MacBook Air vs. Dell XPS 13: Which Extremely-Skinny Laptop computer Wins?

Macbook Air (2018) ReviewRiley Younger/Digital Developments

The Dell XPS 13 and the MacBook Air are among the most iconic laptops ever designed. Taking them at face worth, it is likely to be a tough choice to make between the 2. Favor the ultra-slim bezels of the XPS 13 or the hard-as-a-rock construct high quality of the MacBook Air?

However there’s extra to those two laptops than what could be seen on the floor. Right here’s all the pieces that you must learn about how these two laptops stack up.


how dell fixed xps 13 biggest flaw ces 2019 displayRiley Younger/Digital Developments

Each laptops boast 13.Three-inch shows and equally compact designs this 12 months. Apple continues to make use of a unibody aluminum development on the Air this 12 months, whereas the XPS 13 differentiates with an aluminum lid and carbon fiber palm relaxation. The Air’s 11.97 x eight.36 x zero.61-inch dimensions are inside vary of the XPS 13’s 11.98 x 7.88 x zero.6-inch measurements, however at 2.7 kilos, the XPS is barely lighter than the two.75-pound Air. The 2019 XPS 13 is available in silver or rose gold and “frost” exterior, whereas the Air is offered in gold, silver, or house grey. It additionally options an easy-to-open prime lid because of a brand new “variable torque hinge.”

Regardless of sharing the identical display measurement, there are notable variations between Apple’s and Dell’s edge-to-edge glass shows. The MacBook Air ships with a non-touch Retina show with 2,560 x 1,600 pixels, giving it a a lot greater 227 ppi (pixels per inch) score to the XPS 13’s 166 ppi. The XPS 13 begins with a non-touch 1080p show that may be upgraded to a contact display. You too can bounce as much as the 4K possibility. Moreover, the XPS 13’s 16:9 side ratio makes it extra fitted to movies, although we favor the marginally taller 16:10 side ratio on the Air.

Evaluating the 4K version of the 2019 XPS 13 to the Air, we discovered the XPS has higher distinction and brightness, however they’re practically equal in coloration gamut and accuracy. The Air’s display grabs the “Retina show” identify, however takes a major step again from the display on the MacBook Professional, slipping behind on issues like brightness, distinction and black ranges.

Should you’re taking a look at a laptop computer for productiveness, the XPS 13’s keyboard provides it an enormous profit. With the 2018 MacBook Air, Apple additionally redesigned the keyboard with its third-generation design with butterfly key switches. The result’s you’ll discover extra shallow key journey on the Air in comparison with the XPS 13 and most different keyboards available on the market.

To take care of its minimalist silhouette, Apple restricted connectivity on the Air to only two Thunderbolt Three over USB-C ports for energy, information switch, connecting peripherals, and dealing with show output, together with a single headphone jack. The XPS 13 presents an analogous number of two Thunderbolt Three USB-C ports and a typical USB-C port, however throws in an SD card slot for good measure.


Apple MacBook Air 2018Julian Chokkattu/Digital Developments

Each the Air and the XPS 13 have been up to date with new processors in 2019. The XPS 13 was not too long ago moved as much as 10th-gen Comet Late chips, which now supply a configuration as much as six cores. Whereas we haven’t examined that precise system simply but, the additional cores ought to make it a quicker machine, particularly in duties like pictures or video enhancing.

The MacBook Air, however, nonetheless makes use of a Y-series, dual-core processor. It’s loads quick for normal productiveness, but it surely has its limits in multitasking and in purposes that require further threads. At their base ranges, they each solely have two cores, although, which makes them comparable when it comes to efficiency.

Apple’s MacBook Air could be configured with both 8GB or 16GB of reminiscence, and storage ranges from a 128GB solid-state drive as much as 1TB. Dell presents related RAM configurations, however the SSD can go all the way in which as much as 2TB.  Neither laptop computer comes with discrete graphics, as each the XPS and Air depend on Intel’s built-in GPU.

Each laptops can be utilized for 720p HD video calls, although FaceTime stays an unique expertise to Apple . To eliminate the awkward video angles which have plagued the XPS 13, Dell moved the webcam again as much as its prime bezel within the 2019 mannequin of the laptop computer. It’s the thinnest webcam ever used on a Dell laptop computer and is available in at 2.25mm in measurement.

To deal with audio, the XPS 13 and Air each characteristic stereo audio system, although the MacBook’s are much better. The audio system are situated on the edges of the XPS 13, whereas Apple makes use of an upward-firing design with audio system positioned on both facet of the keyboard.


Apple MacBook Air 2018Julian Chokkattu/Digital Developments

Apple’s MacBook Air has lengthy set the usual on the subject of all-day efficiency. Apple claimed that the Air can final for 12 hours of wi-fi net searching or as much as 13 hours of iTunes film playback, however we discovered that Air solely lasted for round eight hours in our net searching check. With the brand new XPS 13, we reviewed the mannequin with the battery-hogging 4K show. It solely lasted us 6.7 hours when net searching, and 7 hours when looping a video. That mentioned, we advocate the configuration with the usual 1080p panel, the place you may anticipate it prime what you get on the MacBook Air.

Should you do must take both laptop computer on the go, each are pretty cell. The latest variations of the XPS 13 and the MacBook Air are each light-weight, with the XPS weighing in at 2.7 kilos and the Air a fraction heavier at 2.75 kilos, making them simple to care round one-handed or throw in a bag. The XPS 13 is barely thinner on the largest a part of its wedge form, whereas the smallest a part of the MacBook Air’s wedge is thinner than the XPS 13’s.

To guard your information, each laptops depend on biometric safety. Fingerprint-based Contact ID is commonplace on all MacBook Air configurations, whereas a Home windows Hiya fingerprint scanner is an optionally available characteristic on choose XPS 13 configurations. Each laptops assist enhanced workflow when paired with a smartphone. iPhone customers will profit from higher hand-off and integration with MacOS on the Air, whereas the XPS 13’s downloadable Dell Cellular Join app will give related advantages to Home windows 10 customers who additionally carry an iOS or Android smartphone.

The XPS 13 presents extra bang for the buck

Dell XPS 13 2019 review (9380)Riley Younger/Digital Developments

In the end, the choice to go together with an XPS 13 or a MacBook Air boils right down to your funding in both the Home windows 10 or MacOS ecosystem. Should you’re an present MacOS or iPhone consumer, upgrading to the MacBook Air could also be a pure choice — you gained’t must re-purchase your Mac apps and Apple’s Continuity characteristic permits a seamless workflow between the Air and your iOS smartphone.

However in case you’re searching for worth, the XPS 13 delivers extra efficiency in your cash. Regardless of the MacBook Air’s $100 worth lower in 2019, the XPS 13 stays the higher possibility, particularly within the greater configurations when extra cores could be added.

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