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MacBook Air M2 VS Dell XPS 13 Plus: Which one is best for you

Hi everyone, in this article we will show you a detailed comparison between Dell XPS 13 Plus and MacBook Air M2 laptops. Apple’s latest MacBook Pro features an 8-core M2 chip with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores, a 10-core GPU, and a 13.6-inch LED-backlit display with a native resolution of 2560 x 1664 pixels. The Dell XPS 13 9320 is equipped with an Intel Core i7-1260P Alder Lake processor, which has 4 performance cores and 8 efficient cores and runs at 1.5 GHz to 4.7 GHz. The notebook features a 13.4-inch display with a native resolution of 3840 x 2400, so let’s get started without further delay.

Let’s find out which of the two notebooks will prevail as the best notebook of 2022. Let’s assume both laptops, Dell XPS 13 Plus VS MacBook Air M2, come from the tech giants’ brands. In this case, both are slim 13-inch ultraportable with large screens, great speakers and, most interestingly, exactly the same cost; so it can be quite difficult to choose one over the other. M2 MacBook Air is the news for obvious reasons. Basically, it’s a big question whether to choose Windows 11 or macOS Ventura, as both are versatile operating systems accompanied by powerful laptops. We can help you choose one based on other features that will help you make a perfect choice that suits your needs.

Dell XPS 13 Plus vs. MacBook Air M2

Design

The Dell XPS 13 Plus is a radical departure in some respects from the design of the venerable XPS 13, which we’ve long considered one of the best 13-inch notebooks you can buy. Most noticeable is the abandonment of the function bar in favor of a set of capacitive buttons that can be switched between function keys and shortcut keys, similar to the controversial MacBook Pro Touch Bar. It’s a nice feature, but in our time with the XPS 13 Plus, we weren’t a big fan of this change because the keys don’t provide feedback when you press them and look a little cheaper than the rest of the laptop.

We were more excited about the new glass touchpad, which blends seamlessly into the keyboard deck and is remarkably easy to use because you can’t look down and see the edges. When closed, the XPS 13 Plus is a sleek, ultraportable device that’s even slightly lighter than the XPS 13, measuring 11.63 x 7.84 x 0.6 inches and weighing 2.71 pounds – or 2.77 pounds if you opt for the OLED model (based on our comparison of changes to the Dell XPS 13 Plus and XPS 13).

This means that if you don’t opt for the OLED model, the XPS 13 Plus is actually slightly lighter than the MacBook Air M2, which weighs 2.7 pounds and measures 11.97 x 8.46 x 0.44 inches. However, the Air is thinner here, if only by a few millimeters. It’s a real engineering marvel, as Apple has managed to make the MacBook Air M2 about 20% smaller than its predecessor while slightly increasing the screen size.

Performance

Both the MacBook Air and Dell XPS 13 are equipped with brand-new processors for 2022, as expected, but from what we know so far, Apple probably still has the lead. Since the MacBook Air isn’t on the market yet, we don’t have any numbers to compare the performance of the two models in benchmarks, but we do have Apple’s official comparisons, and they suggest that the MacBook Air will come out ahead in key areas.

First of all, there is the CPU performance. The Dell XPS 13 is equipped with Intel’s 12th generation processors, specifically the U9 series. This means that they are 9-watt processors, but since they have a configurable TDP, Dell continuously increases it to 12 watts for better performance. The processors have 10 cores and 12 threads. Apple’s M2 chip is an 8-core processor, but Apple does not compare it directly to Intel’s U9 series, but to the U15 series, which has a higher TDP of 15 W and thus better performance. But even in this comparison, Apple is ahead.

Keyboard and trackpad

These two devices have some of the best keyboards and trackpads you can buy for a notebook. There are also many similarities in these input pairs. Both feature a 1mm key travel on the keyboard and touch trackpads. However, there are two things to keep in mind when looking at the layout of these keyboards. First, the MacBook Air has a full-size row of function keys, rather than the half-size keys of the M1 MacBook Air. This makes quick access to brightness or volume controls easier than ever.

The Dell XPS 13 Plus goes the opposite route and replaces the function keys with capacitive touch keys. While they don’t bother me as much as we thought, we still prefer physical switches. Illuminated keys definitely look futuristic. Finally, we really like the size of the keycaps on the XPS 13 Plus. The “edge-to-edge” design means that keys like the Shift and Ctrl keys are very wide.

Display

The Dell XPS 13 Plus comes standard with a 13.4-inch WUXGA display (1,920 x 1,200 resolution). Based on our testing of previous XPS 13 displays, it’s probably a good panel, but we can’t say for sure how it compares to the Air M2’s display since our review unit came with the 3.5K OLED touchscreen upgrade. Still, the OLED upgrade might be worth it if you can afford the roughly $300 extra cost, because it makes everything you do with the notebook look better.

OLED panels tend to have brighter colors, darker colors, and better contrast than LED or LCD panels, and in our testing, we found that the 3.5K OLED touchscreen on the XPS 13 Plus reproduced colors very well. Specifically, it displayed 118.9% of the sRGB color space (100% is most accurate; a higher value usually means more saturated, vibrant colors) and 84.2% of the more demanding DCI-P3 color space. A Delta E color accuracy of 0.21 was also registered (0 is perfect).

These values are slightly better than what the MacBook Air M2 was able to deliver in our tests. Still, it’s a great display, achieving 107% of the sRGB color space and 75.9% of the DCI-P3 color space with an identical Delta-E value of 0.2. The MacBook Air M2 is also a bit brighter than the XPS 13 Plus, achieving an average brightness of 489 nits. Dell’s ultraportable looks a bit dull in comparison and achieved an average brightness of 366 nits in our lab test.

Ports

It may surprise you, but the MacBook Air actually has more ports than the Dell XPS 13 for 2022. The Dell notebook only has two Thunderbolt 4 ports and comes with a few adapters so you can use a USB Type-A accessory or 3.5mm audio. Yes, even the headphone jack is gone.

The MacBook Air, on the other hand, has two Thunderbolt ports, a MagSafe 3 charging port, and keeps the headphone jack. Not only does it keep it, but it even supports high-impedance headphones through the headphone jack, making it even more useful for audiophiles or audio production in general.

Battery life

Dell’s XPS notebooks barely lasted longer than 8 hours in our internal battery test, while the MacBook Air M2 lasted over 14 hours and 6 minutes in the battery test. Patently Apple, an Apple-centric blog, recently reported that Dell has published a patent that suggests the company is exploring reverse wireless charging technology. So, the battery life is twice as long as that of the XPS 13 Plus OLED; therefore, the Apple MacBook Air M2 is preferably a good choice.

Final Words

When choosing between these two portable devices, most people opt for the operating system that is most convenient for them. Either way, you get an excellent, high-quality notebook. As much as we like the bold design of the XPS 13 Plus, if you really want to compare them, the MacBook Air M2 is clearly the best notebook.

It’s faster, lasts much longer on a charge, and offers a much better video and media conferencing experience. Interestingly, the price of the two laptops is also similar, depending on the configuration. We hope you enjoyed our article about the Dell XPS 13 Plus vs MacBook Air M2, and if so, please share it with others.

I hope you understand this article, MacBook Air M2 VS Dell XPS 13 Plus: Which one is best for you.

Lucas Simonds
At Bollyinside, Lucas Simonds serves in the role of Senior Editor. He finds entertainment in anything and everything related to technology, from laptops to smartphones and everything in between. His favorite hobby may be collecting headphones of all shapes and sizes, even if he keeps them all in the same drawer.

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