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Home Gaming We lay out whether the XPS 13 2-in-1 or standard XPS 13...

We lay out whether the XPS 13 2-in-1 or standard XPS 13 is a better buy

Versatile convertible

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (9310)

Stunning Ultrabook

Dell XPS 13 (9310)

Dell XPS 13 9300

Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 offers more versatility thanks to a convertible design, and it’s packing Intel’s 10nm+ 11th Gen Core processors (CPU) and fast RAM for excellent performance. It might not have user-upgradeable hardware, but for many people it will be the go-to pick. Especially if you need active pen support.

From $1,098 at Dell


  • 11th Gen Intel “Tiger Lake” CPUs
  • 16:10 aspect ratio displays
  • Dual Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6
  • Thin and light premium build
  • Supports active pen for inking


  • RAM and SSD not upgradeable
  • Starts at a higher price

The standard XPS 13 is a proven Ultrabook that’s seen a slight hardware update for the 9310 model. It’s not as versatile as the convertible version and doesn’t offer the same inking experience, but it’s still a top pick for those who prefer a standard notebook. It also generally costs a bit less than the convertible alternative.

From $1,000 at Dell


  • 11th Gen Intel “Tiger Lake” CPUs
  • 16:10 display options
  • Premium build that’s thin and light
  • Upgradeable SSD
  • Cheaper starting price


  • No converting to tent, stand, or tablet modes
  • No inking support

The Dell XPS lineup includes laptops that range from 13 to 17 inches in size. If you need something a bit larger that includes the option for a dedicated GPU, have a look at our Dell XPS 15 9500 review. And if you want something that’s truly huge, the Dell XPS 17 9710 might just be the right device for you.

These two XPS 13 laptops are close siblings, and you’re going to get a slim, premium PC in either case. They both have what it takes to make the overall best Windows laptop list. However, there are some significant differences when it comes to hardware and overall design. Let’s take a close look at the tech specs available on each laptop to better understand how they differ.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 vs. XPS 13 tech specs

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (9310) Dell XPS 13 (9310)
Processor 11th Gen Intel
Core i5-1135G7
Core i7-1165G7
11th Gen Intel
Core i3-1115G4
Core i5-1135G7
Core i7-1165G7
Core i7-1185G7
8GB, 16GB, 32GB
Storage 256GB, 512GB
256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Display size 13.4 inches 13.4 inches
Display resolution 1920×1200 (Touch)
3840×2400 (Touch)
1920×1200 (Non-touch)
1920×1200 (Touch)
3840×2400 (Touch)
3456×2160 (Touch, OLED)
Aspect ratio 16:10 16:10
Graphics Integrated
Intel Iris Xe
Intel UHD (Core i3)
Intel Iris Xe
Speakers Two 2W stereo
Waves MaxxAudio Pro
Two 2.5W stereo
Waves MaxxAudio Pro
Ports Two Thunderbolt 4
microSD card reader
3.5mm audio
Two Thunderbolt 4
microSD card reader
3.5mm audio
Biometrics Fingerprint reader
IR camera
Fingerprint reader
IR camera
Connectivity Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 (2×2)
Bluetooth 5.1
Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 (2×2)
Bluetooth 5.1
Battery 51Wh 52Wh
Dimensions 11.69 x 8.15 x 0.56 inches
(297mm x 207mm x 14.35mm)
11.64 x 7.82 x 0.58 inches
(295.7mm x 198.7mm x 14.8mm)
Weight From 2.9 pounds (1.32kg) From 2.64 pounds (1.2kg)
Material CNC-machined aluminum CNC-machined aluminum
Color Platinum Silver and black Platinum Silver and black
Frost and Arctic White

Design and features

Dell XPS 13 9300

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central XPS 13 9300.

Both the Dell XPS 13 9310 and XPS 13 2-in-1 9310 are among the sleekest Ultrabooks out there. The standard and non-convertible XPS 13 models are made from a solid chunk of CNC-machined aluminum, available with a Platinum Silver or Frost external finish, and a black carbon fiber or Alpine White woven glass interior. The black internals are classic XPS, but the Alpine White shows no smudges and is ultimately much easier to keep clean. It looks as though the official Dell site is now only selling the 2-in-1 model in the Platinum Silver and black color scheme.

The XPS 13 2-in-1 is a bit heavier but is just a hair thinner than the standard XPS 13 (convertible laptops generally have a bit more bulk due to the touch display and hinge design), though both weigh less than 3 pounds. In both cases, you’re going to get a compact 13-inch laptop that can easily be carried around with you wherever you go.

Both the XPS 13 and its convertible counterpart are among the sleekest-looking Ultrabooks out there.

For ports, both the regular XPS 13 and 2-in-1 have been upgraded to Thunderbolt 4. Yes, Thunderbolt 3 devices are compatible with the new standard, and you get some added security and the ability to handle dual 4K displays or single 8K display. Other than the two Thunderbolt ports, both laptops have a UHS-II microSD card reader and a 3.5mm audio jack. With either laptop, you’ll be able to take advantage of the best Thunderbolt 4 hubs and docking stations for a full workstation experience.

If you prefer a laptop that can be used in tent, stand, and tablet modes alongside the standard notebook orientation, you’ll have to go with the XPS 13 2-in-1. The XPS 13 is stuck as a notebook, without the ability to rotate past 180 degrees. This ultimately makes the XPS 13 2-in-1 a better pick for those who often watch TV and movies, especially when you get into the 4K display option.

Dell Xps 13 9300 Ports

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central XPS 13 9300.

Both XPS 13 and 2-in-1 models have a keyboard that stretches to the chassis’ edges, along with a sizable Precision touchpad. Both are comfortable to type on, and the final decision will undoubtedly come down to personal preference. When choosing a color for your laptop, note that the white backlight combined with white keys can be an issue. If you often work in the dark and don’t touch-type, the black keys with white backlight should be much better.

Killer AX1650 Wi-Fi 6 connectivity is included in both laptops for breakneck wireless speeds, and you also get Bluetooth 5.1 in both laptops. Both also have a fingerprint reader built into the power button, and a small IR camera is positioned above the display for facial recognition through Windows Hello.


Dell Xps 13 2 In 1

Source: Dell

Dell’s original move to a 16:10 aspect ratio was applauded in our XPS 13 2-in-1 7390 review, and you can now find it in all modern XPS models. It’s a boxier display with more surface area than the older 16:9 option, and the chin below the display has been removed to make room for the extra screen. The bezel is thin on both laptops for a truly stunning look.

The XPS 13 2-in-1 comes in 1920×1200 (FHD+) and 3840×2400 (UHD+) resolutions. All screens are touch enabled and are compatible with Dell’s Premium Active Pen for a stellar inking experience. The 4K model is expensive, but it brings HDR400, up to 450 nits of brightness, and 100% sRGB and 90% DCI-P3 color reproduction. Both have an anti-reflective coating to cut down on glare.

The XPS 13 9310 is available in FHD+ and UHD+ resolutions, albeit with touch and non-touch options for FHD+. They all hit around 500 nits brightness and bring near-perfect color reproduction across sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamuts. Also included is Dolby Vision HDR400 support. Note that the non-touch display has a raised plastic bezel, while the touch options have edge-to-edge glass. There’s also now an OLED version of the XPS 13 touch display with 3456×2160 resolution, anti-reflective finish, and about 400 nits brightness.

If you have some creative ambitions, you’ll want to opt for the XPS 13 2-in-1 with its inking support, while if you’d rather go with a non-touch display to optimize battery life, you will be no doubt leaning toward the XPS 13’s non-touch FHD option.

Performance and price

XPS 13 2-in-1

Source: Windows Central XPS 13 2-in-1 (7390).

Both XPS models use Intel’s 11th Gen “Tiger Lake” CPUs for excellent performance, as well as faster RAM that is soldered to the board. The Core i5 and Core i7 models include Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics for a solid boost to power when gaming or editing, but neither laptop has a dedicated GPU. The XPS 13 is available with Core i3-1115G4 and Core i7-1185G7 CPUs. The 2-in-1 model is limited to Core i5-1135G7 and Core i7-1165G7 CPUs.

Both of these laptops — at least the Core i5 and Core i7 models — are a part of Intel’s Evo platform, which is an evolution (get it?) of “Project Athena.” They’re optimized for instant wake, long battery life, fast charging, and overall snappy performance, plus Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 4 connectivity.

Xps 13 9310 Oled

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

The XPS 13 2-in-1’s baseline configuration with Core i5-1135G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and FHD+ touch display costs about $1,098. For the same configuration in the standard XPS 13, you’re looking at about $1,098. If you want to go cheaper, the XPS 13 has a Core i3 model starting at $1,000. As for high-end models, you’re looking at about the same price across both laptops. But keep in mind you can get some extra performance out of the Core i7-1185G7 CPU and 2TB SSD available in the standard XPS 13.

The SSD in the XPS 13 2-in-1 is configurable up to 512GB on the official site, and it’s not user-replaceable. The XPS 13 9310 is more accommodating, with up to a 2TB size straight from Dell and the ability to upgrade it after purchase. Neither laptop offers upgradeable RAM.

Battery size is almost the same (51Wh compared to 52Wh), and life will depend on the display type and internal hardware. In any case, you should expect a full workday of life from the FHD+ models, dipping slightly for the UHD+ models.

The XPS 13 2-in-1 is the more versatile choice

Thanks to the performance from 11th Gen Intel Core CPUs, a 16:10 aspect ratio for its FHD+ and UHD+ touch displays, and the added versatility of a rotating display and active pen support, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is going to appeal to a lot of people.

XPS convertible

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 9310

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (9310) laptop

A beautiful convertible with 11th Gen Intel hardware

Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 has been improved in nearly every way, and anyone who’s in the market for a convertible should take notice.

The XPS 13 is the right choice if you want the best Ultrabook

If you don’t need the added versatility of a convertible, the XPS 13 should be your first pick. Models with similar hardware are less expensive, and their SSD can be upgraded after purchase. Be sure to have a look at our Dell XPS 13 9310 review for more information.

Premium standard notebook

Dell XPS 13 9300

Dell XPS 13 (9310) laptop

An outstanding Ultrabook for those who don’t need a convertible

The XPS 13 is a non-convertible alternative to the XPS 13 2-in-1. It offers strong performance in its own right and has up to a 4K touch display option available, all wrapped up in a premium, light chassis. It’s also not going to cost quite as much as the 2-in-1, at least for the introductory model.

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