Dell XPS 13 Plus vs. HP Spectre x360 13

Dell Xps 13 Plus Press
Dell Xps 13 Plus Press (Image credit: Dell)

Both HP's Spectre x360 13 and Dell's XPS 13 Plus are among the best Windows Ultrabooks you can buy today, but ultimately, we feel that the XPS 13 Plus will be the better device for the majority of users. Even though it doesn't have a USB-A port and replaces standard function keys with capacitive touch buttons that will likely be finicky to use, it has stronger specs, better options for memory and storage, twice as many speakers, and a superior webcam design. Don't overlook the HP Spectre x360 13, though, especially if you prefer 2-in-1 laptops to traditional clamshell ones.

XPS 13 Plus vs. Spectre x360 13: Design and specs

Source: Windows Central The Dell XPS 13 Plus. (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

In terms of specs, the Dell XPS 13 Plus wipes the floor with the HP Spectre x360 13. Its 12th Gen Intel P-series CPUs are considerably more powerful than the 11th Gen chips available with the Spectre x360 13, and you can also outfit the device with up to 32GB of DDR5 memory and up to a 2TB SSD. The Spectre x360 13, by comparison, caps you at 16GB of less-performant DDR4 memory and just 1TB of SSD space. 

That said, if you prefer the Spectre and want something with more modern internals, the updated Spectre x360 13.5 comes with a newer 12th Gen Intel U-series processor and up to a 3:2 aspect ratio display on upgraded configurations. The U-series processor still isn't a direct match for the P-series on the XPS, but it narrows the race slightly. 

The two laptops have comparably gorgeous 13-inch displays, but Dell wins again in the connectivity category thanks to the latest-and-greatest Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Dell XPS 13 PlusHP Spectre x360 13
CPUIntel Core i5-1240PIntel Core i7-1260PIntel Core i7-1270PIntel Core i7-1280PIntel Core i5-1135G7Intel Core i7-1165G7
GPUIntel Iris Xe GraphicsIntel Iris Xe Graphics
Display13.4 inches16:10 aspect ratio1920x1200/3456x2160/3840x2400Touch/non-touchLCD/OLED13.3 inches16:9 aspect ratio1920x1080/3840x2560TouchLCD/AMOLED
Ports2x USB-C Thunderbolt 42x USB-C Thunderbolt 41x USB-A
Audio4x stereo speakers2x stereo speakers
Front camera720p RGB camera720p IR camera (Windows Hello)720p RGB/IR camera (Windows Hello) with physical kill switch
BiometricsFingerprint readerFingerprint reader
ConnectivityIntel Killer Wi-Fi 6E AX211 (2x2)Bluetooth 5.2Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (2x2)Bluetooth 5.0
Battery55WHr (10+ hours expected)60WHr (10 hours)
Weight2.73 pounds (1.24kg)2.8 pounds (1.27kg)
PriceUnknownStarts at $1,330

The matchup is more competitive from a design standpoint, but we still feel that Dell has the edge here as well. The gem-cut design of the Spectre x360 13 is unique and attractive, but the XPS 13 Plus' wide keyboard, large keycaps, and giant haptic trackpad will no doubt lead to a stellar typing experience (its capacitive touch buttons probably won't be as reliable as standard function keys, though). It also features two more speakers and dual webcam layout that separates RGB from IR, leading to a cleaner and sharper image compared to the 2-in-1 webcam found on the Spectre (the Spectre's physical webcam kill switch is useful for security).

With that said, the Spectre x360 13's convertible nature gives it an edge in terms of flexibility. The Spectre x360 13 also comes with a USB-A port as well as dual Thunderbolt 4, while the Dell XPS 13 Plus only comes with two Thunderbolt 4 ports. HP also includes a digital pen with each Spectre x360 13 device, meaning you won't need to spend extra on a stylus.

XPS 13 Plus vs. Spectre x360 13: Which is better?

Source: Windows Central / Daniel Rubino The HP Spectre x360 13. (Image credit: Source: Windows Central / Daniel Rubino)

At the end of the day, we feel that the winner in this matchup is clear. Between its more powerful CPU options, faster RAM, higher maximums for RAM and storage, and its superior audio and webcam layout, the Dell XPS 13 Plus simply outclasses HP's 13-inch Ultrabook in almost every way. There's no doubt in our minds that now that it's widely available, the Dell XPS 13 Plus will quickly rise to become one of the best Windows laptops on the market.

Even so, the HP Spectre x360 is still a great device that we wholeheartedly recommend if you're looking for a 2-in-1 device or if you consider having traditional function keys important. Its specs aren't as good as the XPS 13 Plus, but they're still great, and features like a USB-A port, the physical webcam kill switch, and an included digital pen will likely appeal to many.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.