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CES 2019 | Dell has caved in — the XPS 13 9380 will have the webcam back at its rightful position

Dell has caved in — the 2019 XPS 13 will have the webcam back at its rightful position
Dell has caved in — the 2019 XPS 13 will have the webcam back at its rightful position
The "under-your-nose" camera will soon be a thing of the past. The move is a direct response to user complaints and a blow to competitors like the Huawei MateBook X Pro or Lenovo Legion Y530 where OEMs had to get creative with suboptimal camera positioning.

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.

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(Source: Dell)
(Source: Dell)
2019 Dell XPS 13 9380
2019 Dell XPS 13 9380
Same outer chassis dimensions as before
Same outer chassis dimensions as before
Side bezels are the same thickness
Side bezels are the same thickness
QHD panel options will not be returning
QHD panel options will not be returning
Bottom bezel chin" is now narrower since the screen has been shifted downwards
Bottom bezel chin" is now narrower since the screen has been shifted downwards
New Frost White color option
New Frost White color option

Source(s)

Dell

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 12 > Dell has caved in — the XPS 13 9380 will have the webcam back at its rightful position
Allen Ngo, 2019-01- 8 (Update: 2019-01- 2)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.