It’s time for a new laptop and you’re trying to decide between Dell XPS 13 vs Microsoft Surface Laptop 4. Which one should you get?
The two laptops are quite similar on paper, but they have some key differences that will affect your decision-making process. If you want the best of both worlds then the answer is not straightforward, so let’s explore what each laptop has to offer!
About Dell XPS 13
Dell XPS 13 is a thin and light laptop with a premium build quality. Dell XPS 13 comes in different colors, but the white-gold version stands out to me as it looks very elegant!
– Good price for what you get. One of the cheapest laptops in this tier with these specifications.
– Dell XPS 13 has a great battery life if you buy one without a touchscreen (about 11 hours). Touchscreen models have about half that time (~five hours) which can be problematic when using your device at work or during road trips!
– The screen isn’t bright enough to use outdoors on sunny days – better suited for indoor usage. Also not ideal for watching movies with friends because colors are washed out and dull compared to other laptops in the same price range.
– The webcam is located below the screen, which means its quality isn’t great and also that it won’t be pointing towards you when making a video call! You’ll have to angle yourself correctly so your friend can see both of your faces at once.
About Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is a sleek laptop with an extremely powerful processor and great battery life. It’s also lighter than Dell XPS 13, which is always nice!
– The display has more vibrant colors (similar to Apple Macbooks). This means it looks better for movies or photos that are rich in color – good if you enjoy media streaming while on the go.
– Solid build quality since it’s made of aluminum alloy. You don’t have to worry about dents unless something heavy falls onto this device from above! Also feels sturdier when carrying around compared to other lightweight laptops like Dell XPS 13.
– Expensive compared to most budget devices but still within the affordable range depending on your budget limitations. The price difference can be particularly steep depending on the model you choose since there are many options that increase the price.
– The webcam is still below the screen, which means it’s angled towards your feet instead of your face if sitting at a regular desk with this device (unless you have extremely short legs and sit close to your laptop)! It might take some getting used to for people who make video calls often – the good news is that most modern smartphones these days now include front-facing cameras so no need to use laptops!
>>> Check also our comparison between Surface Laptop vs Surface Book
Dell XPS 13 vs Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
|Dell XPS 13||Microsoft Surface Laptop 4|
|Display||13.4-inch FHD+ 1920×1080, 13.4-inch UHD 3840×2400, 13.4-inch OLED 3456×2160||13.5-inch IPS 2256 x 1504|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU||Intel Core i7-1185G7 CPU|
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe||Intel Iris Xe|
|RAM||8GB, 16GB||8GB, 16GB, 32GB|
|Storage||256GB SSD, 512GB SSD||256GB SSD, 512GB SSD, 1TB SSD|
|Ports||2 Thunderbolt 4, audio jack, microSD||USB 3.1 Type-A, USB 3.1 Type-C, audio jack, Surface Connect|
|Weight||2.8 pounds||2.8 pounds|
|Size||11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches||12.1 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches|
Configurations and value
The Dell XPS 13 is priced at $949. It comes with an Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD. Our review unit cost $1,649 and included Intel Iris Xe Graphics and an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD.
It can be ordered at $1,249 and comes with an Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SATA drive. An additional $400 will allow you to upgrade the display from 1080p to 4K, or 3456 x 2160-pixel OLED.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is priced at $999. It comes with the AMD Ryzen 5 4680U processor, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD. Our review unit cost $1,699 and came with Intel Iris Xe Graphics. It had an Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD. You can also upgrade to 32GB RAM and a 1TB SSD for $700 more.
Frost White exterior of the XPS 13 evokes a chilly feeling. This is heightened by its aluminum chassis, which has been anodized. It feels cool and smooth to the touch.
The keyboard deck is made of an Arctic White glass fiber weave, which offers stain and fades resistance. The XPS 13’s lid can be opened thanks to its twin-coil hinge easily. The InfinityEdge four-sided display makes it almost unbezel-free.
We reviewed the Surface Laptop 4, which was similar but darker and had an arctic tint Microsoft called Ice Blue. The keyboard deck is made up of Alcantara fabric, which is stain-resistant and smooth. If you don’t like the feature, you can choose from either the Sandstone or Matte Black color options to get an all-aluminum chassis. The thick bezels on the Surface Laptop 4 are distracting and ugly.
The XPS 13 (11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inch) and Surface Laptop 4 (12.1 x 8 x 0.6 inch) weigh 2.8 pounds each, though the former laptop is larger and taller.
>>> Check out Surface Laptop 3 Vs Surface Book 2 – Which Is Better?
Buyers looking to buy a new Windows 10 (and soon Windows 11) laptop need to consider the Intel vs AMD Ryzen processor differences. They should also look at the display differences between the Dell XPS 13 and the Surface Laptop 4. Only the new XPS 13 has vibrant OLED display technology, and that’s only on the 13.4-inch screen.
The second difference is that the Surface Laptop 4 can be offered in either 13.5 inches or 15-inch display sizes. Additionally, these models have touch screens. Not all XPS 13 options offer touch screens.
There are four display options available for the new XPS 13 laptop. The OLED XPS 13 is the top-of-the-line model with 3,456 x 2160 and a touch screen. There’s also an even higher-resolution model that has 3,840 x 2,400 pixels and an LCD touchscreen. The new XPS 13 is also available with a 1920 x 1200 display.
This screen can be either touch- or non-touch. The Surface Laptop 4 uses Microsoft’s PixelSense display technology, which is not available with OLED. However, it is vivid and vibrant. It is in the middle of the XPS 13 options for resolution with 2,256 x 1.504 for the 13.5-inch model and 2,496 x 1.664 for the 15-inch model.
The Dell XPS 13 is also a winner in terms of brightness. Dell reports that the laptop can achieve 500 nits. Microsoft does not disclose the brightness of the Surface Laptop 4 display. However, it is reported to average around 350 nits.
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Processor and RAM
The Surface Laptop 4 can be configured using processors from AMD and Intel CPUs. This is a significant difference from the XPS 13. The AMD processor options available on the Surface Laptop 4 are not part of AMD’s Ryzen 5000 CPU lineup.
The Surface Laptop 4 features AMD Ryzen 4000 processors. The Surface Book 4 AMD model is 15 inches in size and comes with the Ryzen 7 4980U. However, the Surface Book 4 AMD model can currently be configured with Ryzen 5 4680U.
The processors used in the Intel-powered Surface Laptop 4 models are from the 11th generation Intel Core i chips. There are two sizes available: the Intel Core i7-1185G7 and the Core i5-1135G7 models that measure 13.5 inches.
The new Dell XPS 13 comes with 11th-gen Intel Core processors. There are four options: Intel Core i3-1115G4, Core i5-1135G7, Core i7-1165G7, or Core i7-1185G7. The processors for the highest-end Intel CPU configurations in the XPS 13 or Surface Book 4 are identical, so performance should be comparable.
Based on benchmarks, the XPS 13 has a speed advantage over the AMD-powered Surface Laptop 4 models. Geekbench 5 scores on the Core i5-1135G7 or Ryzen 5 4600U show the Core winning both single-core and multi-core tests. According to Geekbench 5, the performance advantage should be most evident on multicore, more demanding tasks.
Both provide additional performance with up to 32 GB RAM. You can also choose between 8GB and 16GB RAM configurations.
Thunderbolt 4 ports are available on the left and right sides of the XPS 13. It lacks ports beyond this. There is only an audio jack and microSD card slot on each side. Although the laptop comes with a USB C-to-USB A adapter, many users will find it difficult to use.
Surface Laptop 4 lacks in ports as well. It has a USB Type-A port, an USB C port with Thunderbolt support, and an audio jack on its left. To the right is a Surface Connect port for magnetic charging and docking.
The battery life of Intel’s Tiger Lake processors has been dramatically improved, especially with the XPS 13 laptop and Surface Laptop 4. Both laptops were tested under the Laptop Mag Battery Test. They lasted for longer than the premium laptop average of 10 hours and 19 minutes. The XPS 13 ran at 11:07 before it shut down, while the Surface Laptop 4 took 10:46.
As mentioned earlier, choosing the AMD-powered model of Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 4 will give you a price advantage over buying the Intel models. The 13.5-inches Surface Laptop 4 AMD starts at $999.99. This price includes the AMD Ryzen 5 processor and 8GB RAM. Dell’s newest XPS 13 (with Intel Core i3) starts at $949, which is $50 less.
The starting price for the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 4 (Core i5) is $1,299.99. It’s worth noting, however, that you get twice the storage at 512GB.
The 15-inch Surface Laptop 4 with AMD is also available at the same price. The model is priced at $1,299.99 and includes the AMD Ryzen7 processor and 256GB storage. This Laptop with Intel 15-inch starts at $1,799.99. This consists of a Core i7 processor and 512 GB of storage.
The XPS 13’s $949 price includes the FHD+ touchscreen. The XPS 13 will cost $100 more with the FHD+ touchscreen and $400 more if you choose the 4K display. Currently, Dell lists the OLED model at $1,649.99. However, that price includes 16 GB RAM, 512 GB storage, and the Core i7 chip.
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The Dell XPS 13 is overall the better choice between the two devices because it offers 4K, better port selection, and more storage. The Surface Laptop 4 is a great laptop and we recommend it if your needs include the best possible battery life, superior multi-core performance, or a tablet with a large screen.
When comparing prices, keep in mind that some models might come loaded with extra features while others may lack certain essentials.
Eyal Ephrat serves as the co-founder and CEO of medCPU.com, where technology is making significant strides in the field of medicine. Through his experience in purchasing PC and laptop equipment and various other tech products, Eyal Ephrat contributes valuable insights to medCPU’s mission.