Surface Book 3 vs Dell XPS 15 Best Laptop 2020

Tech lovers around the world are always looking for the best new models of various devices, and laptops are pretty high on the list. Now, people who prefer laptops often want them due to their portability, but they also often need strength, speed, and reliability.

ProductBrandNamePrice
DellDell XPS 15 7590, XPS7590-7572SLV-PUSCheck Price on Amazon
MicrosoftNEW Microsoft Surface Book 3Check Price on Amazon

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This is why today, we wanted to compare two 15-inch Windows 10 laptops that have attracted a lot of attention recently, and see which is better.

The two models in question are Microsoft’s Surface Book 3 and Dell 15, both of which were designed to be highly reliable, with Intel Core processors (albeit different ones) and useful for all kinds of things.

So, whether you need a laptop for business, college, or content creation, both of these models are likely to serve you extremely well. If you wish to know which is best, however, keep reading, and let’s find out.

Surface Book 3 vs Dell XPS 15 Comparison

Surface Book 3 vs Dell XPS Design

Let’s start by comparing the design of these two models.

While both look rather modern and aesthetically pleasing, there are quite a few differences worth noting. For example, Surface Book 3 comes in the form of a detachable 2-in-1, meaning that you can use it as a laptop when you connect the two parts, or you can use its lid as a tablet.

Its form factor also improves its flexibility, and that is one of the reasons why this model immediately attracts attention. However, this ability to use it as a highly-advanced laptop or a tablet is also one of the reasons why this model is rather expensive.

So, if you only need a laptop that you can pay much cheaper, it might be worth looking into some other model. If, however, this transformation has worth to you, then Surface Book 3 could easily be the best model for you out there.

As a laptop, Surface Book 3 doesn’t come with too many decorations. In fact, matte-gray magnesium that coats the chassis makes it unassuming, but still rather elegant, despite the simplicity, or rather — because of it.

However, the aesthetics are slightly reduced due to rather thick display bezels, as well as the fact that it has quite a gap between the lid and the deck when you close the laptop.

However, the situation is different once you detach its display. Like with previous Surface Book models, you can simply press a single key and the laptop becomes a very modern-looking tablet. This, of course, also means that its components have to be in the lid/tablet part, rather than the bottom portion, as is the case with regular laptops.

On the other hand, we have Dell 15, which is more of a traditional clamshell laptop, with no detaching parts or folds. Regardless, this is also a very nice-looking model that was actually redesigned earlier this year.

As such, it now comes with a four-border InfinityEdge display that is highlighting the extremely compact chassis. In terms of color, Surface Book 3 looks a bit like a concrete slab, while Dell 15 looks much fancier, with a platinum silver CNC aluminum lid.

Both laptops have their respective companies’ logos engraved on the back of the lid. And, once the lid is open, Surface Book 3 will greet you with an IR camera for quick login, whereas Dell 15 features a fingerprint scanner that also acts as a power button.

Other than that, it also features black carbon fiber located on the deck, as well as keyboard, a rather big trackpad, and speakers underneath.

Two more things to notice here is that Dell XPS 15 is a bit smaller, but also heavier than Surface Book 3. It comes at 4.5 pounds, whereas Surface Book weighs 4.3 pounds. As for their dimensions, XPS 15 comes at 13.6 x 9.1 x 0.7 inches, while Surface Book 3 sits at 13.5 x 9.9 x 0.9 inches. The difference is not that great, and they are rather similar, but it might be worth noting to some users out there.

As far as this section of the comparison is concerned, we have to say that XPS 15 sounds like a better solution. It doesn’t turn into a tablet, but it certainly does look more elegant and modern.

Surface Book 3 vs Dell XPS 15 Ports and Inputs

Ports are quite an important part of any portable device that you always end up connecting to other devices or simply plug in SD cards, headphones, and alike.

If this sounds like something you tend to do, you will be happy to know that Dell XPS 15 features a full SD card reader, located next to its headphone jack and USB-C port on the laptop’s right side. On the left, you will find even more — two Thunderbolt 3 ports, as well as a lock slot.

As for Surface Book 3, it comes with a wider selection of ports. However, it also lacks Thunderbolt 3, which might be a problem for some users, but likely not for everyone. Instead, Surface Book 3 features two USB 3-1 ports, as well as an SD card slot, all of which are located on the laptop’s left side.

The right side of the device offers one USB-C input, and a Surface Connect port, which you will use for charging.

It also features a headphone jack, although it is not located on the bottom half, but rather on the display itself. That way, you get to use it regardless of whether the device acts as a laptop or a tablet.

While Surface Book 3 does with a few ports more, the lack of Thunderbolt 3 is a bit problematic, which is why, once again, we have to proclaim Dell XPS 15 the winner.

Surface Book 3 vs Dell XPS 15 Display

The display of a laptop is extremely important, for a number of reasons. First of all, you cannot just replace it if you don’t like it, as you do with desktop computers. Meanwhile, you need to be able to see well, regardless of whether you use it for editing photos and videos, or simply wish to watch Netflix of it.

Whether it is your personal enjoyment or work, we do not expect that you will have a problem with any of these two models. But, while they are both really good, we were interested to see which one is better.

Dell XPS 15 seems to have taken the lead this time, as well. This laptop comes with a 15.6-inch, 3840×2400 pixel display. It features an aspect ratio of 16:10, and it pretty much beats Surface Book 3 in terms of color and brightness alike.

Surface Book 3 also has a smaller display, featuring a 15-inch 3240×2160-resolution screen, with its aspect ratio being at 3:2.

We have also found that Surface Book 3’s screen only covers 101% of the sRGB color gamut. XPS 15, on the other hand, covers 132%. With the premium category’s average being 121%, we see that Dell XPS 15 is significantly above this value, while Surface Book 3, unfortunately, sits some ways below it.

The situation is the same when it comes to brightness, where Surface Book 3 reaches 402 nits, while XPS 15’s panel goes as high up as to 434 nits. However, both are significantly above average this time, which is 368 nits. In other words, brightness will be phenomenal regardless of which laptop you pick. Dell XPS 15 is just a bit better at it.

Surface Book 3 vs Dell XPS 15 Performance

Finally, we come to the performance, which is really the most important part of our Surface Book 3 vs Dell XPS 15 comparison.

Let’s start with battery life. Dell XPS 15 features a 4K display, but regardless, it managed to keep the battery life as long as 8 hours and 1 minute long during the battery test. During the test, the brightness was at around 150 nits, while the laptop was used for constant web browsing during this time.

While it isn’t the longest battery life out there, it was still above expectations, especially for a 4K laptop.

When we conducted our tests for Surface Book 3, we checked out its performance as both, a laptop and a tablet.

In tablet mode, the device lasted only for about 3 and a half hours, which is not too bad. However, in laptop mode, Surface Book 3 managed to outperform Dell XPS 15 by several hours, totaling in over 11 hours-long battery, which was rather impressive.

This time, at least, Surface Book 3 comes as a winner, while Dell XPS 15 took the second place.

With the battery comparison out of the way, let’s see the raw performance of each laptop, and see which one wins in this regard.

Starting with Dell XPS 15, this laptop uses 10th gen Intel H-series CPUs, as opposed to Surface Book 3, which features U-series CPUs. Obviously, XPS 15’s 10th gen Intel CPUs are noticeably more powerful, which is another point for Dell.

XPS 15 came with 10th gen Intel Core i7-10750H CPU, featuring as much as 32GB of RAM, which ensured rather phenomenal performance. Surface Book 3, on the other hand, came with the Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor. It also had 32GB of RAM, however, the weaker Intel processor ensured that the laptop worked slower than Dell XPS 15.

In the end, Dell XPS 15 10th gen Intel Core i7-10750H CPUs are just beefier, with the option of up to a 45W 10th Gen Intel Core i9-10885H. As such, it is much more capable, although this has its downsides, as well. For example, this drains the battery quite significantly. As a result, Dell needed to install a larger pack.

It all depends on what you plan to do and equip the laptops with. If you configure Dell XPS 15 in a way that will allow it to reach its maximum performance potential, 10th Gen Intel Core i9-10885H is what you need. Surface Book 3’s Intel Core i7-1065G7 doesn’t come close to comparing with that, but XPS 15 can easily beat it even without going full-power, as our own tests have shown.

During testing, we used Intel Core i7-1065G7, which allowed Surface Book 3 to score 3,831 when we tested its overall performance on Geekbench 5.0 test. 10th gen Intel Core i7-10750H, on the other hand, allowed XPS 15 to score much higher — 6,147. Dell’s laptop scored higher than the category average of 4,224, while Microsoft’s device was significantly below this threshold.

However, while Surface Book 3 is slower, it still has its positives, such as the 512GB PCIe SSD, which managed to outperform XPS 15 when it comes to its transfer time. During these tests, it transferred 862.6 MB per second, needing only 6 seconds to transfer 5GB of data. XPS 15, on the other hand, could only transfer 726 MBps, which is a small difference, but still, Surface Book 3 did outperform in this regard.

Lastly, let’s discuss the two laptops’ GPUs.

Surface Book 3 uses a GPU that is relatively discreet, especially if you consider using one for the more premium models. It features the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, including Max-Q GPU. The card has 4GB of VRAM, It is capable of handling some rather demanding games at 63 FPS and 1080p (Very High).

Interestingly enough, despite its 10th gen Intel Core processor, XPS 15 simply could not compare with its GeForce GTX 1650 Ti (Max-Q) graphics card. While GeForce GTX 1650 Ti (Max-Q) GPU is nothing to complain about, it was unable to play the same games at the same level, only going up to 42 FPS.

While Surface Book 3 seems to be a better option for gaming due to its more powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Max-Q) GPU, however, XPS 15’s 10th gen Intel Core i7-10750H CPU still makes it better for work, moving data, and simply processing various activities and tasks that you may perform on your laptop.

Summary

With that, let’s summarize what we managed to learn about the two laptops thus far.

We have learned that XPS 15 comes with a more elegant and slightly better design, even though it doesn’t transform into a tablet. Surface Book 3, which does, however, also comes with a much larger price tag.

In terms of ports, Surface Book might have a few more, but it lacks Thunderbolt 3, which will likely be a problem for a lot of users. It also lost to XPS 15 in terms of display quality, size, color, and brightness. While its display is still pretty good, it is below average in some areas, and below XPS 15 in all of them.

When it comes to their battery, Surface Book 3 actually managed to outperform, lasting a total of 11 hours in laptop mode, and around three and a half hours in tablet mode. XPS 15, on the other hand, only lasted for about 8 hours in its singular laptop mode, although that is likely due to it being a 4K laptop.

Lastly, CPU and GPU. XPS 15 came out on top with its 10th gen Intel ore i7-10750H processor, especially due to the fact that the user can decide to push up and use 10th Gen Intel Core i9-10885H CPU. In both cases, Surface Book 3 and its Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU lose, at least in regard to speed.

Surface Book did perform much better when it came to GPU comparison, featuring its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q GPU. XPS 15 opposed it with GeForce GTX 1650 Ti (Max-Q) GPU, which proved to be underperforming in comparison, which is something to note if you wish to use one of these laptops for gaming.

With that out of the way, we leave you to make your choice, depending on your needs. As mentioned, it is better to go for Surface Book’s GTX 1660 Ti, as opposed to XPS’ GTX 1650 Ti if you need a laptop for gaming. Surface book also has a slightly better battery life, but that’s about it. In every other aspect, it loses to Dell XPS 15, which would be a clear winner if not for these two flaws.

ProductBrandNamePrice
DellDell XPS 15 7590, XPS7590-7572SLV-PUSCheck Price on Amazon
MicrosoftNEW Microsoft Surface Book 3Check Price on Amazon

* If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.