Choosing a laptop
We’re pitting Dell’s XPS 13 12th Gen Intel against the Latitude 9520 11th Gen Intel to help you decide on which one to pick for your office. We’re going with the i7 version of each machine to keep things as fair as possible.
It’s never simple buying a new laptop, and just like a car or phone, what you decide will likely be with you for many years to come. It therefore pays to consider all the pros and cons of one laptop over another, the specs, features, size, and weight all play an important role in ensuring you have the best machine for your needs.
The XPS 13 and Latitude 9520 are both impressive high-end laptops with high-end price tags, which means leasing makes them affordable.
One must be better than the other though, right? Let’s see how they each fair.
Power and performance
To start, let’s look at the specs of each machine. The two laptops have a lot in common, with a few differences which might sway you one way or the other.
Both run on Intel processors but of course, the difference here lies with XPS 13 being 12th Gen while the Latitude is 11th. Despite this, they look remarkably similar everywhere else with 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and Intel Iris Xe graphics housed in each machine. The GPU does very well with running games if they aren’t triple-A blockbusters!
The 12th Gen i7 inside the XPS is obviously going to give that machine an edge over the Latitude. 12th Gen processors are better at multitasking, so if you always find that you have a ton of apps open at once, it may be worth considering the XPS 13 at this stage.
However, the Latitude also has a modern i7 processor, making this a more than capable multitasker with a slightly slower processor. Most users won’t notice a difference in performance as their needs won’t get anywhere close to requiring the 12th Gen’s power all at once.
Result: Essentially, both machines pack a powerful punch but it’s the XPS which takes this first bout because of the slightly faster processor.
Look and feel
The XPS 13 is the smaller and sleeker of the two laptops with its 14mm form compared to the Latitude’s bulkier 18mm. That’s quite substantial when you consider that the XPS also weighs about 200grams less as well.
Staying with the 13-inch XPS, there’s a lot here that screams quality and portability: From its light and durable blue-silver aluminium body, in which the keyboard and trackpad are resting snugly, to the tiny screen bezel which maximises display area.
Front-facing speakers have been sacrificed in favour of the edge-to-edge keyboard, which is no surprise as such a small laptop doesn’t have very many options with what to include and where to put things.
The Latitude 9520 also boasts a durable aluminium body, but as mentioned above, it can’t claim to be sleek in any way. The display can be flipped 360 degrees around to create a portable tablet-like device, which improves its functionality over the XPS 13. The Latitude does have front-facing speakers so that extra bulk may be an advantage to some who want good quality audio.
Result: We’ll call this one a draw as both devices have their pros and cons relating to their size and weight.
The displays on each device are anti-reflective but the Latitude has an anti-smudge coating which has obvious advantages for touch-based input. However, neither device comes with a touch screen as standard.
The XPS is FHD+ (1920 x 1200) which is a slightly higher resolution than the 1920 x 1080 FHD on the Latitude. The XPS also has a higher maximum brightness than the 9520 at 500 nits compared to 400.
So, you’ve really got the choice between a little bit more resolution and brightness or a touch screen which can be used like a tablet.
Both devices can be upgraded to 4K Ultra HD if needed, and you can even add touch to the XPS 13.
Result: The XPS’s FHD+ display is slightly better and brighter than the 1920 x 1080 on the Latitude, so wins this round.
The battery life is one of the most impressive things about the XPS 13.
You should be able to get about 12 hours out of the XPS depending on what you’re doing. If you’re using the 4K edition, you’ll see a slightly lower 8 hours. Still, this is one of the most impressive batteries you can find on a premium laptop.
However, the Latitude isn’t much better with the standard 49Wh battery. Switch to the 88Wh battery and the Latitude blows the XPS out the water with a whopping 20-hours and more depending on what you’re using the machine for.
Result: The Latitude edges over the XPS. But larger devices have always had the ability for better battery life purely due to their size.
Audio output and input
The XPS 13 speakers are loud but not the best quality with blown out and muddled sound at full volume, despite the substantial bass. For small speakers it’s not bad, but it won’t blow you away. The XPS does have four far-field microphones, though, which are very effective and pick up your voice well.
The Latitude beats the XPS out in the audio department. It’s loud, the sound comes through crisp and clear, and the bass sounds heavy through the intelligent audio system. It also has four noise-cancelling microphones, which edge out the XPS’s just a bit.
Result: Bottom line, the Latitude edges out the XPS in audio by a small margin.
Ports and connectivity
On the XPS 13 you’ll find two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports and that’s it. You do get two adapters in the box however, one for USB-A and another 3.5mm headset. This is sort of expected on such a thin laptop but getting rid of the 3.5mm jack and any kind of SD card slot is quite confusing.
The Latitude is more heavily equipped and comes with a lock slot, audio jack, USB 3.2 Gen 1, HDMI 2.0, two Thunderbolt 4 with power and DisplayPort delivery, two USB-C ports, SD memory card slot and smart card reader slot. If you can’t live without an HDMI or USB-A port, you’ll want the Latitude.
Result: The obvious winner here is the Latitude with its far greater offering of ports.
Laptop Leasing: Which Is the Best Laptop?
The Latitude 9520 may lack the sleek modern design of the XPS, but it is our pick for best laptop overall as it provides better battery, connectivity, and functionality. Having a last generation processor isn’t enough to cause much concern for most users and the flip around screen adds a great way to use the device.
However, the XPS is a perfect little notebook for working on the go where you don’t have to worry about a second screen or connecting several peripheral devices.
It therefore may come down to your needs and that of the business when considering which laptop to pick.
Lease both laptops from HardSoft
The Latitude 9520 is available to lease from HardSoft from £13.93 per week (+VAT). With our Flexi-Lease you benefit from our full 3-year warranty, including technical support and a loan device should yours need to be repaired, as well as the option to upgrade or cancel after 2 years. You can also continue until the 3 years is up and purchase the device for just £1.
For more details about our Flexi-Lease, other leasing solutions or if you want to check out our laptop bundles, give our sales team a call on 0207 111 1643 and they will take you through all of the options. Alternatively, email email@example.com, or use the webchat on our home page.