Dell XPS 13 with 8th gen Core i7-8550U CPU now shipping in US
Dell promised a September launch date when they unveiled the Kaby Lake-R XPS 13 refresh at IFA 2017 and the manufacturer is sticking to its word. The XPS 13 with the quad-core i7-8550U can now be ordered directly from Dell US for a starting price of $1300 USD with matte FHD and glossy touchscreen QHD+ options. The sudden availability of this latest model is likely responsible for the recent price drops across the outgoing XPS 13 7th gen Kaby Lake lineup.
As of this writing, US users cannot configure the Kaby Lake-R XPS 13 with anything else other than the i7-8550U CPU, 8 GB of LPDDR3 RAM, and primary 256 GB PCIe SSD. In Europe, however, the i5-8250U SKU is available. The limited hardware options in the US suggest a small initial shipment volume before ramping up supply with more varied SKUs later in the year. Testing the performance differences between the i7-8550U and i5-8250U configurations is a priority on our list.
Aside from the CPU update, Dell will also be installing strategically-placed thermisters around the inside of the chassis for temperature monitoring. As detailed in our Dynamic Power Policy page, the precise temperature readings should allow slightly better clock rate management than before for faster performance. Dell is subsequently promising a 44 percent CPU performance increase over the previous XPS 13 generation compared to Intel's base claim of 40 percent. The InfinityEdge chassis is otherwise identical to the original design introduced in 2015.
Expect our initial impressions and reviews on both the i5-8250U FHD and i7-8550U QHD+ XPS 13 SKUs to come early next month.