Dell XPS 13 (2022) vs Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022): What are the differences?

Dell XPS 13 (2022) vs Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022): What are the differences?

Every year for the past few years, Dell has been releasing new iterations of the Dell XPS 13 alongside a 2-in-1 version for those that prefer convertibles. These two models are often nearly identical in most ways, so it’s truly a matter of choosing the form factor you prefer. This year, there’s a lot more to it. The 2022 Dell XPS 13 is still a laptop, but the XPS 13 2-in-1 for 2022 is a tablet. It’s a radically different design, and if you’re deciding between the two of these, there’s a lot to consider.

We’re here to help, and so we’ll be taking a look at all the differences between the 2022 models of the Dell XPS 13 and XPS 13 2-in-1. They’re both some of the best Dell laptops for this year, but they’re certainly geared towards different audiences. Let’s dive into it.

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Dell XPS 13 (2022) vs Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022): Specs

Dell XPS 13 (2022) Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022)
Operating system
  • Windows 11
  • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
  • Windows 11
CPU
  • 12th Generation Intel Core i5-1230U (12W, 10-core, 12-thread, up to 4.4 GHz, 12MB cache)
  • 12th Generation Intel Core i7-1250U (12W, 10-core, 12-thread, up to 4.7 GHz, 12MB cache)
  • 12th Generation Intel Core i5-1230U (10-core, 12-thread, up to 4.4 GHz, 12MB cache)
  • 12th Generation Intel Core i7-1250U (10-core, 12-thread, up to 4.7 GHz, 12MB cache)
Graphics
  • Intel Iris Xe graphics (up to 96 EUs)
  • Intel Iris Xe graphics (up to 96 EUs)
Display
  • 13.4-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge non-touch, 500-nit, anti-reflective
  • 13.4-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge touch, 500-nit, anti-reflective
  • 13.4-inch UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge touch, 500-nit, anti-reflective
  • 13-inch 3:2 3K (2880 x 1920), 500 nits, DisplayHDR 400, anti-reflective, anti-smudge, Corning Gorilla Glass 7, Dolby Vision, touch and pen support
Storage
  • 256GB PCIe 4 SSD
  • 512GB PCIe 4 SSD
  • 1TB PCIe 4 SSD
  • 256GB PCIe 4 SSD
  • 512GB PCIe 4 SSD
  • 1TB PCIe 4 SSD
RAM
  • 8GB dual-channel DDR5 5200MHz
  • 16GB dual-channel DDR5 5200MHz
  • 32GB dual-channel DDR5 5200MHz
  • 8GB dual-channel LPDDR4x 4266MHz
  • 16GB dual-channel LPDDR4x 4266MHz
Battery
  • 51Whr battery
    • 45W charger
  • 49.5Whr battery
    • 45W charger
Ports
  • 2 Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) ports
    • USB Type-C to Type-A adapter included
    • USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter optional
  • 2 Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) ports
    • USB Type-C to Type-A adapter included
    • USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter optional
Audio
  • Dual stereo speakers (4W total output)
  • Dual-array microphones
  • Dual stereo speakers with Waves MaxxAudio Pro and Waves Nx 3D audio
  • Dual-array microphones
Camera
  • 720p HD camera
  • 5MP/1080p front-facing webcam
  • 11MP/4K world-facing camera
Biometric authentication
  • Fingerprint reader
  • IR camera
  • Fingerprint reader in XPS Folio keyboard
  • IR camera
Connectivity
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6E 1675 AX211 (2×2)
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6E 1675 AX211 (2×2)
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Optional (only in Slate model): 5G (Intel 5000)
Colorar.dsff
  • Sky
  • Umber
  • Sky
  • Slate
Size (WxDxH)
  • 11.63 × 7.85 × 0.55 in (295.4 × 199.4 × 13.99 mm)
  • Sky (Wi-Fi only): 292.5 × 201.2 × 7.4mm (11.5 × 7.9 ×0.29 inches)
  • Slate (5G)292.5 x 201.2 x 7.8mm (11.5 x 7.9 x 0.31 inches)
Dimensions
  • Starts at 1.17 kg (2.59 lb)
  • Sky (Wi-Fi only): Starts at 736 grams (1.6 lb)
  • Slate (5G): Starts at 811 grams (1.8 lb)
  • XPS Folio Keyboard: 560 grams (1.26 lb)
Price Starting at $999 TBA

Design and form factor: The XPS 13 2-in-1 is now a tablet

The first and biggest difference that needs to be pointed out between these two is obviously the form factor. While previous versions of the Dell XPS 13 and XPS 13 2-in-1 were basically identical in terms of looks and the overall design language, things have changed radically this year.

Angled front view of the Dell XPS 13 (2022) in a light blue color

The standard Dell XPS 13 is still a basic clamshell laptop, though it does come with a fresh new design and colors. It now comes in Sky (light blue) and Umber (dark burgundy) colors, and it’s the thinnest XPS 13 laptop ever, measuring just 13.99mm in thickness. Plus, it’s also fairly light, at 2.59lbs of starting weight.

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, however, is no longer a convertible in the more traditional sense. Instead of having a hinge that rotates 360 degrees, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is now a tablet, and you can choose to attach or detach the XPS Folio Keyboard to use it as a laptop. That does come with benefits for portability, since the XPS 13 2-in-1 now weighs just 1.6lbs and measures just 7.4mm thick (in the Wi-Fi only model, at least).

Of course, adding the keyboard does make it heavier, and it’s actually heavier than the XPS 13 itself in that case. Still, if you just want a tablet, it’s now more portable.

However, it also makes this a less adequate device if you want something that truly works like a laptop. Even with the XPS Folio Keyboard, the XPS 13 2-in-1 won’t give you the same kind of flexibility for how you can position the display with a typical hinge, and the keyboard might not be as solid. Also, keep in mind that, unlike Microsoft’s Surface devices, there’s no built-in kickstand on the XPS 13 2-in-1, so if you want to prop it up, you need the keyboard.

The different form factor also has implications on other things like the display, camera, and connectivity.

Display: Big changes for the 2-in-1 model

Turning to the display, the regular XPS 13 is yet again mostly unchanged. It still comes with a 13.4-inch panel and it’s available in either Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) or Ultra HD+ (3840 x 2400) options. It did lose the OLED configuration option, but the format and the remaining options are the same as previous models, including up to 500 nits of brightness.

Front view of Dell XPS 13 2022 in Umbra

With the change in form factor, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 also comes with a very different display. It’s now a slightly smaller 13-inch panel, but it has the benefit of using a 3:2 aspect ratio, similar to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 8. In fact, the resolution is the same, too, at 2880 x 1920. This is the only configuration available, and realistically, it’s the only one you need. It’s very sharp, and at 500 nits of brightness, it should be easy to use outdoors, too. Dell also mentions DisplayHDR 400 and Dolby Vision support for this display, though not for the regular XPS 13.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 2022 display angled view

Of course, some differences are also inherent to the form factor. While the Dell XPS 13 can be configured with touch, the 2-in-1 model supports touch and pen input in every configuration (as you’d expect for a tablet). It’s also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, since the display is much more likely to be subject to damage from touch input.

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has a 1080p webcam and a 4K rear camera.

As for the webcam, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has a major advantage. While Dell refuses to upgrade to 1080p webcams on the regular XPS 13, the new XPS 13 2-in-1 now comes with a 5MP camera capable of 1080p video, making it potentially the best webcam ever in an XPS laptop. It’s great for video calls, and if you want to record video, you also get a rear-facing camera for the first time in an XPS device. That one is an 11MP camera capable of 4K video recording, so it’s ideal for recording videos in a pinch.

For sound, both models have dual speakers and dual microphones. Generally speaking, tablets tend to offer a better sound experience, but both of these should do just fine.

Ports and connectivity

Usually, tablets are known for having fewer ports than typical laptops, but the Dell XPS 13 family has never had a ton of ports, and this year it has even fewer of them. The regular Dell XPS 13 and the 2-in-1 model both have just two Thunderbolt 4 ports, with adapters for USB Type-A and a 3.5mm headphone jack included in the box.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 tablet only in Sky Blue

So, the differences are mostly in terms of wireless communication. Both models do have Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 support, as you’d expect for modern laptops. However, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is the first XPS ever to feature 5G support.

Indeed, if you buy the Slate colorway of the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, you get the option for an Intel 5000 5G solution. This means you can connect to the internet from almost anywhere, without having to rely on insecure public Wi-Fi networks. This is perfect if you need to work on the road, and it adds to the idea to the XPS 13 2-in-1 is ideal for portability.

Performance: The clamshell variant has higher-end specs

We left performance for last because it’s an area where these two laptops are actually very similar. With that being said, there are some differences. Both come with Intell’s 12th-generation processors, specifically from the U9 series. That means they have a default TDP of 9W, but on the clamshell model, Dell is actually boosting the processors so they always run at 12W. That’s not the case with the 2-in-1 model and thus, you’re bound to get more performance out of the clamshell version.

Intel 12th gen p series vs u series cpu for laptops

Another advantage for the regular XPS 13 is that you can configure it with up to 32GB of RAM if you want to, as opposed to the maximum 16GB available in the 2-in-1 version. On top of that, the clamshell model uses the newer LPDDR5 RAM, which is likely going to be faster than the LPDDR4x RAM in the tablet. For storage, both models come with up to a 1TB SSD, so there are no major differences there.

As for battery life, Dell doesn’t provide very specific estimates, but it will vary depending on your configuration. The two devices have similarly-sized batteries, but since the CPU is boosted higher in the clamshell model, that could give the tablet an advantage. But you’ll also want to take into account the display resolution and 5G support, which consume more battery.

The Dell XPS 13 clamshell is also available with Ubuntu.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that while both models come with Windows 11 and that will be the most popular option, the clamshell XPS 13 does give you the option for the Ubuntu if you prefer that. This is more so meant for developers or a more niche set of professional users, but it may be enough to sway you.

Dell XPS 13 (2022) vs Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2022): Final thoughts

It’s incredibly apparent that these devices are meant for different audiences, and that probably makes it easier than ever to choose the one you want. The clamshell version of the XPS 13 will give you more performance, a potentially sharper screen (if you pay for the upgrade), and a more sturdy design that’s a bit easier to work with if you want a proper laptop.

Hands typing on Dell XPS 13

On the other hand, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is much more focused on portability. It’s significantly lighter (without the keyboard), and it gives you the option for 5G support. Plus, it has a better webcam (and a secondary camera to top it off), and it has a much sharper display compared to the base configuration of the clamshell. And, of course, since it’s a tablet, it supports touch and pen input by default, so it can be more intuitive to use.

The last thing to consider is the price, but we don’t yet know the official pricing of the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. Still, based on what we’ve mentioned above, you probably already know what you want.

For now, you can buy the Dell XPS 13 using the link below, and the 2-in-1 model should go up for sale sometime in July. If neither of these interests you, maybe check out the best laptops overall to see some other great options.

    The new Dell XPS 13 comes with a complete redesign, coming in Sky and Umber colors. It's also the thinnest and lightest XPS laptop ever.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

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