Dell XPS 13 vs. MacBook Professional 13 | Spec Comparability

The Dell XPS 13 has been a unbelievable laptop computer because it’s a relaunch in 2015, however each design will get previous after a number of years. In 2019, Dell unveiled a revamp of the laptop computer with the webcam again on prime, which now makes it much more akin to the MacBook Professional.

However for 2020, Dell is again with an ever higher XPS 13, one with an much more improved show and a smaller footprint. Can Apple’s long-lauded MacBook Professional sill compete? On this information, we’ll pit the design, efficiency, and extra towards one another, and make it easier to discover which one is best for you.


Design will all the time have a subjective side to it, however these laptops are each on the prime of their respective video games. Specifically, the design of the MacBook Professional has grow to be iconic. It’s been iterated upon over time, however the aluminum unibody look has remained largely the identical — and it’s not something individuals complain about.

One of many nice issues concerning the Dell XPS 13 is that it by no means tried to clone something the MacBook Professional did. It has its personal sense of fashion, and it acquired higher in 2019 with new “Frost” coloration choices and a brighter, whiter inside. Regardless of shifting the webcam up prime, the XPS 13’s ultra-thin bezels nonetheless remained skinny, leading to a laptop computer with a tiny footprint on the desk.

However for 2020, Dell slimmed the bezels on the show and on all 4 sides of the display screen considerably, particularly on the underside.  It now sports activities what Dell is looking a 13.Four inch “Four-sided InfinityEdge show.” In layman’s phrases, this enables Dell to squeeze an even bigger show panel into the scale of an 11-inch laptop computer. That each one means it sports activities a 91.5% display screen to physique ratio.

The MacBook Professional, nonetheless, isn’t unhealthy on this regard, however the XPS is unquestionably a trimmer machine. What actually units it aside is the choice of a white and rose gold coloration scheme or the black carbon-fiber texture on the palm rests, in addition to its display screen. The burden, in the meantime, is available in at 1.64 kilos and zero.58 inches. That’s a bit on the identical web page because the MacBook’s zero.59-inch thickness, however positively slimmer to hold round, particularly contemplating the MacBook’s three.02-pound weight.

Apple’s enhancements to the keyboard and enter strategies on the MacBook Professional are a combined bag. We didn’t just like the the third-generation butterfly key switches discovered within the new MacBook Professional in any respect, which current a stiff, abrupt bottoming motion that may make lengthy typing classes tiresome. That stated, the MacBook Professional’s giant Drive Contact trackpad is really excellent — we charge it as one of the best within the business, bar none.

The XPS 13’s keyboard and touchpad are snug with easy key journey and fewer slippery keycaps. In actual fact, Dell selected to revamp the keyboard on the XPS 13 in 2020 in order that it’s extra of an edge-to-edge design, and that its keycaps are 9% bigger. Even the trackpad acquired greater too, now 19% bigger over final era.

On the opposite finish of the scope, the MacBook traded a bigger keyboard and trackpad of the XPS 13 for an OLED Touchbar. the place the MacBook Professional’s Contact Bar is divisive: you could like it or discover it redundant. It’s an OLED multitouch show that’s meant to switch the MacBook’s prime row of operate keys — it additionally adapts primarily based on no matter software program you’re utilizing. The know-how sounded promising at first, however it turned out to be utterly forgettable, and actually wants additional improvement to achieve its potential.

As anticipated, the brand new MacBook Professional options both two or 4 Thunderbolt three (USB-C) ports (relying on the mannequin you choose) and a single three.5-millimeter headphone jack. Whereas USB-C assist continues to develop, a variety of customers should be delay by the dearth of normal ports. The brand new 2020 XPS 13 is comparable, providing two Thunderbolt three ports — nonetheless, it features a microSD slot and packages in a USB dongle.

Dell has struck center floor with its new XPS 13, and we predict it struck a pleasant steadiness of high-powered, futureproof ports and accessibility with older equipment.


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Each laptops function choices for each Intel Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs. Nevertheless, Dell has a slight edge, because it affords a budget-friendly Core i3 choice and newer 10th era Intel processors. Apple is barely behind on this matter, as its Macbook sports activities eighth-generation chips as commonplace. In order for you newer choices with Apple, you’ll must improve to the larger 16 inch MacBook Professional. The most recent 10th-generation Ice Lake processors, in the meantime, are commonplace on the brand new XPS 13, no matter which mannequin you purchase,

Let’s take a deeper dive, first with the XPS 13. Essentially the most reasonably priced mannequin begins at $1,00zero, and that will get you a dual-core Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor, 8GB of reminiscence and a super-fast 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD. These elements will be upgraded to an Intel Core i5-1035G1, or Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, 32GB of reminiscence and as much as a 2TBGB SSD, in case you please. These Core i5 and Core i7 additionally processors provide extra core-counts than the bottom mannequin and likewise include Intel’s improved 10th-generation built-in graphics. Generally known as Iris Plus, the Core i7 fashions of the XPS 13 permit for gentle gaming.

Now for the MacBook Professional. Apple’s base mannequin comes with a 1.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Enhance as much as three.9GHz), 8GB of reminiscence and a speedy 128GB PCIe SSD. That configuration will set you again $1,300. When you want extra, you’ll be able to go all the best way as much as an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of reminiscence and a whopping 2TB SSD.

Neither comes with a discrete graphics chip, so don’t count on to play AAA video games on both of those laptops, except you’re ready to shell out further for an exterior graphics card (eGPU). With each laptops supporting Thunderbolt three, that’s an choice in case you don’t thoughts the associated fee.

So, which laptop computer affords higher efficiency? That is a simple reply. Though each will serve you properly for multi-tasking, the XPS 13 wins as a result of it has trendy 10th era Intel processors, in addition to barely higher built-in graphics for gentle gaming.

Show high quality

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The XPS 13 comes with three show choices: 4K Extremely HD+ contact display screen, FHD+, non-touch, and a FHD+ contact. With 4K Extremely HD+, you’re basically getting three,840 x 2,400 decision, after which 1,920 x 1,200 on the FHD+ mannequin. That terminology appears bizarre, however it’s due to the brand new side ratio.

Because of the slimmer Four-sided Infinity Edge show, the XPS 13 sports activities a 16:10 side ratio to assist maximize display screen house. Much like the MacBook lineup, this side ratio now signifies that you need to really feel as if there may be extra room on the display screen to your content material when internet looking. You’re additionally getting an even bigger screen-to-body ratio on the XPS 13, too, as it’s rated at 91.5%.

The 4K mannequin additionally claims HDR 400 certification, with 500 nits of brightness, a 1500:1 distinction ratio and 90$ of the Adobe SRGB Colour Gamut. Nevertheless, the 4K mannequin ends in a noticeable drop in battery life, making the 1080p the higher choice. Which means in case you don’t need to compromise on battery efficiency, you must accept a decrease decision than the two,560 x 1,600 provided by the MacBook Professional. Nonetheless, the XPS 13’s display screen stays probably the greatest shows you should buy in a laptop computer, although nonetheless a way behind that within the MacBook Professional.

Show high quality has lengthy been one of many MacBook Professional’s robust factors. The MacBook Professional’s Retina show isn’t 4K, however it’s sharper than 1080p. Whereas we haven’t examined the brand new 2020 XPS 13 but, the MacBook is understood for its nice coloration accuracy and coloration gamut, and noticeably higher brightness. Its coloration error charge of zero.72 is among the lowest we’ve ever seen, whereas its excellent 1,200:1 distinction ratio affords deep blacks and sensible colours.


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Each the MacBook Professional and XPS 13 are slimline laptops that provide loads of portability, however the XPS positively has the sting right here. It’s each lighter and thinner than the MacBook Professional, making it tremendous simple to throw it in your bag or maintain it in your hand. As for battery life, that’s a distinct story.

Our testing in 2019 confirmed some worrying conduct from the XPS 13 by way of its battery life. When testing the 4K mannequin, we noticed a 25 to 30 % drop in gentle internet looking and native video loop playback over the 2018 4K mannequin, regardless of having the identical show and battery. The most recent mannequin in 2020, nonetheless, guarantees to enhance battery life a bit. Dell claims that the FHD+ mode can final you for as much as 19 hours.

The MacBook Professional additionally took a step backward by way of battery efficiency. The 2019 mannequin’s 58 watt-hour battery is noticeably smaller than the earlier model’s 74.9 watt-hour battery. Our video loop take a look at drained the battery in ten hours and 24 minutes. We nonetheless want to check the brand new 2020 XPS 13, however that might fall behind the FHD+ XPS 13. So, the MacBook Professional will final you thru a day of regular utilization, however if you’d like higher battery efficiency, the 1080p XPS 13 ought to last more.

Dell settles into the throne

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All that stated, we nonetheless assume the XPS 13 comes out on prime on this comparability. It affords higher portability, a extra immersive display screen, a more recent and higher processor, and superior worth for cash. You additionally get a beautiful laptop computer that creates its personal fashion, neither aping Apple’s metallic end nor the ocean of all-black laptops within the Home windows world. It’s a laptop computer to be seen with, and for good motive.

In the end, we predict you’ll be proud of both laptop computer, and a variety of your alternative will rely on which working system you’re used to. However in case you’re open to each the Apple and Home windows worlds, the Dell XPS 13 is a unbelievable choice.

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