Unlike Acer and Asus, who overwhelmed us with sheer numbers this morning, Dell's Computex assault is formed by just one, standout product, the XPS 11. This 11.6-inch laptop touts an outstanding 2560 x 1440 resolution, plus its exterior is adorned in a carbon fiber weave and machined aluminum, yet the company is pitching it as something even more: a two-in-one device.
The hinge on the XPS 11 allows the screen to flip nearly a full 360 degrees, turning the workaday laptop into a fun-filled tablet — very much in the same vein as Lenovo's Yoga machine. You can't detach the display, but the sub-15mm thickness with the keyboard included makes this a reasonable device to use in tablet mode even with the keypad still attached. Intelligently, Dell has designed the keyboard so that once the hinge passes 180 degrees, it becomes insensitive to input. It is a curious set of buttons that Dell's opted for here — the prototype we saw had almost no travel to them, though touch was very quickly recognized. You might think of this as a Microsoft Surface with the keyboard cover left attached. Of course, that'd be doing the XPS 11 a disservice, owing to its amazingly dense display and freshly official Core i5 Haswell processor.
Also on tap with this machine will be USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, an SD card reader, and an active stylus. There'll be a stylus-holding attachment that plugs into the Kensington lock. The battery size, RAM and storage options aren't yet being revealed by the cagey guys at Dell, and neither is the price, however we're told to look forward to more info trickling out as we move closer to the planned launch in the 2013 holiday season.
And in case you were wondering about Dell's strategy going forward, company Vice President Kirk Schell told us that consumer products are just as important to its future as commercial ones. "If you're going to be in the PC business," he said, "you have to be in both."