Dell XPS 13 Plus
HP Specter x360 13 (2021)
Both of these laptops represent the best of what Ultrabook laptops can be, but ultimately, we feel that the Dell XPS 13 Plus will be the better device for the majority of users. Even though it doesn’t have a USB-A port and replaces standard function keys with capacitive touch buttons that will likely be finicky to use, it has stronger specs, better options for memory and storage, twice as many speakers, and a superior webcam design. Don’t overlook the HP Specter x360 13, though, especially if you prefer 2-in-1 laptops to traditional clamshell ones.
XPS 13 Plus vs. XPS 13 Plus. Specter x360 13: Design and specs
Source: Windows Central The Dell XPS 13 Plus.
In terms of specs, the Dell XPS 13 Plus wipes the floor with the HP Specter x360 13. Its 12th Gen Intel P-series CPUs are significantly more powerful than the 11th Gen chips available with the Specter x360 13, and you can also outfit the device with up to 32GB of DDR5 memory and up to a 2TB SSD. The Specter x360 13, by comparison, caps you at 16GB of less-performant DDR4 memory and just 1TB of SSD space. The two laptops have comparably gorgeous 13-inch displays, but Dell wins again in the connectivity category thanks to the latest-and-greatest Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.
|Dell XPS 13 Plus||HP Specter x360 13|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-1240P
Intel Core i7-1260P
Intel Core i7-1270P
Intel Core i7-1280P
|Intel Core i5-1135G7
Intel Core i7-1165G7
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe Graphics||Intel Iris Xe Graphics|
16:10 aspect ratio
16:9 aspect ratio
|Ports||2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4||2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4
|Audio||4x stereo speakers||2x stereo speakers|
|Front camera||720p RGB camera
720p IR camera (Windows Hello)
|720p RGB/IR camera (Windows Hello) with physical kill switch|
|Biometrics||Fingerprint reader||Fingerprint reader|
|Connectivity||Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6E AX211 (2×2)
|Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (2×2)
|Battery||55WHr (10+ hours expected)||60WHr (10 hours)|
|Weight||2.73 pounds (1.24kg)||2.8 pounds (1.27kg)|
|Price||Unknown||Starts at $1,330|
The matchup is more competitive from a design standpoint, but we still feel that Dell has the edge here as well. The gem-cut design of the Specter x360 13 is unique and attractive, but the XPS 13 Plus’ wide keyboard, large keycaps, and giant haptic trackpad will no doubt lead to a stellar typing experience (its capacitive touch buttons probably won’t be as reliable as standard function keys, though). It also features two more speakers and dual webcam layout that separates RGB from IR, leading to a cleaner and sharper image compared to the 2-in-1 webcam found on the Specter (the Specter’s physical webcam kill switch is useful for security).
With that said, the Specter x360 13’s convertible nature gives it an edge in terms of flexibility, as being able to transform your laptop into a tablet is useful for mobile use. The Specter x360 13 also comes with a USB-A port as well as dual Thunderbolt 4, while the Dell XPS 13 Plus only comes with two Thunderbolt 4 ports. For people who have a lot of peripheral accessories, this will no doubt be useful. HP also includes a digital pen with each Specter x360 13 device, meaning you won’t need to spend extra on a stylus.
XPS 13 Plus vs. XPS 13 Plus. Specter x360 13: Which is better?
Source: Windows Central / Daniel Rubino The HP Specter x360 13.
At the end of the day, we feel that the winner in this matchup is clear. Between its more powerful CPU options, faster RAM, higher maximums for RAM and storage, and its superior audio and webcam layout, the Dell XPS 13 Plus simply outclasses HP’s 13-inch Ultrabook in almost every way. There’s no doubt in our minds that now that it’s widely available, the Dell XPS 13 Plus will quickly rise to become one of the best Windows laptops on the market.
Even so, the HP Specter x360 is still a great device that we wholeheartedly recommend if you’re looking for a 2-in-1 device or if you consider having traditional function keys important. Its specs aren’t as good as the XPS 13 Plus, but they’re still great, and features like a USB-A port, the physical webcam kill switch, and an included digital pen will likely appeal to many.
Dell XPS 13 Plus
The new king?
In most respects, the Dell XPS 13 Plus is simply a better laptop than the latest model of the HP Specter x360 13. 12th Gen CPUs, more memory and storage, twice as many speakers, and a better webcam design make it easy to recommend the Dell XPS 13 Plus over HP’s 13-inch convertible, but the Specter does have better ports, traditional function keys, and an included digital pen.
HP Specter x360 13 2-in-1 Laptop
A gem-cut beauty
Though the HP Specter x360 13 is largely outclassed by the Dell XPS 13 Plus, it’s still a great device with dependable specs and a display that can go toe-to-toe with Dell’s own. The convertible nature of the device adds flexibility, and the included HP digital pen is a nice touch as well. It even features traditional function keys and a USB-A port that the XPS 13 Plus doesn’t have, but unfortunately it has fewer speakers and a worse webcam layout.
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