Dell XPS 13 vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 7: Which should you buy?
The XPS 13 is generally the best all-rounder and became the class leader for a reason. The battery life and port selection are worth highlighting.
- 11th Gen Intel processors
- Gorgeous design
- Stunning displays
- Excellent keyboard
- 4K display option
- No 4G option
- More expensive
The Surface Pro 7 is the new best 2-in-1 Windows PC you can buy, with the flexibility you don't get from an Ultrabook and one of the best digital inking experiences around.
- Touch display
- Digital pen support
- Can be used as just a tablet
- 10th Gen Intel processors
- More versatile
- Keyboard an extra purchase
- No 4K display
There's no better time to shop and save money on a new laptop. Be sure to check out our continuously updated article on the best Dell XPS 13 Black Friday deals.
Microsoft's Surface Pro 7 is essentially an Ultrabook like the XPS 13 but without a fixed keyboard. It's much more versatile than Dell's flagship notebook and can be used as a tablet or laptop, but if you're after a notebook experience alone, you may want the XPS 13 instead. It's about as good a laptop you can buy right now and is included in our best Windows laptop collection.
The Dell XPS 13 was refreshed recently, and so we don't expect it to go on sale, but you will be able to find deals on plenty of Windows PCs for Black Friday. Be sure to keep an eye out for discounts on both of these notebooks, though even at full price, the XPS 13 really is class-leading.
Dell XPS 13 (9310) vs Surface Pro 7 tech specs
|Category||Dell XPS 13 (9310)||Surface Pro 7|
|OS||Windows 10 Home||Windows 10 Home|
Windows 10 Pro
|Processor||11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4|
11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7
11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7
|10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1|
10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G4
10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7
|Display size||13.3 inches||12.3 inches|
|Display resolution||UltraSharp 4K (3840x2400)|
FHD+ (1920 x 1200) non-touch display
|2736 x 1824 touch (3:2 aspect ratio)|
|RAM||8GB 4267MHz LPDDR4x|
16GB 4267MHz LPDDR4x
|Graphics||Intel UHD 620||Intel Iris Xe|
Intel Iris Plus
|Storage||256GB PCIe SSD|
512GB PCIe SSD
|128GB PCIe SSD|
256GB PCIe SSD
512GB PCIe SSD
1TB PCIe SSD
|Ports||2x Thunderbolt 4 with PowerShare|
|1x USB-C 3.1|
1x Surface Connect
Surface Type Cover
MicroSDXC card reader
Impressive portable performance
There aren't many differences between the Surface Pro 7 and Dell XPS 13, especially when comparing specifications. Both options come with the possibility of choosing an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processor, but Microsoft can undercut Dell by around $200, which is a considerable sum of change.
This is largely due to Dell using Intel's more recent 11th Gen processors. But the company also achieves this is by offering less RAM on the base model (4GB vs. 8GB in the XPS 13) and less storage (128GB vs. 256GB in the XPS 13). These won't matter too much in the great scheme of things, but if you plan on doing anything other than checking email, browsing websites, and chatting to friends and family on instant messengers, you'll want to consider at least 8GB of RAM.
The Surface Pro 7 and XPS 13 have plenty of options to choose from, including Intel CPU SKUs, up to 16GB of RAM, and 512GB storage for the XPS 13 or 1TB storage for the Surface Pro 7. There is a slight downside to the Surface Pro 7 in that it doesn't technically come with a keyboard ... at least not a physical one. You'll need to shell out some more for the fancy Type Cover, but it's well worth it.
Dell has Thunderbolt 4 only, while Microsoft has more ports (and Thunderbolt 3) in the Surface Pro.
Laptop or tablet?
There's no real wrong answer here. Specifications are close, as is pricing when you consider optional accessories you really cannot live without on the Surface Pro 7. However, it comes down to whether you need a laptop or tablet. If you want something more like a tablet experience that you can use without a keyboard with your feet up on the sofa or relax reading a book on, the Surface Pro 7 is the winner.
The XPS 13 is about the best Ultrabook money can buy, and it's perfect for anyone who wants a great laptop. You can't ink on it, and the keyboard is always attached, but it's a machine. Whether you need to hit the road for the day, treat it like your desktop workstation, or unwind with some top-notch PC gaming, the XPS 13 has the ability to handle everything you throw at it. It's just a shame about the lack of any 4G option.
Dell XPS 13 for laptop lovers
If you want the best Ultrabook, look no further than the XPS 13. It houses the latest Intel processors and can be kitted out with plenty of RAM and storage to let you get on with the day.
An incredible Ultrabook for everyone
The latest update to the ever-popular XPS 13 adds Intel's 11th Gen processors, pairing great hardware and design with portability and solid battery life. And the webcam is back where it belongs!
Go with the Surface Pro 7 for something a little different
There are plenty of laptops out there to choose from, and the XPS 13 really is the best of the best. However, if you fancy trying something new, the Surface Pro 7 gives you both a notebook and tablet experience wrapped up in a gorgeous form factor.
The 2-in-1 refined as only Microsoft can
The blueprint device for the 2-in-1 category, the Surface Pro 7 is a high-end laptop stuffed into a tablet's body. Toss in digital pen support and an optional keyboard, and you have quite the portable computer.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.