Lenovo Slim 9i 14 (Gen 7) vs. Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320)

Lenovo's Slim 9i 14 (Gen 7) — known in some regions as the Yoga Slim 9i 14 — and Dell's XPS 13 Plus (9320) represent some of the best hardware available from each PC manufacturer. The XPS 13 Plus is our pick for best Dell laptop, while the Slim 9i 14 represents one of the best Lenovo laptops for those who don't want a convertible. These are undeniably high-end laptops that demand a fairly high price, but the feature set, luxurious design, and available performance are worth the cost.

We've reviewed both of these laptops here at Windows Central, giving us a good idea of how they compare. If you're wondering exactly which laptop might be better suited to your needs, we break everything down right here.

Let's start by comparing the raw specs available in each laptop.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Lenovo Slim 9i 14 (Gen 7)Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320)
OSWindows 11 Home, Windows 11 ProWindows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro
Processor12th Gen Intel12th Gen Intel
Row 2 - Cell 0 Core i5-1240P, Core i7-1280PCore i5-1240P, Core i7-1260P, Core i7-1270P, Core i7-1280P
RAM16GB, 32GB LPDDR5-5600MHz8GB, 16GB, 32GB LPDDR5-5200MHz
GraphicsIntel Iris XeIntel Iris Xe
Storage512GB, 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD512GB, 1TB, 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
Display14 inches, 16:10 aspect ratio, Dolby Vision, touch, TÜV Low Blue Light Certification, VESA DisplayHDR 500 True Black13.4 inches, 16:10 aspect ratio, Dolby Vision
Row 7 - Cell 0 2880x1800 (2.8K), OLED, 400 nits, 100% DCI-P3, 90Hz1920x1200 (FHD+), 500 nits, 100% sRGB, anti-glare
Row 8 - Cell 0 3840x2400 (UHD+), OLED, 400 nits, 100% DCI-P31920x1200 (FHD+), touch, 500 nits, 100% sRGB, anti-reflective
Row 9 - Cell 0 Row 9 - Cell 1 3456x2160 (3.5K), OLED, touch, HDR 500, 400 nits, 100% DCI-P3, anti-reflective
Row 10 - Cell 0 Row 10 - Cell 1 3840x2400 (UHD+), touch, HDR 400, 500 nits, 90% DCI-P3, anti-reflective
PortsThree Thunderbolt 4, 3.5mm audioTwo Thunderbolt 4
AudioQuad speakers (10W total), Dolby AtmosQuad speakers (8W total), Dolby Atmos
WirelessWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
Camera1080p (FHD), IR camera, human presence detection, E-shutter720p (HD), IR camera, human presence detection
Dimensions12.40 x 8.44 x 0.59 inches11.63 x 7.84 x 0.60 inches
Row 17 - Cell 0 (315mm x 214.4mm x 14.9mm)(295.3mm x 199mm x 15.28mm)
WeightFrom 3.02 pounds (1.37kg)From 2.73 pounds (1.24kg)
ColorOatmealGraphite, Platinum

The Slim 9i 14 (Gen 7) currently starts at about $1,760 at Lenovo's official website. This configuration includes an Intel Core i7-1280P CPU, 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM, a 512GB M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD, and a 14-inch UHD+ OLED display. There are lesser hardware options available, as listed in the table above, though Lenovo doesn't seem to currently offer more affordable options. This could change in the future, and keep in mind that Lenovo frequently hosts sales with deep discounts on its premium laptops.

The XPS 13 Plus (9320) starts at a much more palatable $1,299. Introductory models include an Intel Core i5-1240P CPU, 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM, 512GB M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD, and a 13.4-inch FHD+ non-touch display with 60Hz refresh rate, anti-glare finish, and 500 nits brightness.

If we bump up the hardware to better mirror the Slim 9i 14 (Gen 7) — Core i7-1280P CPU, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and UHD+ touch display — you're looking at about $2,099. That's about $340 more than the Slim 9i 14 (Gen 7).

Design and features

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XPS 13 Plus (9320) (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

Dell's XPS 13 Plus (9320) has a more compact footprint than Lenovo's seventh-gen Slim 9i, though it's about the same thickness. Dell's laptop also weighs less, all owing to the smaller system platform and display. Both laptops are made from an aluminum chassis, but the Slim 9i adds a glass top to the display lid. It's raised just a bit, giving it a 3D look that nevertheless ties in well with the rest of the laptop.

Opening the lid, the XPS 13 Plus reveals a zero-lattice keyboard with huge keycaps and minimal space between. It stretches from edge to edge. Keys have 1mm of travel, and there's just a bit of a divot to help keep your fingers in place. Above the keyboard is a row of capacitive touch function keys that give the laptop a futuristic look.

The Slim 9i has a more traditional keyboard with about the same 1mm travel. Keys are spaced much wider and have a bit of a dip to them, and there's no mushy feel while typing. Below the keys is a massive touchpad that's just a bit hollow when clicked but otherwise quite satisfying to use. 

Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320) for 2022

Dell XPS 13 Plus (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

The XPS 13 Plus removes all moving parts and instead goes with a haptic touchpad that relies on sensors and actuators to simulate the feel of a physical click. In his Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320) review, Executive Editor Daniel Rubino notes that "[...] despite the XPS 13 Plus's radical looks there is no tradeoff in typing or using the touchpad. Indeed, the experience is above average compared to other laptops."

Both laptops have quad speakers with Dolby Atmos support. The XPS 13 Plus has them installed on the bottom of the laptop, while the Slim 9i has two on the top (flanking the keyboard) and two more on the bottom for a total 10W output. The XPS 13 Plus keeps all speakers on the bottom of the PC due to the wide keyboard, with 8W total output. Bottom line here is that you'll get a lot of volume and bass from either laptop.

Slim 9i 14 speakers (Image credit: Windows Central)

Above the display, Dell offers a 720p webcam with IR sensor for Windows Hello. It's an upgrade over other XPS models, though Lenovo's 1080p camera is one of the best cameras I've seen in a laptop. Human presence detection is onboard both laptops, giving them the ability to automatically lock and unlock when you depart or approach.

As for ports, Lenovo's Slim 9i brings three Thunderbolt 4 and a 3.5mm audio jack. The XPS 13 Plus has just two Thunderbolt 4 with no audio connection. The audio jack and extra TB4 port aren't likely going to be a major selling point, and keep in mind that both PCs can connect to the best Thunderbolt 4 docks.

Overall, the XPS 13 Plus (9320) looks like a laptop that's releasing a few years from now. The haptic touchpad, capacitive function buttons, and enormous keys have it looking unlike anything else Dell offers. Lenovo's laptop uses a more traditional design, though its 3D glass lid cover and rounded edges keep it looking sleek and modern. These are both high-end laptops that look the part, and they can both be considered some of the best Windows laptops available today.


Lenovo Slim 9i 14 (Gen 7) (Image credit: Windows Central)

Lenovo's Slim 9i 14 comes with a couple of 14-inch touch display options, each with a 16:10 aspect ratio, Dolby Vision, VESA DisplayHDR 500 True Black, and TÜV Low Blue Light certification. The more affordable version has a 2880x1800 (2.8K) resolution, OLED panel, 100% DCI-P3 color, and a 90Hz refresh rate. Stepping things up, you can get a 3840x2400 (UHD+) resolution with OLED panel, 400 nits brightness, and 100% DCI-P3 color.

These are both knockout displays that excel at delivering media and also the color accuracy necessary for getting into some specialized work. Even the 2.8K resolution at 14 inches looks incredibly crisp, plus it doesn't use as much battery as the UHD+ version. The only downside here is the glossy finish that can lead to extra glare.

Dell XPS 13 Plus (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

Dell is not to be outdone in the display section, offering up four different versions. All are sized at 13.4 inches with a 16:10 aspect ratio, and all have Dolby Vision. The "basic" display has a 1920x1200 (FHD+) resolution with 500 nits brightness, 100% sRGB color, and an anti-glare finish. You can also get this display with touch functionality and an anti-reflective finish.

The FHD+ screens are great to look at, but things really kick off when you get into the 3.5K OLED and UHD+ models. The OLED screen has HDR 500, 400 nits brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color, and an anti-reflective finish. The UHD+ option has HDR 400, 500 nits brightness, 90% DCI-P3 color, and an anti-reflective coating.

Dell offers more options, and it might make more sense if you don't want anything more than an FHD+ resolution. This also helps Dell offer such a lower introductory price for its XPS 13 Plus.


Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320) for 2022

XPS 13 Plus (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

Dell and Lenovo offer similar 12th Gen Intel Core CPU options in their laptops, as well as Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics. Lenovo's laptop also comes with LPDDR5-5600MHz RAM, while Dell has slightly slower LPDDR5-5200MHz RAM. Both laptops also have speedy M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD storage, with up to 1TB on Lenovo's side and up to 2TB on Dell's side.

We tested both laptops with an Intel Core i7-1280P CPU, and understandably the performance was quite closely matched. Geekbench 5, PCMark 10, and Cinebench R23 scores were all nearly identical, though the Slim 9i did come out ahead. Lenovo's larger chassis no doubt helps keep the system cool, which is a noted issue with Dell's XPS 13 Plus.

The Slim 9i's 75Wh battery is also considerably larger than Dell's 55Wh battery. If you have similar displays and performance hardware, Lenovo's laptop is going to run longer simply because of the larger capacity battery. The Slim 9i 14 (Gen 7) I reviewed had the UHD+ display and still managed to run for just less than eight hours. The Dell XPS 13 Plus we reviewed, with 3.5K OLED display, lasted about six hours on average.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.