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Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 vs. HP Spectre x360: Which 2-in-1 Laptop Wins?

The new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has taken the throne and ascended as the new king of 2-in-1 laptops, but how does it compare to our other favorite 2-in-1 laptop, the HP Spectre x360?

The XPS 13 has the advantage in size, but it makes some compromises in areas that the Spectre x360 stands out in, including keyboard height and ports.

Here’s how these two premium 2-in-1 laptops stack up.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 vs. HP Spectre x360: Specs compared

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1HP Spectre x360
Starting Price (as configured)$979 ($1,597)$1,349
ColorsPlatinum Silver/Arctic WhiteDark Ash Silver/Copper Brass
Display13.4 inches, 1920 x 1200, 16:1013.3 inches, 1920 x 1080, 16:9
CPUIntel Core i7-1065G7Intel Core i7-8565U
RAM16GB8GB
SSD512GB SSD256GB SSD
GraphicsIntel Iris Plus GraphicsIntel UHD 620 Graphics
PortsTwo Thunderbolt 3, headphone jack, microSD card slotTwo Thunderbolt 3, headphone jack, microSD card slot, one USB Type-A
Size11.7 x 8.2 x 0.3~0.5 inches12.2 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches
Weight2.9 pounds2.8 pounds

Design

Both the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 and the HP Spectre x360 are as premium as their price points suggest and as elegant as laptops should be. The XPS 13 sports a simple but sleek Platinum Silver design over its aluminum hood. However, the Spectre x360’s Dark Ash Silver aluminum lid with Copper Luxe accents knocks out the XPS 13.

While the Spectre x360's interior matches its exterior, the XPS 13 blasts you with a storm of Arctic White paint over a woven glass-fiber interior once you open it up. Both laptops look super impressive, but the bezels on the XPS 13 are incredibly slim compared to the thick stacks attached to the Spectre x360.

At 2.9 pounds and 11.7 x 8.2 x 0.3~0.5 inches, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has a smaller footprint compared to the HP Spectre x360, which comes in at 2.8 pounds and 12.2 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches.

While the Spectre x360’s base color looks nicer, everything else about the XPS 13 screams victory.

Winner: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

Buy the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

Ports

Both systems are relatively scant on ports, offering two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a headphone jack and a microSD card slot.

However, the Spectre x360 offers one additional port on top of that: a USB 3.1 Type-A port.

Winner: HP Spectre x360

Buy the HP Spectre x360

Display

Even glancing at the specs, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is at a clear advantage, boasting a 16:10 aspect ratio on a 13.4-inch 1920 x 1200 display. The HP Spectre x360 sports a typical 16:9 ratio on a 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 screen.

However, the Spectre x360 wins on color, covering 150% of the sRGB color gamut, while the XPS 13 2-in-1 falls behind at 113%. The XPS 13 does make a comeback with its brightness, nailing a luminous 516 nits over the Spectre x360’s average of 287 nits.

And despite being more colorful than the XPS 13, the Spectre x360’s colors aren’t as accurate, with a Delta-E of 5.34. The XPS 13’s Delta-E is 0.23 (lower is better).

Winner: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

MORE: Best Dell and Alienware Laptops

Keyboard and touchpad

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 and HP Spectre x360 both have gorgeous looking keyboards, but being pretty isn’t enough. The XPS 13’s key travel is incredibly low and almost MacBook-esque, while the Spectre x360’s keys are punchy and provide excellent tactile feedback.

My lovely colleague Phillip Tracy did the 10fastfingers.com typing test on both machines, and he scored 130 words per minute with the XPS 13, speeding past his 120 wpm score on the Spectre x360. However, for long term typing, we don't find the XPS 13 as comfortable as the Spectre x360.

The Spectre x360's 4.7 x 2.3-inch touchpad covers a similar real-estate as the XPS 13’s 4.4 x 2.6-inch touchpad, albeit in a different shape. However, the XPS 13’s touchpad has the advantage, as it is the only one that uses Windows Precision drivers.

Winner: HP Spectre x360

MORE: Best HP Laptops

Performance and graphics

While the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 boasts the latest Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor and 16GB of RAM, the Spectre x360 rocks an older Core i7-8565U CPU with 8GB of RAM. This puts the Spectre x360 at a slight disadvantage.

On the Geekbench 4.3 overall performance benchmark, the XPS 13 2-in-1 scored 19,225, dominating Spectre x360’s 14,935.

On our HandBrake test, the XPS 13 transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in 16 minutes. The Spectre x360 completed the test at a much slower 22:30.

Dell's 512GB SSD copied 4.97GB of data in just 11 seconds, translating to 463 megabytes per second. That's well ahead of the Spectre x360’s 256GB SSD (391 MBps).

With an Intel 620 UHD GPU, the Spectre x360 hit 56 frames per second on the Dirt 3 benchmark (Medium, 1080p), which beats the Intel Iris Plus GPU inside the XPS 13 (47 fps).

Winner: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

Battery life

Both of these systems kick ass on battery life, but there can be only one winner. On the Laptop Mag battery test, the HP Spectre x360 survived 12 hours and 7 minutes. It outlasted the XPS 13’s time, which died after 10:57.

Winner: HP Spectre x360

MORE: Best 2-in-1 Laptops: Best Tablet Laptops - Laptop Mag

Value and configurations

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 starts cheaper and ends on much pricier thanks to its multiple configurations, while the HP Spectre x360 has limited options.

The base model for the XPS 13 costs $979 and comes with an Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, a 1920 x 1200 display and a Black interior. Meanwhile, the base model for the Spectre x360 (the one we tested) costs $1,349 and is outfitted with a Core i7-8565U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 1080p display.

The XPS 13 2-in-1 that we tested costs $1,597 and is outfitted with an Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, a 1920 x 1200 display and an Arctic White interior. Bumping up the Spectre x360 will cost you $1,449 which comes with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD as well as a Sure View version of its display.

Cranking the XPS 13 to max will net you the same CPU in our unit, but upgrade to a 1TB SSD, 32GB of RAM and a 3840 x 2400 display all for $2,579. The Spectre x360 caps out at $1,549 and upgrades to a 4K display.

Winner: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

Bottom line

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 and the HP Spectre x360 are so neck and neck that it’s hard to choose which one to get even after looking at the scores. But overall, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 takes the crown.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1HP Spectre x360
Design (10)108
Ports (10)67
Display (15)1413
Keyboard/Touchpad (15)1113
Performance (20)1716
Battery Life (20)1819
Value and Configs (10)65
Overall (100)8281

The HP Spectre x360 is still an excellent laptop, delivering awesome battery life, a good keyboard and a decent number of ports.

But the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has the slight edge, especially in design, performance and its display.

Credit: Laptop Mag

As soon as Rami Tabari sprung out of the College of Staten Island, he hit the ground running as a Staff Writer for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline in Tom’s Guide, taking on the latest Souls-like challenge.