New MacBook vs Dell XPS 13 Infinity Display

Apple just announced their new 12″ Macbook and personally I am going to be keeping my Dell XPS 13 “infinity display” laptop. Reasons:

  • Extra screen size for similar footprint
  • Higher resolutions available
  • Speaker quality (Apple might surprise here, but judging by their phones and tablets I do not hold out much hope)
  • SD card reader
  • Better battery life
  • USB ports that can be used even when the laptop is charging
  • Easily upgradeable SSD
  • $500 cheaper (with Dell coupons)

Areas where the Macbook comes out on top:

  • lighter weight
  • 16:10 display aspect ratio is nice
  • smaller
  • can be charged via USB
  • likely has a better trackpad
  • more color options

Display comparison

From, check out the display comparison here:

Manufacturer and model nameYear introducedScreen sizeScreen areaResolutionRatioPPI
7. Dell XPS 13201513.3″75.59 square inches (11.6″x6.5″)3200×180016:9276.05
17. Apple Macbook 2015201512″64.72 square inches (10.2″x6.4″)2304×144016:10226.42

Thickness and weight

Dell XPS 13: 9mm (front) – 15mm (rear) thickness and starting at 2.6 pounds

Macbook 12″: 13mm thick at thickest point, 2 lbs

I can deal with an additional 2mm thickness and 0.6lbs weight if it gets me 15% more screen area, more ports, better battery life and an SD card reader.


I am certain the Macbook is a lovely laptop but for the my genera usage scenarios (coding, remote desktop, photo editing from DSLRs w/SD cards) the extra screen real estate and greater port selection really pushes the XPS 13 to the top for me 🙂 


  • Martin Bergström

    I understand you. If you don’t see being able to easily run OS X as a plus then I guess the choice is easier. I do think the flash drive of the MacBook is significantly faster, though. But sure, there are other things that might be more important such as a built in SD card reader (not that it would matter to me, but you it sure does).

    I’m also curious about the screens. Would be interesting to see them side by side. Because it’s not only ”pixels per inch” that is interesting, it’s color reproduction and other things. And I don’t really see the need for a ”quad HD” screen on a 13″ laptop, but maybe it’s just because I haven’t experienced it. 🙂

    • star-affinity

      Forgot to add that I think the Dell XPS 13 is more comparable to the MacBook Pro 13″ which also just got updated (the new MacBook has a Core M processor and is fanless – seems like focus is on ”weight and slimness” only). The MacBook Pro 13″ weighs and costs a bit more than XPS 13, but then you also get better graphics (Intel Iris 6100), the faster flash drive and the SD card slot you want. Plus the new fancy trackpad. And it runs OS X. 🙂


      • Hi star-affinity,
        Thank you for the good info! I didn’t even realize that the MacBook Pro 13″ had been updated.

        After your summary, and looking it up, I do think that the new Pro 13″ is a very “power user” friendly machine and that it holds up well against (or surpasses) the Dell.

        However, I still like the Dell’s price point and the compact size which makes it a “best of both worlds” option for me.

        I really should add a Pro 13 vs XPS 13 article though, b/c the comparison is much more apples to apples… hehe 😉 I am especially interested in performance and overall dimensions.

    • I like OSX, it is definitely a good OS. I am just too comfortable, and tied to legacy Windows apps, to ever do the full switch. Wen I buy an Apple it seems I just end up remote desktoping into a Windows machine one way or the other, which is a waste of some hardware and money.

      Per your 2nd paragraph, the only one of the screens* I have seen in person is the XPS 13 “low end” screen to be very pleasing. I do not like reflections so the non-glossy finish of the 1920×1080 display is a plus to me.

      *does the MacBook Pro 13″ have the same display panel as its predecessor? if so then I have seen it at Best Buy and thought it very good but still slightly too reflective for my tastes.

      I have not seen the ultra high res display on either the new Macbook or the higher end XPS 13, but I can vouch for the “wow factor” on my wife’s Yoga 2 Pro. The high res screens are pretty snazzy. However, they tend to get in the way of work for me though b/c some apps on Windows are not well optimized and it can make RDC sessions problematic. Apple probably has all that ironed out a bit better on OSX.

      I saw your other comment and the updated MacBook Pro 13″ makes me feel a lot better about Apple’s HW future. That’s a nice machine. I do hope Apple (and every manufacturer on the planet) thins their bezels down b/c I absolutely love the 11.6ish form factor of the XPS 13 with a larger display. I’m typing this on the XPS 13 right now and it just feels like a perfect laptop. 😉

      Take care and please keep in touch!

      PS I will try to take some photos of the XPS 13, Yoga 2 Pro, Yoga 2, Inspiron 11, and an iPad for some size comparisons etc.

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