Dell Technologies at CES: The Importance of Endpoint Evolution

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  January 5, 2022

The tech industry is renowned for its attention to shiny new things, and there are few venues where this is more apparent than the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that takes place every January. However, while many of the products introduced and promoted at CES deserve time in the spotlight, the attention they draw is a distraction from an equally vital practical issue – how well vendors have evolved existing solutions and portfolios.

That is especially important for products used in the workplace, including endpoint PCs and laptops. Those solutions obviously need to deliver the goods in terms of promised features and performance, but customers also depend on vendors to continually enhance endpoints to help employers and employees address business and marketplace shifts. The new solutions Dell Technologies introduced at CES 2022 along with three new workplace Concepts announced in mid-December are good examples of this. Let’s consider them further.

CES 2022: Dell reimagines XPS 13 and collaboration

Launched originally at CES 2012, Dell’s XPS 13 has since become one of the company’s most iconic, top-selling laptops, and for good reason. That first generation (L321X) was Dell’s initial Ultrabook, a class of laptops that utilized a host of new technologies and features to deliver significantly better compute, battery and display performance. The XPS 13 also fundamentally altered the company’s reputation for product design and aesthetics. The XPS 13 wasn’t just a new laptop line—it was a signpost indicating Dell Technologies’ future direction.

Since then, next gen XPS 13 solutions have steadily highlighted new features and technologies developed by Dell and strategic partners, like Intel, and the 10th anniversary XPS 13 Plus introduced this week at CES 2022 continues that progression. This is the first XPS 13 to incorporate 12th gen Intel Core processors. However, new Dell fan technologies (increasing airflow by 55 percent without raising noise or temperature) enable the XPS 13 Plus to use 28W Intel Core chips (up from 15W in prior gen systems), thus substantially improving overall performance.

Along with streamlined design changes that reinforce the XPS 13 line as a solid choice for use in the office or home, the new XPS 13 Plus offers practical enhancements, including Express Charge 2.0 (which brings the laptop up to 80 percent battery life in under an hour), larger (zero-lattice) keycaps, a glass touchpad, improved InfinityEdge display and redesigned quad speaker system. The XPS 13 Plus also meets the social impact plans in Dell 2030 Goals.

Dell’s new UltraSharp 32 4K Conferencing Monitor also offers new and improved features, as well as a sophisticated design aesthetic that fits both home and workplace use cases. The monitor includes Dell’s UltraSharp Webcam (with SafeShutter), echo-cancelling dual array microphones and 14W speakers, enhancing both collaboration and visual experiences.

The UltraSharp’s IPS Black technology and VESA DisplayHDR 400 features enables content to be viewed in 4K resolution, contrast, and color, and ComfortView Plus reduces harmful blue-light emissions without affecting color accuracy. Like other Dell video conferencing monitors, the new UltraSharp is certified for Microsoft Teams and comes with privacy and productivity features.

Both the XPS 13 Plus and UltraSharp 32 4K Conferencing Monitor will be available for purchase worldwide in Spring 2022.

Dell Concepts for seamless work experiences

While the new solutions launched at CES 2022 address current issues and needs, Dell’s vision of the workplace of the future is apparent in the Seamless Work Experience Concepts outlined last month in a blog by Glen Robson, CTO of Dell’s Client Solutions Group:

  • Concept Flow – is designed to remove the productivity-sapping friction workers can experience as they transition from location to location. To address that, Dell engineers are marrying devices, industry standard wireless charging technology, intelligent software applications and Wi-Fi 6E docking technology to create a singular, seamless proximity-sensitive user experience. As a result, workers will be able to get up and running faster and with fewer steps and headaches than they currently do.
  • Concept Pari – Teams and team members often face communication and collaboration barriers when using video conferencing tools. To improve that situation, Dell engineers studied the impact of cameras and camera placement on communication and developed a small (~ 1 ounce/30 grams), simple, moveable wireless webcam with built-in microphone that can be placed and positioned virtually anywhere. Using the webcam, users can more easily maintain direct eye contact with those they are addressing and share offscreen content and images. While designed mainly for people who regularly engage in video calls, Concept Pari could be a worthwhile asset for anyone who regularly transitions between various work locations.
  • Concept Stanza – Finally, traditional work activities, like notetaking can also be improved with new digital tools. Concept Stanza aims to do that by providing workers a thin, light, port-less, 11-inch companion device for PCs. Designed to reduce distractions, using Concept Stanza is similar to handwriting notes but double tapping a note instantly converts it to text that can be saved, retrieved, searched and shared across multiple devices. Designed to be used with either a stylus or microphone, Concept aims to blend analog and digital processes, thus enhancing overall workplace productivity.

Final analysis

The new Dell XPS 13 Plus and UltraSharp 32 4K Conferencing Monitor launched at CES 2022, along with the Seamless Work Experience Concepts announced last month, highlight how the company is effectively addressing business customers’ current requirements while planning innovative future products and tools. What is clear from examining these new and potential offerings is Dell Technologies’ astuteness in balancing the market’s thirst for valuable new solutions and the need to continually evolve its portfolio of workplace endpoints.

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