The best laptops for working from home
Updated Dec 13, 2023
Here's why the used XPS is still a great buy, plus a MacBook vs XPS matchup.
The Dell XPS is like the MacBook Air of Microsoft laptops. It’s thin, has excellent processors, an awesome display, tons of RAM, great storage options, and build quality comparable to that of a MacBook (if not better).
The XPS comes with three screen size options: 13-inch, 15-inch, and 17-inch. Hence the names of the laptops in this series: XPS 13, XPS 15, and XPS 17. Depending on your personal taste and how much you value screen size over portability, you probably know which one of these you’d prefer. If you spend a lot of time on the go and plug your laptop into a monitor when you’re at work or at home—like I do—than the 13-inch model will probably be the best choice.
What makes the XPS such a close rival to the MacBook is the obsession with making the computer thin yet powerful. Both the MacBook Air 13-inch and XPS 13 weigh around 2.8 pounds, and that number hasn’t changed much over the last 5 years. Both also come with awesome storage options, ranging from 256GB to 1TB or more. And yes, that’s solid state storage (SSD).
Both the XPS and MacBook Air have been known for having the same long battery life, both reporting about 12 hours of usage time on a full charge. Depending how many applications you run at once and how bright you set your screen, you may find this time to be very different from the official figure, but nonetheless, if you need a lot of battery life, either of these is going to be at the top of this category.
Both laptops also offer impressive options when it comes to RAM. 8GB is probably all that you’re going to need, but if you need 16GB, the option is there.
What’s important when comparing these two laptops is the point that they’re both very similar and cater towards the same kind of user. And Windows has become so much like Mac OS with gesture-based touchpad navigation and the ability to swipe between different desktop views. The workflow on both machines is essentially the same if you’re big into multitasking. Gone are the days of Mac OS offering significantly better user experience than Windows.
But brand new, the XPS is still an expensive laptop, with a new 2020 XPS 13 going for about $1249 at the time of publication. A 2020 MacBook Air with the same 10th gen Intel Core i5 costs about the same ($1300). But where the XPS edges out the MacBook Air is when you compare the used prices. Because the XPS doesn’t have the fancy Apple logo on it, you can often find a better deal. And there are some models out there on the refurbished market with some impressive specs. Keep your eyes peeled for a deal on a refurbished XPS with a higher-grade processor like the Intel Core i7 or RAM numbers above 8GB. Used MacBooks with these kinds of specs usually go for much higher prices than their Windows counterparts.
If you’re looking for a second-hand XPS, you’re probably going to find a slightly better price on a used XPS rather than one that’s certified refurbished. But in our opinion, it’s better to get one that has been refurbished by professionals. This way, you can be sure your laptop will last longer, and doesn’t have any hidden defects or problems. Every refurbished XPS sold on our website comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and a 1-year warranty. These are the reasons why we believe that it’s always safer to buy refurbished!
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Updated Dec 13, 2023
Updated Jun 15, 2022 - Looking for refurbished laptop deals? We've got you covered with these picks for the best cheap laptops for sale now.
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