Vaio Pro 13 vs Dell XPS 13 (2014)

Since two ultrabooks are better than one ultrabook, I added a Dell XPS 13 to my toolbox. It is pretty much identical spec-wise with my Vaio, so the real competition is fit and finish. Here’s how they stack up.

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  1. Screen Tilt

    Winner: Tie

    They both stop at the same point.

  2. Keyboard

    Winner: XPS

    Dell easily wins this battle. The key’s have a better feel and more bounce.


  3. Trackpad

    Winner: XPS

    Another easy win for the Dell. The Vaio’s trackpad is in the way more than it’s helpful. The Vaio needs to be planted on a firm, fat surface, for the clicks to even register. The Dell boasts a confident click even when raised off the desk, even though it does grab and hold on to fingerprints like no other.

  4. Battery Life

    Winner: Tie

    I haven’t noticed any difference in battery life. They both can go a long time between charging.

  5. Weight

    Winner: Vaio

    The Vaio is about a pound lighter. It adds nothing to my backpack and is easy to carry to and from meetings. I’m not sure that the Dell’s extra pound would affect this very much, but the Vaio is king of weighing very little.

  6. Ports

    Winner: Vaio

    While they both have two USB ports, I prefer the Vaio’s full size HDMI port. I haven’t adopted display port at all. This is more personal preference. The Dell might have a leg up by having one USB port on each side of the computer. One issue with the Vaio is that when using a larger USB stick, the neighboring port gets blocked. The thing that clinched this battle for the Vaio is the power cable. Having a bend in the connector makes me far less concerned about the health of the cable and the port. The extra charging USB port on the power brick was a stroke of genius on Sony’s part.


  7. Ability to handle linux

    Winner: XPS

    I know the Vaio Pro can handle linux. I’ve heard that Linus Torvalds has one. I just had a bunch of problems with wifi on linux with the Vaio that aren’t present on the XPS.

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After several months, the Dell XPS 13 has been my go to development machine. It feels better and is more comfortable. I’d recommend it over the Vaio Pro 13.

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