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Dell XPS 13 vs. XPS 13 Plus: Ultimate Comparison

Comparing Dell’s Leading 13-Inch Laptops, Dell XPS 13 vs. XPS 13 Plus.

Dell XPS 13 vs. XPS 13 Plus: Ultimate Comparison

Dell XPS 13:

Equipped with Intel Core i5-1230U CPU, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, and 16GB LPDDR5 RAM. Its 13.4-inch FHD+ InfinityEdge display and 512GB PCIe SSD storage impress. Featuring 2 x Thunderbolt 4 ports, Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.2. The 720p camera offers standard performance.

The 2023 update only offers a 12th-gen Intel CPU. Nonetheless, the XPS 13 remains a top-tier ultrabook due to its sleek design, impressive productivity, and competitive pricing.

Pros:

  • Stylish aesthetics
  • Competitive Pricing
  • Strong performance
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • Controversial redesign
  • Limited ports
  • Subpar webcam

Dell XPS 13 Plus Laptop:

The XPS 13 Plus retains most of its predecessor’s features but now boasts a 13th-gen Intel CPU, enhancing productivity. The refined design is visually appealing, although the touchbar and borderless touchpad have usability concerns.

Pros:

  • Sleek design
  • Gorgeous OLED touchscreen
  • Impressive CPU performance
  • Slim and durable

Cons:

  • Limited ports
  • Usability concerns with the touch bar and touchpad
  • Subpar webcam

Dell’s XPS lineup has a solid reputation for delivering top-tier ultrabooks. The XPS 13 was long considered the leader in the 13-inch ultrabook category until a 2022 redesign and the introduction of the XPS 13 Plus challenged its dominance.

The XPS 13 Plus is essentially a more premium version of the XPS 13, with added style and a touchscreen, albeit at a slightly higher price. Notably, it features 13th-gen Intel CPUs, while the standard XPS 13 still uses 12th-gen processors.

Both laptops are excellent choices, and the standard XPS 13 remains a strong recommendation. The question remains: which one reigns supreme? Let’s explore further.

DELL XPS 13 vs. XPS 13 PLUS: Pricing Comparison

In the pricing showdown, the Dell XPS 13 emerges as the victor. The XPS 13 Plus, positioned as a premium variant, naturally commands a higher price.

As of its 2022 launch, the existing XPS 13 started at $899 / £854 / AU$1,898, but being over a year old, it’s often available for less. A swift check on Dell’s US website reveals an astonishingly low $599 price tag for the base configuration as of now.

Conversely, the XPS 13 Plus begins at $1,249.00 / £1,198.99 / AU$2,398. That’s more than double the cost of the base XPS 13 in the United States. Regional customization options are also more limited for the Plus model, which is a drawback.

While the Plus packs more power (note that the baseline i5 model isn’t presently available in the US), the XPS 13 maintains an edge in terms of value. This advantage persists, considering that certain features, such as the underwhelming 720p webcam and the scarcity of physical ports, are identical across both laptops.

Winner: Dell XPS 13

DELL XPS 13 vs. XPS 13 PLUS: Design and Features

When it comes to design, preferences play a pivotal role. The 2022 revamp of the classic XPS 13 garnered mixed reactions among loyal users. In my view, the new XPS 13 design maintains its allure, offering exceptional portability.

The XPS 13 Plus places a significant emphasis on aesthetics, featuring a seamless keyboard, an inconspicuous touchpad, and an LED-backlit touchbar replacing function keys. This distinctive design received accolades in my review.

Regrettably, the absence of traditional function keys and the borderless touchpad pose substantial accessibility challenges, particularly for visually impaired individuals. I found the touchpad lacking tactile feedback near the edges, leading to occasional imprecise swipes.

Nonetheless, the Plus model boasts a touchscreen, an advantage over the standard XPS 13, simplifying Windows 11 navigation. The Plus also shines with its brilliant OLED display, delivering vibrant colors. The standard XPS display, with a 16:10 aspect ratio and FHD+ resolution, is commendable, but the premium screen on the Plus excels in this department.

Both laptops suffer from limited port options, featuring only two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C connectors, sans USB-A or HDMI ports. To connect multiple peripherals, a USB-C dock is essential. Notably, the inclusion of a lackluster 720p webcam on a $1,000+ ultrabook leaves room for improvement; a 1080p webcam should be the standard by now.

Winner: Tie

DELL XPS 13 vs. XPS 13 PLUS: Performance

In this context, it’s not exactly a level playing field. The XPS 13 Plus can sport a potent Intel Core i7-1360P, outpacing the standard XPS 13’s 12th-gen Intel chips.

In sheer performance, the XPS 13 Plus, in my review, outperformed its XPS 13 predecessor by an average of 40-50% across various workloads, even handling some light gaming. This isn’t to discredit the XPS 13; it handles office and school tasks smoothly, but the Plus is undeniably more potent.

Naturally, the Plus comes at a significantly higher cost. Keep in mind that the pricier i7 configurations of the standard XPS 13 come closer in performance to the i7-equipped Plus. Considering value for money, I’d argue that the standard XPS 13 is the superior choice. It’s currently available for half the price of the XPS 13 Plus, offering performance exceeding half that of the newer XPS.

Winner: Tie

DELL XPS 13 vs. XPS 13 PLUS: The Verdict

In this showdown of top Dell laptops, the Dell XPS 13 takes the win. It’s an excellent choice given its affordability, strong performance, and sleek design.

Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that the XPS 13 and the XPS 13 Plus have grown distinct, making this comparison challenging. The Plus caters to professionals with its premium style and high-performance capabilities. Meanwhile, the standard XPS 13 is carving a niche in the midrange, ideal for students or office workers seeking an affordable, lightweight Windows laptop.

The winner, based on individual categories, is the Dell XPS 13. Yet, both laptops cater to different needs. The choice ultimately depends on your budget.

The Decision is Yours.

DELL XPS 13
DELL XPS 13

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