MacBook Air (2020) vs. Dell XPS 13(2020): Which Ultra-Thin Laptop Wins?

MacBook Air vs. Dell XPS 13 The Dell XPS 13 and the MacBook Air are a few of the most iconic laptops ever designed. Taking them at face worth, it is perhaps a tough resolution to make between the 2. Prefer the ultra-slim bezels of the XPS 13 or the hard-as-a-rock construct high quality of the MacBook Air?

But there’s extra to those two laptops than what might be seen on the floor. Here’s how these two laptops stack up in a face to face.

Macbook Air Vs. Dell Xps 13


Both laptops boast 13.3-inch shows and equally compact designs this yr. Apple continues to make use of a unibody aluminum building on the Air this yr, whereas the XPS 13 differentiates with an aluminum lid and carbon fiber palm relaxation. The Air’s 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61-inch dimensions are inside vary of the XPS 13’s 11.98 x 7.88 x 0.6-inch measurements, however at 2.7 kilos, the XPS is barely lighter than the two.75-pound Air.

The 2019 XPS 13 is available in silver or rose gold and “frost” exterior, whereas the Air is obtainable in gold, silver, or house grey. It additionally options an easy-to-open high lid due to a brand new “variable torque hinge.”

Despite sharing the identical display screen measurement, there are notable variations between Apple’s and Dell’s edge-to-edge glass shows. The MacBook Air ships with a non-touch Retina show with 2,560 x 1,600 pixels, giving it a a lot greater 227 PPI (pixels per inch) ranking to the XPS 13’s 166 PPI. The XPS 13 begins with a non-touch 1080p show that may be upgraded to a contact display screen.

You may also soar as much as the 4K touchscreen choice. Additionally, the XPS 13’s 16:9 facet ratio makes it extra suited to movies, although we choose the marginally taller 16:10 facet ratio on the Air. Note that Dell has introduced a brand new XPS 13 for 2020 that additionally enjoys the 16:10 facet ratio, and we’ll replace this comparability once we’ve had an opportunity to assessment the brand new model past a quick hands-on demo.

Comparing the 4K version of the 2019 XPS 13 to the Air, we discovered the XPS has higher distinction and brightness, however they’re practically equal in colour gamut and accuracy. The Air’s display screen grabs the “Retina display” identify, however takes a significant step back from the display screen on the MacBook Pro, slipping behind on issues like brightness, distinction, and black ranges.

If you’re a laptop for productiveness, the XPS 13’s keyboard offers it a giant profit. With the 2018 MacBook Air, Apple additionally redesigned the keyboard with its third-generation design with butterfly key switches. The result’s you’ll discover a shallower key journey on the Air in comparison with the XPS 13 and most different keyboards available on the market.

To preserve its minimalist silhouette, Apple restricted connectivity on the Air to only two Thunderbolt Three over USB-C ports for energy, knowledge switch, connecting peripherals, and dealing with show output, together with a single headphone jack. The XPS 13 provides an analogous number of two Thunderbolt Three USB-C ports and an ordinary USB-C port, however throws in an SD card slot for good measure.


Both the Air and the XPS 13 have been up to date with new processors in 2019. The XPS 13 was just lately moved as much as 10th-gen Comet Late chips, which now supply a configuration as much as six cores. Needless to say, that’s one quick little machine, basically redefining the efficiency you will get out of such a small laptop. Those additional cores make it a sooner machine for duties like images or video enhancing.

The MacBook Air, alternatively, nonetheless makes use of an Intel eighth-generation, Y-series, dual-core processor. It’s lots quick for basic productiveness, nevertheless, it has its limits in multitasking and in functions that require extra threads.

At their base ranges, they each solely have two cores, which makes them roughly comparable when it comes to multi-threaded efficiency, however the XPS 13 ought to come out on high typically.

Apple’s MacBook Air might be configured with both 8GB or 16GB of reminiscence, and storage ranges from a 128GB solid-state drive as much as 1TB. Dell provides related RAM configurations, however the SSD can go all the best way as much as 2TB.  Neither laptop comes with discrete graphics, as each the XPS and Air depend on Intel’s built-in GPU.

Both laptops can be utilized for 720p HD video calls, although FaceTime stays an unique expertise to Apple {hardware}. To eliminate the awkward video angles which have plagued the XPS 13, Dell moved the webcam back up to its top bezel within the 2019 model of the laptop. It’s the thinnest webcam ever used on a Dell laptop and is available in at 2.25mm in measurement.

To deal with audio, the XPS 13 and Air each function stereo audio system, although the MacBook’s are much better. The audio system are positioned on the edges of the XPS 13, whereas Apple makes use of an upward-firing design with audio system positioned on both aspect of the keyboard.


Apple’s MacBook Air has lengthy set the usual relating to all-day efficiency. Apple claimed that the Air can final for 12 hours of wi-fi net searching or as much as 13 hours of iTunes film playback, however we discovered that Air solely lasted for round eight hours in our net searching check. With the brand new XPS 13, we reviewed the model with the battery-hogging 4K show. It solely lasted us 6.7 hours when net searching, and 7 hours when looping a video. That stated, we suggest the configuration with the usual 1080p panel, the place you’ll be able to anticipate it high what you get on the MacBook Air.

If you do must take both laptop on the go, each are pretty cellular. The latest variations of the XPS 13 and the MacBook Air are each light-weight, with the XPS weighing in at 2.7 kilos and the Air a fraction heavier at 2.75 kilos, making them simple to hold round one-handed or throw in a bag.

The XPS 13 is barely thinner on the largest a part of its wedge form, whereas the smallest a part of the MacBook Air’s wedge is thinner than the XPS 13’s.

To shield your knowledge, each laptops depend on biometric safety. Fingerprint-based Touch ID is commonplace on all MacBook Air configurations, whereas a Windows Hello fingerprint scanner is an non-compulsory function on choose XPS 13 configurations. Both laptops help enhanced workflow when paired with a smartphone. iPhone customers will profit from higher hand-off and integration with MacOS on the Air, whereas the XPS 13’s downloadable Dell Mobile Connect app will give related advantages to Windows 10 customers who additionally carry an iOS or Android smartphone.

The XPS 13 provides more bang for the buck

Ultimately, the choice to go along with an XPS 13 or a MacBook Air boils right down to your funding in both the Windows 10 or MacOS ecosystem. If you’re an current MacOS or iPhone person, upgrading to the MacBook Air could also be a pure resolution — you received’t must re-purchase your Mac apps and Apple’s Continuity function permits a seamless workflow between the Air and your iOS smartphone.

But for those who’re in search of worth, the XPS 13 delivers extra efficiency in your cash. Despite the MacBook Air’s $100 value minimize in 2019, the XPS 13 stays the higher choice, particularly within the greater configurations when extra cores might be added.

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  1. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

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