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Dell XPS 13 (9300) vs. HP Spectre x360: Which is a better buy?

HP Spectre x360
HP Spectre x360 (Image credit: HP)

How do you choose between two of the absolute best laptops on the market today? It's a tough one, but there are some areas of consideration that can help you make the best choice for you.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 vs. HP Spectre x360 13t tech specs

Dell XPS 13 (9300)HP Spectre x360 13t
ProcessorIntel Core i3-1005G1
Intel Core i5-1035G1
Intel Core i7-1065G7
10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G4
10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7
RAM4/8/16/32GB LPDDR4X 3733MHz8/16GB LPDDR4-3200
Storage256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB PCIe NVMe SSD512GB or 1TB SSD and 32GB Intel Optane
256GB to 2TB SSD
Display size13.4-inch13.3-inch
Display resolution1080p non-touch
1080p touch>
4K touch
1080p touch
4K UHD AMOLED touch
GraphicsIntel UHD
Intel Iris Plus
Intel Iris Plus
Ports2x Thunderbolt 3
3.5mm headphone
Type-C to Type-A converter included
2x USB 3.1 Type-C with Thunderbolt 3
One USB 3.1 Type-A
MicroSD reader
SecurityWindows Hello IR camera (face)
Windows Hello fingerprint (power button)
Windows Hello IR, fingerprint
Battery52Wh60Wh

Pricing and performance

Dell XPS 13 9300

Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

When it comes to pricing, HP certainly has the edge, making the Spectre x360 an incredible value package. Not only does it undercut the XPS 13 on price, but it tosses more into the bargain. HP includes a pen and a sleek leather case with the laptop, whereas the XPS 13 doesn't even officially support pen input at all.

Hardware-wise they're very similar, but there are some differences. Where both use the latest 10th Gen Intel processors, HP uses the superior Iris Plus graphics on all versions of the Spectre x360. Storage and RAM is close, too, albeit Dell uses faster RAM and offers more of it at the higher end, while HP is implementing Intel Optane memory on its lower-spec storage options to add some additional performance.

But there's still only one winner on the overall value front, and that's HP. The Spectre x360 is just less expensive and for a very similar package to Dell with some additional bonuses thrown in. Even adding a 4K display costs less at $200 vs. $300, and it's an AMOLED panel, too.

Do you want a convertible or not?

Hp Spectre X360 13 Late 2019

Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

While HP wins on the value front, a bigger question is how you want to use your laptop. The Dell XPS 13 is pound-for-pound the best Ultrabook on the market right now, perhaps even the overall best laptop you can buy. But there are some things it doesn't do, notably have a display that folds around or that properly supports a digital pen.

If either of those appeals to you, then the HP also wins out, but as a pure laptop, then the XPS 13 is still the king of the hill.

The design has been refined to its best yet, and so now you not only get an incredibly compact laptop but one without any real bezels around the display. You get a matte finish on the non-touch versions and an anti-reflective on the touch, killing unwanted glare. You also have excellent battery life, a fantastic keyboard, and all-round strong performance.

The XPS 13 is our top recommendation to anyone looking for an Ultrabook. The Spectre x360 is our top recommendation to anyone looking for a 2-in-1, or for anyone looking to spend a little less.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.