When comparing Dell XPS 12 vs Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch), the Slant community recommends Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch) for most people. In the question“What are the best 2 in 1 convertible laptops for programming?” Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch) is ranked 4th while Dell XPS 12 is ranked 8th. The most important reason people chose Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch) is:
The 15-inch version of the Surface Book 2 comes with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. This is a powerful, VR-ready card that handles intensive gaming tasks. As for real-world performance, Hitman (1920 x 1080, ultra) runs at 71.9 frames per second, Grand Theft Auto V runs at 45 fps. It should also be mentioned that you need to be using the dock in order to do graphic-intensive tasks since that's where the GPU is located; using the laptop in tablet-mode will yield poor results in this regard.
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Pro Amazing display
The XPS 12 has a 4K display that's one of the best in its class. The sRGB color space is covered by 100% and the screen brightness is great as well.
Pro Unique design
Like other laptops in the XPS series, the XPS 12 is not any different in the design department. It's a beautiful piece of hardware albeit a little strange for convertible laptops since it doesn't have anything that holds the screen and keyboard together. There's no latching mechanisms or prongs like in other similar devices. The screen slots in place and a combination of magnets, friction, and gravity holds it in place.
It may seem a bit unnerving at first but it works and it's very secure while still allowing the user to easily lift the screen off.
Pro Doesn't rely on a flimsy hinge
This 2-in-1 laptop has a rigid keyboard base on which you place the tablet part. This avoids using a flimsy hinge like other 2-in-1 laptops and offers a great tactile typing experience found in business-grade laptops.
Pro Great build quality
Both main parts (the keyboard and the screen) are made of high-quality magnesium alloy and the device is coated with a pleasant layer of soft touch paint.
Pro Great keyboard
The keyboard is on the same level as some business-grade laptops. Keys feel great to the touch and they have a slight curvature which makes hitting keys easier. They also offer a travel distance of 1.9mm, more than any other convertible laptop on the market.
Pro Gaming performance on-par with gaming laptops
The 15-inch version of the Surface Book 2 comes with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. This is a powerful, VR-ready card that handles intensive gaming tasks.
As for real-world performance, Hitman (1920 x 1080, ultra) runs at 71.9 frames per second, Grand Theft Auto V runs at 45 fps.
It should also be mentioned that you need to be using the dock in order to do graphic-intensive tasks since that's where the GPU is located; using the laptop in tablet-mode will yield poor results in this regard.
Pro One of the best performances found on a 15-inch laptop
Equiped with an Intel Core i7-8650U CPU, 8GB (or 16GB) of RAM and an SSD that goes up to 1TB, the Surface Book 2 certainly packs a punch. It handles multitasking perfectly; you can open dozens of Chrome tags, stream video, and draw using the built-in software without experiencing any lag even once.
As far as benchmarks go, on the Geekbench 4 overall performance benchmark, the Surface Book 2 got a score of 12,505, better than the 15-inch laptop average (11,004) coming third after the Dell XPS 15 (13,911) and the MacBook Pro (15,170).
Pro The hinge is quite stable as far as 2-in-1 laptops go
The new fulcrum hinge that Microsoft used for the Surface Book 2 is much more stable than the one found on the previous Surface Book or even other 2-in-1 laptops for that matter.
Pro Great display for creative professionals
This laptop's display is bright and vivid, making it perfect for people who do a lot of drawing, design, or video editing work. The display offers an excellent coverage of 131% of the sRGB colour gamut (the average for this price range is 101%). The colour coverage and the bright display which measures an average of 417 nits really makes colours truly pop out and offers lifelike pictures.
Pro Great tying experience
Even though the keyboard is rather shallow (just 1.2mm of travel), the typing experience is excellent. Keys have a great amount of feedback when clicking and you rarely (if ever) bottom out when typing.
Pro The battery easily lasts a full work day on a single charge
The Surface Book 2 lasts on average 12 hours on a single charge. This should be more than enough to get anyone to the end of their workday on a single charge.
Con When using in laptop mode you can't tilt the screen to your liking
Since there's no hinge, you can't tilt the screen to your liking. It stays fixed at a 110 degrees angle.
Con Middling battery life
The XPS 12 has an average battery life of 3 hours.
Con Works comfortably only on a desk or lap
When keeping the laptop on a flat surface such as a desk or one's lap, the viewing angles are good. But working with it in any other position (such as when lying down) you will have a hard time with the viewing angles. There's also the issue of the screen tumbling forward since it's not held in place by anything other than some magnets.
Con No Thunderbolt port
For a laptop aimed at creative professionals, the missing Thunderbolt 3 port is surprising considering the fact that Thunderbolt 3 is used to connect a laptop to peripherals such as external GPUs or power-dual 4K displays.
Con The pen must be bought separately
If you want to use the Surface Book for drawing then you will probably have to buy the Surface Pen which unfortunately does not come bundled with the laptop (it costs an additional $99).
Con Disappointing audio performance
The audio that comes out of the speakers is quite average. It's enough to fill a small room but that's it.