Should you get Dell’s new XPS 13 or Apple’s new MacBook Pro?
Dell has achieved the perfect Ultrabook with the latest XPS 13, no small feat, and as far as Windows laptops in this class go, you can’t do better right now.
- Lots of spec options
- Exceptional 16:10 anti-reflective display
- Stunning design
- Excellent keyboard and audio
- Iris Plus graphics
- Can get pricey
The MacBook Pro is packed with hardware to excite, but all that comes at a high price. It does have some tricks up its sleeve though, not least the support for an eGPU over Thunderbolt 3
- Stunning Retina Display
- Thunderbolt 3
- Iris Plus graphics
- Improved base storage capacity
- 10th Gen Intel processors
- Entry models using 8th Gen processors and weaker graphics
Dell XPS 13 (9300) vs. MacBook Pro tech specs
|Category||Dell XPS 13 9300||MacBook Pro|
|Processor||Intel Core i3-1005G1
Intel Core i5-1035G1
Intel Core i7-1065G7
|8th Gen Intel Core i5
10th Gen Intel Core i5
10th Gen Intel Core i7
|Display resolution||1080p non-touch
|Retina 2560 x 1600 non-touch|
|RAM||4/8/16/32GB LPDDR4X 3733MHz||8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3
16/32GB 3733MHz LPDDR4X
Intel Iris Plus
|Intel Iris Plus 645
New Intel Iris Plus
|Storage||256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB PCIe NVMe SSD||Up to 4TB SSD|
|Ports||2x Thunderbolt 3
Type-C to Type-A converter included
|4x Thunderbolt 3|
The case for the MacBook Pro
The case for buying a MacBook Pro essentially hinges around Apple’s software and ecosystem. If it’s something you’re already invested in, then switching away might not be for you. And you can always dual-boot Windows 10 on it if you do also need to be able to access Windows for whatever reason.
It may sound simple, but Apple uses hardware you’ll find in a bunch of Windows laptops, like Intel’s processors, and on the 13-inch MacBook Pro, you’re now getting the newest, 10th Gen chips so long as you steer away from the entry-level models.
Apps like Final Cut Pro alone can still be the reason to get a MacBook Pro.
But while the hardware is good (truly it is), you’re buying a MacBook Pro less for the hardware and more for what Apple gives you on top. Something like Final Cut Pro, for example, if you’re into video editing, may well be reason enough to get a Mac. If you’re into coding iOS apps, a Mac is absolutely essential.
It’s disappointing that in a “pro” laptop, you’re limited to integrated graphics. Still, Apple does at least stack four Thunderbolt 3 ports on the MacBook Pro (assuming you get the 10th Gen version, it’s only two on the entry model), something you don’t usually see on a Windows machine. That not only allows for connecting docks, high-resolution displays, and such, but also eGPUs which can at least give you the additional graphics horsepower should you need it. But only when you’re at home or in the office.
The best Ultrabook in town
Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central
The XPS 13 has been a tough act to beat for several years now, but with the latest revision, the 9300, Dell nailed it. The 16:10 aspect ratio display now has super skinny bezels around all sizes, the keyboard is the best its ever been, and you still have a powerful, stylish, highly compact Ultrabook.
Dell has created about the perfect Ultrabook in the XPS 13.
There’s plenty of choice in the range for different spec requirements and budgets, but at the higher-end, you’ll be spending similar money to a MacBook Pro. The good news is that when you get to the $1,800 level required to get a 10th Gen processor in a MacBook, Dell is giving you a Core i7-1065G7 as well as a 4K display and 16GB of RAM. You get less storage, but upgrading this yourself is an easy job and can always be done cheaper than what manufacturers will try and charge.
As with the MacBook Pro, the entry-level model is best left alone if you can avoid it. While it’s attractive in price, it’s a little underwhelming in hardware. But you get 10th Gen processors from Intel at every tier, at least, and Dell does have a good list of options including 1080p and 4K displays, touch and non-touch options, more RAM, more storage.
It’d be possible to talk about how good the XPS 13 is for hours and hours; it really is that good. Our full review goes into much more detail, but there’s absolutely no reason not to consider it if you’re looking for an Ultrabook.
The Mac is still good for Apple fans
When looking at the MacBook Pro, the biggest reason to get one over the XPS 13 is that you’re already a Mac fan, and you’re invested in Apple’s ecosystem.
There’s nothing wrong with that, apps like Final Cut Pro are tremendous, and the MacBook Pro continues to be a good laptop. You can even put Windows on it if you want. But take the Apple software experience out of the equation, and you’re not really getting more for your money. Generally speaking, Windows laptops like the XPS 13 will win out on overall value.
MacBook Pro 13-inch
A potentially unbeatable platform for many
If you’re invested in the Apple ecosystem, the XPS 13 probably won’t convince you to switch, with apps like Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro alone reason to buy a Mac.
The king of the Ultrabooks
The new XPS 13 is, as quoted in our review, a “perfect Ultrabook.” The hardware, the design, the build quality, and the overall value are all excellent.
The XPS 13 is the best Ultrabook on the market today, and platform differences aside, it goes toe-to-toe with the MacBook Pro at a lower cost. Unless you need macOS or anything offered through it in your life, give the XPS 13 a try, you won’t regret it.
Latest and greatest
Dell XPS 13 (9300)
The latest XPS 13 features a taller 16:10 display, 10th-Gen Intel processor with all-day battery life, and a design unmatched by any other PC on the market. It’s flawless in features and functionality.
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