Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2022) vs Dell XPS 13 Plus (2022): Which laptop should you buy?

Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2022) vs Dell XPS 13 Plus (2022): Which laptop should you buy?

Apple revealed the MacBook Pro 13 during the main keynote of WWDC22. Unlike the MacBook Pro (2021) models — which you can buy as refurbished units — this addition to the Mac line retains the classic chassis from previous-gen models. So you won’t be getting the notched display, overhauled body, or wide port variety. Instead, you get the Touch Bar that Apple has removed on the revamped models. So now, you must be wondering — what notebook should I buy, a MacBook or Windows laptop? This is the Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2022) vs Dell XPS 13 Plus (2022) — the battle between two very distinct, portable computers.

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Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2022) vs Dell XPS 13 Plus (2022): Specifications

Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2022) Dell XPS 13 Plus (2022)
Processor
  • Apple M2 (8-core CPU)
  • 12th Generation Intel Core i5-1240P (12-core, 16-thread, up to 4.4 GHz, 12MB cache)
  • 12th Generation Intel Core i7-1260P (12-core, 16-thread, up to 4.7 GHz, 18MB cache)
  • 12th Generation Intel Core i7-1270P (12-core, 16-thread, up to 4.8 GHz, 18MB cache)
  • 12th Generation Intel Core i7-1280P (14-core, 20-thread, up to 4.8 GHz, 24MB Cache)
Graphics
  • Apple M2 (10-core GPU)
  • Intel Iris Xe
Body
  • 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches
  • 3lbs
  • 11.63 × 7.84 × 0.6 inches
  • 2.73lbs
Display
  • 13.3-inch Retina display (2560 x 1600), up to 500 nits peak brightness, True Tone technology
  • 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
  • 13.4-inch 3.5K (3456 x 2160) InfinityEdge OLED touch, DisplayHDR 500,
    400 nits, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, anti-reflective, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Ports
  • Two Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • Headphone jack
  • Two Thunderbolt 4 ports
Storage
  • 256GB
  • 512GB
  • 1TB
  • 2TB
  • 256GB
  • 512GB
  • 1TB
  • 2TB
Memory
  • 8GB
  • 16GB
  • 24GB
  • 8GB
  • 16GB
  • 32GB
Battery
  • 58.2Whr battery
  • Up to 20 hours of video playback
  • 67W charger
  • 55Wh battery
  • 60W USB charger
Audio
  • Stereo speakers with wide stereo sound and spatial audio support when playing Dolby Atmos content
  • Quad stereo speaker (8W total output)
  • Waves MaxxAudio Pro and Waves Nx 3D audio
Camera
  • 720p FaceTime HD camera
  • 720p HD webcam
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6E 1675 AX211 (2×2)
  • Bluetooth 5.2
Color
  • Silver
  • Space Gray
  • Platinum
  • Graphite
Price
  • $1,299
  • Starts at $1,199

Design: The XPS 13 Plus looks more Dell-ightful

m2 MacBook Pro 13-inch

Let’s start by breaking down the designs of these two laptops. Objectively, I think we can all agree that the Dell XPS 13 Plus looks more futuristic than the MacBook Pro 13. This isn’t surpassing at all — as Apple has decided to recycle the same chassis design it’s been using on this Mac line for years. The Dell laptop gets thinner bezels, an invisible trackpad, a more modern-looking keyboard, and more.

Despite the XPS 13 Plus winning in the overall design round, we should still acknowledge some of the pros that the MacBook Pro packs. While the Dell laptop has a “Touch Bar” instead of a function key row, it’s only limited to two layouts. The MacBook’s Touch Bar, on the other hand, can adapt to the app you’re using and show any custom content you might want or need. This makes the Touch Bar on the Mac more useful than that on the Windows PC. Additionally, the MacBook Pro includes a headphone jack — which is missing on the XPS 13 Plus.

Display: Only the Dell-usional would prefer the MacBook’s screen

Speaking of the thin bezels that the Dell XPS 13 Plus features, let’s move on to the displays. We don’t need to look at the specs sheet to tell which has the thinner, more minimalistic bezels between the two computers. Using our naked eye, we can tell that those of the MacBook Pro are much thicker. It’s almost as if this laptop belongs to a past era. Apart from bezels, Dell still wins the display round.

Black laptop on brown table

The XPS 13 Plus wins because its screen can go up to 3.5K OLED on the highest-end model. Yes, the MacBook Pro’s screen beats the entry-level Dell Display. However, you don’t get screen options when buying the Mac. You’re stuck with the default 2560-by-1600p one. That’s not to mention that the Dell’s is slightly larger than that of the MacBook Pro.

Performance: The M2 packs more Intel-lect

Apple M2 specifications graphic

While the Apple M2 chip is the latest from the company, it’s not the most powerful the Cupertino firm has released. The M1 Pro, Max, and Ultra easily defeat it. Nonetheless, the M2 is a mighty chipset that we shouldn’t undermine. The Dell XPS 13 Plus is available in several configuration. The base model packs the Intel Core i5-1240P, while the highest-end goes for the Intel Core i7-1280P. In both cases, the Intel chips offer more CPU cores than the Apple M2 chip.

If we compare Geekbench results, the M2 chipset wins in single-core tests over both Intel chips. However, the Core i7-1280P wins in multi-core tests performed. That’s not to mention that the M2 is more power-efficient than the Intel counterparts. Nonetheless, the Dell XPS 13 Plus supports up to 32GB of RAM while the MacBook Pro 13 settles for 24GB. Ultimately, both laptops are powerful, and it really depends on the configurations you go for.

Bottom Line: You Pro-bably know best

So, which laptop should you buy? We can’t decide for you. If your current computer runs Windows and you’re not looking for a change, then it would make sense to grab the Dell XPS 13 Plus. Similarly, if you’re stuck in the Apple Ecosystem, buying the MacBook Pro 13 is more logical. Though, if you don’t care about the operating system, then either of them will offer a more-than-decent performance.

Both of them offer two similar color options and start at the same price range. So unless you’re looking for something very specific, you can buy either of them. So for example, if you really want your laptop to have an OLED display, then the Dell is your only option here. Alternatively, if you’re an audiophile who depends on the headphone jack and doesn’t want to use dongles, the MacBook Pro is the go-to here. That’s not to mention that adjustable Touch Bar on the Mac — which many people integrate into their workflows as a tiny touch display. Ultimately, we’ve broken down the main specifications of each machine, and only you can tell which one is right for you.

    The 2022 MacBook Pro 13-inch offers a classic design, reintroduces the Touch Bar, and packs the M2 chip.
    The Dell XPS 13 Plus offers a modern design and plenty of internal configuration options.

Which 2022 laptop will you be buying, and why? Let us know in the comments section below.

About author

Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging with his dogs at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached on Twitter @Mahmoudzitani or via [email protected]

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