Dell XPS-13 2-In-1 Can’t Compete With Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Or MacBook Pro

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 was announced earlier this week, and it has earned some good reviews. Agam Shah from PCWorld was very impressed with Dell’s latest laptop hybrid.

“I had the chance to play around with the device prior to CES. It has a clever design and wowed me with its sleek design and edge-to-edge screen, but it won’t come cheap,” Shaw claimed, adding that although intended to be a laptop first, the new XPS 13 excels as a tablet thanks to the amazing screen and the light weight of the tablet.

Many people who were considering buying the new XPS 13 were concerned about the lower-powered processors being used to keep the machine’s battery life up. And they have a right to be. This author tested out the new XPS 13 2-in-1 on Friday afternoon, and can confirm the laptop runs slower than the regular Dell XPS 13, or even the Surface Pro 4. Even the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which sells for roughly the same price, runs noticeably faster.

The XPS 13 2-in-1 is on sale now
The new XPS 13 tablet looks beautiful, but has been compromised.

The XPS 13 2-in-1 certainly is a beautiful device. The one this author tested out has the FHD 1920 x 1080 screen rather than the QHD+ screen (3200 x 1800) that Dell has been known for. Still, the 13-inch screen looks gorgeous and displays accurate colors. As expected, the pixelated-looking text is where the screen shows its limits in resolution. However, if one can get past that, they would save at least three hours of battery life over the QHD+ version.

The 2-in-1 can easily be mistaken for the regular XPS 13 until you pick it up. At 2.7 pounds, it is slightly lighter than the three-pound regular XPS 13 with touchscreen. It is also thinner, thanks to Dell removing many of the ports the XPS 13 was loved for. The 2-in-1 version features just one Thunderbolt 3 port, one USB-C port, and a microSD card slot that replaces SD card slot that digital camera users prefer.

When compared to the mid-2016 version of the XPS 13, the trackpad has improved. It has more of a solid feeling than the rubbery (but still comfortable) feeling of Dell’s trackpad of old. Dell, more than any other company, has been able to take trackpads to Apple levels of greatness.

So, there is a lot to like about the XPS 13. But as a recent Reddit thread shows, what users really wanted was a convertible version of the XPS-13 they loved, not a butchered version. Dell claims their new Intel Core i5 and i7 mobile processors, which are just different-named versions of Intel’s much-criticized Core M processors, can run just as fast as the 6th generation regular Core i5 and Core i7 Skylake processors. More testing needs to be done to prove this, but this author’s early experience says that this just isn’t true.

Dell put slower mobile processors in their new XPS 13 tablet
Dell's XPS 13 2-in-1 runs slower than the regular XPS 13. [Image by Daryl Deino]

If one is looking for a true PC laptop/tablet hybrid, they should look no further than the Surface Pro 4, although (as the Inquisitr recently reported) waiting for the Surface Pro 5, which will likely be released during the first quarter of 2017, is also an option. After four iterations, Microsoft has figured out how to give users what they want without several compromises or a ridiculously high price tag (the i7 version with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD costs $1,899).

The 13-inch MacBook Pro (2016, Touch Bar) is also a good option for those looking for a mixture of portability and power. Even though the MacBook Pro isn’t a tablet, it still proves to be very productive. Unlike Dell’s new XPS 13 2-in-1, the new MacBook Pro doesn’t sacrifice what has made the MacBook Pro the go-to laptop after several years.

[Featured Image by Daryl Deino]