CES 2019 | Dell has caved in — the XPS 13 9380 will have the webcam back at its rightful position
After two generations of looking directly under peoples' nostrils, the upcoming XPS 13 refresh will have the webcam returned to its original location above the top edge of the screen.
Dell says it is now able to source a new webcam that fits within the tight specifications of the XPS 13 chassis. In other words, Dell did not have to change the dimensions of last year's 9370 chassis at all in order to incorporate the re-positioned camera. Dell is promising no compromises to camera quality and so we can expect the same experience in terms of colors and clarity, if not better. The new webcam certainly makes the Spectre x360 13 look unnecessarily large in comparison as HP has been preserving the thick top bezel specifically for webcam placement.
While outer dimensions are the same as the 2018 XPS 13 9370, the screen itself has been shifted downwards by a few millimeters in order to make room for the re-positioned webcam. The bottom bezel "chin" of the new 9380 series is thus narrower as a result.
A few drawbacks remain. The new camera is only 720p and it will not carry any IR features. Furthermore, there is nothing preventing competing manufacturers like HP or Asus from utilizing the same narrow-bezel webcam module for their own products as Dell does not have exclusivity rights to the technology. A redesigned Spectre or Zenbook with narrower top bezels is likely not that far off.
Beyond the re-positioned camera, the series will come in a new "Frost" white exterior color to complement the existing Black and Rose Gold options. HDR, matte, glossy touchscreen, FHD, and 4K UHD will all be available as well.
The 2019 XPS 13 will otherwise be identical to last year's model down to its internal GORE cooling solution. The processor, of course, will be updated from Kaby Lake-R to Whiskey Lake-U i5-8265U and i7-8565U as will be typical of most Ultrabooks coming out later this year.
Expect the XPS 13 9380 to launch later this month for a starting price of $899 USD.