Forbes - Innovation

Is Dell Next With A 1 Kg Laptop? Follows Rumored High-End MacBook Air

Laptops weighing under 2.5 pounds are going mainstream.

Dell is considering a design that falls into that category, a source familiar with Dell’s plans told me.

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Dell is “definitely aware of that 1 kilogram space. Folks that want that lighter device,” the source said. The source added that Dell doesn’t want to “make compromises on weight” — alluding to sacrifices (e.g., performance) that typically have to me made on super-light laptops.

Dell currently offers the XPS 13, which weighs 2.8 pounds. Dell also offers the Latitude 7320 Detachable. It is technically not a laptop but a tablet with a keyboard cover a la Microsoft Surface. The tablet alone is 1.7 pounds. With the keyboard cover, it’s 2.4 pounds.

Sub 2.5-pound laptops is where the market is headed

This laptop category could be hitting an inflection point in the next 12 to 24 months with more mainstream 13-inch-class laptops falling into sub-2.5 pound category. The same thing happened years ago with sub-3-pound 13-inch laptops, which are now mainstream.

HP recently announced it’s latest entry into the space with the 2.2 pound Pavilion Aero 13, boasting a magnesium aluminum chassis to reduce weight. HP already offers the Elite Dragonfly, which ranges from 2.2 to 2.49 pounds depending on the model.

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Current 13-inch-class laptops under 2.5 pounds:

  • Lenovo ThinkPad Nano X1 — 2 pounds
  • HP Pavilion Aero 13 — 2.2 pounds
  • HP Elite Dragonfly Max — 2.49 pounds
  • Samsung Galaxy Book Pro — 1.92 pounds
  • LG Gram 14 — 2.2 pounds
  • Google Pixelbook Go — 2.3 pounds
  • Samsung Galaxy Chromebook — 2.29 pounds
  • Future MacBook Air (reportedly)

Apple is working on a “thinner and lighter” version of the MacBook Air that would be released in the second half of this year at the earliest, according to Bloomberg.

If an ultralight 13-inch-class MacBook Air became a hit, much of the market would likely follow quickly with me-too designs.

Dell has experimented with sub 2.5-pound laptops before, albeit eons ago in technology time.

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Back in 2013, Dell offered a 2.4-pound XPS 11 which came with a novel — though not very well received — flat “membrane” keyboard, which had limited tactile feedback and was difficult to type on for long stretches.

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