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Dell XPS 13 Plus vs. MacBook Pro 13

Dell Xps 13 Plus 2022 Lid
Dell Xps 13 Plus 2022 Lid (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

While both the Dell XPS 13 Plus and MacBook Pro 13 are excellent, we think that the Dell XPS 13 Plus will be the better device for most people since it (and its operating system) excels at general computing and productivity. With that said, the MacBook Pro 13 is a stellar laptop for people who want something built from the ground up with creators in mind.

Dell XPS 13 Plus vs. MacBook Pro 13: Specs and OS

Source: iMore (Image credit: Source: iMore)

Even though both the Dell XPS 13 Plus and the MacBook Pro 13 are powerful devices, Dell's Ultrabook takes the lead when it comes to specs. Its 12th Gen Intel mobile CPUs outperform Apple's custom M1 chip, resulting in a faster and smoother user experience (the M1 is no slouch, though). It also uses faster DDR5 memory, and can be configured with up to 32GB of it as well. The MacBook Pro 13, meanwhile, only features up to 16GB of DDR4. Both devices can be fitted with up to 2TB of SSD space and have gorgeous high-resolution displays, though the Dell XPS 13 Plus has an edge in connectivity thanks to its support for Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, which trump the MacBook Pro 13's standard Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. Apple scores a point for its stronger M1 graphics performance compared to Intel Xe, but the matchup between the two versions of integrated graphics is very close.

We also expect that the MacBook Pro 13 will have an edge when it comes to battery life, though it will probably be a slight one. Thanks to the device's ARM M1 chip, the MacBook Pro 13 is capable of lasting for up to 20 hours on a full charge. With that said, the latest version of the Dell XPS 13 can last for up to 14 hours, and we expect that the Dell XPS 13 Plus will have an even better battery life due to the improved power efficiency of 12th Gen Intel CPUs. It's unlikely that the Dell XPS 13 Plus will have a 20-hour battery life, but it wouldn't surprise us to see Dell's new Ultrabook push 16-18 hours. Ultimately, we'll have to wait until we can test the Dell XPS 13 Plus ourselves before knowing for sure.

Dell XPS 13 PlusMacBook Pro 13
OSWindows 11macOS
CPUIntel Core i5-1240P
Intel Core i7-1260P
Intel Core i7-1270P
Intel Core i7-1280P
Apple M1
GPUIntel Iris Xe GraphicsApple M1 Graphics
Memory8GB LPDDR5
16GB LPDDR5
32GB LPDDR5
8GB LPDDR4
16GB LPDDR4
Storage256GB SSD
512GB SSD
1TB SSD
2TB SSD
512GB SSD
1TB SSD
2TB SSD
Display13.4 inches
16:10 aspect ratio
1920x1200/3456x2160/3840x2400
Touch/non-touch
LCD/OLED
13.3 inches
16:10 aspect ratio
2560x1600
Non-touch
LED
Ports2x USB-C Thunderbolt 42x USB-C Thunderbolt 3
Audio4x stereo speakers4x stereo speakers
Front camera720p RGB camera
720p IR camera (Windows Hello)
720p webcam
BiometricsFingerprint readerFingerprint reader (Touch ID)
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Battery55WHr58.2WHr (up to 20 hours)
PriceUnknownStarts at $1,299

The biggest difference between the Dell XPS 13 Plus and the MacBook Pro 13 is the operating system they use. The Dell XPS 13 Plus uses Windows 11, which is slightly more complex and includes more features for organizing your desktop and working with multiple apps. This makes it an excellent operating system for people who need something they can daily drive for various productivity tasks. Apple's macOS, meanwhile, is a simpler operating system that's ideal for creators who don't often need to bounce between programs and usually stick to one or two apps. The operating system is home to several specialized programs like Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro that are unrivaled in terms of quality, and because of that, macOS is perfect for video editors, musicians, photographers, and other types of creative specialists.

Something that is worth noting, though, is that the MacBook Pro 13 can get incredibly expensive very quickly. A fully maxed-out version costs an eye-watering $2,800, which is significantly less than the $2,360 price of a top-of-the-line Dell XPS 13 Plus. This means that if you want top performance for the least amount of money, the Dell XPS 13 Plus will be better for you.

Dell XPS 13 Plus vs. MacBook Pro 13: Which should you buy?

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

While the Dell XPS 13 Plus does have an edge over the MacBook Pro 13 in terms of overall specs and performance, both laptops are very powerful. At the end of the day, the biggest deciding factor in this matchup for you should be the different operating systems these laptops use. We feel that the Dell XPS 13 Plus will be better for the average user since Windows 11, supported by superior CPU performance and faster memory, is better for getting general productivity work done across multiple different apps at once.

For creative specialists, though, the simplicity of macOS and the quality of killer apps like Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro are incredibly tough to beat. Going with Apple is very expensive, sure, but if you're a video editor or a musician, investing in an ecosystem that offers you the best tools available is worth the money.

If neither of these devices suits your needs, check out our roundup of the best Windows laptops as well as a list of the best MacBooks from our sister site iMore.

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.