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Dell XPS 13 vs. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13.5

Dell XPS 13 9300
Dell XPS 13 9300 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

If you're looking for a laptop that offers quick and snappy performance in a premium, sleek, and portable form factor, an Ultrabook will be right up your alley. Ultrabooks are amongst the best laptops on the market since they offer an excellent balance of horsepower and battery life longevity, and two of our favorites are the Dell XPS 13 and the Surface Laptop 4. Both offer top performance and have exceptional battery life, though there are some key differences between the laptops that we'll go over below.

It's a tough choice, but overall, the Dell XPS 13 will be the better option for most folks due to the availability of 4K, better port selection, and more available storage. With that said, the Surface Laptop 4 is an awesome laptop, and we highly recommend it if you need something with the best possible battery life or if you need AMD's overall superior multi-core performance.

XPS 13 vs. Surface Laptop 4: Comparison and specs

The Surface Laptop 4. (Image credit: Microsoft)

In many ways, the Dell XPS 13 and the Surface Laptop 4 13.5 are surprisingly similar. Both devices have excellent performance, as they both can be outfitted with a variety of 11th Gen Intel CPUs and Intel's advanced new Xe graphics. Notably, the Surface Laptop 4 can also be configured with the AMD Ryzen 4680U, which will deliver better performance than Intel's processors in multi-core applications but worse performance in single-core ones.

Both devices can also be configured with plenty of RAM and storage — the Dell XPS 13 can have up to 16GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage, while the Surface Laptop 4 is available with up to 32GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. Both devices are Windows Hello compatible, and both are also compatible with Wi-Fi 6.

Dell XPS 13 (9310)Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13.5
CPUIntel i3-1115G4
Intel i5-1135G7
Intel i7-1185G7
Intel i5-1135G7
Intel i5-1145G7 (Commercial only)
Intel i7-1185G7
AMD Ryzen 5 4680U
GPUIntel UHD Graphics
Intel Iris Xe
Intel Iris Xe
Radeon RX Graphics
Memory8GB
16GB
8GB
16GB
32GB
Storage256GB SSD
512GB SSD
1TB SSD
2TB SSD
128GB SSD
256GB SSD
512GB SSD
1TB SSD
Display13.4-inch FHD+ (1920x1200) InfinityEdge non-touch anti-glare display (500 nits)
13.4-inch OLED 4K (3456x2160) InfinityEdge touch anti-reflective display (400 nits)
13.5-inch PixelSense 2256x1504 (201 PPI) display (touch)
Aspect ratio16:103:2
Ports2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4
1x microSD card slot
3.5mm audio
1x USB-C
1x USB-A
Surface Connect
3.5mm audio
BiometricsWindows Hello-enabled 720p camera
Fingerprint reader
Windows Hello-enabled 720p camera
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Battery10-14 hours17-19 hours
Weight2.64-2.80 pounds2.79-2.84 pounds
PriceStarts at $980Starts at $800

The differences between the laptops become clearer when you look at the specifics, however. The Dell XPS 13 can be configured with a gorgeous 4K display and also comes with dual Thunderbolt 4 ports. These features give it a huge edge over the Surface Laptop 4 when it comes to display quality at the high end of things as well as peripheral connectivity.

Notably, the Surface Laptop 4 does boast a better battery life, which comes in at 17-19 hours. This beats out the 10-14-hour battery life of the Dell XPS 13. The base model of the laptop is also $100 less expensive than the Dell XPS 13's, though the prices equalize when looking at the other available configurations.

XPS 13 vs. Surface Laptop 4: Which should you buy?

Dell Xps 13 9300 Ports

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Ultimately, we think that the Dell XPS 13 is the better option between these two devices because it matches the Surface Laptop 4's performance while also offering excellent advantages such as 4K availability, better ports, and more storage. It's a close call, but we feel that these benefits give the Dell XPS 13 the edge at the end of the day.

With that said, the Surface Laptop 4 is still an awesome device, and it will serve you well if you opt for it. The improved battery life and the availability of AMD Ryzen will both benefit the people who want or need these advantages immensely. Since the Surface Laptop 4's hardware matches that of what's available in the Dell XPS 13, you'll still be getting top-notch performance. The base model being slightly less pricey is also great for people looking for the most budget-friendly configurations.

If neither of these laptops appeals to you, make sure you check out our list of the best Windows laptops for more options. It's also worth keeping the Dell XPS 13 Plus in mind, as the newest version of Dell's flagship 13-inch device features cutting edge 12th Gen Intel P-series CPUs and a gorgeous new design with an edge-to-edge keyboard and a significantly larger trackpad for hassle-free mousing. It's pricier than both of the laptops discussed in this matchup and the lack of a 3.5mm audio port is disappointing, but it's nevertheless worth considering as an alternative to the Dell XPS 13 and Surface Laptop 4 if you want some of the best possible ultrabook performance money can buy.

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.