Most people are looking at these first Apple Silicon Macs wrong - these aren't Apple's powerhouse machines: they're simply the annual spec bump of the low end Apple computers with DCI-P3 displays, Wifi 6, and new the Apple Silicon M1 SoC.
They have the same limitations as the machines they replace - 16 GB RAM and two Thunderbolt ports.
These are the machines you give to a teacher or a lawyer or an accountant - folks who need a decently performing machine who don't want to lug around a huge powerhouse machine (or pay for one for that matter). They're still marketed at the same market segment, though they now have a vastly expanded compute power envelope.
The real powerhouses will probably come next year with the M1x (or whatever). Apple has yet to decide on an external memory interconnect and multichannel PCIe scheme, if they decide to move in that direction.
Other CPU vendors and OEM computer makers take notice - your businesses are now on limited life support. These new Apple Silicon models can compete up through the mid-high tier of computer purchases, and if as I expect Apple sells a ton of these many will be to your prime (most profitable) customers.
In fact, I suspect that Apple - once they recover their R&D costs - will be pushing the prices of these machines lower while still maintaining their margins - while competing computer makers will still have to pay Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, and nVidea for their expensive xPUs, whereas Apple's cost goes down the more they manufacture. Competing computer makers may soon be demanding lower xPU prices from the above xPU manufacturers so they can more readily compete against these models.
I believe the biggest costs for a chip fab are startup costs - no matter what xPU vendors would like you to believe. Design and fab startup are expensive - but once you start getting decent yields, the additional costs are silicon wafers and QA. The more of these units Apple can move, the lower the per unit cost and the better the profits.
Looking at tests from Youtube etc, 8GB RAM or performance in general does not seem to be an issue with these M1 computers. They still beat MacBook 16" and others, so less memory do more in M1 than Intel.
Apple will not lower their prices though, not at least until they get some reasonable competition and that will not happen in near future. Maybe not in years. Even if someone can make computers and OS to compete with Apple, they do not have the App and service ecosystem that Apple has. This is actually kind of bad, because there will be no competition in a long time...
The Geekbench 5.3 scores for the MacBooks are much higher, but that test isn't comparable to older versions, as Geekbench itself says. Oh, and Geekbench 5.1 isn't optimized for Apple Silicon, so these scores may be a bit low for Apple.
Right after you typed the "Oh, and.." you should have realized something doesn't add up there. You're comparing emulated Geekbench scores for the mac to native scores for the XPS. That is clearly not a fair comparison. Try doing the same on a Surface Pro X (ARM windows machine) when it's emulating x86. It won't look good. Now, the fact that the mac, even when emulating x86, still outperforms the XPS here shows how big of a difference their M1 makes.
Yes, I did read the link from Geekbench, and while I agree they phrased it very awkwardly, what they mean is you cannot compare the 5.3 with the 5.2 scores on a mac with the M1, precisely because the 5.3 is now running natively on the M1. This doesn't mean you cannot compare the 5.3 test for the M1 vs the XPS: in that case, both of them run natively, so that's the only way to fairly compare them.