If you’re in the market for the best lightweight laptop to get you through your daily tasks on the go, you’re very likely to look at the Apple MacBook Air and Dell XPS 13.
Both constantly contend for the title of best laptop year after year, and with Black Friday deals rolling out now, these two will be some of the most sought-after items for the next few weeks.
A lot of buyers will consider these two laptops and wonder which one is right for their needs and budget, but considering that there are some really significant differences between them, it can be easy to change.
Fortunately, we’ve reviewed both the Apple MacBook Air (2022) and Dell XPS 13 (2022) in the past few months, so we’ve got plenty of thoughts on the pros and cons of each to help you find the right laptop for you this Black Friday.
MacBook Air vs. XPS 13: Price
If we were comparing the M1 MacBook Air to the XPS 13, it would be a much tougher battle, but with the recent price increase over the 2022 MacBook Air, the edge matches the Dell XPS 13 here.
Starting at just $899 / £854 / AU$1,898, the Dell XPS 13 is very competitively priced against the M1 MacBook Air, which sells for essentially the same price. Despite this, the M2 MacBook Air starts at $1,199 / £1,249 / AU$1,899, so unless you live in the cool Down Under, the Dell XPS 13 will be easier on your budget.
However, there are plenty of sales on the M1 MacBook Air for much less than the XPS 13, and M1 MacBooks are still some of the best MacBooks ever. If you can find a MacBook Air with M1 for less than the XPS 13, that changes things up quite a bit.
It’s not guaranteed, and all we can really do is MSRP, so once again the edge goes to the XPS 13 here.
MacBook Air and XPS 13: Design
When it comes to the XPS 13 vs. the MacBook Air, you’re really comparing two of the most well-designed laptops on Earth, so this is a very difficult decision to make. No matter what suits you, you’ll look stylish wherever you use it, so don’t worry too much on that aspect.
Both have sleek, clean lines and slim edges. They both have simple appeal and have some similar colors, which are silver and dark purple, although the MacBook Air 2022 features Twilight and Space Gray color options. If you’re looking for a Rose Gold-esque color option, Apple has the advantage here, otherwise, they’re pretty much the same.
In terms of weight and physical appearance, the two laptops are pretty much identical. You’re getting more or less the same ports (two USB Type-C ports) and the same low-profile keyboards.
By the way, this is not accidental. The only advantage Apple has here is that it’s the creator of this style of ultra-thin laptop that was deliberately built to compete with the Dell XPS 13, and there’s no question that the XPS is the best Ultrabook on the market in this regard.
Ultimately, if you want the original, go to Apple. If you want the best Windows laptop to replicate the feel of the Apple MacBook Air, the Dell XPS 13 is that laptop.
MacBook Air vs. XPS 13: Performance
When it comes to performance, the main difference between the XPS 13 and the MacBook Air really comes down to two things: battery life and visual quality.
Let’s start by saying that the difference between the two when it comes to day-to-day performance in everyday tasks like video streaming, web browsing, and productivity work will be mostly indistinguishable.
Where things really differ is in battery life, with the MacBook Air getting several hours longer than the XPS 13. Although both laptops run on some kind of processor based on an oversized architecture (the only thing you need to know is that these types of The processors are more energy efficient), the Apple M1 chip is simply a more efficient chip than the Intel Alder Lake chips in the Dell XPS 13.
If you want a little more wiggle room in terms of what specs to get, the XPS 13 at least gives you a choice between Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors, while the M1 chip is pretty much what it is.
Display is also another major factor. The Dell XPS 13’s display is a 1920 x 1200-pixel screen, which can’t hold a candle to the MacBook Air’s 2560 x 1664-pixel Liquid Retina display. Both are nice, but the Retina display is much nicer than anything you’ll find on the XPS 13.
- winner: Apple MacBook Air
MacBook Air vs XPS 13: Which Should You Buy?
The first thing to consider when looking at the MacBook Air vs. the XPS 13 is whether you need a Windows laptop or a MacBook. Some programs won’t work on one type of laptop or another, though many of the biggest apps are available on both types, so it shouldn’t be a problem for most people.
If it doesn’t matter in that regard, the two most important things to consider are performance and price. The Dell XPS 13 is cheaper, so if price is your biggest concern, go for the XPS 13. You won’t be disappointed with the performance you get for the price.
If you need the best performance and are willing to pay a premium, the MacBook Air is undoubtedly a better performer than the XPS 13, especially when it comes to battery life and visual fidelity.
Other than that, you’ll get roughly the same levels of day-to-day performance out of both laptops, so if you want Apple’s magic, well, you don’t have to part with much for some extra cash. If you can’t swing the MacBook Air’s higher price tag, the Dell XPS 13 is an undeniably sexy machine that packs an impressive amount of performance inside.
Either way, you won’t be disappointed.