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What we want to see from the Dell XPS 13 2021

The Dell XPS 13 2021 is so far away from launch that there aren’t even any whispers about it online. But that’s not stopping us from getting excited and whipping up a list of features we’d love to see. 

The Dell XPS 13 has sat proudly atop our Best Laptop list for a good few years, but it’s being challenged now by the absolutely fantastic MacBook Air with M1 chip. So, if Dell wishes to remain the laptop king, it will have to up its game.

Even with the rise of the MacBooks, it’s difficult to suggest improvements for a laptop that’s already close to perfection – but we’ve given it a go anyway. So without further ado, here’s our wish list for the Dell XPS 13 2021.

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1. A new mini-LED display to rival the MacBook Pro

The Dell XPS 13 already has a fantastic display, offering both Full HD and 4K options, and scoring highly in our benchmark tests for contrast, colour accuracy and brightness. However, there’s still room for improvement.

A mini-LED display has long been rumoured for the MacBook Pro, improving brightness, contrast and HDR content. While the Dell XPS 13 series hasn’t been rumoured to feature a mini-LED display, it’s an obvious upgrade that Dell could make.

The biggest issue here is the cost of mini-LED displays, which could potentially hike up the price of the Dell XPS 13 by a substantial sum. This means it’s unlikely that we’ll see the technology implemented on entry-level models, but it would still be a welcome option for those flush with cash.

Related: Apple MacBook Pro 2021

2. 5G Support for on-the-go connectivity

Dell recently added Intel’s 11th-Gen processors (aka Tiger) to its XPS 13 laptops, yet passed on taking advantage of one of the chip’s the most exciting features: 5G support.

To be fair to Dell, most laptop manufacturers are being pretty cautious with 5G right now, with the Samsung Galaxy Flex 5G being one of only a very few laptops confirmed to embrace the technology. First, 5G coverage is limited across the globe so it lacks mass appeal at the time of writing. And second, laptops don’t usually ship with SIM cards, which opens a whole new can of worms.

All that said, it’s clear that 5G will result in big changes across the tech industry, and the idea of being able to connect your laptop to the internet outside your home is very appealing. Imagine being able to say goodbye to dodgy public Wi-Fi networks for good? Go on Dell, make it happen.

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3. More ports!

My biggest gripe with the Dell XPS 13 laptops has been their lack of ports. The latest model only features 2x Thunderbolt 3, a headphone jack and a microSD-card reader, which is super-stingy.

The bundled USB-C to USB-A adapter offers a workaround, but it isn’t exactly convenient if you frequently use a USB mouse or flash drive. Dell has previously told me that it struggles to fit a USB-A port on the laptop because of its svelte frame. That’s a fair argument, but other slim laptops (such as the Acer Swift 5) have been able to squeeze one onto the chassis.

Do I think USB-A will make a comeback on the Dell XPS 13? Sadly, no. It’s clear that USB-C is the future and Dell is clearly ready to abandon old technology, but that doesn’t stop me pining for its return.

4. New colour options

It’s difficult to fault the design of the Dell XPS 13 considering it’s arguably the best-looking laptop in the business. That said, I think the laptop range would benefit from greater colour variety.

Right now, you can buy a Dell XPS 13 in either Rose Gold, Frost White or Platinum Silver. Every one of these options look fantastic, but I can’t help wishing for a blue model. Microsoft offers five different colour options, and it really helps to give the Surface Laptop range a more vibrant personality.

I can understand the reluctance of adding too many colour options – it would be risky to introduce a red option, say, which can be quite divisive for laptops. But equally, I’m confident there’s scope for including more adventurous colours for the Dell XPS 13 family.

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