Dell XPS 13 Finally Fixes the Nosecam

Dell has finally fixed its best laptop’s biggest flaw. The new Dell XPS 13, announced at the CES electronics trade show in Las Vegas, has its webcam above the display, rather than on the bezel beneath it. The nosecam is dead. The laptop will start at $899.99 when it releases today and rolls out in more configurations later this month.

The XPS 13 (9380) is also getting a bump up to Intel’s 8th Gen Whiskey Lake quad core processors and is getting a new color: a brighter white deck combined with a silver lid, which the company refers to as “frost.” It will also be available in the existing rose gold and black variants.

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Dell XPS 13 (9380)
CPUUp to Intel Core i7-8565U
GPUIntel UHD Graphics 620
RAMUp to 16 GB LPDDR3 2133MHz
StorageUp to 2 TB PCIe SSD
Display13.3-inch FHD non-touch, FHD or 4K touch
Battery52 Whr
Ports2x Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB Type-C, headphone jack, lock slot, microSD card reader
Dimensions11.9 x 7.8 x 0.5 inches / 302 x 199 x 11.6 mm
Weight2.7 pounds / 1.2 kg
Starting Price$899.99

The webcam is Dell’s smallest ever. The module measures just under 2.3 mm and is mounted above the InfinityEdge display. The top bezel is ever so slightly thicker than the sides (it’s 6 mm thick compared to the sides at 4 mm), but in a hands-on I barely even noticed, and I would happily trade that for having the camera in the right spot. The camera doesn’t allow for Windows Hello facial recognition, but there is a fingerprint reader based in the power button.

There’s one small change to the design. Dell’s new variable torque hinge makes it easier to open the laptop, especially with one hand. It’s now super simple to lift the lid, but it becomes slightly more resistant as it moves back to the fully open position. It’s a comfortable little touch that I appreciated in my time with the device. Beyond that, though, it’s largely the same.

Dell is also making big battery life claims with this version of the XPS 13, suggesting that the 52 Whr battery will last it for 21 hours on a charge with an FHD display (you can be sure we’ll put that to the test in our lab).

I wouldn’t think a webcam would be one of the most exciting innovations of CES 2019, but here we are. That little shift could make the XPS 13 even more convincing than it’s been in years, and we’ll see when it hits our lab.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon