Dell XPS 13
Jeff Clarke (R), vice chairman of Global Operations for Dell, displays the XPS 13, the company's first ultrabook, with Paul Otellini, president and CEO of Intel Corporation, during a keynote address at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 10, 2012. The ultrabook is powered by the Intel Core i7 processor. Reuters/Steve Marcus

Both Apple MacBook Pro 15 and Dell XPS 15 are workhorses for professionals who are always on the go. While there is tough competition in the hybrid laptop market, it will be interesting to see how these two will fare against each other.

Price is always a deciding factor for most. The MacBook Pro 15 costs US$2,399 (AU$3,200 approx). In comparison, the Dell laptop costs $350 less. The two are almost similar when it comes to size. While Dell goes for a traditional keyboard, it’s still better than the XPS 13. The Apple device uses the Butterfly keyboard, commonly found in MacBooks. The Apple device has retained the headphone jack, though it also offers four Thunderbolt 3 USB ports. The Dell XPS 15 also offers a headphone jack.

In addition to that it comes with one USB 3.1 Thunderbolt 3/Type C, two USB 3.0 Type A ports, a Kensington lock port and a full-size HDMI 1.4. When it comes to battery performance, the Apple laptop beats Dell hands-down. The former can play a 4K resolution video at about 255 nits in brightness and Wi-Fi off for about nine hours, before going blank. XPS 15 provides only 5.5 hours, reports PC World. This is surprising for many as the Apple laptop packs a 74-watt-hour battery, as opposed to Dell’s 97 watt-hours.

The XPS 15 however has a denser pixel screen, sitting at 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. The Apple device has a 2,880 x 1,600 pixel screen. In terms of gaming performance, the Dell laptop is a clear winner. The laptops are portable workstations for those who are away from office. MacBook Pro track pads have arguably been the benchmark. The MacBook Pro 15 has an unusually large track pad with glass surface and low friction level. On the other hand, the XPS 15’s track pad is equally good, though with a little more friction.

In fact, the XPS laptop wins this track pad race because of a full 10-point touch-screen. The Touch Bar on MacBook still needs improvement. A big problem with the traditional keyboard in the XPS 15 is that it is a bit too little. However, upgrading the MacBook Pro 15 is more problematic than the Dell laptop. The CPU, GPU, RAM and even the SSD are soldered down. This is not the case with XPS 15 where the user can drop the 32GB RAM and install a larger 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD.

Thus as is evident, Dell has released a laptop that is worthy of giving Apple competition and even emerge as a winner. Stay tuned on IBT AU for more updates on Apple MacBook Pro 15 and Dell XPS 15.