The Dell XPS 15 is available in a number of configurations, but for comparison's sakes we've gone for the closest match to the higher-end of the new Zenbook's. Check out a quick comparison chart below:
|Category||XPS 15||Zenbook Pro UX501|
|Operating System||Windows 8.1||Windows 8.1|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-4712HQ (4th Gen)||Intel Core i7-4720HQ (4th Gen)|
|Internal Storage||512GB mSATA SSD||512GB PCIe SSD|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2GB||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 2GB|
|Display||15.6-inch 4K touch (3840 x 2160)||15.6-inch 4K touch (3840 x 2160)|
|Wifi||802.11 ac||802.11 ac|
|Battery||91Whr (Claimed up to 11 hours)||96 Whr (Claimed 6 hours)|
|Dimensions||372mm (14.6") x 254mm (10") x 18mm (0.7")||383mm (15.07") x 255mm (10") x 21.3mm (0.84")|
|Weight||2.01kg (4.44lbs)||2.08kg (4.6lbs)|
|Ports||3 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, miniDP, HDMI, SD card, 3.5mm headphone||3 x USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, miniDP (optional Thunderbolt), SD card, 3.5mm headphone|
The most startling difference is the price. The XPS 15 can be had in a cheaper 4K configuration, but even that will run you for $2149. This one replaces the 512GB SSD for a 1TB hard drive and a 32GB SSD, and it has a much smaller, 61Whr battery it seems. The XPS 15 is really a 2013 release still at this point, as the only thing Dell updated at CES was the addition of the 4K display.
ASUS is also listing a cheaper version of the UX501, but it's the 4K model that's being shouted about, and with a price like this it's easy to see why. Hardware wise it's arguably got a leg up on the XPS 15 in areas. Both are big, both are beautiful and both are made from premium materials with lashings of metal all round.
If you already own the XPS 15, there's nothing super compelling that would necessarily get you to switch, not unless you're stepping up to a 4K display. But unless you're into Dell, the UX501 has to be worth some attention. What Dell does next with the XPS 15 is going to be interesting, but the competition is already heating up.
Dell or Asus? Or something else entirely? Sound off in the comments below!