We put two of the latest premium laptops on the market head to head to see which comes out on top. Here is our MacBook Pro M1 vs. Dell XPS 13 showdown.
MacBook Pro M1 vs Dell XPS 13 – Pros and Cons
To keep things simple, we’ll start off by weighing up the pros and cons of these two behemoths before we go into more detail. Both the MacBook Pro M1 and the Dell XPS 13 are sitting high in the leaderboards when it comes to the best laptops available right now, but neither is without its flaws (however minor).
MacBook Pro M1 Pros
- Long battery life
- Incredibly fast thanks to the new M1 chip
- Decent retina display
- Fantastic build quality
- Comfortable to use
- Improved webcam
MacBook Pro M1 Cons
- Just two USB-C ports
- 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM leaves you wanting more
- Is not a touch screen
Dell XPS 13 Pros
- Performs brilliantly
- Crisp 4K display
- Infinity Edge bezels with nicely placed webcam
- The ice-white variant is beautiful
Dell XPS 13 Cons
Battery longevity poor in comparison to the MacBook Pro M1
Pricey loaded configurations
No USB-A or HDMI connectivity
Windows hello facial login is not supported
Now let’s compare the specs of these two to see how they stand up to each other.
- Display: The MacBook Pro M1 has a 13.3 inch 2650 x 2600 display, while the Dell XPS 13 has a 13.4 inch 1920 x 100 display.
- CPU: The MacBook Pro M1 has an Apple M1 SoC, whereas the Dell XPS 13 runs on a 2.28GHz Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor.
- RAM: The MacBook Pro M1 comes with either 8GB or 16GB, and the Dell XPS 13 comes with 8GB or 32GB RAM.
- SSD: The MacBook Pro M1 comes with a 265GB SSD as standard, upgradeable to 1TB. The Dell XPS 13 comes with 256GB up to 2TB M.2 PCle NVMe SSD.
- Ports: The MacBook Pro M1 has two Thunderbolt 4 ports and a headphone jack. The Dell XPS 13 has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a microSD card slot and a headset jack.
- Available Colours: The MacBook Pro M1 comes in either silver or space grey. The Dell XPS 13 comes in frost silver, arctic white, platinum silver or black.
- Size: The MacBook Pro M1 is 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches. The Dell XPS 13 is 11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches.
- Weight: The MacBook Pro M1 weighs 3 pounds. The Dell XPS 13 weighs 2.8 pounds.
Here’s where things start to get interesting between the MacBook Pro M1 and the Dell XPS 13.
Both ran smoothly under stress tests and when we had up to forty internet tabs open at once, including sites such as Google Docs, YouTube, and Twitter. You will hard be pressed to put either of these under any real stress (unless you really try).
However, there is one way in which to compare each of these notebooks on a level playing field, and that of course is by taking a look at the Geekbench 5.0 scores.
The MacBook Pro M1 received an overall performance score of 5,882.
The Dell XPS 13 received an overall performance score of 5254.
In other words, the MacBook Pro M1 blew the Dell XPS 13 out of the water.
Another simple test that can be run is the Puget Photoshop test, this is where 21 photoshop tasks are run on a loop three times per run. The MacBook Pro M1 scored 649 in comparison to the Dell XPS 13’s 588.
When it comes to graphics and performance for gaming, the MacBook Pro M1’s integrated 8-core GPU comes out on top again. The closest the Dell XPS 13 would be able to get is with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU.
Intel’s latest integrated graphics chips, the Iris Xe’s, are outclassed by the M1 consistently.
We ran two different games when making our comparison between these two competitors.
The first was Rise of the Tomb Raider at 1080p (highest presets), which achieved 18fps (frames per second) on the MacBook Pro M1, and 12fps on the Dell XPS 13.
The second game we used to test the two was Sid Meier’s Civilization Gathering Storm. The MacBook Pro M1 won this test, too, achieving 29fps, while the Dell XPS 13 reached 16fps.
One thing worth mentioning before we move onto what we deem the winner, is the battery life of both the MacBook Pro M1 and the Dell XPS 13.
Apple had some big claims when it first announced its new M1 chip, and they were not far off. This is due to the high-efficiency cores of the M1 chip.
Not one to fall into the hype, we ran some tests ourselves and found that the battery life lasted sixteen and a half hours while continuously browsing the web at a brightness of 150 nits, as opposed to the rating of 20 hours of playback and seventeen hours of continuous web browsing.
The Dell XPS 13 performed well, with perhaps a slightly more modest time of 11 hours and seven minutes.
The Dell XPS 13 is a fantastic, powerful machine that is far superior to many others in its weight class. The problem is, when put in the shadow of the mighty M1 chip, it is left in the dust.
If it’s not clear already, our personal favorite (and the winner of every test put to it) is the MacBook Pro M1. It is fast, powerful, and an absolute joy to use.
The Dell XPS 13 is also a great machine if you have the option of purchasing one, but it just cannot compete with the behemoth that is the M1.
That’s our MacBook Pro M1 vs Dell XPS 13 ultimate showdown. Which one is best for you? Let us know in the comments below.