MacBook Pro 13 vs Dell XPS 13 – The best 13-inch Laptop
Finally, here we are with a new MacBook Pro 13 versus the Dell XPS 13. Well to be honest the deciding factor between these is probably going to come down to the software whether you prefer Windows or Mac OS.
But let’s just put that to one side for a moment and see which one is the better laptop so for the MacBook Pro 13 I’ve gone with the 1800 pound of eighteen hundred dollar model as that’s the cheapest one with the new Intel 10th gen processors faster RAM and faster iris plus graphics it’s called the four Thunderbolt 3 model.
Whereas the two Thunderbolt 3 which starts from 1300 have exactly the same specs as last year then we have the Dell XPS 13 9300 and since you can’t get exact like for like respects.
I’ve gone with a model that’s the same price also 1,800 pounds and for that, we get a 10th gen AI 7 16 gigs of ram one terabyte of SSD storage and also a 4k touch screen so basically you have to pay 400 more to get the same storage as this so in terms of value for money straight away.
I think Dell is taking the lead but let’s move on and in terms of design. I think if I’m honest only one of them really looks like a 20/20 laptop. The XPS 13 is thinner, lighter, has much narrower bezels and this year we get a taller 16 by 10 screen.
Which is the same as the MacBook Pro 13 and that’s something I’ve always appreciated from Apple having that slightly taller 16 by 10 aspect ratio in the 13-inch form factor.
It just makes it feel a little bit less love restrictive and claustrophobic so I love that Dell has made that change. Hopefully we’ll see more Windows laptops with 16 by 10 but overall the Dell is more compact, portable and well subjective.
I think better looking but as you would expect for the best part of 2 grand they’re both incredibly well made overall I think the Dell is a sleeker laptop.
But you should prefer the all-aluminum chassis of the MacBook, the carbon fiber base of the Dell is a unique look but it can get a little greasy and smudgy sometimes.
Although I have noticed it’s much less than previous years so maybe they’ve added an extra resistive coating as for ports well this won’t take long we’ve got four Thunderbolt 3s and a headphone jack on the MacBook Pro versus two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the Dell plus a micro SD card reader and also a headphone jack.
I don’t get a whole lot of use out of a microSD, full-size SD would have been nice so either way, you probably going to have to buy an adapter and start living that single life.
But you know the benefit of Thunderbolt 3 is you can connect external GPUs you can hook up high res external monitors the fourth and above three models of this will also support Dells 6k Pro XD our display.
If you’ve got money coming out your pockets trying to keep this clean so there’s not really much in it but I think having four is better than two and well familiar. A microSD isn’t that useful now.
When it comes to unlocking them the MacBook Pro has to touch ID whereas the dell supports both windows hello face and walking and it also has a Windows hello fingerprint reader built into the power button one area.
I still think the MacBook Pro does just come out top though is with the keyboard and the touchpad the size responsiveness and gestures of the touchpad with Mac OS is just fantastic and now they’ve replaced the slowly iffy butterfly keyboard with the awesome magic keyboard.
I think this has the best keyboard on any laptop you can buy the Dell isn’t far behind, in fact, it’s one of my favorites on a Windows laptop and the precision touchpad is still lovely to use.
But overall I think I prefer using the MacBook however what may sway you is the love it or hate it touch bar initially I found it pretty annoying and I still do sometimes but with a little bit of customizing and a few days getting used to it it can be useful.
I’ll admit though that most of the time I would just prefer a regular function row and not having to gaff with the fancy touch controls now speaking of touch let’s talk about the screens and starting with the Dell.
We actually have two options here we have a full HD plus non-touchscreen or like I have with this guy a 4k touchscreen so it works out we get 227 pixels per inch on the MacBook versus 338 pixels per inch so it is sharper and if you look closely you can’t just see a difference so both of my book and the dealt peak at 500 units of brightness.
You can see there isn’t a great deal of difference there as you’d expect but what we can do on the Dell because it supports it is actually jump to the display settings. If we disable or uncheck that don’t allow HDR on battery mode.
So then if I could jump to 4k HDR that’s nothing to mention by the way that YouTube’s on but pro still maxes out at 1080p even though it is technically a high resolution 1080p the display we can’t go above that so that’s one thing to consider but now we get full HDR and as you can see it’s much brighter than the MacBook Pro, to be honest.
I think 4k on a 13-inch laptop is overkill and the impact it has on your battery life is not worth the extra sharpness one hour of YouTube use 10% off MacBook Pros battery versus 20% of the Dells and overall in my everyday use test.
I got about 8 hours from the MacBook and just four and a half on the 4k Dell which is why I would recommend going for the full HD Plus model where you be looking at a similar battery life.
I think apples got it right with their 2560 by 1600 resolution. It’s a good halfway house between Full HD and 4k. It all comes down to how you use it but I think I’d want this to last me all day.
When I’m out and about but you know I can come to the office or come home and then maybe plug it in via the Thunderbolt 3 port to a high-res 4k or even 6k monitor and then edit or watch things back natively that the way having said that a touch screen on the 4k is a nice bonus.
If you regularly use touch or maybe use Dells active pen for working it could be a real selling point but putting the resolution to one side the MacBook Pro does just edged out the XPS in terms of color accuracy covering more of the Adobe RGB and p3 color gamut.
Not a big difference for most of us. But if you’re color editing then the MacBook is a slightly better option. Ok let’s talk about performance, which one is faster well it’s tricky because I have the i7 in the Dell and the i5 processor in my book Pro they cost the same.
But it’s not really a fair comparison in terms of like performance but the fact is they can offer potentially the same performance they both top out with the same 10th July 7 processor with the same iris plus graphics and they use the same speed ddr4 RAM.
However, one advantage of the MacBook Pro is you can spec it out with 32 gigs of ram and up to 4 terabytes of storage whereas the Dell maxes out with 16 gigs and 1 terabyte respectively.
If you’re buying this on the company or you have very deep pockets then you can go crazy with the specs on the MacBook in favor of the Dell though you can upgrade yourself.
Once you take off the base the plate you’ll need a torx t5 screwdriver for that new thing we can change if i zoom in here is the m2 SSD so there’s a little screw here which have to take out and it’s just simply a case of pulling off this heat dissipator.
You can see the m2 SSD and then all you need to do is take this out, buy a new one of whatever capacity you want you will, of course, have to clone Windows or do a fresh reinstall.
if you do change your SSD but it does mean that you could potentially go for the cheaper lower spec version of this and then whenever you want down the road buy a bigger m2 SSD and upgrade the storage that way so that’s something that you can’t do on the MacBook Pro.
Between the two when it comes to performance there isn’t really much in it actually it all comes down to what programs you use whether it’s you know Premiere Pro or Cut Pro.
Whether you want to play games and you get more out of the Apple arcade or you know the bigger more traditional game library you get with Windows and in fact the XPS – to play Rainbow six siege at 1080p and around 30fps.
It can’t play games but not particularly well you’re probably best sticking with older and less intensive games we’ve covered a lot so far but there are a few little extra things that may convince you one way or the other the XPS supports Wi-Fi 6.
whereas a MacBook Pro still uses Wi-Fi 5 a cool feature of Mac OS is being able to use your iPad as a second screen using sidecar number three the MacBook Pro supports true tone.
So it can adjust the color temperature of the screen depending on the ambient lighting around you, number four and the Dells SSD read and write speeds are a little bit faster than Network number five the speakers on a Macbook pro are better than the dell especially a higher volume.
Where there’s a fair amount of distortion on the XPS and then we have the webcam which I think is more important now than ever.
Working from home being locked down doing tons of video calls so hopefully this will give you an idea how they compare in terms of video and audio quality. I’ve got them side-by-side here and both on the top bezel.
But it’s a close one neither fantastic I’d say the truth is you can’t go wrong with either of them they’re both fantastic laptops and actually, as I say at the beginning really it’s going to come down to whether you prefer Mac OS or Windows.
Because you probably already know based on which one you would buy but just in terms of which is the better laptop and if you do have no preference for the OS.
I would say it’s the Dell XPS 13 one of the big reasons for that is you have to pay 1,800 pounds to get basically the 20/20 spec of the MacBook Pro otherwise you’re getting 8th gen processors slower RAM flower graphics.
Basically last year’s mortal you have to pay 1,800 to get the temp gems whereas the XPS 13 which does have 1400 so 100 more but we get the faster processor RAM and graphics out of the gate there’s no annoying markup.
You have to pay to get that good spec so in terms of value for money and also a design I think the XPS 13 is the clear winner. I do like the fact that we get a couple of extra Thunderbolt 3 ports. Just using the laptop every day is such a nice experience and crucially.
I think this strikes the perfect balance between resolution and you know display quality and also battery life.
This is such a great all-rounder you don’t we have to think about that whereas as nice as the 4k is I think most of us would be better off with the full HD Plus version of this just for the much better batteries so the wait is it close one.
Dell boom a little polar top right and let me know why in the comments below thank you so much for watching guys and do let me know.