Dell and its Alienware PC gaming division were at CES 2020, with the latest version of the trendsetting Dell XPS 13, a new esport competition-ready Alienware gaming monitor, and the first laptop with 5G integration. The companies also made headlines with stunning new concept devices that show an exciting future for computers, including the Concept UFO portable PC gaming system and the Concept Ori with its folding display.
Dell XPS 13
I have reviewed several iterations of Dell’s excellent XPS 13 laptop, the most recently last summer. This ultraportable was a big part of the current movement in the industry toward premium all-metal design and minimizing bezels. The result has been a generation of laptops that fit bigger displays in ever-smaller form factors.
The new Dell XPS 13 that made its debut at CES 2020 is easily one of the most anticipated laptops of the year. And it didn’t disappoint. Featuring what Dell is now calling a “4-sided InfinityEdge display” that shrinks bezels even further (including the bottom bezel), it now packs a 13.4-inch display in what was once the size of an 11-inch laptop. Dell says the overall display size is up 6.8% compared to last year, yet the laptop is 2% smaller than the previous version.
Dell makes typing more comfortable with keys that are 19% larger, and the trackpad also increased in size. Naturally it gets the latest 10th generation Intel processors as well, for faster performance, battery battery life and support for Wi-Fi 6.
The company also unveiled a Developer Edition of the laptop, with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS preloaded.
Dell Latitude 9510
Dell launched the Latitude 9510 at CES, and it has some serious bragging points.
The machined aluminum case is just 17 mm thick and weighs only 1.45 kg, with minimal bezels. Dell says this is the world’s lightest business-class laptop. It’s also the first laptop to be offered with optional 5G connectivity. Also worth noting is the use of new Dell Optimizer software, an AI tool that’s designed to improve performance and optimize battery use.
Available as a 15.6-inch traditional laptop or a 15-inch convertible (both with Full HD displays as a standard configuration), processing power is provided by 10th generation intel Core CPUs. Dell claims that users can get up to 30 hours of AI-assisted battery life from a Latitude 9510, but that will vary based on how it is being used.
Dell G5 15 SE gaming laptop
While its Alienware division gets all the glory, Dell has game too. The company took the wraps off a special edition of its G5 15-inch gaming laptop. This features a 15.6-inch Full HD panel with a 144Hz refresh rate and FreeSync support. It’s equipped with an 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 4800H CPU and an AMD Radeon RX 5600M discrete GPU, so it will be a powerful mobile gaming system to contend with when it arrives.
Alienware 25 gaming monitor
Gamers should be pretty excited about the new monitor Alienware announced at CES. We’ve seen plenty of huge, curved, 4K and even OLED gaming monitors, but this one is none of these. It’s impressive enough, with a 24.5-inch panel with Full HD native resolution and an ultra-speedy 240Hz refresh rate that makes it ideal for high speed gaming. It supports both AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync. The stand is designed to be slim and stylish, and it’s height adjustable. But what makes the new Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor noteworthy is this esports-ready monitor is priced to be within reach of everyday players.
Concept Duet and Concept Ori
2019 was the year when folding displays and dual-screen devices stated to make an appearance. Dell showed off two prototypes at CES that explore how this tech could develop for PCs in the future: Concept Duet and Concept Ori.
Concept Ori is a foldable tablet with a 13-inch QHD+ display. It’s like seeing one of the recent OLED folding screen smartphones expanded into a big slab running Windows. Concept Duet is a hinged, dual screen device with a detachable keyboard that can be positioned over half of one of the displays to create a more traditional laptop form factor. Neither is ready for production any time soon, but they did get a lot of attention and could point to new products in the future.
Pushing the limits of portable gaming with Concept UFO
Nintendo has had a huge impact on portable gaming with the Switch, and PC makers are taking notice. Alienware was showing off one of the more popular prototypes at CES 2020 with the Concept UFO.
This device imagines a future where PC gaming goes handheld, a big step in portability over gaming laptops. It features an 8-inch display with 1900 x 1200 resolution, detachable side-mounted gamepad controllers, a kickstand and the ability to be docked to a TV or monitor. You can also use a computer keyboard and mouse with it. The PC inside runs Windows 10, and you can download games from Steam and Epic. Dell was mum on exactly what that processor is (and how they fit it inside the portable case), but in demos it was running World War Z on a TV at 60 FPS …
Concept UFO is not a commercially available product—yet—but Alienware is actively working on it. The company says:
“Our goal is to create a gaming PC worthy of the Alienware brand, in a handheld form factor that gamers could use to play their favorite AAA PC titles, wherever they are.”
Between developments like this, and Google’s Stadia streaming service (be sure to check out Jon Scarr’s review of that), the future looks interesting for PC gaming.
I wouldn’t expect to see the Alienware Concept UFO or the Concept Ori any time soon, but many of the other Dell and Alienware products that were announced and displayed at CES will be available at Best Buy. Stay tuned for announcements here when some of the more eagerly-awaited products (like the new XPS 13) are due to arrive.
In the meantime, don’t miss out on any of the cool reveals at CES 2020. Best Buy Canada’s blog has contributors at the show and comprehensive coverage of everything that went down this week.