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Apple MacBook Pro (M1) Vs. Dell XPS 13

The CRN Test Center compares the M1-powered MacBook Pro with the new XPS 13, offering 11th-gen Intel processors and an OLED display option.

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In the competition for 2021’s best laptop, Apple’s MacBook Pro with M1 vs Dell’s new XPS 13 is one of the key matchups. Both notebooks are generally excellent with every new update, but the latest MacBook Pro has a secret weapon: the addition of Apple’s high-performance M1 processor. While only the 13-inch MacBook Pro is available with the M1 for now, the chip still offers big performance gains over Intel processors, according to recent benchmarks. Meanwhile, Dell’s XPS 13 for 2021 also features some major upgrades including a vibrant and colorful OLED display option and 11th-generation Intel Core processors (which are no slouch on speed, either). Other updates on the new MacBook Pro and XPS 13 include enhancements to battery life and collaboration features. Which of the laptops is the best fit for you? What follows is our comparison of Apple’s new MacBook Pro (M1) vs Dell’s XPS 13 on price and specs.


Other than looking at the M1 vs Intel processor comparison, potential buyers will want to take note of the differences on display options with the MacBook Pro and XPS 13. The two biggest distinctions are that only the XPS 13 offers an option for an OLED display and for a touch screen. Like all Apple notebooks to date, the MacBook Pro with M1 does not offer a touch screen and only offers LCD display technology. However, Apple compensates to a large degree by offering the MacBook Pro with the company’s much-loved Retina display technology.

The notebooks’ displays are similar on size but not identical, with the MacBook Pro display measuring 13.3 inches and the XPS 13 just a bit larger at 13.4 inches. Both displays offer high brightness of 500 nits. In terms of resolution, the XPS 13 has several choices to offer. The OLED XPS 13 features resolution of 3.5K (3,456 x 2,160), while there’s also an even higher-res model with UHD+ resolution (3,840 x 2,400) on the included LCD touch screen. The new XPS 13 can also be configured with an FHD+ (1,920 x 1,200) display, available as a touch or non-touch screen. The MacBook Pro with M1 falls in the middle of the XPS 13 options, with its display resolution of 2,560 x 1,600.

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