Both billed as the ultimate 13-inch laptop, Dell's XPS 13 Touch and Microsoft's new Surfacebook both back up those boasts with the hardware and form factor. But they both can't be the best, so a breakdown is warranted to help determine which device breaks away from the other.

To make this fight fair, this comparison will pit the $1,349 128 GB Touch version of the XPS 13 against the $1,499 base-level Surface Book. The non-touch version of the XPS 13 is significantly more affordable than the two Touch variants and the ultimate edition of the laptop series is priced at $1,699.

It's also important to note that the Surface Book is not yet available, but Microsoft is accepting advanced orders ahead of the laplet's Oct. 26 launch.

Power and Performance
While both the Surface Book and XPS 13 Touch include 128 GB solid state drives and 8 GB each in RAM, it's the central processing unit that distinguishes the pair in performance. 

The XPS 13 Touch is driven by a fifth-generation Intel Core i5 processor. The Surface Book, on the other hand, will leverage an i5 processor from Intel's recently unveiled Skylake family. 

Oh what a difference a few months make. There's little doubt Dell would have leaned on a Skylake processor if the XPS 13 Touch had been slated for an October release instead of a January launch.

For graphics processing, the XPS 13 Touch's Intel 5500 GPU edges out the Surface Book's Intel 520 by just a hair.

Display and Design
It's important to remember that pixel processing can be even more important than pixel count. That said, the displays on the two devices seem evenly matched.

The Surface Book has a resolution of 3000 x 2000 and a dot density of 267 pixels per inch. The XPS 13 Touch's resolution is at 3200 x 1800, giving it a ppi of 267.

Where the XPS 13 finds an edge is, well, the edges of its display. With its barely-there bezel, the XPS 13 looks to offer a slightly more immersive view experience than the Surface Book.

But for all of the little losses the Surface Book seems to be racking up in this competition, one of its most prominent features might help tilt this fight in its favor. The Surface Book is a laplet.

The Surface Book can shed its keyboard, whenever it's convenient to do so, and masquerade around as a tablet.

Also winning the Surface Book a few more favorable nods is its camera system. The Surface Book features a 5MP webcam on its face and a 8MP rear shooter. The XPS 13 Touch has an HD chat camera, but the laptop's ultrathin borders obviously forced Dell to have to position it awkwardly in the lower left corner of its front. 

So, will you go for Dell's XPS 13 Touch or place an order for Microsoft's Surface Book?

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