MacBook Pro 15in v Dell XPS 15 head-to-head review

Dell takes the fight to Apple with its latest premium laptop. Can the XPS 15 defeat the MacBook Pro?

Verdict

The 15in MacBook and XPS 15 are both fantastic laptops. They’ve got ample power, stunning screens, exceptional physical design and great ergonomics.

The devices battled it out to a draw in the areas of design and keyboard/trackpad functionality.

Dell’s XPS 15 won three categories - display, connectivity and upgradeability. Not to be outperformed the MacBook won when it came to performance, software, and battery life.

So which machine is best for business?

The downside of the MacBook is the high price and lack of serviceability so it’s best suited to small businesses, sole traders or firms with BYOD policies.

The XPS is available in cheaper configurations, is more customisable and upgradable so is better suited to large deployments.

But if we had to pick one of these machines we’d opt for the MacBook.

This article was originally published on 11/03/14 and has been updated several times (most recently on 27/03/15).

Specifications 

Apple MacBook Pro 15in (late-2013)

OS: OS X Mavericks (10.9) Processor: 2GHz quad-core Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz) RAM: 8GB DDR3 (configurable up ot 16GB)
Storage: 256/512GB or 1TB PCIe Flash storage Screen: 15.4in, (2880 x 1800) 220ppi  
Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi‑Fi wireless networking IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible, Bluetooth 4 
Ports: 2 x USB 3, 2 x Thunderbolt 2.0, SD card reader, HDMI
Dimensions: 359 x 247 x 18mm (WxDxH) Weight: 2.02kg

Dell XPS 15

OS: Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
Processor: 2.2GHz quad-core Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz)
RAM: 16GB DDR3
Storage: 512GB SSD
Screen: 15.6in, (3,200 x 1880) 238ppi  
Connectivity: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260, Bluetooth 4
Ports: 3 x USB 3, 1 x USB 2, 1 x HDMI, 1 x miniDisplayPort, SD card reader
Dimensions: 372 x 254 x 17mm (WxDxH)
Weight: 1.88kg