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Best 15-inch Laptops: Surface Book 3 vs 2020 Dell XPS (9500)

Microsoft’s 13.5” Surface Book 3, which replaces the Surface Book 2 from 3 years ago, and just by looking at the exterior, you would have no idea that it’s the new one since there are no physical changes at all. The size stayed the same, the keyboard stayed the same, the ports stayed the same, the hinge design is the same, basically, everything is identical between the two except that the new model has updated internals.

On the other hand with the new XPS 15, Dell has fixed tweaked, and upgraded almost everything to compete with the rivals in the most crowded 15-inch laptop market. So we will find if it really has something to be considered for your valuable money or not.

General Info

Surface Book 3Dell XPS 15
ModelSurface BookXPS
Weight2.11 kg2.05 kg
OSWindows 10Windows 10
Dimensions12.3 x 9.14 x 0.51 inches13.57 x 9.06 x 0.71 inches
ColorsBlack, WhiteBlack, White


Surface Book 3Dell XPS 15
Display TypePixelSenseIPS
Display Size15.0-Inch15.6-Inch
Display Resolution3240 x 21601920 x 1200
Display TouchscreenYesNo
Display FeaturesInfinity Edge displayInfinity Edge display
Operating System TypeWindows 10Windows 10

Microsoft Surface Book 3

The display remains the similarly high-grade PixelSense display which is provided with the Surface Book 2. This is an elegant screen with a 3,240-by-2,160-pixel primary resolution, a 1,600:1 contrast ratio, additionally, it comes with 10-point multi-touch support. That pixel tally would qualify as 4K if it remained a 16:9 display, though, instead, this utilizes the taller 3:2 ratio, which does unique amongst laptops in usual, though conventional fare on Microsoft’s PCs.

The display is nice, sharp and color accurate with a 3:2 aspect ratio which is great for web browsing and using as a tablet.
It’s light and thin, but the bezels are pretty large, especially if you’re trying to watch a video or a movie. The quality and color accuracy of the display is great, but it’s very reflective at the same time.

Dell XPS 15 (9500) – 2020

There’s no OLED option the LCD display comes with stunning brightness peaks at 500 nits. It supports display HDR400 and it covers an impressive 100 sRGB 100 adobe RGB and 93 p3 color gamut. So it’s definitely above average for color accuracy. The bezels remain actually like extinction and while it seems damn fabulous on it’s mind-blowing. We don’t mean to overly hype these displays because. But severely the best part about these computers and we think a large part of the allure and buying decision.


Surface Book 3Dell XPS 15
Processor10th gen Intel i7 processorIntel Core i5-1065G7
GraphicsAMD Radeon Vega 9Intel® UHD Graphics
RAMUp to 32GB32GB

Microsoft Surface Book 3

It’s also nice that you get WiFi 6 connectivity as well. So overall, it’s a very premium device with up-to-date specs and a lot of flexibility to use as a laptop or use as a tablet. But the big issue with this is 2 in 1 is that in the past 3 years, the competition has gotten so much better, while the Surface Book hasn’t really changed at all. The hinge hasn’t been redesigned or slimmed down, so you still have that gap in between both portions. It’s still just as large and bulky as before. It’s nice that it’s packing Intel’s latest 10th-Gen i7 CPU, but because the tablet portion is so thin, the performance is greatly limited. 

Dell XPS 15 (9500) – 2020

XPS 15 starts at just $1300 which gets you an i5 8 gigs of ram and 256 storage. But it misses out on the dedicated graphics card. But if you don’t really care about that then it’s actually really good value. But if you want the proper XPS 15 with the graphics card then in the UK you’re gonna have to pay at least sixteen hundred pounds or in the US seventeen hundred and fifty dollars which is quite a lot considering you still get the same 8 gigs of ram and 256 storage and full HD screen as the base model.


Surface Book 3Dell XPS 15
ClockspeedUp to 4.5 GHzUp to 4.5 GHz
Graphic ProcessorAMD Radeon Vega 9Intel® UHD Graphics
Processor10th gen Intel i7 processorIntel Core i5-1065G7

Microsoft Surface Book 3

The GTX 1650 graphics card offers a lot of performance for getting productivity work done, but because of the 2 in 1 design with the thin tablet, the processor’s very limited performance is going to bottleneck the graphics card in things like video editing, graphics rendering, photo editing and more so the extra graphics power kinda goes to waste. And in terms of using the graphics card for gaming, the 3:2 aspect ratio display isn’t a good fit, it’s pretty expensive for a gaming laptop, and it’s only a 60hz display, so there are much better options for gaming, even for those who want a premium laptop, With the Surface Book 3, you literally can’t upgrade anything at all due to the design, which was pretty awesome in 2017, but now in 2020, it’s just not that special anymore. And if you want this model with the i7 and the GTX 1650 graphics card, you’re paying $2000 and only getting a 256GB SSD, which isn’t upgradable. The market for the Surface Book 3 is very small. You’d have to want a large touchscreen tablet with an x86 processor.

Dell XPS 15 (9500) – 2020

The performance of the Dell XPS 15 (9500) – 2020 and to see how much faster the new 2020 XPS 15 is let’s bring in last year’s model these are the specs side by side so it’ll be interesting to see how much faster the 10th gen i7 is and if the GTX1650 TI is really that much of an upgrade over last year’s 1650 the new XPS is nearly 26 percent faster in cinebench 80 faster in geekbench 5, single core test and 19 faster in multi-core.

It also handles video editing in premiere pro just scrubbing through the timeline feels pretty similar on both. But when it comes to export times a 10 minute H264 4k video took 5 minutes and 26 seconds on last year’s XPS versus 4 minutes and 36 seconds on the new one that’s a fairly substantial 15 faster export time. Although it is worth mentioning that even the newer 1650 Ti doesn’t have NVIDIA’s newer end bank encoder. So it doesn’t benefit as much from their recent driver update that boosts performance with adobe.


Surface Book 3Dell XPS 15
Speakers2 Speakers2 Speakers
Microphone Jack3.5 MM Jack3.5 MM Jack
Wireless LanYesYes
Sd Card ReaderYesYes

The totally physical connections that come with the XPS 15 remain USB-C ports, including two on the left side and one added on the right. A couple of ports added on the left carry Thunderbolt 3 and DisplayPort support, while the right-side port appears only DisplayPort support, and all three can be utilized to charge the laptop.

All arrangements of the Surface Book 3 highlight the identical port choice. It includes two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, one USB Type-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, plus a full-size SDXC card reader. That is by considerably the best solid connectivity of several Microsoft laptop, including also the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 appears only two USB ports plus a headphone jack.


Surface Book 3Dell XPS 15
Battery TypeLithium PolymerLithium Polymer
Battery Life97WHr86 Whr

The XPS 15 9500’s 6-cell 86Wh battery can give you up to 24 hours beside the FHD+ model while working productivity utilization like Word or Excel, or up to 16 hours 52 minutes of video playback.

On the other hand, Microsoft claimed that Surface Book 3 15” can return Up to 17.5 hours of battery life on a single charge based upon the standard Surface device usage.

Which is better!

Both of these laptops look pretty good in terms of performance and display but the Surface 3 seems to be more outdated than the XPS 15. Also, the XPS 15’s screen is pretty good in terms of overall use and functionality and its performance is also great. They both served in the market at comparably different price tags so it is really up to the buyer.


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