Head-To-Head: HP Spectre 13 Vs. Dell XPS 13

Business Can Be Stylish

For those in the market for a premium laptop for work -- one that's got both performance and top marks in the style department -- there are two Windows machines out there that should probably be at the top of the list for consideration. Those are the recently refreshed versions of the HP Spectre 13 and Dell XPS 13.

To get a sense of which one might be the best fit, we've compared the specs and prices of HP's newest Spectre 13 laptop and Dell's newest XPS 13 laptop.

Here's a look at what the CRN Test Center found when stacking up the two devices.

Also, be sure to check out more of the CRN Test Center's side-by-side comparisons of the latest smartphones, tablets, and 2-in-1s.

Size And Design

Super-thin and light (0.4 of an inch and 2.45 pounds), the Spectre 13 also has a luxury design that makes it stand out from other devices. That's thanks to the involvement of a jewelry designer, Jess Hannah, along with esteemed industrial product designer Tord Boontje.

The XPS 13, meanwhile, still has an appealing look with its aluminum body and carbon fiber palm rest. There's also a pricier gold design version available. The XPS 13 is thicker than the Spectre, at 0.6 inches, with its non-touch version weighing in at 2.7 pounds and its touch version at 2.9 pounds.


The display sizes of the Spectre 13 and XPS 13 are identical at 13.3 inches. In the case of the Spectre, it's a full high-definition display (1,920 by 1,080). The XPS 13, meanwhile, has two variations. One is non-touch, with an identical resolution to the Spectre 13. Pricier versions come with a 3,200-by-1,800 touch display.

Processor And Battery Life

The Spectre 13 doesn't sacrifice horsepower in order to look good, though, with Intel Core i5 or i7 processors available. Comparable configurations are available for the XPS 13 -- with Core i3, i5 or i7 processors offered.

Touch screens tend to drain the battery, so the non-touch version of the XPS 13 is most likely the best bet if battery life is a top concern -- though both versions of the XPS 13 promise "up to" 15 hours of battery life. The Spectre 13, meanwhile, does not have such lofty expectations for itself with just 9 hours of battery life promised -- no doubt a trade-off for the fact that it's so thin.

Memory And Storage

HP's Spectre 13 comes with 8 GB of memory and two possible configurations for storage -- 256 GB or 512 GB of SSD.

The XPS 13 offers a few more options. Possible configurations come with 4 GB of memory at the lowest end, non-touch version, and 8 GB of memory for a higher-end non-touch version and the touch version. At the highest-end, a touch version can be configured with 16 GB of memory.

The XPS 13 can also be configured with 128 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB of SSD.


HP's Spectre 13 has a starting price of $1,169 for a machine loaded with 8 GB of memory, the Intel Core i5 processor and 256 GB of storage. Configuring the laptop with the i7 processor adds $80 and configuring with 512 GB of storage adds $250 to that price. The laptop also comes configured with Windows 10 Home as the standard, with Windows 10 Pro adding an additional $70 to the price.

Dell's XPS 13 also has a number of price options to consider because of the various configurations -- with options lower, comparable to and higher than the Spectre 13. The non-touch version of the XPS 13 -- with 4 GB of memory, 128 GB of storage and Intel's Core i3 processor -- starts at $799.99. A non-touch version with double that memory and an i5 processor goes for $999.99.

Meanwhile, for the touch version, the XPS 13 runs at $1,499.99 (Core i5 processor, 8 GB of memory, 256 GB of storage); $1,699.99 (Core i7 processor, 8 GB of memory, 256 GB of storage); and $2,129.99 (Core i7, 16 GB of memory, 512 GB of storage). If you want the gold design, Dell offers a version with the i7, 8 GB of memory and 256 GB of storage for $1,749.99.

All versions of the XPS 13 come loaded with Windows 10 Home.