Lenovo Thinkpad vs Dell XPS Best Business Laptop Comparison

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon for a long time has been compared to the XPS 13 from Dell. The comparison is so common that this little tech contest has been blown into a real showdown. The comparison between the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and the Dell XPS 13 has been dubbed the battle of the titans. It is a face-off between two titans, indeed considering the features of both laptop machines. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 vs Dell XPS 13 is a healthy argument due to the similarities of both laptops.

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DellDell New XPS 13 9300 13.4-inch FHD InfinityEdge Touchscreen Laptop (Silver), Intel Core i7-1065G7 10th Gen, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Windows 10 Pro (XPS9300-7909SLV-PUS)Check Price on Amazon
LenovoLenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon LaptopCheck Price on Amazon

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The ThinkPad X1 Carbon and the Dell XPS 13 are currently two of the most excellent laptop devices commercially available on the market. Both notebooks, despite having high-end specifications share similar features. They look mostly identical with their long battery lives, excellent display options, fast performance, and sleek designs. With these specifications, it is expected that lots of people will fall for the temptation to buy anyone on a whim. They are two of the best business laptops.

However, the thing here is that the devices come with very significant differences. Prospective buyers should factor in these differences when deciding whether to purchase the XPS 13 or the ThinkPad dell X1 Carbon. If you know the differences in the Dell vs Lenovo debate, you would know which device is suitable for you.

In the first scenario, people need to know that the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is designed for business professionals. As a business laptop, it comes with additional features that are absent on the Dell XPS 13. In comparison, the XPS 13 lacks these features. However, the XPS 13 is blessed with insane portability. The XPS 13 trumps the ThinkPad X1 Carbon when it comes to robust performance and battery life. This advantage is due to specific chips used in the XPS 13.

In terms of dependability and getting things done, both laptops are convenient. But in the following sections, we took out the time to thoroughly review each system in the Lenovo vs Dell XPS 13 debate to let you make your decision based on different features. Different users purchase laptops for various reasons. Hopefully, with the specifications and system features, you get to make the right decision.

The exterior and aesthetics of the laptops

In terms of design changes, not much treatment was given to the XPS 13 compared to previously released models. Instead, the XPS was made to become smaller. The XPS now has a slightly thin section and now comes with additional features such as the IR cam. Furthermore, the XPS also comes with the IR cam, and the fantastic fingerprint sensor is a part of the power button.

All ports are missing three numbers of the type-C ports and the microSD card slot. The battery got shrunk down from 60Wh to 52Wh.

Besides these changes, and the inclusion of a fantastic white spun-glass solution (excellent material feels good in the wrist, but we like the black and silver), this 9370 retains its similar solid sandwich of glass, aluminum, and nicely-chosen space-age carbon fiber in the deck. The XPS 13 has seen lots of evolution since its first introduction to the market. However, this current device comes fully-packed in the build and aesthetics department.

Furthermore, it is essential to note that the XPS 13 looks excellent in either the white or black color. For us, it wasn’t easy to select.

Whereas the dimensions and the bezels of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon have reduced considerably (compared to conventional ThinkPad versions, like the T-series) to compete with other modern ultraportable brands, the general design is obviously “ThinkPad”: functional, conservative, and minimalist.

As the device’s name points out, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is made from Carbon fiber plus other materials like magnesium alloy (albeit in little amounts). The outcome is a thin and lightweight laptop, which surprisingly comes with a robust feel. Indeed, based on a reliable report from Lenovo ThinkPad, the famed ThinkPad Roll Cage is functional with the ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

While this may not be like the Magnesium, such as in the T-series, the carbon fiber used in the construction of the X1 does something pretty similar: The base of the device is pretty rock-solid despite its thin dimensions and lightweight.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is considerably lighter in terms of weight than the Dell XPS 13 despite a bigger footprint and screen. However, this lightweight has no compromise on the structural integrity of the device.

Also, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon vs Dell XPS 13 gets two extra achievements in terms of miscellaneous features: these are the screen’s ability to open up to an angle of 180 degrees with the use of one hand.

One disadvantage of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon vs XPS is its vulnerability to fingerprints. You will need to keep your PC pristine regularly by using a wipe. However, the coating is not as comfortable as it is robust. For the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, it seems that the vital materials used in this regard are both Carbon fiber and Magnesium, however, it appears like the comfort of this device was increased at the expense of its aesthetic durability.

During testing, it was noticed that the paint job of the system underwent thinning for some time. While most people may have never run into problems with the ThinkPad vs Dell XPS 13, the finishing on this ThinkPad X1 Carbon had some begun wearing off in some parts.

The finish underwent some damage/wear after several days

For us, the winning laptop here is the XPS 13. Besides being more attractive than the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and appears slicker (however, ThinkPad X1 Carbon itself is one ugly device), it is increasingly durable – irrespective of whichever finishing you tend to choose.  The device’s white glass finish still retains its perfection despite years of usage, and whereas the finishing of the carbon fiber always attracts oils, it is not as poor as the finishing for the X1 Carbon. Users will find puzzling is the transient nature of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon coating, which is suspected not to be durable.

Connectivity  

With the thunderbolt 3 a new trend in the industry, it is one cool feature in new laptops now. One big feature that we needed to cover in the ThinkPad X1 Carbon vs XPS 13 is the connectivity of both devices. For us to ensure that we cover both laptops here, let us begin with the XPS 13. The recently released generation of the Dell XPS 13, it came with just two numbers of USB 3.1 Type-A, a single type-C TB3 (with just 2 PCIe lanes), and a reliable SD card reader. Since the XPS 13 9370 no longer has all of its ports but the three numbers of the Type-C (one with just USB 3.1 Gen 2, two with 4-lane TB3 support) plus just one microSD card slot. Let’s not forget the thunderbolt 3 connectivity. The thunderbolt 3 is useful in connecting fast hard drives. Users who these devices will enjoy the efficiency of the thunderbolt 3. In terms of connectivity, the thunderbolt 3 is the best we have seen. However, the thunderbolt 3 looks like the USB-C.

Type-C

In this regard, it is easy to spot that the default winner here is the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. This is because it is fully-equipped with two USB 3.1 Type-A and two TB3 ports, HDMI, microSD, SIM, and the Gigabit ethernet (through an adapter, plus the hardware is included). The thing here is that it comes without a full-size SD card reader. Regardless, it is worlds better than the unneeded minimalist approach that had taken on the XPS 13.

Input

The XPS vs X1 Carbon debate also involves an analysis of the mode of input and typing. When we say that theThinkPad X1 Carbon is among some of the most convenient laptop machines to type on, we are not exaggerating. Whenever you refer to the input method of the ThinkPad, one thing comes to mind: Both their mouse (TrackPoint technology) and Keyboards are of legendary status. For the keyboard of theThinkPad X1 Carbon, its key travel is approximately 1.8mm.

This makes typing increasingly incredible. The device comes with comfortable palm-rests. Comfortability is boosted by the physical arrangement of the scroll buttons/physical mouse and TrackPoint, which allows you to neatly tuck in your hands during work. This comfortable position means that you can go for long hours typing on the keyboard and never complaining of getting tired.

Unparalleled

Another bonus point goes to the ThinkPad X1 Carbon because it comes with the 1080p matte touch option. The feature is an excellent one to have on such a good business machine. One major drawback here is the absence of the Windows Hello IR camera alternative with the device’s display (although you can get this with the non-touch glossy HDR display). However, that feature will have fixed lots of the bigger problems with the ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

Terrible problems

The XPS 13 vs X1 Carbon is a debate that helps us detect problems in both systems. Speaking of problems, there are some issues with the Carbon. With the Carbon device, we have two obvious input problems. In the first scenario, there appears to be a ghosting problem. This problem happens if three keys on opposing sides of the keyboard are pressed at short intervals. Most people think that this is a hardware problem since they can hear some system beeping sound through their headphones if they are plugged in during the time the problem shows up.

Due to this problem, I was then forced to type in certain words slowly (my standard typing rate is usually about 120 WPM. This problem has been made to get used to typing at below 80 WPM. Sometimes it could be lower than 80 WPM since you are continually looking to prevent or correct typos, or you are slowly typing to allow the keyboard keys to register fully.

The second problem is the Synaptics fingerprint scanning device. Technically, this is such a terrible addition. The device successfully registers the fingerprint-like about 20% of the whole time. When you clean and repeat, you then decide to scan using your fingers several times without any improvement: still, this prolonged operation (it takes between 1 and 2 seconds) and frequent false-negative occurrences. The fingerprint scanning device on this ThinkPad X1 Carbon is pretty bad and gives the device a bad look.

Typing with the XPS 13 9370

It is easy to be carried away with the XPS 13 9370 that it can win only due to the fingerprint and keyboard problems that I cannot find any solution to. However, it has certain reservations when it comes to the XPS 13. In the first case, this is an old keypress-detection problem that is months old and is worse off than that of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. There are several typing challenges here, like typing a specific letter twice to get just a single letter on the screen.

This problem has continued to impede my work productivity each time I use the XPS 13 for work-related tasks. The time I first discovered this problem is two days after I first got my XPS. The outcome of this is the fact that my typing output is now halved to 50% accuracy.

To be optimistic, it appears that this problem is known to and has been known to them for some months now. However, the last time I spoke to the company’s customer support about the issue, they had suggested that a BIOS update, which is purported for a late May release, will fix up the problem.

However, this is not acceptable for a laptop device released for months now [Note: the BIOS solution for this problem just got released around May 16. It is confirmed that this has finally fixed the keyboard problem].

In the final analysis, I still have one problem typing with my XPS 13 because it comes in a small size.  The XPS comes with sharp palm rests, and the XPS laptop has a small enough size that they will be digging into the user’s palms as they type in time. This feeling is rather unpleasant with the carbon fiber deck; however, the soft woven glass feel of the model with the white finish appeals better.

Whereas the white deck is a fantastic material, this can press hard into the wrists when you are typing in restricted spaces. Apart from the broken keyboard, however, the IR camera of the XPS 13 9370 works pretty well without any problems. It is convenient to unlock the laptop before resting your fingers on the keyboard of the PC. If the user is not in a place that the camera can easily spot them, the power button-integrated scanner works superbly in this regard.

The feature is fully functional from every angle and is almost instant. It is known here that the fingerprint scanner of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon comes with its attached hardware storage to make technically increasingly secure; however, this is not an excuse if the end product is an unreliable and slow fingerprint reader.

Both laptop devices come with the Windows Precision touchpads. While the XPS 13 appears to be a bit more responsive and less vulnerable to touches, however, the TrackPoint technology of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the winning trackpad at any anytime of the day.

The Winning device: To me, the winner in this regard, is the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. It allows you to solve your keyboard problems by using product-breaking bugs. We are aware of the fact that this same problem plagues the same Latitude series from Dell. However, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon comes with superior Trackpoints (mouse) and keyboards; however, you could still run into key-detection issues in a few places. Moreover, the fingerprint scanner, which comes with the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 6, is a joke.

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Display

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon caters to people who are not looking for a laptop with an enhanced graphical design in terms of the 14 inch display. If you prefer going through your Linux terminals and Excel spreadsheets, then the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is probably for you. Noting this, it is simple to see the reason Lenovo had chosen the 14 inch non-touch display screen with an aspect ratio of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It also comes with a crass color reproduction plus the brightness function. Any standard laptop with a screen size of 14 inch will reproduce almost all of the sRGB color gamut; however, the display of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon can reproduce just only 73%. This makes the X1 Carbon not useful for work with color sensitivity.

Also, there are even PC models having 1366 x 768 that is currently available in the market. However, the thing here is that the low-resolution laptop models should be avoided at every cost.

The display is the regular 720p webcam that is suitable for business calls occasionally; however, it is not recommended for selfies and those lengthy video calls with friends and families.

In terms of its display quality, the XPS 13 is something else. The laptop nearly got rid of the display bezels. This means that the PC manufacturers successfully used a screen display of 15.6 inches into a body of 14 inches. This even fits into the sleeves of some bigger 13-inch laptops. Furthermore, more costly versions of the XPS 13 have an attractive 4K glossy IGZO IPS display that enables the touch function. This covers about 188% of the sRGB color gamut. It also has a brightness of 380 nits.

This display is considerably sharp, vivid, and merely a joy to stare at. The device makes tasks that are pretty dull exciting. Furthermore, it is always a delightful thing to edit movies and pictures with this system. Additionally, we also have versions of the XPS 13 that comes with the non-touch Full HD matte display; however, the quality of its image is not close in any way to that of the 4K display. However, it is several levels superior to the ThinkPad X1 Carbon.

One thing that we like about XPS 13’s display is the webcam’s position. You can spot this device’s camera under the display, which makes it directly facing the nose. With this arrangement, you may have some awkward moments. People who Skype all the time will find out that your fellow Skypers will be making quick jokes about you. You are better off purchasing the standalone webcam. However, besides the unfortunate position, the 720 webcam comes with decent image quality. In terms of the display, the winner of the display is the XPS 13.

Winner: The XPS 13. If display quality matters to you a lot, then you need to get the XPS 13. It is the best device in this regard.

Performance

Both the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and the XPS 13 are equally high-performing laptop systems. In terms of performance, they are nearly on the same level. However, for the sake of users who need to know the clear differences between both notebooks, we would go into details.

Take the ThinkPad X1 Carbon for example, it comes with the Intel core i7 processor and not core i5. It also includes the Intel HD cards Graphics 620. The device comes with an ample 8GB of RAM. The 8GB of RAM ensures that you can perform multiple tasks on your laptop without compromising performance. Furthermore, the device is also equipped with the 256 GB 2 PCIe SSD. People who do not need the processing efficiency of the Intel Core i7 can choose a different Full HD version. Rather than the core i7, this new version comes with an 8GB of RAM and Intel Core i5. Also, your 8GB of RAM also ensure that you do more tasks simultaneously. However, the core i7 offers faster clock base speeds.

In terms of audio, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon comes with loudspeakers mounted in the front of the system for ample audio coverage. However, these speakers do not sound how most people will want them to for decent multimedia consumption.

Since this device does not come with a dedicated GPU, it merely means that we will not be using the system for any serious gaming titles except a few light games. Furthermore, several applications that heavily use GPU acceleration are crassly affected as in the photo and video editors. But it has long been established that the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is not targeted for creative professionals.

Instead, the device is designed for those that need it for numerical purposes and processes that rely heavily on data resources. In these series, we are entirely satisfied with the core i5-7300U and core i7-7600U that perform excellently. Furthermore, you could add a RAM size close to 32 GB. Alternatively, the laptop can configure up to about 1 TB SSD drive.

With the XPS 13, you can get these variants of core i7-7700HQ, core i5-7300HQ, core i7-7500HQ or core i5-7100H processor. Every single model can have a RAM size close to about 32 GB, which runs at 2,400MHz. Besides the model that comes with the Intel Core i5-7100H, every other version all come with the desktop-standard NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 plus the 4GB GDDR5.

The storage options available are PCIe SSDs close to 1TB and 500GB 7200 RPM hard drive. It is recommended to stay away from the conventional hard drive because this appears to minimize the laptop’s power and responsiveness.

For the Dell XPS 13, the flagship model comes with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 and core i7-7700HQ, a gentle monster that is powerful enough to satisfy the most extreme conditions for users. The XPS 13 can neatly be used in different tasks such as coding or editing. Furthermore, you would find out that the device comes with decent speakers and a gorgeous display. Plus, it is excellent for watching videos and streaming movies online after working hard at the end of the day.

The laptop device comes with the Waves MaxxAudio Pro app. This function is used to easily and quickly adjust the speaker’s sound signature based on your individual preferences, increasing the bass boost. The Waves MaxxAudio Pro app helps to boost your bass in ways that previously were not possible.

In this category, the XPS 13 with the core i7, is the clear winner. Its dedicated desktop-standard display graphics plus a CPU that is relatively faster than that of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. The XPS 13 is the most versatile device that will perform all your tasks. The core i7 is worth all the money if you need high performance. However, core i7 is perfect for gaming, but it can be used for most tasks.

Battery Life

If it gets fitted with Lenovo’s 6-cell battery, the battery life of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is seen to last for close to 17 hours. This is simply magnificent. Even if it gets equipped with the more light-weight 3-cell battery, the device can still work for more than 8 hours. Like other ThinkPad variants, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon comes complete with the battery system known as the PowerBridge. This inclusion allows you to add on a new battery without putting off your laptop device.

Your XPS can be purchased with different battery variants 97Wh or 56Wh. For this system, you should get the device with the bigger battery when buying the 4K version of your XPS 13. This 4K resolution significantly impacts your battery life. It cuts down your video playback time from 8 hours to only 5 hours. This performance is commendable for a powerful and sizeable 15.6-inch laptop that has a dedicated GPU. This cut back on video playback time help enhance the battery life.

The winner of this section is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Although the XPS 13 has a decent battery life, this cannot be compared to the excellent battery life of the X1 Carbon. The battery life of the Lenovo ThinkPad will last for a period of 17 hours on one full charge.

Is the Lenovo ThinkPad better than the Dell XPS 13?

Generally, most Dell Laptops are much costlier than Lenovo Laptops. This is all the more reason why the Dell XPS comes highly recommended as a superior choice for rugged laptops. Users can decide to purchase the Dell XPS laptop if it is within their acceptable price range. Alternatively, Lenovo has various laptop series which come with unique designs in comparison to Dell. Both Lenovo and Dell manufacture different laptop series that you just have to pick the best choice based on your demands.

Is the Dell XPS 13 good enough to be purchased?

When considering the XPS, the 4K variant doesn’t have the same durability as competing laptops out there. Then also, the XPS 13 appears to look thin on ports. Users who use multiple external accessories will find this quite challenging. However, if those little setbacks can be ignored, then you know that the XPS 13 is the most fantastic example of one of the best laptops that can be purchased.

Which laptop is better? Dell or Lenovo?

Whereas most Dell laptops are indeed costlier than Laptops from Lenovo, this could prove to be a deciding factor when purchasing your laptop. People looking for a rugged laptop device that is quite affordable are generally recommended to buy a Dell XPS laptop. However, in terms of the build and the design of the laptops, Lenovo is better at making their laptops unique compared to the XPS. The 14 inch screen display is one best indicator of this. it gives users enough display options. Furthermore, you still need to consider such properties as 8GB of RAM, Intel Core i5, USB 3.1, 2 PCie, two USB ports, and sufficient screen display options.

Verdicts

We have extensively tested both laptops and conclude that they are both robust devices. However, they seem to differ in different aspects. In terms of design, the XPS 13 is much better. The X1 Carbon is a better laptop for internet connectivity. The X1 Carbon is still better than the XPS 13 for accurate and fast input. In terms of the screen specifications, both devices are useful.

Similarly, if you were considering the performance and hardware, the XPS 13 is the much better system. Furthermore, choosing the better laptop in terms of heat and noise will leave you with the XPS 13. If you were to select terms of price and the battery life, the XPS 13 is your best bet. The XPS is better in some aspects.

Whereas it feels like the XPS 13 won more than the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 in different categories, it is not always simple to recommend the system. The XPS 13 can never be recommended to somebody who does not like taking their dongles about with them due to convenience or portability. While the Kensington lock slot ensure security of the devices when on the move, it is never sufficient to judge the devices off a Kensington lock slot alone.

The thing here is that it all comes down to the experience of the price at the end of the day. Had the XPS 13 come in the same price range as the X1 Carbon, this would have evened out.


ProductBrandNamePrice
DellDell New XPS 13 9300 13.4-inch FHD InfinityEdge Touchscreen Laptop (Silver), Intel Core i7-1065G7 10th Gen, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Windows 10 Pro (XPS9300-7909SLV-PUS)Check Price on Amazon
LenovoLenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon LaptopCheck Price on Amazon

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