Lenovo's Slim 9i 14 (Gen 7) starts at a higher price and doesn't have the same futuristic look as Dell's XPS 13 Plus. Nevertheless, it's a high-end laptop with all the extra features you'd expect, including 10W of audio output, 1080p webcam with IR, sleek design with aluminum and glass, and standout display options.
- Gorgeous design with glass lid cover, rounded edges
- Impressive 10W audio from quad speakers
- Clear FHD cam with IR, human presence detection
- High-end performance
- Standout UHD+ OLED display with Dolby Vision
- Glossy display finish
- Battery life less than impressive
- Costs more to start
- Touchpad has hollow click
Dell's XPS 13 Plus (9320) starts at a more affordable price thanks to FHD+ display options and 8GB RAM configurations. Its battery is smaller and not everyone will likely haptic touchpad and touch function keys, but it's undeniably one of the best designed laptops out there.
- Excellent display, solid webcam
- Keyboard, touchpad, and audio are top tier
- Fantastic functional design
- Tons of performance
- Nothing else like it on the market
- Battery life not the best
- Gets very hot under Ultra mode
- Gets expensive quickly
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.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Lenovo Slim 9i 14 (Gen 7)||Dell XPS 13 Plus (9320)|
|OS||Windows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro||Windows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro|
|Processor||12th Gen Intel||12th Gen Intel|
|Row 2 - Cell 0||Core i5-1240P, Core i7-1280P||Core i5-1240P, Core i7-1260P, Core i7-1270P, Core i7-1280P|
|RAM||16GB, 32GB LPDDR5-5600MHz||8GB, 16GB, 32GB LPDDR5-5200MHz|
|Graphics||Intel Iris Xe||Intel Iris Xe|
|Storage||512GB, 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD||512GB, 1TB, 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD|
|Display||14 inches, 16:10 aspect ratio, Dolby Vision, touch, TÜV Low Blue Light Certification, VESA DisplayHDR 500 True Black||13.4 inches, 16:10 aspect ratio, Dolby Vision|
|Row 7 - Cell 0||2880x1800 (2.8K), OLED, 400 nits, 100% DCI-P3, 90Hz||1920x1200 (FHD+), 500 nits, 100% sRGB, anti-glare|
|Row 8 - Cell 0||3840x2400 (UHD+), OLED, 400 nits, 100% DCI-P3||1920x1200 (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|
|Ports||Three Thunderbolt 4, 3.5mm audio||Two Thunderbolt 4|
|Audio||Quad speakers (10W total), Dolby Atmos||Quad speakers (8W total), Dolby Atmos|
|Wireless||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2|
|Camera||1080p (FHD), IR camera, human presence detection, E-shutter||720p (HD), IR camera, human presence detection|
|Dimensions||12.40 x 8.44 x 0.59 inches||11.63 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)|
|Weight||From 3.02 pounds (1.37kg)||From 2.73 pounds (1.24kg)|
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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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.
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.
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'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 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 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.
Lenovo's Slim 9i 14 (Gen 7) offers a larger battery, larger display with high-res options, and a more traditional design (albeit with a 3D glass lid cover). It costs more than the XPS 13 Plus, mostly owing to it not having FHD+ display options.
The XPS 13 Plus (9320) is one of the best Dell laptops out there, and it starts at a more affordable price than the Slim 9i 14. It's more compact, its design sets the bar for other Windows laptops, and it brings solid performance.
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Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.