Huawei MateBook 13 vs. Dell XPS 13: Which should you buy?
We've used both the MateBook 13 and XPS 13 for many hours and know a thing or two when it comes to recommending a laptop for you to buy.
If you value the look of your laptop and aren't fond of the MacBook look, the XPS 13 is one of the best 13-inch notebooks you can buy and has been the highlight of Dell's laptop line-up for many years.
- Alpine-white and gold chassis is gorgeous
- 10th Gen Intel CPUs
- New IGZO 4K anti-glare display is best-in-class
- New Windows Hello IR camera
- Full Thunderbolt 3 USB C ports
- Some minor coil whine
Huawei's MateBook 13 finds a sweet spot between its ultra-light MateBook X and bigger MateBook X Pro, delivering outstanding performance and solid value. It's the MacBook for Windows users.
- Excellent 3:2 "2K" display
- Exceptional performance
- Better value than MacBook Air
- Stylish but muted
- Optional GPU
- No Thunderbolt 3
- No USB Type-A port
- Huawei name is controversial
- Mediocre battery life
If you love the look of the Apple MacBook but desire one that runs Windows 10, the Huawei MateBook is a superb laptop. That said, our best overall pick here goes to Dell's new XPS 13 (7390) with Intel's 10th Gen processors and a stunning design, but albeit slightly higher price tag.
Battle of the specs
The Huawei MateBook 13 and Dell XPS 13 are similar in more ways than not, especially when it comes to specifications, though the XPS 13 comes out on top with Intel's latest 10th Gen CPUs.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Dell XPS 13 (7390)||Huawei MateBook 13|
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
Windows 10 Pro
|Windows 10 Home|
Windows 10 Pro
|Processor||10th Gen Intel Core i3-10110U|
10th Gen Intel Core i5-10210U
10th Gen Intel Core i7-10510U
|8th Gen Intel Core i5 8265U|
8th Gen Intel Core i7 8565U
|Display size||13.3 inches||13.3 inches|
|Display resolution||4K InfinityEdge touch|
1080p InfinityEdge touch
1080p InfinityEdge (non-touch)
|2160 x 1440, 200 PPI, touch-enabled|
|RAM||4GB/8GB/16GB DDR3 2133 MHz||8GB LPDDR3 2133MHz|
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics 620|
NVIDIA MX 150 with 2GB GDDR5
|Storage||256GB PCIe SSD|
512GB PCIe SSD
1TB PCIe SSD
2TB PCIe SSD
|256GB NVMe PCIe SSD|
512GB NVMe PCIe SSD
|Ports||2x Thunderbolt 3 with PowerShare|
1x USB-C 3.1 with PowerShare
MicroSD card reader
|Windows Hello||Camera||Fingerprint reader|
|Weight||2.7 lbs (1.23 kg)||2.84 lbs (1.27 kg)|
The Dell XPS 13 offers more choice with the recent inclusion of an Intel Core i3 model, but the $900 price matches the base model of the MateBook 13, which comes with an Intel Core i5 processor. Overall, it offers worse value, but you do get more at the high end with the option of a 4K display, 16GB of RAM, 2TB of SSD storage, and plenty of ports.
Best of both worlds
Performance isn't an issue on either laptop. Both sport the latest Intel processors with an option to throw in a capable Core i7 CPU. There's also at least 8GB of RAM available and massive amounts of solid-state drive (SSD) storage. Whatever you happen to throw at these laptops, aside from video editing and other intensive tasks, will be handled without issue.
Where these laptops differ is in terms of configuration choices, as well as the different Intel generations. Huawei focused more on packing in what the company believes you'll need and only offers two models — one with an Intel Core i5 processor and another with a Core i7 CPU and dedicated NVIDIA MX GPU. Dell offers far more choice with storage, processors, display, and RAM. The more powerful 10th Gen Intel processors also give the XPS 13 an edge with better battery life.
The Huawei MateBook 13 comes with an exceptional 2K (1440p) display that has support for touch, while on the XPS 13 you'll need to upgrade to the 4K panel to unlock a touchscreen. And don't let that lack of dedicated GPU make you believe the XPS 13 cannot handle any games. Hook up an eGPU station with an NVIDIA RTX card and you'll have quite the gaming rig. MateBook 13 has no Thunderbolt 3, required for eGPUs.
A difficult choice
The Dell XPS 13 is the Ultrabook of notebooks. Dell hasn't updated the design of the laptop in years and for good reason. It looks gorgeous. All that has changed in recent models is the bump in performance with newer components. The latest entry did make some notable changes, including the reposition of the webcam to top of the display, instead of being sat near the keyboard.
Huawei's MateBook 13 follows a different path in terms of design. It too looks stunning, but may not be to everyone's taste since it's essentially the MacBook for Windows. The 1440p display is stunning and included fingerprint reader makes it easy to log into Windows 10 with but a press of the power button — the Dell XPS relies on the Windows Hello-compatible webcam.
The XPS does come rocking Thunderbolt 3, more ports and better components at top models, but you'll be paying a premium for the luxury. Huawei offers better value overall, especially considering the inclusion of a dedicated NVIDIA MX GPU. It was rated the best 13-inch laptop by us for 2019 and is our top pick here, should you like the look of the MacBook and have no issue using the Chinese brand.
For the latest Intel processors
Dell XPS 13 has been around for years and this current design has been tried and tested by owners. The latest iteration again made but a few minor alterations to both the chassis and internals (new 10th Gen CPUs) simply because there's not really much left for Dell to improve upon.
The Ultrabook of notebooks
The Dell XPS 13 continues to be a class-leading Ultrabook, even without significant updates in recent years. It ticks almost every single box.
When you want a Windows-powered MacBook
Huawei's MateBook 13 is an excellent Windows laptop, capable of handling even more demanding tasks during the work day. It looks stunning, taking more than a few cues from the MacBook, but packs in a great display and awesome keyboard.
A work day multitasking monster
Huawei's MateBook 13 finds a sweet spot between its ultra-light MateBook X and bigger MateBook X Pro, delivering outstanding performance and solid value.
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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.