When comparing MacBook vs Dell XPS 12, the Slant community recommends MacBook for most people. In the question“What are the best USB-C laptops?” MacBook is ranked 14th while Dell XPS 12 is ranked 15th. The most important reason people chose MacBook is:
macOS is based on XNU (Darwin) kernel, it's a [certified Unix](http://www.opengroup.org/openbrand/certificates/1190p.pdf) and arguably a lot more developer friendly than Windows. Development for Unix is native on macOS. There's a large selection of great development tools available for macOS. The operating system itself comes bundled with a powerful terminal emulator, called Terminal. Additionally, Apple provides tools, like Xcode, an IDE that contains a comprehensive collection of tools for developing macOS and iOS software, for free. You can also install [Homebrew](https://brew.sh/), an extremely useful package manager.
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Pro macOS is developer-friendly
macOS is based on XNU (Darwin) kernel, it's a certified Unix and arguably a lot more developer friendly than Windows. Development for Unix is native on macOS.
There's a large selection of great development tools available for macOS. The operating system itself comes bundled with a powerful terminal emulator, called Terminal. Additionally, Apple provides tools, like Xcode, an IDE that contains a comprehensive collection of tools for developing macOS and iOS software, for free.
You can also install Homebrew, an extremely useful package manager.
Pro Amazing display
Everything about the display is very good - from its high resolution (2304x1440) to the brightness (325 nitts), uniform brightness distribution (90%), and high contrast ratio (1000:1) with over 95% of the sRGB spectrum. Overall, a great display which will come in handy for people who work with visual arts.
Pro Decent battery life
The battery lasts around 7h30m of continuous web browsing which is about average for this class of laptops. Where this laptop's battery truly shines though is under heavy stress where it manages to last an impressive 2h35m under a total stress test (maxed out brightness and processor usage - circumstances that you are likely never going to encounter in the real world).
Pro Extremely portable
The laptop weighs just 2 pounds and is 13.1 mm thin. It's one of the thinnest and lightest laptops on the market and it's extremely portable and easy to carry around.
Pro Decent keyboard
Pro Excellent trackpad
The MacBook has a large 4.4 x 2.7-inch Force Touch trackpad with a Taptic Engine that delivers haptic feedback whenever the user taps on it to give them the impression that they are actually clicking on it. It also supports gestures and multi-finger swiping.
The accuracy is almost perfect and there's virtually no lag or stutter when using the trackpad.
Pro Available in 4 colors
The laptop is available in space gray, gold, silver and rose gold (pink) finishes.
Pro Very good speakers
The speakers, found above the keyboard produce loud and clear sound with minimal to no distortion whatsoever. They can be used for both listening to music and watching movies with no problem at all.
Pro Completely silent operation
Thanks to the Core M processor (which doesn't require a fan) and the SSD storage, there are no moving parts the in MacBook. It will operate in complete silence.
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.
Con Connecting more than one thing requires a hub
The laptop comes with a single USB-C port that's used for charging as well as any other peripherals or external storage devices. Connecting more than one thing at a time requires using a USB hub.
Con Not very powerful
With an Intel Core M processor, the Macbook isn't a serious development laptop. While it will get the job done for lighter tasks, it will struggle with heavier jobs.
Con Non-free software
Apple doesn't release the source code for most of their software & firmware. This makes it significantly more difficult to customize, automate tasks, and verify security.
Con It's a bit hard to get used to the keyboard
The keys are pretty shallow, with a travel length of just 0.5mm. They still provide good feedback and the writing experience itself is not bad, but it's just a bit hard getting used to, especially if you are coming from a laptop that's not a MacBook.
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.