Dell XPS 13 vs 15: Which is a better choice in 2021?

Dell laptops deservedly rank among the best in the market. They offer great hardware performances, are aesthetically pleasing, and are very light and portable. With that in mind, if you’re considering purchasing a Dell laptop, make sure to read our entire detailed article. On this comprehensive but concise page, we’ll directly compare Dell XPS 13 vs 15 to see which one is the better choice in 2021.

Dell XPS 13 vs Dell XPS 15

The two Dell laptop models share a long list of similarities. The XPS 13 and the XPS 15 are suitable for multimedia and business use, although the latter also supports gaming activities. Both pack quite a powerful punch and offer excellent battery support.

That said, there are a few significant differences you should be aware of when choosing between the XPS 13 and the XPS 15. The XPS 13 is the ultimate travel laptop. It’s very portable, lightweight, and surprisingly sturdy.

On the other hand, coming in at more significant dimensions, the XPS 15 boasts better graphics and comes with a more prominent display. With that in mind, let’s get more into the details to determine more nuanced differences between the two. 

Dell XPS 13 Overview

The Dell XPS 13 laptop series is a high-end consumer-oriented laptop series that aims to offer the perfect balance between performance and portability. All XPS 13 models come with a set of prominent and unique features. They are incredibly lightweight, compact, and made from top-quality materials.

The XPS 13 series has always been a premium laptop line, and Dell puts a lot of effort into improving every new lineup by adding better features. Unfortunately, the price certainly gives this away. Laptops from this series are certainly on the higher end of the price range.

XPS 13 Design

In terms of their visual appearance, the XPS 13 series are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful laptops you can get. XPS 13 laptops feel almost weightless and are surprisingly tiny. At the same time, the design quality is very much noticeable. The sleek aluminum shell and the streamlined interior make these laptops an absolute pleasure to use.

Even though the keyboard is packed in a relatively small space, its smooth and bouncy keys allow for enjoyable use even during extended typing sessions. If you prefer using a touchpad over a mouse, the XPS 13’s come with a reasonably large touchpad compared to most other laptop models. More importantly, the touchpad is very intuitive and responsive.

XPS 13 Performance

While design and portability are the main advantages of the XPS 13 series, these laptops also provide exceptional performance features. You can easily find models from this series that include 32GB or more of RAM. Moreover, all XPS 13 models include SSDs. This makes for excellent performance both when performing highly demanding tasks and transferring large files.

XPS 13 Processors

The XPS 13 series offers a wide variety of options when it comes to processing power. Depending on your budget and performance needs, you can choose between a range of laptops, from Intel Core i3 to Intel Core i7 processors. In other words, you can find an XPS 13 laptop from a little over $800 up to $2000. No matter which specific model you opt for, all XPS 13 models include 11th Gen Intel processors.

XPS 13 Display & Audio

The 1920×1200 InfinityEdge display makes it seem like you’re using a display that’s much larger than 13.4’’. The display offers you as close to a borderless viewing experience as you can get with a 13’’ laptop in 2021. Even though most models in this series don’t come in a 4K display version, the XPS 13 offers exceptional display and a gratifying viewing experience.

The XPS 13’s speakers can offer above-average audio performance for a laptop of its size. That said, if you want a more immersive movie experience or music session, you’ll still need to add a dedicated audio device.

The series comes with a MaxxAudioPro app, which is on by default. It provides you with more powerful sounds and allows you to customize several settings for the best individual experience.

XPS 13 Models

Recommended: Dell XPS 13 9310

It’s safe to say that the latest XPS 13, the Dell XPS 13 9310, is the series’s flagship. Its 13.4’’ FHD+ display supports a resolution of up to 1920×1200. In addition, the screen features an InfinityEdge touch anti-reflective touch display with a 500-nit rating.

The hardware and performance characteristics of this model are arguably even more impressive. Starting with the processing power, it has an 11th generation Intel Core i7 4.8GHz processor. Backing this up is a 16GB 4267MHz RAM stick and a 512GB SSD.

Performance-wise, these features are more than enough for business, multimedia, and demanding online activities. That said, the XPS 13 series might not be the best choice if you’re also a gamer. This is because it comes with an Intel Iris Xe Graphics shared graphics memory, which isn’t powerful enough to support high settings gaming on graphically demanding games.

Other Popular XPS 13 Models

The model we’ve discussed above isn’t the only one currently available. You can choose from a variety of other XPS 13 models. The most notable ones include:

  • XPS 13 2-in-1 – Weighing in at just 2.8 pounds, it features Intel’s new 11th generation 10 nm Tiger Lake processors. This model came out in late 2020 and is an improvement of the 2019 2-in-1 build.
  • XPS 13 9305 – It’s similar to the 9310 model we’ve analyzed in detail. The only significant difference is that this laptop comes with an additional USB-C port and has a narrower keyboard.

Dell XPS 15 Overview

Compared to the XPS 13 series, XPS 15 models have always maintained a higher position in the laptop food chain. This is because they have always been the go-to option for laptop users looking for a portable device with the performance capabilities of an above-average PC.

And, while their price range certainly puts these models out of many people’s price range, XPS 15s offer fantastic value for money. When you cash out for a laptop from this series, you know you’re getting an impeccable display and supercharged performance for all types of activities. So let’s get a closer look at the essential characteristics of the XPS 15 series.

XPS 15 Design

Performance and power aside, laptops from the XPS 15 series are some of the most stylish around. They are made entirely from aluminum, with clean edges and a very flowing design. The design detail of these laptops is impressive, as there’s carbon fiber on the keyboard deck that perfectly blends with the rest of the interior.

Most models weigh around 4.5 pounds, although different models can weigh over six pounds, depending on the features. So from this perspective, XPS 15 laptops are certainly not the lightest laptops you can get. Still, the new XPS 15 versions are lighter, thinner, and sturdier than the previous models. 

XPS 15 Performance

Packed with dedicated graphics cards, the XPS 15 laptop series offers much better performance for demanding 3D rendering, editing programs, and gaming. In particular, when it comes to the latter, gamers can expect smooth 1080p gaming with max settings and even 4K gameplay on certain game titles.

Like XPS 13 models, laptops from these series allow you to pick anywhere from 8GB to 32GB or more RAM. In addition, all XPS 15 laptop models come with SSDs, either in 256GB or 512GB in size.

Laptops from the XPS 15 series, particularly the higher-end ones, are multitasking monstrosities. Yet, no matter how many tasks you try running on them, you can count on them to carry out the job. 

XPS 15 Processors

Speaking of processing power and performance, XPS 15 models offer you an even broader range of options than XPS 13s. This is because you can choose between both 10th and 11th generation Intel processors. 

Low-range XPS 15 processors start with 10th generation Intel i5. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the best processors you can get with these models are 11th generation Intel i9 processors. 

XPS 15 Display & Audio

With a machine that boasts excellent performance features and processing power, it only fits that the display is on par. Displays range from FHD+ non-touch screens to UHD+ displays with touch screen options.

Audio-wise, XPS 15 laptops are the perfect proof that combining top-quality speakers in a laptop chassis is possible. Compared to the previous 2019 version of the XPS 15 series, this one includes better speakers with more powerful bass. In addition, the laptop contains two upward-facing speakers, one on each side of the keyboard. 

XPS 15 Models

Recommended: Dell XPS 15 9500

The latest Dell XPS 15 9500 model is one of the best all-around laptops you can get in 2021. 

It allows you to set the maximum display resolution at 3840×2400 and is equipped with 100% Adobe RGB, making for a stunning 4K+ display. In addition, the laptop features a 10th generation Intel i7 six-core processor.

The laptop’s NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti graphics card comes with 4GB of RAM, placing it in the upper echelon of laptop graphics. The XPS 15 9500 has 16GB of RAM AND A 512GB SSD. Of course, all of these features also add up in terms of weight. This particular XPS 15 model weighs over six pounds. 

Other Popular XPS 15 Models

Although it’s the most popular one, the XPS 15 model we’ve talked about above isn’t the only one in its series. Other XPS 15 models worth your attention include:

  • XPS 15 7590 – Dell introduced the XPS 15 7590 model in 2019 after revamping its naming system. Starting with the 7590, the 7xxx is Dell’s most premium laptop series. It supports 4K Ultra HD, up to 64GB of memory, and 9th Gen Intel Core processors.
  • XPS 15 9510 – The XPS 15 9510 is one of Dell’s latest models and has many upgraded features. This model includes upgraded ports and a touch display with better resolution.

Conclusion

To sum it up, both the XPS 13 and the XPS 15 are top-quality laptops that offer excellent value for your money. Ultimately, choosing one over the other mainly comes down to your needs and preferences.

If you’re looking for a light, portable, but still well-performing laptop, the XPS 13 is a superb option. In contrast, if you need a more powerful laptop and a more prominent display for business or gaming, the XPS 15 is the right choice for you.

About Nathan

Hello! I'm Nate. I work for an internet company during the week, so you'll probably see me on here jabbering about the internet and building websites, which is my main side hobby.

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