The Dell XPS 13 is a fantastic laptop with a durable, intelligent build and a ton of powerful hardware configurations for you to choose from. Nevertheless, the XPS 13 might not be, for whatever reason, your ideal laptop. To help you choose the right device, here are the best alternatives based on price, size, and performance.
HP Spectre 13t
HP’s refreshed Spectre 13t looks like it costs about a million bucks, but it starts at about $1,300. This price includes a 13.3-inch FHD touch display, though you can up it to 4K for an extra $150. Likewise, you can get up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U processor (CPU), 16GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD). Lots of ports, an IR camera for Windows Hello, and a comfy keyboard and touchpad round things out.
Microsoft Surface Book 2
If your budget allows it, the 13.5-inch configuration of Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 will make a fine alternative to the XPS 13. Starting at about $1,200 for a basic model and hitting about $3,000 near the top, you can get up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U CPU, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, a 1TB PCIe SSD, and a NVIDIA GTX 1050 graphics card (GPU) with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM. All models come with a 3,000 x 2,000 resolution touch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, a battery that lasts through a full day, and a modular design that lets you detach the tablet from the keyboard and touchpad.
LG gram 13Z980
For those who want to keep things thin and light, LG’s gram 13Z980 will no doubt prove appealing. Models start at about $1,070 for an 8th Gen Core i5 CPU, but for about $1,400 you can grab a configuration with an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB PCIe SSD. The 1080p display is touch enabled, an enormous 72Wh battery provides more than a day’s worth of life, and it’s all contained in a chassis weighs just over two pounds and is about a half-inch thick.
Samsung Notebook 9
The Samsung Notebook 9 (starting at about $1,200) comes with a 13.3-inch 1080p display that has near-perfect color and contrast, its 75Wh battery easily lasts through a full day of work, and it has a quad-core 8th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU. Add a speedy 256GB SSD and 8GB of DDR4 RAM and the entire thing still weighs in at just over two pounds. Plenty of ports, including HDMI, USB-A, USB-C, and Thunderbolt 3, make connecting your peripherals easy.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
What do you get when you mix ThinkPad proven durability and security features with powerful hardware, and place it all into a carbon-fiber chassis that weighs less than it should? Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon (starting at about $1,777) might just be one of the finest laptops on the market right now, weighing just 2.49 pounds (1.13kg) with a thickness of about 0.62 inches (15.95mm). Get inside up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8650U vPro CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD, plus choose from multiple display options up to a 14-inch HDR WQHD (2,560 x 1,440) with 500 nits of brightness. Add a ton of ports and great battery life, and you have one fine business option.
ASUS ZenBook UX330UA
The 13.3-inch ASUS ZenBook is a lower-cost option (about $750) than the XPS 13, coming at you with an 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U CPU, 1080p display, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SATA SSD. It has a fingerprint reader for quick logins with Windows Hello, it has an aluminum unibody design, and the entire device weighs in at just 2.6 pounds. Add that up with a comfortable keyboard and plenty of ports, and you get a laptop that can serve a number of purposes without breaking the bank.
Huawei MateBook X Pro
Huawei has really stepped up its game when it comes to laptops; the MateBook X Pro is one of the finest devices out there right now, and it starts at about $1,200. It has almost no bezel at all around the 13.9-inch touch display with 3,000 x 2,000 resolution, the rest of it is extremely thin at just 0.57 inches (14.47mm), and it has a battery that will get you through a day of work. Inside, get up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, a 512GB PCIe SSD, and a NVDIA MX150 dedicated GPU for some extra graphics power. Not only is this one fine to look at, it also has the hardware to tackle a decent workload.
Updated June 7, 2018: I’ve refreshed this article with a new collection of laptops that make great alternatives to the XPS 13.