HP Spectre x360 vs Dell XPS 13: Which is The Better Laptop in 2021 and Why

Picking the best between the HP Spectre x360 and the Dell XPS 13 is quite a tough task owing to their many similarities, but depending on the desired user intentions, you can easily pick out the perfect one for you. 

These are two of the latest high-end laptops from their respective brands. Let’s have a look at what they’ve got in common and how they differ.

HP Spectre X360 VS Dell XPS 13: The Differences

Size

The HP Spectre x360 is slightly bigger than the Dell XPS 13 in size at 12.4 inches (31 cm) length, 8 inches (20 cm) width, and 0.7 inches (19 mm) thick against the Dell XPS 13’s own measurements at 11.9 inches (30 cm), 7.8 inches (20 cm) and 0.6 inches (15 mm).

Weight

The HP Spectre x360 weighs 3.5 pounds (1.58 kg), slightly heavier than the Dell XPS 13, which weighs 2.8 pounds (1.27kg).

Alternatively, you can put it this way; The HP weighs in at 2.85 lbs and is 0.5″ thick, while the Dell is surprisingly light at only 2.6 lbs and is 0.46″ thick.

Display

The Dell XPS 13 offers a full HD touchscreen touch display while the Spectre x360 offers a 4K touchscreen.

While they both have touchscreens, the HP Spectre x360 has a higher resolution screen at 1080p Full HD display with 3,840×2,160 pixel resolution and 267ppi pixel density against the dell XPS 13’s lower-resolution display of 2,400×1,600 pixels Full HD screen at 177ppi pixel density with 10-point multitouch support over the dell XPS’s touchscreen.

Both screens have 16:9 aspect ratios so, on that front, they are very similar to each other.

Although these two screens are very similar, I would recommend the Dell XPS 13 because it offers a full HD screen for a lower price. 

Battery life

Both laptops have about 90 WHr of battery power which is more than enough for most users since our daily habits don’t often require much more than 6 hours of battery life.

You will get about the same performance with both laptops so their benchmarks will be very similar.

However, on a closer look, the Dell XPS 13 with a 3-cell lithium-ion battery has 90% of the capacity remaining after an hour of on-time, while the HP Spectre x360 gets a slightly shorter run at 6 hours.

The XPS 13’s battery lasts 15 minutes more than the Spectre x360: 720 minutes vs 690 minutes [NOTE: 720 minutes = 14 hours].

You can also charge these through their respective chargers or through wireless charging, or by connecting to a power source for longer battery life.

OS support

HP Spectre X360 Windows 10 Home 64-bit and Windows 10 Pro 64-bit come with Windows 10 Home (64-bit) preinstalled.

Dell XPS 13 2017 comes with Windows 10 Home 64-bit, Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, Ubuntu Linux 15.04, and Ubuntu Linux 16.04 preinstalled.

It also has a fingerprint reader compatible with Windows Hello for faster login to your device.

Ports and Slots

The HP has thunderbolt 3 ports on both sides which allow you to connect multiple displays or a full-size monitor; the XPS 13 only has USB Type C ports on one side so you can only connect displays with one port, or you must buy an adapter for other ports like VGA or HDMI.

Both laptops have USB Type C ports. The Spectre x360 has two USB 3.1 gen 1 (5 Gbps) ports while the XPS 13 has one of them which is slower (USB 2.0) but it supports video-out.

The Dell has a full-size HDMI 2.0 port and a mini DisplayPort, this way you can connect an external monitor to the laptop if the screen is too small for you or you want to use 4K touchscreens like those on Microsoft Surface.

The HP Spectre x360 only has a Mini DisplayPort and a proprietary charging port, so you will need an adapter if you want to use HDMI or other video ports.

Other than that, both laptops have various ports and connections including USB 3 and USB 2.0 ports, an SD card slot, HDMI port, DisplayPort, and Wi-Fi AC to easily connect it to other devices like peripherals and projectors.

Keyboard

A distinguishing feature of the Dell is its keyboard which has an island-style key layout and larger keys; this allows users to type easily without touching the screen so if you are looking for an ultrabook then I would opt for the Dell XPS 13.

On the other hand, the keyboard on the HP Spectre x360 has a chiclet-style layout with smaller keys; it is, therefore, somewhat harder to type on it.

Both laptops come with a fingerprint scanner that you can use for an easier log-in experience without the need for a password.

Both laptops have very comfortable keyboards with only a few exceptions: the HP Spectre x360 has a slightly smaller keyboard so it is a bit more cramped than the Dell XPS 13.

However, all of the keys are well-sized and responsive so words are easy to type on both machines.

Another keyboard difference is that the Dell XPS 13’s keys are backlit; although the Spectre x360 does not have backlit keys, the lighting looks very tasteful rather than garish like on many other laptops.

Dell XPS 13’s backlit keyboard is aluminum while the Spectre x360 uses a glass touchpad.

Graphics Chips and Processors

The Dell XPS 13 offers 128GB to 256GB solid-state drives while the Spectre x360 offers a 512 GB SSD.

Both of these laptops pass MILSTD 810G tests so they can withstand high levels of pressure, temperature, and shocks.

Both laptops use Intel HD integrated graphics processors. The Dell XPS 13 has an Intel HD 630 graphics chip, while the Spectre x360 has an Intel HD 520 graphics chip.

The Dell XPS 13 offers more RAM (8GB vs 4GB) and has a slightly faster processor (i7-7500U) so I would recommend the Dell if you need more computer power to perform heavy tasks like video or image editing.

However, they will have similar performance when it comes to daily tasks like web browsing, word processing, and movie watching.

Cost

The Dell XPS 13 starts at $799.99, while the HP Spectre x360 starts at $899.99.

Which one should you purchase? 

If you want the highest performance laptop then I would recommend the Dell XPS 13 as long as you are okay with its slower processor and 4GB of RAM.

If you don’t want to spend more money and want a lot of computing power but don’t need a touchscreen, then I would choose the Spectre x360.

However, if you are looking for a budget laptop that is lightweight, thin, and portable I would opt for the Dell XPS 13. It is well-built and very sturdy so it will last a long time.

Common Features

Both laptops have a long battery life that lasts more than six hours on a single charge, an Intel Core i7 processor with 8GB of memory, 4K screens (although the Dell has better contrast), USB Type C ports on both sides, and good audio speakers for movies or music playback. Let’s delve into more details on their similarities:

Performance and speed

Both laptops are made for intensive tasks. The HP Spectre x360 has an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U processor with a turbo up to 4GHz, while the Dell XPS 13 also provides an 8th Generation dual-core Intel Core i5 (8th Gen) 3200HQ processor that can go up to 3.1GHz on Turbo Boost mode combined with 128GB SSD storage and 12GB of DDR4 memory for processing needs. This is the fastest processor on the market right now.

Thin and light

Both laptops are considered thin and light, with an 0.7-inch thick HP Spectre and a 0.6-inch Dell XPS 13 laptop.

However, the XPS 13 is lighter, at 2.8 pounds (1.27kg). The HP Spectre x360 weighs 3.5 pounds (1.58kg).

Touchscreens

They both have touchscreens too for smoother navigation and easy interaction with your devices with fingers instead of a mouse or trackpad.

Display

The HP Spectre x360 features an 8-inch display with 3,840×2,160 pixel resolution (267ppi pixel density), 10-point multitouch support, and a touchpad with gestures.

The Dell XPS 13 has a 12.5 inches display with 2,400 x 1,600 pixels resolution (177ppi pixel density), 10-point multitouch support, and a touchpad with gestures.

RAM and storage:

The Dell XPS 13 has 16GB DDR4 memory and 1TB HDD storage for all your data needs. For the HP Spectre x360, you have 16GB of RAM and 256GB SSD storage for storing files and data easily.

The Dell XPS 13 also has a MicroSD slot that allows you to add additional storage up to 2TB.

Battery life

The Dell XPS 13 sports a 3-cell lithium-ion battery with 90% of the capacity remaining after an hour of on-time, while the HP Spectre x360 gets a slightly shorter run at 6 hours.

You can also charge these through their respective chargers or through wireless charging, or by connecting to a power source for longer battery life.

OS support

HP Spectre X360 Windows 10 Home 64-bit and Windows 10 Pro 64-bit come with Windows 10 Home (64-bit) preinstalled.

Dell XPS 13 2017 comes with Windows 10 Home 64-bit, Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, Ubuntu Linux 15.04, and Ubuntu Linux 16.04 preinstalled.

It also has a fingerprint reader compatible with Windows Hello for faster login to your device.

Portability:

You can carry both laptops on the go as they are portable enough to be moved around without hassle.

The HP Spectre x360 can be easily stored in tablet mode when not in use by folding down the screen and protect it with a cover when it is stored or transported around and you can even use the keyboard completely detached for an easier typing experience.

The Dell XPS 13 can be stored in either tablet or laptop modes and is also compatible with the Dell Active Stylus for an easier touch experience.

Both laptops can also be charged on the go as they have the ability to charge wirelessly through their respective chargers or if provided by a wired connection.

Convertible Laptops

Both the HP Spectre x360 and Dell XPS 13  are convertible laptops. They can be used in tent or tablet modes. The screen can be rotated at 360 degrees.

This allows you to watch videos in landscape mode and also enables the use of the keyboard in tablet mode to perform some tasks such as web browsing.

However, these devices are not able to withstand a few accidental falls as they are not tested convertible laptops.

Stylus

Both laptops are compatible with a stylus for an easier navigation experience via the touch screen.

Connectors

They also have modern-day connectors like a power port, headphone jack, and SD card slot that you can use to enhance your media experience on it.

Components

Both laptops are equipped with 2-megapixel front-facing cameras and 1-megapixel rear-facing cameras.

They also have Bluetooth 4.1, two USB 3.0 ports, one USB Type-C port, and an audio jack to use headphones or speakers with ease as well as WLAN or wireless LAN 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac for connecting to your local network and the internet without hassle.

Final Verdict

The Dell XPS 13 is our favorite budget laptop choice with a sleek design, powerful processor, and stunning display.

The HP Spectre x360 doesn’t come with as many powerful specifications for a laptop in this price range. However, it is still one of the best laptops in its class.

It comes with an amazing design and touchscreen display along with an ample storage capacity of 256GB SSD hard drive and 16GB RAM to store all your data on or just browse the web, stream movies or play games efficiently.

Its lightweight size also makes it easier for you to carry around and use it at home or in school without hassle.

So, which one speaks to you between the two? You now have the insights on both. Make an informed decision.

Written By Callum Wright

With a background as a business owner for a company wokring with 3D animation and Visual Effects, Callum is just the person you need when you need help regarding laptops for professional use like graphics designing, photo editing, and general business administration.