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Notebooks Reasons *not* to buy an XPS 13?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Gareth Halfacree, 10 Oct 2017.

  1. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    So, fingers crossed I might be getting a three-month contract at a decent consultancy rate for some technical writing - which means it might be time to splash the cash and finally ditch my four-year-old macOS laptop.

    I've got my eye on this model of Dell XPS 13, which ticks all my boxes: portable, decent battery, anti-glare screen, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, SD card slot, decent processor (Iris Plus graphics, no less) and Ubuntu Linux pre-installed (once I'd found it in my history, 'cos it's disappeared from Dell's main product page - according to Dell, you can only get this model in Windows 10 flavour...)

    So, is there any reason - beyond it being nearly £1,600 once you've shoved VAT on the top - that I shouldn't pick up said laptop to replace a mid-2013 MacBook Air with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD? Answers on a postcard, please...
     
  2. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    I can’t think of any. In fact I have a colleague who got one at my recommendation and he loves it.
     
  3. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    My only comment would possibly be wait and see if they start offering the ooboo models with the new Coffee Lake CPUs any time soon, all of the ooboo options for the XPS13 seem to be the older Kaby Lake models atm...

    Otherwise for the linux-inclined user such as yourself you're looking at the larger 15" [and more expensive] Precision.
     
  4. sandys

    sandys Well-Known Member

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    Only that the 8th gen chip is in other models of XPS13, the one you are looking at is 7th gen but like you say Iris chip which may hold some benefit to you, for me it wouldn't matter. My Radius runs the HD 520 on a 4k screen and I've not need more for what this thing is used for what are you using yours for.

    Grr beaten to it

    Looks like a choice between quicker GPU (no speed demon which ever way you cut it) versus extra 4 threads.
     
    Last edited: 11 Oct 2017
  5. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    If you don't mind living with windows, you have something like this...
     
  6. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    As an aside I'm not sure that having one with ubuntu pre-installed is going to make much difference. I have a lower spec 7th gen i7 model with Win10 pre-installed and it runs Ubuntu just fine including suspend and resume.

    Oh on linux the mouse pad doesn't detect you are typing or your palms, out of the box; which is annoying but probably on its own not a good enough reason not to buy.
     
    Last edited: 11 Oct 2017
  7. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I'm hesitant to wait, 'cos if the Commie Lunix version has been delisted from the main page then it may at some point disappear altogether. Then there's the undeniable status of Commie Lunix users as second-class citizens when it comes to cutting-edge stuff - I remember building this desktop near the first APU launch and it took months for the glitches to get ironed out. Eighth-gen might be faster, but seventh-gen is likely to give me fewer troubles - for the first year or so, anyway.
    Oh, I very much do mind. The whole reason I'm in the market for a new laptop is I've been putting up with macOS for four years now, and I'd quite like to go back to an operating system that doesn't drive me absolutely crackers. I also definitely don't want a high-DPI display: 1080p (or 1200p), please and thank you. When I first looked at the XPS 13 range last year, I was thoroughly disappointed that the 1080p non-touch version maxed out with the Core i5 and 8GB of RAM, while the Core i7/16GB model was an automatic 'upgrade' to a 4K touch screen. 4K. In a 13" diagonal. No, ta. Thankfully Dell's come to its sense and started offering the i7/16GB with the 1080p display - and, oddly, with a more powerful CPU/IGP than the 4K version, which is just daft.
    Two reasons for going for the Commie Lunix flavour. The biggest: if I have to make a support call it won't start with "we don't support Commie Lunix." The next-biggest: it's literally £100 cheaper than the same hardware running Windows 10, which I'd only be replacing with Ubuntu anyway.
    That does sound a bit annoying. When you say "out of the box," does that mean there's a workaround to get palm detection/typing detection up and running?
     
  8. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    Why replace something that works when you could buy an average amount of coke and hookers with that money instead?
     
  9. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    What, my MacBook? I think we have very different definitions of the word 'work' here. The OS is an absolute trainwreck.
    Caffeine makes me twitchy, and what would I want with a bunch of rugger buggers?
     
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  10. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    You can pretty much roll your own on the chat - I asked for Linux on my XPS15 on account of having windows provided by work and they were fine with that and would reduce the price. The only reason I didn't go for it is because they said I couldn't stack voucher codes, whereas the online store allowed it.

    Speaking of which, make sure you scour HUKD and the rest of the interwebs for voucher codes.

    The only reason I can think of not to go for an XPS13 is the XPS15.
     
  11. Guest-23315

    Guest-23315 Guest

    I bought the i5 7200U, 8Gb, 128 SSD 1080p version in February this year - I got it for £1002 on a deal direct from Dell.

    I honestly can't say enough good things about it. Its the side of an A4 sheet of paper, and it fits in my folio so I don't have to carry it in a separate laptop bag. Its got enough grunt to run all my financial models, and has all the connectivity you'd need. The wifi is better than the dedicated card in my desktop, and the battery life is so good its a joke. [Also, the 128 model really isn't enough storage unless you've got something in the Cloud as well]

    The only slight criticism I have with it is the tiny, slighty fragile charging cable. I've had to replace it already, but as they're ~£30, its not too terrible.

    If you need photos or anything let me know.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Oct 2017
  12. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    15" is too bulky for me - that's why I bought a MacBook Air four years ago. My priorities are: compact and light so it can go in the cabin with my clothes, camera gear, and everything else I need for an up-to-a-week trip abroad (no checked luggage, yo!) and battery life. Performance is significantly less important: I spend most of my time with a couple of web browser windows open side-by-side, perhaps LibreOffice Writer chugging away in the background, and The Gimp for common low-resolution and less common high-resolution image editing. Might spin up a VM every now and again to test something, perhaps stick a game on if I'm bored.
    Good to know, ta. I know people have problems with Apple's poorly-designed cables, but - touch wood - so far my four-year-old MagSafe charger is showing no signs of fraying or breaking.
     
  13. Guest-23315

    Guest-23315 Guest

    Sorry, I should have clarified:

    [​IMG]

    The Cable itself is fine if you're sensible, its where the cable goes into the charging brick as per above.. Although it looks like you can remove it, you can't, and if you damage it slightly by pulling it pass the perpendicular, it won't work. So i've actually electric-taped it down on my new one, and havent had an issue since.

    (that photo isn't the one that comes with the XPS - that one is a lot smaller)
     
  14. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    That is a poor design. I wonder if I could reinforce it with a blob of Sugru?
     
  15. Guest-23315

    Guest-23315 Guest

  16. sandys

    sandys Well-Known Member

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    There’s very little difference between 7th gen and 8th Gen really, a clockspeed bump and more cores, GPU seems to still be of the same family so shouldn’t have compatibility issues.

    I run a 12.5” 4k in my laptop and it is very nice indeed, the screen quality in my Radius is amazing, all the fonts lovely and crisp but as you are a Linux user I would probably avoid, I’ve not found the applications I use in Linux very friendly with dpi scaling.
     
  17. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Y'see, never have I looked at my 20-something-inch 1200p screen and thought to myself "you know what, I wish my fonts were crisper."

    I've got a Surface Pro downstairs which has a 10.6" 1080p display, and I find Windowses' high-DPI scaling an absolute nightmare. Things appear to decide to be semi-random sizes, legacy stuff - which is most of what I do on Windows - is tiny, and Windows 'helpfully' makes things full screen on a whim. I can't imagine how much worse it'd be with a 4K panel...
     
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  18. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Yeah, maybe that came out wrong. I didn't mean to suggest that the XPS15 was better than the XPS13, just that they're both great at what they do. In the same way that the only possible reason not to go for an XPS15 would be the XPS13 - i.e. if one of them ticks the boxes, there's no reason. If that makes any sense at all.
     
  19. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Yeah, I get you. Incidentally, my first ever Windows-based laptop was a Dell: Inspiron 6400, or some such. Pentium II, 64MB of RAM, 4.3GB(?) hard drive, 4:3 display, blue replaceable personalisation panels. I loved that thing. It blew up a few years ago - literally, magic smoke and everything. Sad days.

    I remember paying £1,499 for it - which corrected for inflation and assuming it was around 1997 when the PII came out would be £2,500. Makes the XPS 13 seem like a proper bargain, that!
     
  20. Ramble

    Ramble Ginger Nut

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    The 14" asus zenbook models are quite nice, not sure if they're available in the UK yet, they weren't when I got mine (A UX410UQ). Also doesn't dell have a very good clearance website with loads of XPSs? The downside to these two options is that W10 is installed by default, however since both options are cheaper than yours perhaps it isn't a downside.
     

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