XPS 15 2-in-1

A 2-in-1 laptop offers a degree of flexibility you just don't get when the screen doesn't fold around. Whether it's for work or pleasure, there's real value in a convertible notebook that you can also use like a tablet.

Dell's premium XPS line now also has 2-in-1s to consider alongside the more traditional Ultrabooks. Both the XPS 13 and XPS 15 have 2-in-1 alter egos, so which of them is the one to buy? Read on.

XPS 13 2-in-1 vs. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 tech specs

Let's start by comparing the hardware.

Category Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 XPS 13 2-in-1
Processor 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8305G
8th Gen Intel Core i7-8705G
7th-gen Intel Core i5-7Y54
7th-gen Intel Core i7-7Y75
RAM 8GB/16GB DDR4-2400MHz 4GB DDR3
8GB DDR3
16GB DDR3
Graphics AMD Radeon RX Vega M (4GB) Integrated Intel HD 615
Storage 256GB/512GB/1TB PCIe SSD 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB PCIe SSD
Display size 15.6 inches (touch) 13.3 inches
Display resolution 1,920 x 1,080 (FHD)
3,840 x 2,160 (4K UHD)
1,920 x 1,080 FHD
3,200 x 1,800 QHD+
Camera Front-facing 720p
IR camera for Windows Hello
Front-facing 720p
Biometrics Fingerprint reader (optional)
IR camera
Fingerprint reader
IR camera
Windows Hello
Pen Dell Premium Active Pen (not included) Dell Premium Active Pen (not included)
Ports Two Thunderbolt 3
Two USB-C 3.1
3.5mm audio
One USB-C Thunderbolt 3
One USB-C 3.1
One microSD card reader
3.5mm audio jack
Battery Six-cell 75Wh Four-cell 46WHr
Dimensions 13.9 in x 9.2 in x 0.36-0.63 in
(354 mm x 235 mm x 9-16 mm)
11.98 in x 7.81 in x 0.32-0.54 in
(304 mm x 199 mm x 8-13.7 mm)
Weight Starts at 4.36 pounds (2 kg) Starting at 2.7 lbs (1.24 kg)
Price Starting at $1,299 Starting at $1,199

The story is very similar to the regular XPS 13 and XPS 15. The larger laptop has more powerful internals. The XPS 13 2-in-1 is using 7th Gen Intel Core i Y series processors, while the XPS 15 is onto the full-fat 8th Gen quad-core processors.

The XPS 15 2-in-1 makes use of Intel's new partnership with AMD, so not only are you getting a quad-core Intel processor, you also get Radeon M graphics, which will perform better than Intel's integrated GPU on the XPS 13 2-in-1.

There are plenty of similarities, including support for the optional Dell Active Pen, both have high resolution touch displays, and plenty of connectivity. The story really is that if you prioritize portability, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is the one to go for. If you need the most powerful version, you go for the XPS 15 2-in-1.

XPS 13 2-in-1 vs. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 size

XPS 15 2-in-1

Size for these notebooks is simply not as big a deal as with other laptop makers, but it is still worth consideration. The XPS 13 is incredibly small for a 13-inch notebook, with Dell having squeezed it into a form factor smaller than the display size would have you believe.

The XPS 15 is also smaller, lighter, and slimmer than the average 15-incher, even in this 2-in-1 form factor.

The XPS 13 in particular is great to throw in a bag if you're a frequent traveller. It's so compact that it takes up very little room, will fit in any laptop bag, and is light enough you'll barely know it's there. Just dont forget the pen

XPS 13 2-in-1 vs. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 price

XPS 13 2-in-1

There's only $100 difference between the two at the entry level, and here the XPS 15 2-in-1 is the better value proposition. You'll be getting a better performer with newer, faster processors and RAM, much better graphics, and a bigger battery.

At the high-end with 4K displays on each, the price gap is a little wider and the XPS 15 2-in-1 will go all the way up to $2,200. The XPS 13 2-in-1 currently tops out at $1,850.

XPS 13 2-in-1 vs. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 bottom line

XPS 13 2-in-1

Until the XPS 13 2-in-1 gets an update with 8th Gen Intel processors, the XPS 15 2-in-1 is the more impressive of the two. Given the reasonable price differences between the two at each configuration, if your budget allows and you're OK with the larger size, then it's the one to go for.

The Intel and AMD collaboration means it's a solid performer all around, and while it's no gaming machine, there's certainly more graphics power than you'll find on any of the XPS 13 2-in-1 variants.

That said, if you travel frequently or plan to use your 2-in-1 as a tablet a lot, there's a strong case for the XPS 13 2-in-1. It's more portable and the smaller form factor is more enjoyable to use with the display folded right back around.