Battle of the 13-inch Ultrabooks: HP Spectre x360 vs. Dell XPS 13

Monday, April 15, 2019

In case if you’re planning to buy a 13-inch ultrabook, then the only two best options in the market right now are HP Spectre x360 and the Dell XPS 13. These laptops have been awarded for their sleek and portable designs, along with great battery life like Acer laptop battery, and performance too. It’s time to find out which one is worth your money.

The Design

The XPS 13 is the slimmer laptop, but the Spectre x360 has the best design. The HP uses aluminum chassis, with gold colored chamfered corners and edges. There is also chrome trims around the HP’s deck and touchpad. The HP is also a 2-in-1, which lets you change its posture. The Dell looks clean with an anodized aluminum lid and glass fiber on the deck. It has a very narrow display bezel. Both have top mounted webcams, with the HP having a button to switch it off. (Winner: HP)

The Connectivity

The HP has better port connectivity than the Dell, with USB-A ports for connecting mics and also external webcams too. The Dell has 3X USB-C ports, with two of them supporting Thunderbolt 3. The HP also has two Thunderbolt 3 ports. Both of them have headphone jack and microSD card slot. (Winner: HP)

The Display

The XPS comes with both 1080P and 4K display panels, while the Spectre comes with just the 1080P touch display, with the 4K variant coming out soon. The display on the HP is glossy and has punchier colors, while Dell has a matte finish and easier to see in direct light. The HP covers 128% of the 150% of the sRGB color gamut, while Dell does 119%. The XPS has better brightness at 357 nits (375 nits for the 4K panel) compared to 287 nits on the Spectre. (Winner: Draw)

The Touchpad and Keyboard

The Spectre has a better keyboard - hands down. The Spectre comes with a keyboard that has a tactile feel with keys having actuation force of 70 grams. The keys on Dell on the other side feels shallow, less tactile and actuation force is 63 grams. The keys on the HP is also spaced out a bit. Also, HP has a wider touchpad. (Winner: HP)

The Performance

The performance on the Dell was simply better than the HP, with the XPS scoring more than the HP in Geekbench 4, with both having the similar i7 8565 processor. The 1TB PCIe storage was faster on the Dell than the HP’s 256GB PCIe storage. Dell could also convert a 4K video to 1080P - faster than the HP and also churn out better frames while playing Dirt 3. (Winner: Dell)

The Battery Life

The 1080P HP lasted over 12 hours in a battery test while 4K (i7) Dell could only gain just under 8 hours. That is a huge 4 hours gap with replacement laptop battery. The 1080P (i3) Dell lasted over 12 hours. (Winner: Draw)

The Overall Value and Conclusion

The XPS 13 starts at $899, which comes with an Intel i3 and 1080P panel. The HP starts at $1,149 and comes with an Intel i5. The top end of Dell costs $1,859 (on sale for $1,659), while the HP costs $1,549. (Winner: Draw)

Therefore, the HP Spectre x360 seems like a much better option out of the lot, and this is worth your money more than the Dell XPS 13.

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