Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 vs Surface Pro 8: New competition

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 vs Surface Pro 8: Microsoft’s Surface Pro 8 has reigned supreme as the best detachable 2-in-1 laptop around and made its way to our list of best laptops overall. It’s a redesign that brought slimmer display bezels and a larger 13-inch display, along with faster components and Thunderbolt 4 ports.

The Surface Pro 8 has some new competition, though. Dell has announced the first detachable tablet in its XPS line, replacing the previous 360-degree convertible design. The XPS 13 2-in-1 offers Intel 12th-gen CPUs and a competitive design. Can it overtake the Surface Pro 8?

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Dell

Specs

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Dimensions11.5 inches x 7.9 inches x 0.28 inches
0.31 inches with 5G
11.3 inches x 8.2 inches x 0.37 inches
Weight1.6 pounds (tablet only)
1.8 pounds (tablet only) with 5G
1.96 pounds (tablet only)
ProcessorCore i5-1230U
Core i7-1250U
Core i5-1135G7
Core i7-1185G7
GraphicsIntel Iris XeIntel Iris Xe
RAM8GB
16GB
8GB
16GB
32GB
Display13-inch 3:2 IPS 3K (2,880 x 1,920)13-inch 3:2 IPS 3K (2,880 x 1,920)
Storage256GB PCIe SSD
512GB PCIe SSD
1TB PCIe SSD
128GB PCIe SSD
256GB PCIe SSD
512GB PCIe SSD
1TB PCIe SSD
TouchYesYes
Ports2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
1 x USB-C to USB-A adapter
1 x USB-C to 3.5mm audio adapter
2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
1 x Surface Connect
3.5mm audio jack
Surface Type Cover
MicroSD Card reader
WirelessWi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
Optional 5G WWAN
Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1
WebcamFull HDFull HD
Operating systemWindows 11Windows 11
Battery49.5 watt-hour51.5 watt-hour
PriceTBD$1,100+
RatingNot reviewed4 out of 5 stars

Design

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Dell

As mentioned in the introduction, the Surface Pro 8 is a significant redesign over the tablet’s previous generations. It’s made of aluminum rather than magnesium, its edges are a bit more rounded, and the display was upgraded from 12.3 inches to 13 inches. A reduction in display bezel size allowed Microsoft to keep the tablet almost the same size despite the larger display. You can get the Surface Pro 8 in either Graphite (black) or Platinum (silver) color schemes, and other than the iconic kickstand that opens from the center of the tablet’s backside, it’s a typical slate in appearance. The Surface Pro 8’s build quality is exceptional, with no gaps or unsightly seams and with a solid feel of metal fused with glass. No tablet’s better constructed.

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is also constructed of aluminum and is a very minimalist design. It follows the XPS line’s example by using smaller bezels than the Surface Pro 8, but even so, it’s the tiniest bit wider than Microsoft’s tablet while being a little shorter. It offers two colors, Sky (blue) and Slate (dark gray), and overall it, too, is a pretty standard slate design with edges that are sharper than the Surface Pro 8’s.

The Surface Pro 8 is thicker than the XPS 13 2-in-1 at 0.37 inch versus 0.28 inch and heavier at 1.96 pounds versus 1.6 pounds. The 5G version of the XPS 13 2-in-1 (more on that below) is slightly thicker than the Wi-Fi-only version at 0.31 inch and heavier at 1.8 pounds.

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While the Surface Pro 8 has its kickstand built in, the XPS 13 2-in-1 depends on its optional Folio detachable keyboard to prop it up. It offers just three angles (110 degrees, 112.5 degrees, and 125 degrees) compared to the Surface Pro 8’s unlimited range from almost straight up to lying almost flat. Microsoft Signature Type Cover is also one of the best typing experiences around, with large keycaps and sufficient key spacing and a switch mechanism that’s light and snappy. The Dell Folio keyboard offers an edge-to-edge, zero-lattice design that we’ll have to reserve judgment about until we’ve had a chance to check it out. Both detachable keyboards offer touchpads that support Microsoft Precision drivers for Windows 11 multitouch gesture support.

Both tablets support an active pen, but the Surface Pro 8 offers a bonus. It supports the h