With a reputation for being some of the best all-round devices, it was only natural that Dell would come to Computex with a raft of refreshes of their own. And refresh they did, bringing an updated version of the XPS 13 2-in-1 with a 16:10 aspect ratio, updates to the Alienware thin-and-light m15 and m17 gaming laptops, and OLED displays for the XPS 15 range.
Some of the Alienware updates, which feature the upcoming 9th generation mobile CPUs from Intel, were previewed earlier at the Intel keynote. What was left out there, however, was the inclusion of 4K 240Hz capable OLED displays, with support for the HDR400 standard.
The m15 and m17 line were being refreshed with Nvidia's RTX and GTX 16 series GPUs, as you'd expect. Something that's not standard is the inclusion of Tobii eye-tracking, which is already supported in games like Elite Dangerous, Assassin's Creed Origins, and Watch Dogs 2, although the level of support differs from game to game. The m17 also have eyesafe displays, which is effectively the hardware equivalent of the auto dimming/monitor temperature control software that's part and parcel of mobile phones (or programs like f.lux, which turned 10 years old this year).
Battery life has been boosted on both laptops, with Dell telling press in a pre-briefing that they were aiming for "all-day battery life in normal use cases". It's being pitched as a desktop replacement device, one that's on that edge of being light enough to carry to and from work (the m15 weighs just over 2.13kg, while the 17-inch m17 is around 2.63kg).
The entry-level G3 gaming laptops have gotten the usual refreshes: GTX 1650 and 1660 Ti GPUs from Nvidia and 9th gen CPUs from Intel. On the quality of life side, the bezels around the screen are more tasteful, and a new entry-level gaming laptop, the G3 15, will be available in white and matte black, instead of just matte black.
Alienware's product stack in the audio category is getting deeper, with the AW310H and AW510H headsets, with the latter targeting those who want 7.1 surround sound. White and black options are available for both headsets, which have a retractable boom microphone that tucks away neatly. The kicker for those who game across multiple platforms is that neither headset is compatible with the Xbox One or PS4, although connecting it to the Switch's 3.5mm dock should pose no problem.
On the XPS side, the XPS 2-in-1 has undergone a size change. The refresh of the convertible laptop now has a 16:10 aspect ratio, instead of the traditional 16:9 screen. 16:9 was starting to feel more cramped in a world where more and more laptops are opting for squarer ratios—like the 3:2 on the Surface line, or the Huawei Matebooks—so the nod to 16:10 helps.
Like the last refresh of the XPS 13, the 2-in-1 mounts the webcam in the top bezel of the screen. It's running the 10nm Ice Lake CPU from Intel, and the whole chassis is 8 percent thinner than the last 2-in-1. Battery life is quoted at just over 16 hours during standard usage, and Dell has included an accelerometer. It's designed to detect the current environment: if it's sitting in a fixed position and not moving, the 2-in-1 will pump out more performance and push the thermals a little further. If it thinks the computer is in motion, the new 2-in-1 will focus on longer battery life and quieter fans.
The XPS 15 has gotten some love too, with the first OLED display in the XPS line. That series will now come with a 9th-gen Intel CPU at the highest spec, along with a GTX 1650 GPU for some extra gaming grunt.
Perhaps the most interesting announcement, but one that isn't coming to Australia at this stage, was the announcement of in-home installation for Dell's gaming PCs. Rolling out in 12 countries at launch, a Dell technical will deliver your PC, unpack, install the initial updates, connect it to your home network and setup all of your peripherals. The service will be available for the purchase of any new or refurbished XPS, Inspiron or Alienware PCs, but there's no word yet on when this service will make it way to Australia.
The last pitch was aimed at the business and workstation market. The Dell Vostro laptops, a line targeted at small businesses, are being updated with better thermals and a chassis redesign. The new Vostro 13 5000 will weigh in at 1.18kg, roughly the same weight as Lenovo's X1 Carbon.
The author travelled to Computex as a guest of Intel.