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A tale of two similar machines: HP’s Spectre 360 13 vs. Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1

hp spectre  vs dell xps in x review
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

HP’s Spectre x360 13 was one of the best Windows 10 2-in-1 devices introduced in 2016. It offered a solid combination of performance, build quality, and battery life, serving as HP’s premier 13-inch Ultrabook.

Dell, on the other hand, was late to the premium Windows 10 2-in-1 market, arriving at the beginning of 2017 with its XPS 13 2-in-1 machine. Taking everything that was already good about the outstanding XPS 13 notebook, Dell’s hybrid quickly took its place as one of the best convertible 2-in-1s around.

More: CES 2017 proves 2-in-1s are becoming the new normal

Now, HP has updated the Spectre x360 13, adding in a missing 4K UHD display option along with an excellent active pen. This brings HP’s 2-in-1 more in line with the XPS 13 2-in-1 in terms of specifications and functionality, and so we thought it made sense to compare these two machines to see which one comes out on top.

Specs

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

HP Spectre x360 13

Dimensions  11.98 x 7.8 x .54-.32 inches 12.07 x 8.58 x .55 inches
Weight 2.7 pounds 2.98 pounds
Processor 7th Generation Intel Core i5 or i7 Y-Series dual-core 7th Generation Intel Core i5 or i7 dual-core
RAM 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB LPDDR3 8 or 16GB DDR4
Display 13.3-inch IPS touchscreen, Full HD or QHD+ 13.3-inch IPS touchscreen, Full HD or 4K
Resolution Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) or QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) or 4K (3,840 x 2,160)
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB PCIe SSD 256GB, 512GB, 1TB PCIe SSD
Networking 802.11ac 2×2, Bluetooth 4.2 802.11ac 2×2, Bluetooth 4.2
Ports 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 1 x USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3, 3.5mm Headset, microSD reader 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 2 x USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3, 3.5mm Headset
Webcam 1080p webcam 1080p webcam with IR camera and Windows Hello support
Operating System Windows 10 Windows 10
Battery 46 watt-hours 57.8 watt-hours
Price $1,000+ $1,090+
Availability Available now Available now (some configurations)
Review 4 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars (previous model)

Neither are all that well-connected

The Spectre x360 13 is equipped with a fair number of ports, but it’s nothing to write home about. There are two USB 3.1 Type-C ports, both with charging and Thunderbolt 3 support. In addition, the machine supports legacy devices with a USB 3.1 Type-A port and a 3.5mm headset jack.

The XPS 13 2-in-1 gives up the past almost completely, offering just two USB 3.1 Type-C connections, one of which supports Thunderbolt 3 with four lanes of PCIe Gen 3 available. The only nods to legacy support include a microSD card slot and a 3.5mm headset jack.

With an additional Thunderbolt 3 port and legacy device support with an old-school USB port, HP wins this round. You don’t get a microSD card slot, but we think that’s worth giving up in exchange for overall enhanced connectivity.

Winner: HP Spectre x360 13

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