Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro vs Dell XPS 13: Which one is better?

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro vs Dell XPS 13: Which one is better?

Samsung recently introduced the Galaxy Book 2 Pro series, and with it come a few major improvements. Most notably, the new 12th-generation Intel processors and an improved webcam. What didn’t change was the ultra thin and light design that made the first Galaxy Book Pro the talk of the town. So if Samsung is building on one of its best laptops, how does the new Galaxy Book 2 Pro compare to another top-tier laptop – the Dell XPS 13?

Dell’s XPS lineup has been one of the most renowned laptop brands in the past few years, and they’re one of the best Dell laptops. All the XPS models are surprisingly compact and fit a lot of power in that tiny chassis. Plus, they have great displays, too. There are pros and cons to both the Galaxy Book 2 Pro and the XPS 13, so let’s take a closer look to see which one you might want to choose.

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Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro vs Dell XPS 13: Specs

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro Dell XPS 13
CPU
  • 12th-gen 28W Intel Core i5-1240P (12 cores, 16 threads, up to 4.4GHz, 12MB cache)
  • 12th-gen 28W Intel Core i7-1260P (12 cores, 16 threads, up to 4.7GHz, 18MB cache)
  • 11th-gen 15W Intel Core i3-1115G4 (2-core, 4-thread, up to 4.1GHz, 6 MB cache)
  • 11th-gen 15W Intel Core i5-1135G7 (4-core, 8-thread, up to 4.2 GHz, 8 MB cache)
  • 11th-gen 15W Intel Core i7-1165G7 (4-core, 8-thread, up to 4.7 GHz, 12MB cache)
  • 11th-gen 15W Intel Core i7-1185G7 (4-core, 8-thread, up to 4.8GHz, 12MB cache)
  • 11th-gen 15W Intel Core i7-1195G7 (4-core, 8-thread, up to 5GHz, 12MB cache)
Graphics
  • 13.3-inch:
    • Intel Iris Xe (integrated)
  • 15.6-inch:
    • Intel Iris Xe (integrated)
    • Optional: Intel Arc (discrete)
  • Intel UHD Graphics (Core i3)
  • Intel Iris Xe graphics
Storage
  • Up to 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 256 GB SSD
  • 512GB SSD
  • 1TB SSD
  • 2TB SSD
RAM
  • 8GB LPDDR5
  • 16GB LPDDR5
  • 32GB LPDDR5
  • 8GB LPDDR4
  • 16GB LPDDR4
  • 32GB LPDDR4
Display
  • 13.3-inch
    • Full HD (1920 x 1080) Super AMOLED, 16:9, 120% DCI-P3, 500 nits (for HDR)
  • 15.6-inch
    • Full HD (1920 x 1080) Super AMOLED, 16:9, 120% DCI-P3, 500 nits (for HDR)
  • 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
Battery
  • 13.3-inch
    • 63Wh battery
  • 15.6-inch
    • 68Wh battery
  • 4-cell, 52Wh battery
Ports
  • 1 x Thunderbolt 4 / USB Type-C
  • 1 x USB Type-C
  • 1x USB Type-A (USB 3.2)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • microSD card reader
  • 1 x HDMI (15.6-inch model)
  • 2x Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • 1x headset (headphone and microphone combo) port
  • microSD card reader
Audio
  • 13.3-inch
    • Dual stereo AKG speakers (4W total), Dolby Atmos
  • 15.6-inch
    • Dual stereo AKG speakers (5W total), Dolby Atmos
  • Stereo speakers (2.5W x 2 = 4W peak)
  • Waves MaxxAudio Pro
Webcam
  • 1080p Full HD webcam
  • 720p HD 2.25mm webcam
Windows Hello
  • Fingerprint reader (in power button)
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Facial recognition with IR camera
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 (2 x 2)
  • Bluetooth 5.1
Color
  • Silver
  • Graphite
  • Platinum Silver with Black carbon fiber palm rest
  • Frost with Arctic White woven glass fiber palm rest
Size (WxDxH)
  • 13.3-inch
    • 304.4 x 199.8 x 11.2 mm (11.98 x 7.87 x 0.44 in)
  • 15.6-inch
    • Integrated graphics: 355.4 x 225.8 x 11.7 mm (13.99 x 8.89 x 0.46 in)
    • Discrete graphics: 355.4 x 225.8 x 13.2 mm (13.99 x 8.89 x 0.52 in)
  • 295.7×198.7×14.8mm (11.64×7.82×0.58 inches)
Starting weight
  • 13.3-inch
    • 0.87kg (1.92 lbs)
  • 15.6-inch
    • Integrated graphics: 1.11kg (2.45 lbs)
    • Discrete graphics: 1.17kg (2.58 lbs)
  • 1.2kg (2.64lbs)
Price Starting at $1,049.99 Starting at $949

We’ve included the specs for both 13- and 15-inch variants of the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro, but naturally we’ll be focusing more on the smaller model, since it compares more closely to the XPS 13. The two sizes are nearly identical in many aspects anyway.

Performance: The Galaxy Book 2 Pro has Intel Alder Lake processors

The first thing you’ll notice in the specs table above is that the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro has been refreshed with Intel’s 12th-generation Alder Lake processors. These new processors have a new hybrid architecture, featuring a mix of performance and efficient cores. This results in a significantly higher core and thread count, which in turn means more performance.

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro (15.6-inch)

But that’s not all there is to it. The Galaxy Book 2 Pro also uses Intel’s new P-series processors with a 28W TDP, compared to the 15W processors in the Dell XPS 13. Thanks to the higher power budget, these processors have even more cores and threads. In the end, you’re looking at 12 cores and 16 threads on the Intel Core i7-1260P inside the Galaxy Book 2 Pro, versus four cores and eight threads on the Core i7-1195G7 in the Dell XPS 13.

The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro has 12 cores and 16 threads.

Comparing these two CPUs on GeekBench, you can get an idea of just how much faster the 12th-generation processors are. Benchmark results aren’t necessarily indicative of real-life performance, but they give us some measurable comparison between the two:

Intel Core i7-1195G7
(average)
Intel Core i7-1260P
(see test)
Geekbench 5 score 1,448 / 4,865 1,445 / 5,953

You can see how much faster the new processors are, particularly in terms of multi-core performance. One thing that hasn’t changed that much across the two generations is integrated graphics, which are essentially identical between the 11th and 12th generation processors. If you go with the 15.6-inch Galaxy Book 2 Pro, you have the option for Intel Arc discrete graphics, though you’ll be sacrificing some portability at that point.

Dell XPS 13

Along with the new processors, the new Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro also supports faster LPDDR5 RAM, which is another advantage over the Dell XPS 13. Both laptops have up to 32GB of RAM, but it should be faster in the Galaxy Book 2 Pro, especially as software gets optimized for the increased speeds.

Display and sound: The Dell XPS 13 has a 16:10 aspect ratio

One area where Samsung’s Galaxy Book 2 Pro still lags behind is the display. To Samsung’s credit, it’s pretty much the only company offering an AMOLED display at Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution. Most laptops, including the XPS 13, only have OLED display in very expensive high-end configurations, so you can’t get the benefits of OLED without spending quite a bit of money. The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro, like its predecessor, breaks that rule and makes OLED displays more accessible, which is great.

Close up of Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro display

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro (13-inch)

However, it’s still using a 16:9 aspect ratio, and Dell uses a taller 16:10 display. This taller aspect ratio has appeared in more and more premium laptops in recent years, and for good reason. The extra vertical space is great for productivity, and it results in a larger surface area. That way, you can see more text on a webpage or more UI elements in apps like video editors. It requires less scrolling, so you can work more efficiently.

Samsung is still using a typical 16:9 aspect ratio.

Plus, while Dell’s base configuration includes a Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) LCD, you can upgrade to a 3.5K (3456 x 2160) OLED panel or an Ultra HD+ (3840 x 2400) LCD. Samsung has a nicer entry-level configuration, but that’s the only configuration you get. Also, most models of the Dell XPS 13 support touch, while the Galaxy Book 2 Pro doesn’t. You’d need to get the convertible model for that.

The story is different when it comes to the webcam, though. Samsung’s Galaxy Book 2 Pro features an upgraded Full HD (1080p) webcam with a wider 87-degree field of view and features like auto framing. Meanwhile, the Dell XPS 13 has one of the worst webcams around with 720p resolution and a tiny 2.25mm sensor, meaning it can’t capture as much light, and thus, image quality is often more noisy and grainy.

Both laptops have a similar stereo speaker setup that maxes out at 4W of power, which is solid for a 13-inch laptop.

Design: Two different takes on portability

Both the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro are known for their portability, but the two laptops are actually quite different in terms of their design philosophy. The Dell XPS 13 is very compact, but it’s more so in terms of area, thanks to the very small bezels around the display. It’s also fairly thin at 14.8mm, and at 2.64lbs, it’s about as heavy as you’d expect for a mostly aluminum laptop of this size.

On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro is focused on being extremely thin and light. It’s bigger than the Dell XPS 13 in both width and depth, even with the XPS 13’s taller display, but it’s just 11.2mm thin, making it one of the thinnest laptops around – especially considering the 28W processor inside. And at just 1.92 lbs of weight (for the 13-inch model), it’s also one of the lightest laptops you can buy. Even the 15.6-inch model is thinner and lighter than the XPS 13.

We’d argue that weight is more important to portability overall, but having a smaller area can also help fit the laptop into a backpack or a bag, so whether you prefer Samsung’s approach or Dell’s is up to you. Still, these are both impressively compact laptops in their own right.

In terms of aesthetics, the two laptops are kind of similar in that they both have a sort of dual-tone design. To some extent, at least. The Dell XPS 13 comes in two versions: One with a dark silver exterior and a black carbon interior, and another with a lighter silver exterior and a white fiber glass composite interior.

The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro’s silver model is similar to the XPS 13 in that has a silver exterior and a white interior, plus a color-matched keyboard. However, the graphite version is essentially all black, so there’s no dual-tone look on that one.

Ports: The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro has more of them

Finally, in terms of ports, the two laptops aren’t too far off from each other, but the Galaxy Book 2 Pro is a bit more versatile. It comes with one Thunderbolt 4 ports, one regular USB-C port, one USB Type-A, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. If you get the larger 15.6-inch model, you also get an HDMI port.

Meanwhile, the Dell XPS 13 only has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. Granted, Thunderbolt lets you connect just about anything using a Thunderbolt dock, but you’re still missing out on support for some peripherals without a USB Type-A port built-in. It’s especially strange considering the Galaxy Book 2 Pro is a thinner laptop, so it should have less space for bigger ports.

Dell XPS 13 side view

Finally, for wireless communication, both laptops have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, though the Galaxy Book 2 Pro supports the newer Wi-Fi 6E and 6GHz bands.

Final thoughts

It’s apparent that the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro beats out the Dell XPS 13 in terms of performance, but that’s only thanks to the upgrade to newer Intel processors. It would be fairer to compare the Galaxy Book 2 Pro to the new Dell XPS 13 Plus in that regard, since it also has newer processors. You may want to wait and see if Dell refreshes the standard XPS 13 with new processors soon if performance is your biggest concern.

Samsung’s laptop also wins in terms of portability thanks to the super thin-and-light design, making it one of the best lightweight laptops around. Plus, despite that, it has more ports than Dell’s laptop, which is great to see. You get a better webcam with the Galaxy Book 2 Pro, too.

White laptop on black desk

However, Samsung still hasn’t realized taller displays are increasingly important to users, and Dell pulls ahead here. It has a taller screen, plus you can upgrade to get a much more premium experience if you want to. And that’s something the aforementioned Dell XPS 13 Plus has, too, so it’s worth taking a look at that model instead.

Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you prefer the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro or the Dell XPS 13. If you value performance, Samsung’s laptop is for you, but if you want a taller display or upgrade to one of the premium options, the Dell XPS 13 is a better choice. Regardless of what you prefer, you can buy them below once you’ve made your choice. Otherwise, you can check out the best laptops overall you can buy right now.

    The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro is an extremely thin and light laptop, but it still comes with powerful 12th-gen Intel processors and a stunning AMOLED display.
    The Dell XPS 13 is one of the best ultrabooks of 2021, featuring a compact design, high-end specs, and fantastic display options to choose from.

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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