Dell XPS 13 (9310) vs Apple Macbook Air: Which One is Better?

MacBook Air 2020 vs DELL XPS 13

This is the comparison of the Dell XPS 13-inch 9310 and the Apple Macbook Air 13-inch. Both the laptops are well upgraded for a better performance than the previous line ups of their own. To decide which one will be better for you, check out the detailed review.

dell xps 13 9310 (1)apple macbook air
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Dell XPS 13 9310Apple MacBook Air
PROSPROS
Compact chassis with great build quality.
The design looks beautiful.
Solid keyboard and touchpad.
Really fast performance.
Exceptional battery life.
Intel-based apps work well.
CONSCONS
Poor port selection.
Average quality webcam with no privacy shutter.
Still 720p camera is used here.
Same design as before.
Macs would be better with touchscreens.

SPECIFICATIONS

DISPLAYDELL XPS 13 9310APPLE MACBOOK AIR
Diagonal Size13.4″ FHD+ InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit Display, 13.4″ UHD+ InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit Display13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS
Resolution1920 x 1200, 3840 x 24001680 x 1050, 1440 x 900, 1024 x 640
LCD Backlight Technology
Monitor Features2560-by-1600 native resolution at 227 pixels per inch, 400 nits brightness, Wide color (P3), True Tone technology
PROCESSORDELL XPS 13 9310APPLE MACBOOK AIR
CPU11th Generation Intel Core i3-1115G4 Processor, 11th Generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor, 11th Generation Intel Cor i7-1165G7 Processor, 11th Generation Intel Core i7-1185G7 ProcessorApple M1 chip with 8-core CPU with 4 perform­ance cores and 4 efficiency cores and 7 or 8 core GPU and 16-core Neural Engine
Clock SpeedUp to 4.1 GHz, 4.2 GHz, 4.7 GHz, 4.8 GHz
Cache6 MB Cache, 8 MB Cache, 12 MB Cache
MEMORYDELL XPS 13 9310APPLE MACBOOK AIR
Speed4267MHz
TechnologyLPDDR4x
Size8GB or 16GB or 32GB Memory OnboardUp to 16 GB
HARD DRIVEDELL XPS 13 9310APPLE MACBOOK AIR
Storage256 GB, 512 GB, 2 TB256GB, 512GB, expandable up to 2 TB
Spindle SpeedM.2 PCIe NVMe Solid-State Drive
AUDIO & VIDEODELL XPS 13 9310APPLE MACBOOK AIR
Graphic ProcessorIntel UHD Graphics with shared graphics memory, Intel Iris Xe Graphics with shared graphics memory8 core GPU
SoundStereo speakers (2.5W x 2 = 4W peak) professionally tuned with Waves MaxxAudio ProStereo speakers, support for Dolby Atmos playback, three-mic array with directional beamforming
CameraWidescreen HD (720p) 2.25mm webcam720p FaceTime HD camera
OPERATING SYSTEMDELL XPS 13 9310APPLE MACBOOK AIR
TypeWindows 10 HomemacOS
CONNECTIONSDELL XPS 13 9310APPLE MACBOOK AIR
Ports2 Thunderbolt 4 ports,
1 headset (headphone and microphone combo) port
Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports with support for:
Charging,
DisplayPort,
Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40Gb/s),
USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10Gb/s),
Headphone jack
Memory cardMicro SD card reader
COMMUNICATIONSDELL XPS 13 9310APPLE MACBOOK AIR
Wireless ProtocolKiller Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 (2 x 2) and Bluetooth 5.1802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compatible and Bluetooth 5.0
Wired Protocol
BATTERYDELL XPS 13 9310APPLE MACBOOK AIR
Capacity52WHr (Integrated)49.9WHr
Cells4-Cell
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTDELL XPS 13 9310APPLE MACBOOK AIR
Width11.6 in11.97 in
Depth7.82 in8.36 in
Height0.58 in0.16-0.63 in
Weight2.8 lbs2.8 lbs
MISCELLANEOUSDELL XPS 13 9310APPLE MACBOOK AIR
ColorPlatinum silver exterior, black interiorGold, Silver, Space gray
KeyboardBlack Backlit English Keyboard with Fingerprint ReaderBacklit keyboard
AVAILABLE OPTIONSOption-1
Option-2
Option-1
Option-2

INTRODUCTION:

Dell XPS 13 9310

Dell released the XPS 13 9310 with 11th generation intel processors that’s the Tiger Lake processors. It also has integrated Xe graphics which are an upgrade over the Intel Iris Plus graphics. We also get that beautiful 13.4-inch Full HD Plus infinity edge touch display which is absolutely gorgeous. Everything remained unchanged in terms of the design and rightfully so because that is a great design.

Apple MacBook Air

I think this laptop is basically as close to perfect as an entry-level laptop can be. The early 2020 version of the MacBook Air was nearly there. It was nearly the perfect laptop but it had issues with thermal performance and fan noise and overheating but this one, Apple Macbook Air M1 has none of those issues.

Dell XPS 13 9310

DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION:

Dell XPS 13 9310

Just like the 9300, this has the same exterior. It also has the same weight 2.64 pounds or 1.2 kilograms for the non-touch model and 2.8 pounds or 1.27 kilograms for the touch model. This is thin, light, sleek, and super-premium, I absolutely love the design of the XPS 13 and for those that prefer the platinum with the silver exterior black interior with that carbon fiber, that’s an option as well.

Just like the 9300, this has an improved keyboard over last year’s model. It has that really good tactile feedback, good key travel. It also has the multi-stage backlight which of course allows you to get work done in a dark room or a dimly lit environment, it all worked well. It has the same glass touchpad, it’s a precision touchpad that’s very responsive, two-finger scrolling is buttery smooth, all the Windows 10 gestures work well.

Apple MacBook Air

The design is great, it’s very light. It is about 1.2 kilograms. Design-wise, it’s got two ports, and it’s the same kind of wedge design that you have grown to love. They haven’t really updated the design at all. Everything is basically the same as the previous versions of the MacBook Air, which is fine because this is actually great. The only slight problem I have with it is that I wish the bezels around the screen were a little bit less thick. You can kind of notice them, and in some modern Windows laptops, they don’t have any bezels at all, but hopefully, they’ll update that for the next time.

There is a good keyboard and this can improve your typing speed. I really like the fact that it has an escape key and this is like one annoying thing about the MacBook Pros. There is a touch ID button which can lock the computer as well, and they’ve got the function keys at the top, that you increase brightness. It is nice to have them for like play, fast forward, rewind on Spotify, and the escape key is really helpful. This is an absolutely fantastic keyboard.

The trackpad as usual is the best in class. These haven’t really changed a lot apart from adding force touch and like haptic feedback. They haven’t really changed a lot since like 2012, which is good because it’s a perfect trackpad. I can’t imagine a trackpad being better than these ones. This trackpad is amazing and they’ve just made them even more amazing with the M1 chip and it cost exactly the same, which is just next level.

DISPLAY QUALITY:

Dell XPS 13 9310

It also has the same display options as its predecessor the 9300. You get that 13.4-inch display, it’s an infinity edge display with the micro bezels. It has a Full HD Plus resolution and a 16 to 10 aspect ratio which of course is very welcome. Now, if you like your display to be really bright, you’re going to love this laptop. Dell claims this display will get up to 500 nits in terms of brightness, I actually measured 526 when it turned off the adaptive brightness in the Intel utility making this an excellent choice for both indoor and outdoor use and they also noticed very minimal glare and reflections. For those content creators out there, you’re going to love this display as well because it covers the color gamut very well, 94% sRGB, 71% Adobe RGB, 71% of the DCI-P3 wide color gamut, and 66% NTSC making this a good choice for lightroom, photoshop, and of course video editing. You’re looking at really deep blacks, really vibrant colors, good color accuracy, and also has really good contrast.

This has got to be one of the best if not the best IPS displays out there, it’s not OLED but it has a lot of the characteristics we look for in an OLED display namely the deep blacks, the very vibrant colors, that pop off the display. This has the multi-touch display there is a non-touch display, of course, I like having touch that gives you the ability to navigate through the OS with your finger, it’s pretty convenient and it was very responsive. Dell hit another run when it comes to the display.

Apple MacBook Air

In terms of the display, it is exactly the same as it’s been recent. It’s a high definition, high-resolution retina display 2560 by 1600 pixels, and it has 400 nits of brightness. It’s reasonable, but not super bright. The MacBook Pro has 500 nits of brightness, so it’s 25% brighter. 400 nits is pretty good for most people in most circumstances. But for example, if you’re on the beach or you’re trying to work outside in the garden, and there is a lot of sunlight, you might struggle to see something on a 400 nit of brightness screen.

Dell XPS 13 9310

FEATURES:

Dell XPS 13 9310

Pricing starts at $999 and that’ll get you a core i3 that’s the entry-level model. The high-end model has the 11th gen core i7, 16 gigabytes of LPDDR4X RAM, which’s faster than the last model with 512 gigabytes of SSD storage, Intel Xe graphics, two Thunderbolt four ports and that comes in at $1649.

One thing you’ll notice right off the packaging is the same as the 9300. It has the same exterior as that arctic frost white. The layout of the accessories in the box is really nice. Now, they do give you an adapter in the box, it’s a USB-A to USB-C adapter which you’re going to need because there is no USB-A port on this laptop. Now, you also get your 45-watt USB-C power adapter, it’s the same adapter we saw with the 9300 which is very compact and you also get an extension cord.

In terms of ports, on the left side where you get one Thunderbolt 4 port and a micro SD card reader for storage expansion. On the right side, you get a second Thunderbolt 4 port and a 3.5-millimeter audio jack. There’s no USB-A port on this laptop. The internals is exactly the same as the 9300. It has the same 52-watt hour battery. It also has dual fans for cooling. Now, as far as what’s user upgradeable, the SSD is user-upgradable if you want to expand that out, you have that option. Unfortunately, the RAM is soldered into the motherboard as is the Wi-Fi card, so that is something to keep in mind. Now, they’re using the Killer-6 Wi-Fi card here. It is Wi-Fi-6 making it pretty much future proof but not user upgradable.

On the XPS 9310 model, there is a 720p 30 frames per second webcam. it’s also an infrared webcam means you can log in with face recognition with Windows Hello, nice that they were able to retain that of course from the 9300. Physically, this is the same device but under the laptop is where you’re going to see all of the changes. Just like on the 9300, the power button doubles as a fingerprint scanner which is working well. 

Like any really thin and light laptop, if you’re gonna put it under heavy load when you’re gonna play games on it, it will start to heat up and get very warm. When I run stress test by Prime95 stress test and I noticed that it would go up to 4.1 gigahertz in terms of the CPU with a core temperature of around 78 degrees celsius that would run for a few seconds and then drop down to anywhere between 2.5 and 3.1 gigahertz and stabilizes at a core temperature of 71 degrees celsius. So, it does get pretty warm but what we’re seeing here out of these integrated Xe graphics with the 11th gen Tiger Lake processors is playable games when you’re putting this under heavy load. So, it’s been pretty good although it will start to get warm, you will notice the fans.

Apple MacBook Air

Now, the base model costs 999 pounds or $999. I actually think the base model is completely fine for most people. You could just buy this and you don’t need to get any upgrades because a 256 gigabyte SSD is reasonable for most students, and for a lot of people an eight gigabyte Ram is again reasonable for the vast majority of people. If you’re a pro and you need to run lots of applications that use multi-core stuff, and that needs to store a lot of stuff in its Ram, then maybe you wanna upgrade to the 16 GB version.

Now in the past, Apple has been using Intel-based processors, but now they have switched some of the laptops, the MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro, and the Mac Mini, they switched all of those to their own internally designed Apple Silicon M1 chip. Now this means that the processor is similar to what you get in iPhones and iPads, i.e, it’s really, fast and it’s ridiculously well optimized for Apple hardware because now Apple makes the software, they make the hardware and they make the processor as well and that means that you just get ridiculous levels of performance. As soon as you open the device, it just turns on kind of like you would expect with an iPhone.

When it comes to thermal performance, this MacBook Air famously does not have a fan. With the previous MacBook Air, the one in early 2020 that had enormous issues with overheating. If you did a few different things, it would get really hot and it would start to make a huge noise because that had a fan but the new Apple Macbook Air M1 has like literally zero issues with it. It does not have a fan, it doesn’t even need a fan because this processor is so efficient. Even though you kept open so many tabs and using them for multi-task, it was not even coming close to getting hot. The only context in which this might be a problem is if you are using very intensive apps, in which case you might wanna go for the MacBook Pro instead, because that has a fan, and so theoretically it will have less thermal throttling at those higher levels of performance.

We have two USB 3 / USB 4 / Thunderbolt ports over here, and you have a headphone jack on the other side. This is a little bit annoying. It would be nice if they have more ports. Now for most people, two ports is absolutely fine, especially given the improved battery life, you probably, aren’t gonna need to lug around a charger with you if you’re taking this out for the day and therefore, you probably won’t need to have a charger permanently plugged in at all times because they’re USB C / Thunderbolt, you’re gonna need a dongle if you still have old USB-A devices.

This has pretty standard microphone features on it. It still has the 720P FaceTime, allegedly HD camera, but what they’ve got this time is now they’ve used the neural engine fancy bits of the processor, which means that the processor is doing image improvements on the fly. This is similar to what the iPhone and the iPad do with their cameras. So if you’re on FaceTime calls with your friends and family or Zoom calls with your friends and family and colleagues, then you’ll have a very slightly nicer camera, but it’s not because of the camera, it’s because of the neural engineering thing underlying that improves the image quality.

Apple macbook air

CPU OPTIONS:

Dell XPS 13 9310

While the exterior has remained largely unchanged from the 9300, most of the changes you’re going to see happen internally under the laptop. We now have 11th generation Tiger Lake processors, this is the Core i7. The CPU use here doesn’t much upgraded one than the previous processor as performance but it gives some slight improvement but the overall performance improvement is because of the graphics card in the XPS 9310.

Apple MacBook Air

When it comes to the Apple design processers like on the iPhone, the iPad, and the Apple Watch, they don’t really talk about processor speed and clock speed and all of that stuff that you hear the Android phone manufacturers talking about because Apple just kind of they don’t care, it really doesn’t matter what the numbers are because everything is so tightly integrated. In the past with the Intel-based chips, the names are like Intel Core i9 with 3.2 gigahertz and so many things but now they’re just calling it the M1 processor.

You can look to benchmarks like the Geekbench score and that gives you an idea like the numbers of how well the processor is performing. If we look at single-core performance, you see the MacBook Pro the Mac mini, and the MacBook Air, the M1 versions are absolutely miles ahead of everything else. Even the mid-2020, the one that just came out Intel Core i9 3.6 gigahertz 10 core processor on the iMac is like 25% slower than these new M1 chips that are on this $1000 MacBook Air. If you’re a student this level of performance is absolutely insane. If you’re a normal person using this laptop, even if you’re a pro and using this laptop, you are very unlikely to have any issues with performance, just because of how fast these processers are.

If we look at the multi-core performance, we’ve got the super fancy Mac Pros, which costs like $5,000 in the first place, and the M1 processor in Mac Air and Mac Mini are in the 7,200 to 7,400 range, and all of the other ones are like very expensive, but this tiny cheap laptop is faster in multi-core performance than the 16 inch MacBook Pro, which came with the Intel i9 processors with eight cores. This is so much faster than the older MacBooks in terms of just the overall Geekbench scores, and so when it comes to buying a laptop, this is ridiculously cheap now, like for the amount of performance you get, you’re not going to have a problem with processor speed.

A final thing about the processor is the idea of app compatibility because Apple has designed these processers, the way that program is apparently designed their software is optimized for specific architecture as a processor. So all of the apps previously that were running on MacBooks were optimized for Intel x86 based processors. Now some of the apps and all of the Apple-designed ones are very well optimized for the new M1 chip. So everything that Apple makes like Safari, Final Cuts, the photos app, messages, and most of the stuff you would need to use is perfectly optimized for this. But if you’re the sort of person who uses lots of third-party software, a lot of products in the Adobe Suite, for example, are not yet perfectly optimized.

dell xps 9310 vs apple macbook air geekbench 5

GPU OPTIONS:

Dell XPS 13 9310

There are significant improvements when it comes to graphics that’s because this has the integrated Xe graphics, a really nice improvement over the Iris Plus graphics. I saw big improvements when it comes to gaming. I got 84 frames per second on GTA 5 versus the 59 with the 9300 and the same goes for Witcher 3 and Dota 2 Reborn. You could play a lot more games on this at better playable frame rates, I like the improvements we’re seeing with that integrated Xe graphics over the integrated Iris Plus graphics.

The XPS 13 9310 is a nice upgrade over the 9300 under the hood. The move to the Intel 11th gen processors, the Tiger Lake processors is a good one not a huge update over the 10th gen but where you’re going to see a real nice performance boost is in its graphics. Things like gaming, video editing, photoshop are all going to work better with the Xe graphics.

Apple MacBook Air

Actually, Macbook Air is not the one which can be used for gaming as the main purpose but you can play games on it as it has so powerful processor. The 8-core GPU gives a decent performance in gaming. The available games on macOS are limited so that all games can be played. You are getting enough power from the processor to do some gaming on it.

BATTERY:

Dell XPS 13 9310

Just like the 9300, this has the same 52-watt hour battery and it did 10 hours and 45 minutes on continuous web surfing test over wi-fi and 150 nits that are about 35 minutes better than the 9300 and that’s not a huge difference but a little bit more longevity with the 11th gen Tiger Lake CPU. Now, as far as the charging is concerned, it took less than two hours for a full charge with the included 45-watt USB-C charger, and just like the 9300, we have the improved speakers on this giving you really good sound filling up a small room rather nicely and giving you good volume, mids, and bass. I really like the sound on this compact laptop.

Apple MacBook Air

The battery life is probably more important than the many things in the laptop because battery life is another area in which this machine has made absolute gains over the previous models. Now, Apple is advertising that you can get like 15 to 17 hours of video playback/web browsing on this new MacBook Air and another two hours on top of that on the MacBook Pro, which has a slightly bigger battery, and this is absolutely insane. This is like at least a 50% increase over previous generations.

When you look at the battery behind the thing, the battery size itself has not changed compared to the previous models, but because of this new Apple-designed M1 chip is very efficient at using the battery. It just does really well in terms of battery life. Now, if this was the only thing that was improved with this generation of the MacBook Air or the MacBook Pro, I would have upgraded because I think an extra 50% to a 100% battery life is worth it.

MacBook Air 2020 vs DELL XPS 13

WHICH TO BUY?

In the Dell XPS 9310, we get that stunning 13.4-inch Full HD plus display; it’s a beautiful infinity edge display with the tiny bezels elegant and sleek design. I absolutely love that comfortable keyboard, a really nice responsive touchpad, 16 to 10 aspect ratio, much-improved graphics with that integrated Xe graphics. You get that all-day battery life and impressive speakers. The negatives largely remain the same, no USB-A port, RAM, and Wireless LAN are not user upgradable, there’s no adaptive sync but these are not deal breakers which makes this worth the money. If you’re a student, then the basic model, the cheapest model of the MacBook Air will be completely fine for you. If you wanna spend a thousand dollars on a laptop or thereabouts, then you really can’t get anything better than this Apple Macbook Air.

If you want a laptop for editing or any office works then Dell’s XPS 9310 will be better. If you’re a student or you want to use the laptop mostly outdoors and for a long time then Apple Macbook Air will be one for you.

Expert reviews of Dell XPS 13 9310:

By Expertreviews
A solid showing from the Dell XPS 13 and Intel’s 11th gen silicon but hardly groundbreaking.

By Laptopmag
The Dell XPS 13 combines a gorgeous chassis with Intel’s new 11th Gen Tiger Lake for a seriously powerful ultraportable laptop.

By Tom’shardware
The Dell XPS 13 looks and feels premium and packs an impressively bright screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio that’s great for productivity. But port selection is limited and doesn’t include USB Type-A.

Expert reviews of Apple Macbook Air:

By Trustedreviews
This is a ridiculously capable laptop offering fantastic battery life – it’s an instant recommendation for anyone looking for a MacBook Air…

By Theverge
But as an everyperson computer, there is nothing like this MacBook Air. It has very good battery life, incredible performance for its class, and yes, a good keyboard. Too bad about the webcam, though. It’s the main reason we couldn’t give this laptop a 10/10, which we were considering…

By Engadget
Apple’s new MacBook Air is its most refined ultraportable yet, mostly due to the new M1 system-on-a-chip. It’s incredibly fast and completely silent, since it has no fan. It’s the first step towards unifying Apple’s hardware and software on Macs, and just like the iPhone and iPad, the result is a sleek and polished experience.

By Wired
However, if pro-grade work is all you do, I would wait if possible until Apple releases a higher-tier MacBook Pro with an M-series chip. That will give developers time to release better-optimized apps, and considering how much of a jump the M1 MacBook Air has made over its eight-month-old predecessor, the stage is set for another dramatic leap.