Two of the hottest laptops on the market now are the Dell XPS 13 and Apple’s MacBook, both which have recently been upgraded. For purposes of the comparison, this article is using Dell’s higher-end XPS 13 ($1,499), which has an Intel Iris graphics chip, an Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. In terms of the MacBook, this article is using the recently upgraded 2016 version ($1,599) with an Intel HD Graphics 515 chip, 8GB of RAM, an Intel Core m5 processor, and a 256GB SSD.
Both of these laptops are very light. The 12-inch MacBook weighs 2.03 pounds and the 13.3-inch Dell XPS 13 weighs 2.7 pounds. The MacBook is a design marvel. It almost feels like holding a notepad, but one which you can use as a computer that has a full desktop operating system. Given everything that’s included with the Dell XPS 13, it feels light as well. Even though the XPS 13 isn’t as lightweight as the MacBook, a lot less has been compromised.
The screens on both of these devices are gorgeous. The MacBook displays 226 pixels per inch and the XPS 13 displays 276 pixels per inch. However, the colors feel more natural on the MacBook, which also works better in daylight. However, if you watch 4K videos, the Dell XPS 13 is better. Both screens get bright, but the MacBook’s brightness is among the best of any laptop.
Both the MacBook and XPS 13 include capable keyboards, but the “butterfly” keyboard on the MacBook feels more natural. There is no spring or travel to the keys on the MacBook, but because of the way the keys are designed, there is no need for these aspects. The XPS 13 includes smaller regular keys that, due to the design, feel like they could use more travel.
Trackpads have been improving on Windows 10 devices and the Dell XPS 13 has what can be considered the best trackpad on a Windows 10 laptop. However, the trackpad on the MacBook is still better, more intuitive, and feels like an extension of the screen, whereas the Dell XPS 13 trackpad feels like just a supplement. Then again, the Dell XPS 13 has a touchscreen when Apple still refuses to put touchscreens on their MacBooks.
The big difference between the two laptops is what’s inside of them. The MacBook is an excellent portable device for regular users who need to do office work and want light photo editing capabilities. It’s also fine for people who watch 4K videos, but don’t need to edit regular HD or 4K videos. It’s perfect for those who love their iPads, but have always wished they could do more on them.
The Dell XPS 13 is a powerful desktop replacement. It’s perfect for editing videos, photos, or even gaming. This is the type of laptop that can replace your desktop while the MacBook certainly isn’t. The XPS 13 actually costs a little bit less, as well. It won’t provide as much battery life as the MacBook, but one shouldn’t expect it to given all of its components.
When considering build and design, the MacBook seems like a better computer than the XPS 13. However, when considering everything else, the XPS 13, especially at its price level, is the better laptop. Do you own either a MacBook or Dell XPS 13? Let us know what you think about your laptop in the comments section.
[Photo via Daryl Deino]