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Dell XPS 13 (2018) vs XPS 15 (2-in-1): Which new Dell laptop is best?

Dell’s just unveiled its latest line of XPS laptops and convertibles. But with so many sizes and configurations on offer, knowing which is right for you is tricky. Here to help, we’ve broken down the key differences between Dell’s latest flagship XPS 13 laptop and XPS 15 2-in-1 convertible.

Outside of size, the biggest difference between the two devices is the fact that the XPS 13 is a traditional laptop, albeit a very pretty one, while the XPS 15 2-in-1 is a large laptop-tablet hybrid more akin to the Surface Book  2 or one of Lenovo’s top-end Yoga laptops.

As a result, both have a very different focus. The XPS 13 is aimed at traditional office workers, prosumers and hardware fanatics looking for a compact but powerful laptop.
The XPS 15 2-in-1 features a touchscreen, a pen, and an innovative maglev keyboard that can be folded behind the screen to turn the whole thing into a tablet form. The convertible design makes it far more focused at creatives and gamers looking for an all-in-one device that can be used for everything from design work to AAA 1080p gaming.

Related: CES 2018

Dell XPS 13 vs XPS 15 – Specs and performance

The difference in focus is showcased by the two devices’ differing specifications. Both have identical storage and memory options to last year’s models. Specifically you’ll be able to get the two with either 8GB of 16GB of DRAM. Storage options on both start a 128GB of SATA SSD and top out with a 1TB PCIe SSD option.

The key difference between the two stems from their differing CPUs and graphics. The regular XPS 13 is available with either an Intel Core i5-8250U running at up to 3.4GHz or an Core i7-8550U clocked at up to 4.0GHz. Both use Intel’s own integrated graphics. The XPS 15 2-in-1 will run using one of Intel’s newer 8th Gen Intel Core processors with discrete AMD Radeon RX Vega M graphics.

Specifically you’ll be able to pick it up with either a Core i5-8305G processor with Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics or a Core i7-8705G processor with Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics. According to Intel and AMD, whichever version you get the use of Vega should make 15 a cut above the 13 when it comes to performance. Until we know the exact CPU and graphics used in the 15 we can’t sensibly say how much more powerful it’ll be. But when Intel unveiled the chips at the start of January it made some pretty impressive boasts and showed the RX Vega M GL chip playing AAA titles at 40fps-plus framerates in 1080p.

The improved graphics architecture is also a key reason the 2-in-1 is so thin, measuring in at just 16mm thick. That makes it only slightly chunkier than the top-specced XPS 13, which measures in at 11.6mm thin.

The new HP Spectre x360 is the only other laptop confirmed to run using the new AMD Vega-powered chips.

Related: Best Intel processor

Dell XPS 13 vs XPS 15 – Screen

Both feature Dell’s iconic near-bezel-free InfinityEdge display tech and be available with FHD and 4K resoluteness options. The only difference will be that XPS 13 features a smaller 13.3-inch screen and has a non-touch option. The 15 will only have touchscreen options and uses a larger 15.6-inch panel .

Related: Best laptops for students

Dell XPS 13 vs XPS 15 – Software

Both versions will be available with Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro options. The 13 is also being offered with Ubuntu 16.04. Dell hasn’t confirmed if the XPS 15 2-in-1 will also feature a Linux option.

Related: Best laptops

Dell XPS 13 vs XPS 15 – Price and release date

The new XPS 13 is on sale now, with pricing starting at £1139 on Dell hasn’t disclosed the price and release date of the XPS 15 2-in-1, and until we see a full spec sheet we can’t sensibly guess a ballpark figure.

Which laptop is right for you?

Until we have more details about the XPS 15 2-in-1 we can’t say how it fully compares to the 13. But given the different size and graphics, the XPS 15 2-in-1 will likely be a better fit for designers and power users than the regular XPS 13.

Buy the new Dell XPS 13 (2018) from

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