What ports are on the Dell XPS 13 Plus?
Dell’s upcoming XPS 13 Plus laptop was one of the coolest things we saw at CES 2022. It has a futuristic design thanks to the combination of a “zero-lattice” keyboard with a seamless touchpad that you can’t even tell is there. Part of what makes it a modern laptop is that it’s thin, but that also means using modern ports like USB Type-C and Thunderbolt. And with the Dell XPS 13 Plus, you basically only get Thunderbolt ports.
The only ports that are built into the Dell XPS 13 Plus are two USB Type-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports, one on each side of the laptop, so you can easily plug in a charger from either side. There’s no headphone jack, SD card reader, or anything else built-in. However, you do get a USB Type-C to Type-A adapter in the box if you want to connect a wired peripheral of some kind.
Still, you don’t get a typical display output or a ton of ports in general. Even the headphone jack and microSD card reader, which were present in the standard Dell XPS 13 before, are gone here. That means you need to look for some alternatives.
How can I connect peripherals to the Dell XPS 13 Plus?
With only two Thunderbolt 4 ports, your best bet to connect a lot of peripherals to the Dell XPS 13 Plus is to use a Thunderbolt dock. Thunderbolt 4 is a very powerful connection with 40Gbps of bandwidth, which can drive displays, external storage, and even external GPUs. For stationary use, a Thunderbolt dock lets you connect a ton of peripherals, and it’s the ideal way to connect everything at your desk setup. You can connect all the peripherals to the Thunderbolt dock, then simply plug the dock into your Dell XPS 13 Plus using a Thunderbolt cable. You can even charge your laptop this way. We recommend the Thunderbolt dock below, though there are plenty of options.
If you only have one or two accessories you want to connect at a time, there are also a few Thunderbolt accessories out there you can use. That includes monitors, external storage, and even external GPUs if you want to use the Dell XPS 13 Plus for gaming.
Another option, which likely feels more modern, is to go wireless. Like most modern laptops, the Dell XPS 13 Plus supports Bluetooth, and that’s the way you can connect most peripherals without needing more ports. Of course, that won’t work for everything, but many mice, keyboards, headsets, and earbuds work wirelessly. There are also wireless monitors that rely on Wi-Fi, such as the Samsung Smart Monitor M7, if you want a completely wireless lifestyle. For external storage, a possible solution is moving to the cloud so you can access your files from any device easily. Services like OneDrive and Google Drive are great options if you’re interested in that.
While there are some limitations if you’re used to wired peripherals, the Dell XPS 13 Plus laptop is still an incredibly captivating laptop. Its design is stunning, and one could argue that the thin and light design and the push towards wireless peripherals also help make it futuristic. It’s not available to buy just yet, but it could end up being one of the best laptops of 2022.