Microsoft Surface Book 2 Vs. 2018 Dell XPS 13: Which Is The Best? [Opinion]

Daryl Deino

This article will be comparing the smaller version of the Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch) and Dell XPS 13, both which are now available on several different websites.

When Microsoft released the new 13.5-inch version of the Surface Book 2 in November, it earned a lot of praise. Websites such as Laptop Mag argued that it was even better than the MacBook Pro.

“The Surface Book 2 isn’t as pretty as the MacBook Pro, but it lasts longer, has an innovative detachable display and offers more ports and stronger graphics. If you’re a creative, it’s hard to argue against that powerful GTX 1050 or 1060 GPU.”

On the heels of the Surface Book 2 comes the 2018 Dell XPS 13, a thinner and lighter version of Dell’s flagship laptop, which is already incredibly thin and light. Dell had to make some sacrifices, such as putting in a less powerful battery and replacing all the USB-A ports with USB-C connections. Two of those connections, however, are Thunderbolt 3 compatible.

Laptop Magazine gives Dell’s new laptop four-and-a-half stars with an Editor’s Choice award.

“The Dell XPS 13 9370 offers strong performance, long battery life and a stunning screen in a chassis that’s slimmer and more attractive than ever,” says columnist Avram Piltch, adding that the battery life on the 1080p version is a lot better than the XPS 13 with the 4K screen.

If you are looking for a portable gaming laptop, the Surface Book 2 may be a better choice than the XPS 13. Most versions of Microsoft’s new laptop/tablet hybrid come with a discreet NVIDIA GTX graphics chip, which enhances gaming and other graphically intense activities. However, Dell’s 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor is no slouch, and one can still use Dell’s device for video and photo editing.

As mentioned, the Surface Book 2 is a laptop-tablet hybrid. The screen detaches and is actually pretty light. This makes the Surface Book 2 great for taking notes – something you can’t do with the 2018 Dell XPS 13. The screen on the Surface Book 2 is also excellent for watching movies. In many ways, it can replace an iPad as a media consumption device.

Surface Book 2 Tablet
The Surface Book 2 might not be as light and small as your typical "ultraportable," but it can be used as both a tablet and laptop. Featured image credit: Daryl Deino

For those looking for the ultimate powerful ultraportable, however, the Surface Book 2 borders on not being an ultraportable as it weighs 3.48 pounds. However, the new XPS 13 only weighs 2.7 pounds and feels much lighter in your hands. It’s a machine that’s a lot easier to carry around and use wherever you want. As CNET notes, Dell also made the XPS 13 24 percent smaller, which is almost too hard to believe after seeing how last year’s XPS 13 was already incredibly small.

If you are looking for the “PC version” of the new MacBook Pro, the Dell XPS 13 fits that category — it is wafer thin, powerful, and is easy to carry around. You can’t go wrong with Dell’s updated device. However, if you are looking for the PC version of a MacBook Pro and iPad and don’t care about the extra weight (when compared to similar laptops the same size), the Surface Book 2 should be your go-to device. The Surface Book 2 is certainly the ultimate laptop-tablet hybrid on the market today. However, not everybody wants or needs a laptop-tablet hybrid.