You’ve set your sights on a Dell XPS 13. The only problem: Which one do you buy? The XPS 13 7390 clamshell or its 2-in-1 version, or the “new” XPS 13 9300? All three are great laptops—ignore the model numbers, which are confusingly non-sequential—but there are key differences.

We’ll walk you through the models and weight their strengths and weaknesses. What’s your priority? Versatility? Performance? Connectivity? Overall value? We’ll call a winner for each, and you can skip to the section that interests you most by clicking a link on the left. 

Note that this story is based primarily on the high-end XPS 13 models Dell sent us to test. We do have some advice for those looking at lower-cost XPS 13 versions—check out the “best value” section below.

dell xps 13 2 in 1 left xps 13 right Gordon Mah Ung

Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 7390 (left) is slightly heavier than the XPS 13 7390 (right.)

All the Dell XPS models explained

There are three Dell XPS 13 models to choose from at the moment:

XPS 13 2-in-1 7390: A fresh start

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390 was a complete redesign. As a convertible, it can function as a laptop as well as a tablet, or in A-frame “tent” mode for presentations.

When the XPS 13 2-in-1 7390 debuted in the fall of 2019, it was the first laptop based on Intel’s most advanced 10th-gen, 10nm Ice Lake CPUs, and it was the poster child for the Intel’s lofty Project Athena aspirations too.

Besides the 360-degree design, it has pen support, a 16:10 aspect ratio screen, advanced copper vapor chamber cooling, and a new MagLev 2 keyboard. It also made a few hard choices to achieve its thin profile, such as soldered-in permanent SSD. The laptop has been one of the fastest Ice Lake laptops. Read our full XPS 13 7390 2-in-1 review.

XPS 13 7390: Moving to a six-core CPU

The Dell XPS 13 7390 is essentially an internal upgrade of the previous XPS 13 9380 (remember, the model numbers make no sense), but it was still a major change as it moved to Intel’s 6-core Core i7-10710U CPU over the previous model’s 8th-gen quad-core Core i7. The full review of the XPS 13 7390 is here. The XPS 13 7390 offers the fastest multi-core CPU performance, but its graphics is nothing special.

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