Dell XPS 13 VS HP Spectre

It's a battle of the super-premium 13-inch laptops as these two pale riders fight to be your full-time PC. They've both got the good looks, but only has a workable webcam, while the other falls short on battery life.

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The Good

The new XPS 13 body is smaller, with better internal cooling and a sharp-looking all-white interior. The nearly bezel-free screen still looks great and there's a fingerprint reader hidden under the power button.

The Bad

The system's biggest quirk, a below-the-screen webcam, remains. Touch isn't standard, and most of the ports have been replaced by USB-C.

The Bottom Line

With a new design that catches up to the competition, Dell's XPS 13 remains one of the best all-around 13-inch laptops, but everyone's biggest gripe remains unchanged.

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Overview

The Good

HP upgrades the super-slim Spectre with a fast new CPU, a much-needed touchscreen and a cool new white-and-gold design.

The Bad

Battery life isn't in the top tier, and the touchpad feels a bit off. The hinges don't allow the screen to be tilted very far back.

The Bottom Line

The new version of the HP Spectre cuts down on the compromises, adding a touchscreen and a big power boost, while staying just as thin.

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Ratings

Design

Both of these highlight a trendy white design, which is a welcome change from years of black and gray laptops. The XPS 13 wins for having a slimmer bezel to accent its 4K screen, but the Spectre is overall thinner and more adventurous.

Features

The Spectre beats the XPS 13 by keeping its webcam above the screen, rather than Dell's up-the-nose version. Both of these join the USB-C only train for ports, but at least the XPS keeps a microSD card slot.

Performance

Intel's new eighth-gen Core i-series CPUs are great performers, and both HP and Dell offer a variety of eighth-gen processor options. Performance was very close, with a slight edge to the XPS when comparing these exact configurations.

Battery

HP's Spectre doesn't have as much for a big battery as the XPS 13, so the Dell ran for about an hour longer, despite having a higher-res 4K screen.

Overall

These are both fantastic premium laptops with great performance and enviable looks. For the most all-around useful, go with the XPS 13, but if you do a lot of Skype or webcaming, or want to travel as lightly as possible, go for the Spectre.

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