Microsoft Surface Book 2 vs Dell XPS 15: Which One Should You Buy?
Microsoft Surface Book 2 (left) and Dell XPS 15 (right)
Microsoft Surface Book 2 (left) and Dell XPS 15 (right)(Photo: The Quint)

Microsoft Surface Book 2 vs Dell XPS 15: Which One Should You Buy?

The high-end notebook space might not sell big in numbers but off late we’re seeing many brands enter this space in India. Some of those are Microsoft and Dell with the Surface Book 2 and the XPS series, respectively.

Both these products are priced over the Rs 1 lakh bracket, but if people are willing to shell out over a lakh on the iPhone X, then surely laptops at such price points are likely to find buyers, albeit in small numbers.

Which is why, we’ve decided to compare the two high-end products from Dell and Microsoft that are available in the market. So the question is, if you have a budget of over 1 lakh for a laptop, which of these should you buy?

The prices mentioned here are for the base variant of both the brands. 
The prices mentioned here are for the base variant of both the brands. 
(Photo: Shruti Mathur/ The Quint)

Design

Surface Book 2 is a high end notebook and Microsoft has made sure no expense is spared designing this product The build quality of the Book 2 is similar to that of the Apple MacBooks, and that’ll never go unnoticed.

Speaking about the Dell XPS 15, this series first caught my eye with its near bezel-less screen that enhances the viewing experience. The 15-inch form factor only makes it even more attractive, with better screen real estate on offer.

Rugged design of the Dell XPS 15 gives it the premium touch. 
Rugged design of the Dell XPS 15 gives it the premium touch. 
(Photo: The Quint)

The overall fit and finish of the XPS 15 leaves us impressed and fair to say, this is a rugged notebook that can easily withstand the rigours of daily usage.

In addition to the basic laptop features, Book 2 specialises for its hybrid traits. You can detach the screen, flip it and fold the device to use it with the Pen.

You can use the Surface Book 2 like a tablet as well. 
You can use the Surface Book 2 like a tablet as well. 
(Photo: The Quint)

Because of its versatility, the Book 2 weighs up to 1.6kg but numbers tend to be deceptive and that’s what you’ll realise while holding the device. This brings the value addition one might be asking for at these prices.

Display

Somehow, Dell is satisfied in offering the 1920x1080 pixels screen resolution with its 15-inch XPS model in India. Bigger the screen, more the pixels, which add to the overall quality produced while watching. This is where Microsoft beats the pants off its competitor with its Surface Book 2 boasting 3240x2160 pixels and the difference in quality is quite noticeable to the naked eye.

Having said that, for an updated device, we would have liked Microsoft to match Dell in terms cutting down the bezels around the screen.

Surface Book 2 15-inch model gets 3120x2160 pixels resolution.
Surface Book 2 15-inch model gets 3120x2160 pixels resolution.
(Photo: The Quint)

Hardware

The steep price points can be attributed to the use of solid state drives on these notebooks. With Surface Book 2 and the Dell XPS 15, you can choose from 256GB, 512GB and even a 1TB variant.

It’s intriguing that the Core i5 variant of the 13.5-inch Surface Book 2 is from the Intel’s seventh generation lineup, while the Core i7 packing inside the device belongs to the eighth generation family.

You get RAM options of 8GB and 16GB, and the storage is non-expandable. Dell, thankfully keeps its lineup straightforward, with Core i7 variant with 16GB and 512GB storage being its top-spec version.

2X USB 3.1 port and a card reader is there on the Surface Book 2. 
2X USB 3.1 port and a card reader is there on the Surface Book 2. 
(Photo: The Quint)

With respect to ports, Microsoft is giving you couple of USB 3.1 ports, a single USB Type C port, audio jack, couple of Surface connect ports and an SD card reader. Dell is offering 2-USB 3.1 ports and a single HDMI port to let you connect to an external display.

Dell is also generous when it comes to offering ports on the XPS 15.
Dell is also generous when it comes to offering ports on the XPS 15.
(Photo: The Quint)

And finally, battery life. Microsoft claims Surface Book 2 can last up to 17 hours on a single charge, and during our time we managed to run it for over 12 hours, which is not bad. While Dell XPS 15 can easily last for over 13 hours.

Which One Worth Buying?

Looking at all the differences between the two, here’s what we can say about them. Surface Book 2 is a classy, high-end machine and Microsoft gets maximum points for offering it in a hybrid form factor, whether you want it or not.

The 15-inch variant packs high resolution, and even though not the latest hardware in the market, you can easily make use of it for five years or more.

There are plenty of ports on offer, but you’ll have to rely on a charging port that is delicate and needs to be tread with care. With models starting from Rs 1.50 lakh, you can even choose the model with 1TB storage and up to 16GB RAM, but that’ll cost you over 2.3 lakh.

Dell XPS 15 gets smaller bezels compared to Surface Book 2. 
Dell XPS 15 gets smaller bezels compared to Surface Book 2. 
(Photo: The Quint)

Coming to the Dell XPS 15, this is also a rugged notebook but the use of Full-HD screen that too for its price, is hard to justify. You get a lot of ports for basic storage and connectivity use case and even the battery life is good enough to last you to the mile.

But paying this much for an XPS, when you have the option of a MacBook or a Surface Book 2 (with its 2-in-1 design) is worth looking at, depending on what and how you plan to use the laptop.

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