Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320) vs. XPS 13 2-in-1 (9315): Which premium Dell laptop is for you?

While both the Dell XPS 13 Plus and Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 would serve you well, the winner in this matchup for most people is the Dell XPS 13 Plus. Between its top-tier specs, extra RAM and storage configuration options, better audio, and higher-res displays, it reigns supreme over Dell's classic convertible. The latest XPS 13 2-in-1 is still an awesome option for people who need a versatile, premium Windows tablet, though, and its lower price point shouldn't be ignored.

With at least one of these devices earning a place on our list of best Windows laptops, here's what you need to know before making a purchasing decision.

XPS 13 Plus vs. XPS 13 2-in-1: Quick specs overview

The Dell XPS 13 Plus is a premium Windows laptop through and through. (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

In terms of hardware, the Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320) is simply better than the XPS 13 Plus 2-in-1. With more powerful processors in its 12th Gen Intel configurations, the option for the latest and greatest 13th Gen Intel processors, a whole lot more configuration options, faster RAM and storage, and higher quality displays, there aren't many areas in which the XPS 13 Plus 2-in-1 competes with the XPS 13 Plus in hardware.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320)Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (9315)
ProcessorIntel Core i5-1240P, Intel Core i7-1360PIntel Core i5-1230U, Intel Core i7-1250U
GraphicsIntel Iris XeIntel Iris Xe
Memory8GB, 16GB, 32GB LPDDR58GB, 16GB LPDDR4x
Storage256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB SSD256GB, 512GB, 1TB SSD
Display13.4-inches, 16:10 aspect ratio, 1920x1200 / 3456x2160 / 3840x2400, Touch / non-touch, LCD / OLED13-inches, 3:2 aspect ratio, 2880x1920, touch, LCD
Cameras720p RGB / IR front-facing w/ Windows Hello1080p RGB / IR front-facing w/ Windows Hello / 10MP, 4K rear-facing
Audio4x stereo speakers2x stereo speakers
ConnectivityIntel Killer Wi-Fi 6E AX211 (2x2), Bluetooth 5.2Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6E AX211 (2x2), Bluetooth 5.2, 5G (optional)
Ports2x USB-C Thunderbolt 42x USB-C Thunderbolt 4
Weight2.73lbs (1.24kg)2.83lbs w/ Folio (1.29kg)

The XPS 13 2-in-1 does get a higher quality front-facing camera and a world-facing camera for those who need it, though, and the value of its convertible tablet form factor can't be understated for those who aren't looking for a traditional clamshell laptop.

XPS 13 Plus vs. XPS 13 2-in-1: Design and features

It may not be as powerful or flashy, but the XPS 13 2-in-1 will appeal to a lot of people just because of its tablet design. (Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)

The matchup gets more interesting when you look at the design of each of these laptops. The XPS 13 Plus sports a unique design with a wider keyboard, wider keycaps, a haptic and invisible touchpad, and capacitive buttons, while the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 features a Surface Pro-like detachable XPS Folio keyboard with a standard layout. The XPS 13 Plus' larger keys make it easier to type accurately with, but the capacitive touch buttons can be a little finnicky and aren't as reliable as standard function keys. We think the XPS 13 Plus' keyboard is more enjoyable to use overall, but if you often use the function keys, it may be better to opt for the XPS 13 2-in-1.

In terms of the displays the laptops are available with, both look great on paper with great resolutions. You have the option of FHD+, 3.5K, or 4K UHD with the XPS 13 Plus, while your only option with the XPS 13 2-in-1 is a 3K panel. Overall, we're giving a point to the XPS 13 Plus here, as we feel that the availability of both FHD+ and 4K makes the device suitable for a wider range of users. The quality of the XPS 13 2-in-1's display is also below average for the price point, so those who value fantastic visual fidelity will be better served by the XPS 13 Plus.

The Dell XPS 13 Plus is among the most attractively designed traditional Windows laptops. (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

One big advantage of the XPS 13 2-in-1 is that it's a convertible laptop with a tablet design, making it ideal for inking with one of Dell's active pens (you can pay extra for a Dell XPS Stylus when purchasing the device). This gives 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. The fact you can take off the folio keyboard also means you could reduce the weight of the device whenever using it like a tablet, which could be useful.

One notable advantage that the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (9315) has now is the option for 5G cellular support, which could be invaluable to many users. Unfortunately, 5G eliminates stylus support, and inevitably further reduces the already mediocre battery life. The Dell XPS 13 Plus is far from a battery champion thanks to its surprisingly powerful internals, but it is much more consistent and longer lasting than the XPS 13 2-in-1.

Overall, the XPS 13 Plus is more premium, powerful, and advanced than the XPS 13 2-in-1, but its traditional clamshell design means it's simply not as versatile as its convertible sibling. Of course, this gap in capability also translates to price. The XPS 13 Plus tends to be a lot more expensive than the XPS 13 2-in-1.

XPS 13 Plus vs. XPS 13 2-in-1: Pricing

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 isn't perfect, but it is priced very nicely. (Image credit: Windows Central | Zachary Boddy)

The Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320) sits at the top of the XPS 13 family, so it shouldn't be surprising to hear that it comes with an appropriate high price tag. You're looking at a $1,399.00 starting point, which is significantly higher than the meager $1,049.00 of the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. There are some things to keep in mind, however.

The XPS 13 2-in-1's starting price just includes the tablet. If you want the XPS Folio keyboard cover or the XPS Stylus, those are both $100 each. Still, $1,249.00 for the complete package with a 12th Gen Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage is still very respectable. You can get 16GB of RAM with the same package at $1,399.00. At its most expensive (with a Core i7 and 1TB of storage), the XPS 13 2-in-1 tops out at $1,699.99. It's worth mentioning that all of these configurations are often on sale for $100-200 off, which is always nice.

On the XPS 13 Plus side of things, you can easily raise the price to $2,099.00, but you are getting a significantly more powerful, well-equipped system with a 13th Gen Core i7, 32GB of RAM, 2TB of storage, and a 4K OLED display. And, while the XPS 13 Plus does have a considerably higher retail price than the XPS 13 2-in-1, you can actually get the XPS 13 Plus with a 12th Gen Core i5 (the same generation as the XPS 13 2-in-1 but more powerful) with huge savings, dragging down the price of the entry level model to just $899.00. That's an incredible deal, and makes the XPS 13 Plus a genuinely fantastic option. Bear in mind that this deal is bound to be limited, however, as Dell is trying to sell through its remaining 12th Gen stock.

Overall, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is the more affordable system, as you're paying for the more premium design of the XPS 13 Plus in addition to its more powerful and advanced internals. Sales can drag either device's price down, though, so it's worth checking regularly to see if there's a sweet deal you can't afford to miss.

XPS 13 Plus vs. XPS 13 2-in-1: Which should you buy?

The Dell XPS 13 Plus is a fantastic laptop for almost anyone, except if you want a tablet or stylus support. (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

You should buy the XPS 13 Plus if ...

  • You want a high-end, premium Windows laptop with a clamshell form factor
  • You're willing to pay extra for a unique design and features
  • You need as much power as you can get in a thin and light 13-inch ultrabook

You should buy the XPS 13 2-in-1 if ...

  • You need a premium Windows tablet that isn't a Surface Pro
  • You want a versatile, convertible Dell XPS without breaking the bank
  • You want stylus integration or 5G cellular connectivity

While both the Dell XPS 13 Plus and Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 are excellent laptops, 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, storage, and the display, as well as two additional speakers. In most respects, it's simply a better laptop, and while the convertible does have some advantages, the XPS 13 Plus comes out on top overall. It's one of the best Windows laptops ever made without a doubt. If you want a traditional clamshell laptop without paying the XPS 13 Plus premium, you can consider other members of the expansive Dell XPS lineup.

Don't overlook the newest Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, though. Its performance is still great, and unlike the XPS 13 Plus, it can be used like a tablet thanks to the detachable keyboard. Optional 5G connectivity or stylus integration, as well as a lower starting price, are more reasons to overlook its mediocre battery life and display quality versus its more premium XPS 13 Plus sibling. If you need a tablet instead of a more traditional laptop, you can also consider the Surface Pro 9 instead of the XPS 13 2-in-1.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.