Microsoft Surface Pro 8 vs. Dell XPS 13: Which should you buy?

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

Overall, the Dell XPS 13 will be the better choice for most people due to the fact that it's more affordable across the board and doesn't require purchasing the keyboard separately. With that said, the Surface Pro 8 is a phenomenal device that goes toe-to-toe with the Dell XPS 13's specs, and also offers additional flexibility thanks to its convertible nature and slightly better battery life.

Dell XPS 13 vs. Surface Pro 8: Clamshell or convertible?

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

In several ways, the Dell XPS 13 and the Surface Pro 8 are very similar. Both devices feature near-identical CPU and GPU specs, and both also have tons of options for lots of RAM and storage (the Dell XPS 13 has an additional option for a 2TB SSD as well as a microSD slot). Both also have fantastic displays; the Dell XPS 13 even has a 4K variant available, though the Surface Pro 8 has the edge in terms of refresh rate as its display is 120Hz. The devices both also support Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, though the Surface Pro 8 can also be configured with LTE connectivity if you want internet connectivity on the go and don't mind the increased cost or the impact on battery life.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Dell XPS 13Surface Pro 8
CPUIntel i3-1115G4Intel i5-1135G7i7-1185G7Intel i3-1115G4Intel i5-1135G7Intel i5-1145G7Intel i7-1185G7
GPUIntel UHD GraphicsIntel Xe GraphicsIntel Iris GraphicsIntel Xe Graphics
Display13.4-inch FHD+ 1920x1200 60Hz InfinityEdge non-touch anti-glare display (500 nits)13.4-inch FHD+ 1920x1200 60Hz InfinityEdge touch anti-glare display (500 nits)13.4-inch OLED 3.5K 3456x2160 60Hz InfinityEdge touch anti-reflective display (400 nits)13.4-inch UHD 4K 3840x2400 60Hz InfinityEdge touch anti-reflective display (500 nits)13-inch 2880x1920 (267 PPI) 120Hz PixelSense Flow touch display
BiometricsWindows Hello-compatible cameraWindows Hello-compatible camera
Ports2x Thunderbolt 41x microSD card slot1x 3.5mm headphone/mic combo2x Thunderbolt 41x Surface Connect1x 3.5mm headphone/mic combo
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6Bluetooth 5.0Wi-Fi 6Bluetooth 5.0LTE (optional)
Battery10-14 hoursUp to 16 hours
Dimensions0.58 x 11.64 x 7.82 inches11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches
WeightUp to 2.8 pounds1.96 pounds
PriceStarts at $1,000Starts at $1,100

The primary things that separate the Dell XPS 13 and the Surface Pro 8 are pricing and form factor. Every single configuration of the Dell XPS 13 is more affordable than their Surface Pro 8 equivalent, which makes the XPS 13 more affordable and accessible overall — especially since the Surface Pro 8's Type Cover keyboard is sold separately. That being said, the convertible design of the Pro 8 does make it more flexible, and its Type Cover even comes with a handy slot for charging and storing a Surface Slim Pen 2.

Dell XPS 13 vs. Surface Pro 8: Which should you buy?

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

While both the Dell XPS 13 and Surface Pro 8 are fantastic, we ultimately feel that the Dell XPS 13 will be better for most people since it delivers the same top-notch performance as the Surface Pro 8 for a lower cost. There's also an option for a 4K display, a 2TB SSD, and a slot for additional microSD storage that you can take advantage of.

If you want the versatility of a convertible, slightly better battery life, LTE connectivity, or a 120Hz display, the Surface Pro 8 is a superb alternative. It may be more expensive than the Dell XPS 13, but it's one of the best Microsoft Surface PCs yet, and we definitely recommend getting it if its advantages appeal to you.

For more high-quality options to consider, don't miss our roundup of the best Windows laptops available.

Brendan Lowry

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.