While both the Dell XPS 13 Plus and Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 are going to serve you well, we think the winner in this matchup is the Dell XPS 13 Plus. Between its top-tier specs, extra RAM and storage configuration options, better cameras and audio, and improved connectivity, it simply reigns supreme over Dell's classic convertible. The XPS 13 2-in-1 is still an awesome option for people who need a convertible laptop, though, and you shouldn't overlook it.
Dell XPS 13 Plus vs. 2-in-1: Design and specs
In terms of specs, the Dell XPS 13 Plus is simply better than the XPS 13 2-in-1. Between 12th Gen Intel P-series processors, up to 32GB of DDR5 RAM, and up to 2TB of SSD storage, the XPS 13 Plus unquestionably surpasses the XPS 13 2-in-1's 11th Gen CPUs, maximum of 16GB of DDR4, and 1TB SSD storage limit. Additionally, the XPS 13 Plus also comes with two additional speakers for better audio as well as separate RGB and IR webcams for cleaner and crisper visuals. The XPS 13 2-in-1 uses a single webcam that combines RGB and IR, resulting in poorer image quality.
The XPS 13 Plus also has an edge when it comes to connectivity. It features Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, while the XPS 13 2-in-1 is limited to standard Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. The real-world differences in effectiveness between things Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E or Bluetooth 5.1 and Bluetooth 5.2 are small — you'll see a slight increase in network stability and a small decrease in latency, respectively — but they're worth mentioning nonetheless.
|Dell XPS 13 Plus||Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (9310)|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-1240P
Intel Core i7-1260P
Intel Core i7-1270P
Intel Core i7-1280P
|Intel Core i5-1135G7
Intel Core i7-1165G7
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics
Intel Iris Xe Graphics
16:10 aspect ratio
16:10 aspect ratio
|Ports||2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4||2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4|
|Audio||4x stereo speakers||2x stereo speakers|
|Front camera||720p RGB camera
720p IR camera (Windows Hello)
|720p RGB/IR camera (Windows Hello)|
|Biometrics||Fingerprint reader||Fingerprint reader|
|Connectivity||Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6E AX211 (2x2)
|Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 (2x2)
|Battery||55WHr||51WHr (up to 14 hours)|
|Weight||2.73 pounds (1.24kg)||2.9 pounds (1.32kg)|
|Price||Unknown||Starts at $1,470|
The matchup gets more interesting when you look at the design of each of these laptops. The XPS 13 Plus sports a brand-new design with a wider keyboard, wider keycaps, a haptic touchpad, and capacitive buttons, while the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 features Dell's classic XPS keyboard layout, including standard function keys. The new design of the XPS 13 Plus could potentially make it even more enjoyable to use, but the capacitive touch buttons are likely going to be more finicky to use than regular function keys. Until we actually get our hands on an XPS 13 Plus when it launches in spring 2022, it's impossible to say which design will reign supreme.
One big advantage of the XPS 13 2-in-1 is that it's a convertible laptop with a display hinge and support for inking with one of Dell's active pens. These features give the laptop an excellent amount of additional flexibility compared to the XPS 13 Plus, especially if you're someone who likes to use a stylus to navigate Windows, jot down notes, or create digital artwork.
Dell XPS 13 Plus vs. 2-in-1: Which should you buy?
While both the Dell XPS 13 Plus and Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 are incredibly impressive devices, we think most people will be better served by the Dell XPS 13 Plus. Not only are its specs better, but the device also has more options for memory and storage as well as better cameras and audio and improved connectivity. In most respects, it's simply a better laptop, though we won't know for sure whether it's as performant as its specs sheet suggests until it actually releases. If it performs as good as it looks, however, there's no doubt in our minds that the XPS 13 Plus will become one of the best Windows laptops ever.
Don't overlook the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, though. Its specs are still great, and unlike the XPS 13 Plus, it can be used like a tablet and features full support for inking. Additionally, its regular function keys will likely be more reliable than the XPS 13 Plus' capacitive touch buttons. If you often find yourself using these keys on a daily basis, it may be worth it to get a laptop like the XPS 13 2-in-1 that sticks to reliable key switches.
Dell XPS 13 Plus
The new king?
The Dell XPS 13 Plus will likely be the better option for most users since it has more impressive specs, more configuration options, better cameras and audio, and stronger connectivity. With that said, it lacks the versatility of a convertible like the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, and its capacitive touch buttons likely won't be as reliable as standard function keys.
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
The classic still stands tall
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is a superb alternative to the Dell XPS 13 Plus that has great specs of its own, as well as a versatile convertible design, reliable function keys, and support for inking. Its hardware is still less advanced than what you'll get with the Dell XPS 13 Plus, though, and it has fewer RAM and storage options as well as worse cameras, audio, and connectivity too.
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