A 2-in-1 laptop offers a degree of flexibility you just don’t get when the screen doesn’t fold around. Whether it’s for work or pleasure, there’s real value in a convertible notebook that you can also use like a tablet.
Dell’s premium XPS line now also has 2-in-1s to consider alongside the more traditional Ultrabooks. Both the XPS 13 and XPS 15 have 2-in-1 alter egos, so which of them is the one to buy? Read on.
Dell XPS 13 vs Dell XPS 15
The 2-in-1 laptops aren’t the only versions of the XPS 13 and XPS 15 worth considering. There are, of course, “normal” Ultrabooks available in both sizes.
If you’re curious to see how those fare against each other, our buyer’s guide should help.
XPS 13 2-in-1 vs. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 tech specs
Let’s start by comparing the hardware.
|Category||Dell XPS 15 2-in-1||XPS 13 2-in-1|
|Processor||8th Gen Intel Core i5-8305G
8th Gen Intel Core i7-8705G
|7th-gen Intel Core i5-7Y54
7th-gen Intel Core i7-7Y75
|RAM||8GB/16GB DDR4-2400MHz||4GB DDR3
|Graphics||AMD Radeon RX Vega M (4GB)||Integrated Intel HD 615|
|Storage||256GB/512GB/1TB PCIe SSD||128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB PCIe SSD|
|Display size||15.6 inches (touch)||13.3 inches|
|Display resolution||1,920 x 1,080 (FHD)
3,840 x 2,160 (4K UHD)
|1,920 x 1,080 FHD
3,200 x 1,800 QHD+
IR camera for Windows Hello
|Biometrics||Fingerprint reader (optional)
|Pen||Dell Premium Active Pen (not included)||Dell Premium Active Pen (not included)|
|Ports||Two Thunderbolt 3
Two USB-C 3.1
|One USB-C Thunderbolt 3
One USB-C 3.1
One microSD card reader
3.5mm audio jack
|Battery||Six-cell 75Wh||Four-cell 46WHr|
|Dimensions||13.9 in x 9.2 in x 0.36-0.63 in
(354 mm x 235 mm x 9-16 mm)
|11.98 in x 7.81 in x 0.32-0.54 in
(304 mm x 199 mm x 8-13.7 mm)
|Weight||Starts at 4.36 pounds (2 kg)||Starting at 2.7 lbs (1.24 kg)|
|Price||Starting at $1,299||Starting at $1,199|
The story is very similar to the regular XPS 13 and XPS 15. The larger laptop has more powerful internals. The XPS 13 2-in-1 is using 7th Gen Intel Core i Y series processors, while the XPS 15 is onto the full-fat 8th Gen quad-core processors.
The XPS 15 2-in-1 makes use of Intel’s new partnership with AMD, so not only are you getting a quad-core Intel processor, you also get Radeon M graphics, which will perform better than Intel’s integrated GPU on the XPS 13 2-in-1.
There are plenty of similarities, including support for the optional Dell Active Pen, both have high resolution touch displays, and plenty of connectivity. The story really is that if you prioritize portability, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is the one to go for. If you need the most powerful version, you go for the XPS 15 2-in-1.
XPS 13 2-in-1 vs. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 size
Size for these notebooks is simply not as big a deal as with other laptop makers, but it is still worth consideration. The XPS 13 is incredibly small for a 13-inch notebook, with Dell having squeezed it into a form factor smaller than the display size would have you believe.
The XPS 15 is also smaller, lighter, and slimmer than the average 15-incher, even in this 2-in-1 form factor.
The XPS 13 in particular is great to throw in a bag if you’re a frequent traveller. It’s so compact that it takes up very little room, will fit in any laptop bag, and is light enough you’ll barely know it’s there. Just dont forget the pen
XPS 13 2-in-1 vs. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 price
There’s only $100 difference between the two at the entry level, and here the XPS 15 2-in-1 is the better value proposition. You’ll be getting a better performer with newer, faster processors and RAM, much better graphics, and a bigger battery.
At the high-end with 4K displays on each, the price gap is a little wider and the XPS 15 2-in-1 will go all the way up to $2,200. The XPS 13 2-in-1 currently tops out at $1,850.
XPS 13 2-in-1 vs. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 bottom line
Until the XPS 13 2-in-1 gets an update with 8th Gen Intel processors, the XPS 15 2-in-1 is the more impressive of the two. Given the reasonable price differences between the two at each configuration, if your budget allows and you’re OK with the larger size, then it’s the one to go for.
The Intel and AMD collaboration means it’s a solid performer all around, and while it’s no gaming machine, there’s certainly more graphics power than you’ll find on any of the XPS 13 2-in-1 variants.
That said, if you travel frequently or plan to use your 2-in-1 as a tablet a lot, there’s a strong case for the XPS 13 2-in-1. It’s more portable and the smaller form factor is more enjoyable to use with the display folded right back around.