts of time. 

The Dell XPS 13 is currently our pick for the best laptop you can buy, thanks to its sleek design, nearly bezel-less display and strong performance and battery life. And thanks to Tiger Lake, we expect that performance to be even better.

Set for release in the U.S. and Canada on September 30, the new Dell XPS 13 will start at $999 and the XPS 13 2-in-1 will start at $1,249. Be sure to check back with Tom’s Guide, as we plan to put the laptops through their paces one we get our hands on them.