Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 vs. Inspiron 13 2-in-1 tech specs
The Inspiron 13 2-in-1 7000 is split into two separate laptops, one with the 7390 designation and one with the 7391 designation. The former laptop comes in a silver finish, tops out at an FHD display, and has an optional active pen, while the 7391 "Black Edition" has a black finish, UHD display, larger battery, and included active pen with a holding slot in the hinge. Other than that, the laptops are mostly the same, and the specs below reflect that unless otherwise noted.
|Dell XPS 13 2-in-1||Dell Inspiron 13 2-in-1|
|Processor||10th Gen Intel
|10th Gen Intel
|RAM||4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB
|Storage||256GB, 512GB, 1TB
M.2 PCIe SSD
M.2 PCIe SSD
|Active pen||Optional||Optional (7390)
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics (Core i3, i5)
Intel Iris Plus Graphics (Core i7)
|Intel UHD Graphics|
|Wireless||Killer AX1650 Wi-Fi 6
|Intel Wi-Fi 6
|Audio||Dual 2W speakers
Waves MaxxAudio Pro
|Dual 2W speakers
Waves MaxxAudio Pro
|Camera||Front-facing 720p||Front-facing 720p|
|Security||Fingerprint reader||Fingerprint reader|
|Dimensions||11.67 x 8.17 x 0.27 - 0.51 inches
(296mm x 207mm x 7mm - 13mm)
|12.08 x 8.5 x 0.54 - 0.63 inches
(306.76mm x 215.92mm x 13.7mm - 15.9mm)
|Weight||From 2.9 pounds (1.33kg)||From 3.07 pounds (1.39kg)|
Design and features
The XPS 13 2-in-1 is one of the best looking laptops on the market, convertible or not. It's thinner and has a smaller overall footprint than the Inspiron 13 2-in-1, and the XPS also weighs a bit less. The chassis is made primarily of CNC-machined aluminum. The outer shell comes in a Platinum Silver finish, and the inside can be had in either Black carbon fiber or Arctic White woven glass.
The Inspiron 2-in-1's chassis is stamped aluminum with a Silver finish (7390) or Black finish (7391). It's not quite as sleek as the XPS 13 2-in-1 and doesn't come with the same premium interior carbon fiber or woven glass options. It's aluminum throughout. Along the sides is a decent selection of ports, including Thunderbolt 3, USB-A 3.1, HDMI 2.0, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a microSD card reader.
If you don't mind losing out on USB-A completely or you plan on investing in a powerful Thunderbolt 3 docking station, the XPS 13 2-in-1's port selection shouldn't be an issue. Included are two Thunderbolt 3, a microSD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Neither laptop includes an IR camera for facial recognition, though both have a fingerprint reader built into the power button. They work with Windows Hello for added security. Webcams are capped at 720p and reside above the display, and both get the job done for video conferencing. If you're in search of something that can shoot FHD video, you'll want to check out a standalone webcam.
Audio comes from dual down-firing 2W speakers in both the XPS and Inspiron. Both come with MaxxAudio Pro software to help with tuning, but there's a difference in quality. The XPS 13 2-in-1 had above-average audio while the Inspiron pumped out noticeably thin audio that seemed to buzz even at low levels. Both laptops offer Wi-Fi 6 for superb wireless performance.
These laptops come with a sizable Precision touchpad for accurate pointing, and neither should stand in the way of productivity. The Inspiron's chiclet keyboard has plenty of travel and a backlight for working after hours; I had no issues using it for long days of typing during testing. It's a more traditional feel than you'll get from the XPS 13 2-in-1, which has gone with Dell's second-gen MagLev keyboard. Keys actuate using magnets, and travel is quite shallow. It will take some time to get used to, and ultimately people will either love it or hate it. Best practice is to try it out in person before making a final decision.
Display and inking
The XPS 13 2-in-1 made the change from a 16:9 aspect ratio (like the Inspiron) to a 16:10 aspect ratio. It results in a taller 13.4-inch touch display with less chin at the bottom and smaller overall bezel. Both FHD+ and UHD+ displays have an anti-glare display, Dolby Vision HDR400 support, and brightness up to about 500 nits. These are beautiful displays with precise sRGB color and inking support. However, an active pen is optional and isn't included in the price.
The Inspiron 13 2-in-1 7390 is available with an FHD touch display. It has a thin bezel, but the 16:9 aspect ratio forces a larger chin below the screen. It is compatible with an active pen, though, like the XPS 13 2-in-1, it is sold separately and completely optional.
Moving to the Inspiron 13 "Black Edition" 7391, it comes with a UHD touch display and included an active pen. Built into the convertible hinge is a holding slot, allowing you to keep the pen close at hand at all times. It's a great feature. The Inspiron's displays only manage about 300 nits brightness, though they do have accurate sRGB color reproduction. And while they can play HDR content, these are not true HDR-certified displays like you'll find in the XPS 13 2-in-1.
Performance and price
The XPS 13 2-in-1 uses Intel's 10th Gen "Ice Lake" processors (CPU), available in Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7 options. These 10nm chips offer solid performance, and you should be able to find a suitable level for casual productivity up to intensive multitasking. The Inspiron 13 2-in-1 is also using 10th Gen Intel hardware, though the CPUs are 14nm "Comet Lake." You can choose from Core i5 or Core i7 chips, both also with excellent performance.
One of the most significant differences between the two CPU versions is integrated graphics. The Core i7 "Ice Lake" CPU in the XPS 13 2-in-1 has Iris Plus Graphics that beat out the UHD Graphics available with Core i3 and Core i5 CPUs in the XPS 13 or Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs available in the Inspiron 13 2-in-1. If you need the most graphics power without jumping up to a dedicated graphics card (GPU), the Core i7 XPS 13 2-in-1 model is your best bet.
The XPS 13 2-in-1 comes with up to 32GB of LPDDR4x-3733MHz RAM and a 1TB M.2 PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), while the Inspiron maxes out at 16GB of LPDDR3-2133MHz RAM and a 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD. RAM is soldered and non-upgradeable in both models and the XPS 13 2-in-1 also lacks an upgradeable SSD. The SSD in the Inspiron can be upgraded after purchase. Battery life in FHD and FHD+ models of these laptops is enough to push eight hours on a charge, but expect UHD and UHD+ models to drop down between five and six hours.
Pricing is where a lot of people weigh their final decision, and the significant difference between these two laptops will undoubtedly play a significant role. The XPS 13 2-in-1 starts at about $1,000 for a model with a Core i3 CPU, 4GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and touch FHD+ display. That's about as basic as it gets, and it's a laptop best reserved for lightweight office work. Stepping things up to something similar to the Inspiron's opening model, an XPS 13 2-in-1 with Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and FHD+ touch display costs closer to about $1,400.
The Inspiron 13 2-in-1, with Core i5 (Comet Lake) CPU, 8GB of (slower LPDDR3) RAM, 256GB SSD, and (less impressive) FHD touch display costs about $800. If you can live with the caveats in the parentheses, that's about a $600 savings for a laptop that's not too far behind in terms of what it will accomplish.
Scaling up to 4K territory, an XPS 13 2-in-1 with Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and touch UHD+ display costs about $1,700. A Black Edition Inspiron 13 2-in-1 with similar specs costs about $1,100, so it's clear the savings extend into the higher-end models as well.
The XPS 13 2-in-1 is a high-end convertible stacked with features
If you want one of the absolute best convertible laptops on the market, this is it. The Dolby Vision HDR400 touch displays with a 16:10 aspect ratio are glorious to look at, and the design is years ahead of the curve. Strong performance is available, especially with Core i7 Iris Plus Graphics.
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (7390)
Stunning display and looks that packs a punch
The new XPS 13 2-in-1 is a spectacular and fun convertible Ultrabook that brings the best of today's technology into one device.
The Inspiron 13 2-in-1 is a more affordable convertible
Want to save somewhere around $600 and still get your hands on a quality convertible laptop? The Inspiron 13 2-in-1 delivers FHD or UHD touch displays, inking, and strong performance, all for less than the XPS 13 2-in-1.
Dell Inspiron 13 2-in-1 (7390)
Versatile convertible at a much better price
It doesn't have all the same premium features as the XPS 13 2-in-1, but it will mostly do that same job for far less money.
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