Dell unveils the XPS 15 2-in-1 with a high-power processor and AMD graphics

Last week, Dell announced a new XPS 13 as its pre-CES announcement. You might have thought that the company was done with XPS announcements for the time being, but you'd have been wrong. Today at its CES briefing, the firm introduced the XPS 15 2-in-1, a convertible version of its popular laptop.

You might recall that at last year's CES, Dell introduced the XPS 13 2-in-1; however, it used a Y-series processor, so users had to sacrifice performance for additional functionality. That's actually not the case with the XPS 15 2-in-1. The existing XPS 15 has a seventh-generation Intel H-series processor with an Nvidia GTX 1050 GPU. The 2-in-1 has an eighth-generation Intel H-series processor - which was just announced by Intel - and the chip comes with AMD Radeon RX Vega M 4GB graphics.

The problem with integrated graphics on an Intel processor has been that graphics memory had to be shared with system memory. Now, that AMD GPU will have dedicated space.

At just 16mm thin, Dell says that it's the thinnest laptop of its size. This is quite a feat, given the decision to forego U-series chips in favor of the more powerful H-series. This is indeed among the first convertibles to have an H-series chip or to have dedicated graphics.

Given the convertible form factor, it does include pen support, and Dell's Premium Active Pen supports 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. And of course, that pen can write on top of the 4K InfinityEdge display, with the narrow bezels that the XPS series is renowned for.

One big improvement that might fly under the radar is the IR camera that's placed underneath the screen. The XPS 15 2-in-1 supports Windows Hello facial recognition, just like the XPS 13 PCs that were announced last week. Previously, XPS laptops only had fingerprint sensors.

Given that there are no sacrifices to be made by buying the XPS 15 2-in-1 over the XPS 15, you might be wondering if this device will replace the XPS 15 entirely. The answer is that it will not, and Dell tells me that the XPS 15 clamshell will be refreshed later on this year, so it will be interesting to see what kind of value proposition will be offered in that, as one would think that if it's only an eighth-gen processor refresh, it would show up alongside the 2-in-1.

The Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 will be available this spring, starting at $1,299.99.

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