The New Dell XPS 13 Is Like The MacBook, But Better

Apple has done a nice job with the design of its 12-inch MacBook, but the horsepower and keyboard quality is sub-par.

Dell's new XPS 13, however, can both challenge the MacBook on style and far surpass it on speed and typing experience.

At the CRN Test Center, we rank the new XPS 13 among the best-looking laptops we've tried out to date.

Our tryout model features a rose gold exterior and newly added "alpine white" interior made from woven glass fiber. It's distinctive from anything Apple has right now.

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There are other design changes too. Dell has shrunk the bezel around the display even further from the previous model. The result is that the new XPS 13 feels even more futuristic, with the display now almost inseparable from the rest of the world. And while Apple brags that the MacBook measures just half an inch thick, the new XPS 13 is even a bit thinner.

The 13-inch display is super-bright and colorful and has a 4K touchscreen option.

The keyboard is amazingly comfortable to use thanks in part to its deep keys – an impressive feat for a laptop that's so thin.

Then there's the horsepower. A speedy eighth-gen Intel Core i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM made our tryout model a breeze to use while multitasking.

There are two drawbacks to mention. Dell has followed Apple's example and eliminated traditional ports in favor of USB-C, which could be a pain for some users. Also, the webcam is in a better spot than it used to be on the XPS 13, but it's still under the display. The angle continues not to be very flattering.

Neither of those issues is severe enough to stop us from highly recommending the new XPS 13.

The bottom line: We've found Dell's new XPS 13 to be a powerful machine for productivity, combined with one of the most user-friendly designs available. We're huge fans.