- The battery lasts for 13h under Linux, which is not too shabby. However, it lasts a whooping 22,5h with Windows 10.
- The headphone port is very noisy with Linux. No noise whatsoever with Windows.
- WiFi performance is dismal in Linux. No problem with Windows.
- The HDMI port on the separately sold docking station does not work correctly with Linux.
For a laptop that comes with Linux pre-installed, that's pretty disappointing.
Easiest way to enable this is to run "powertop", switch to "Tunables" tab, then toggle all lines that look like this:
>> Bad Enable SATA link power management for host0
>> Bad Enable SATA link power management for host1
But here's the rub - on some hardware enabling SATA PM can sometimes lead to various weird bugs - from failure to boot to crash with blank screen after few hours of working perfectly. And Intel would't release any sort of documentation that sheds any light on why that is the case, and what should be done to avoid it. Intel does know what to do, since (sic) Intel's storage drivers do the right thing on Windows.
Which brings us to even stranger point: Intel apparently doesn't share this documentation with Microsoft either. Hence new laptops with pre-installed Windows ship with Intel's storage drivers, while installing vanilla Windows 10 with Microsoft's storage drivers will give you as bad a battery life, as you get under Linux. This is an issue important enough that some laptop vendors employ hardware tricks to make storage hardware "invisible" for normal Microsoft's drivers for no good purpose other than to enable Intel's driver take over this hardware smoothly. See for example recent "Lenovo fake RAID" debacle:
Unpleasant side-effect of SATA (or NVMe) controller being integrated onto the CPU die is that it now shares a power domain with the rest of the chip (i.e. PM being present or absent on SATA controller affects allowed set of C-states for the whole package). In other words, as long as SATA controller don't go into deep sleep (i.e. never - without power management enabled), whole CPU+PCH package would not go to deeper C-state. Thus, lack of PM in storage controller has disproportionately high effect on the total system power consumption.
Also, just enabling laptop_mode using laptop-mode-tools also improves the battery life a lot.
You can go and tweak stuff individually if you want, but these two are easy wins.
I should submit a patch.
- DisplayPort over USB-C alternate mode did not work at all in Ubuntu 16.04 (unplugging the USB-C cable froze the computer). So I upgraded to 16.10, and DisplayPort over USB-C now works, probably because 16.10 has a newer Linux kernel with better support for USB-C. I do encounter this bug (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1634449) where the external monitor will sometimes flash black when the mouse moves between monitors.
- The headphones are very noisy. When playing audio the hiss can be eliminated by running "alsamixer" and increasing the "Headphone Mic Boost" to 10 db gain. Depending on the monitor, there is 0 to very very little hiss when routing the audio through DisplayPort or HDMI and using my monitor's headphone jack. Annoyingly, when first playing audio, it takes about 2 seconds for the audio to start playing though the headphone jack on my DisplayPort monitor.
- Sometimes the touchscreen does not register touches after waking from suspend. A workaround is to close and open the lid.
- Occasionally (this has not happened in a few days), the wifi will disappear. Running "sudo systemctl restart network-manager.service" gets it working again. Also, iwconfig always reports "Bit Rate=1 Mb/s" even though the actual speed is much faster than that.
- Dell disables the super key out of the box. You have to uninstall the "dell-super-key" package, and add the super key keyboard shortcut with ccsm. (see http://askubuntu.com/questions/751661/dell-developer-edition...). Dell says that disabling the super key is not their choice (http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/os-applications/f/46...)
Otherwise, everything seems to be working well. I have not tested it, but as far as I know Thunderbolt 3 does not work with Linux yet, so Thunderbolt 3 docks probably won't work.
It took a couple of months to get it fixed...
Sigh, back to Apple who don't seem to want to serve pro customers anymore, but apparently still do it better than anyone else (in nix land)...
* ) Batt -- Still tweaking things, I dropped the ubuntu install pretty quick for arch, but I recon 9-10 hours is where I'm sitting atm.
) Headphones sound fine here...
) Wifi Perf? I get ~250mbit on fast.com from my house
The bigger issue is the graphics card whine under high load....
Regarding battery: They mention they could tweak the power consumption from 4,7W to 4W by setting
but that this setting lead to temporary freezes of the picture on the screen for several seconds, so they don't recommend it.
Regarding the headphones they mention that it is worse when running on battery and when using the trackpad (they say it's a mosquito-like noise). They also say that there already is a fix for the audio driver but that it does not work.
As for WiFi: it's OK for for receiving (they measured 300MBit/s) but with sending they only got 29MBit/s.
In conclusion, they also say that except for the HDMI issues with the docking station, all those problems are driver issues which will eventually be fixed, but at the moment it is what it is.
options i915 semaphores=1 i915_enable_rc6=7 i915_enable_fbc=1 lvds_downclock=1
And things are fine graphics wise -- I'm going to give it a proper run in tomorrow @work and we'll see how it goes.. Played a 1080p film on it earlier with mpv and it ate about 20% -- had brightness at about medium.. Not sure if that's good or not..
4W seems a bit optimistic though doesn't it? I've tweaked things quite a bit, but maybe I'm missing some extra magic or I just don't know the machine enough to know what the baseline is...
I've got skype, spotify, maybe 20 firefox tabs, dozen terms or so, dwm, wpa_sup wifi, and some other stuff, and i'm currently at:
System baseline power is estimated at 11.8 W
Freq Throttling (this isn't controlable, seemingly, and handled by the intel_pstate driver) currently has me on: current CPU frequency: 526 MHz (asserted by call to hardware)
Don't really have a baseline yet -- I can drop a reply in here tomorrow if you're interested in how it holds up with some real use?
I don't know if my ears are less sensible or the noise level is diminished but now it doesn't disturb me so much.
This is probably their 4th/5th HW iteration for the XPS model and still they didn't bothered to check for the noise emissions. In their support forum I was baited to wait for a HW solution from a Dell employee that never materialized for what I consider a macroscopic defect... T__T
> The battery lasts for 13h under Linux, which is not too shabby. However, it lasts a whooping 22,5h with Windows 10.
This makes me wonder how it would fare when booting into Windows and running Linux inside a VM.
I'm pretty sure that's going to be my next laptop setup now that Apple's notebooks seem to have finally diverged too far from my needs.
I'm not in love with Windows, but as long as you don't go out of your way to screw it up it makes a pretty decent bootloader & hardware abstraction layer that also plays games. =)
So, I've been running win10 on my games machine for about ten months now, and there's been two 'reboot now or in 15 minutes, no other choices' updates that I've seen, and a sizable number of times I've come back to it having autorebooted to a login prompt. Usually I'm just gaming, but I've had it reboot with open documents.
I could probably turn this off somewhere, but as it's not a mission-critical computer, it's still amusing to me.
Possibly it will get overturned by autoupdate after a while anyway
It's two clicks.
I'd be quite curious to know which specific "need" has been diverged from, given that these models have either the same limitations (max 16GB LPDDR3 RAM) or more-limiting ones (max 512GB SSD, no discrete graphics)...
On every laptop I've owned I've also had to replace the hard drive and have upgraded the ram both because of failures and in order to upgrade. I still like having a DVD rom, but replaced my wife's DVD rom with an SSD without giving it much thought 6 months ago. She was in the hospital and her friends brought over a DVD box set and she had forgotten I had removed her DVD rom. I just paid for the series again on iTunes.
I'm also not yet ready to give up all of my ports for this next purchase. Thunderbolt had the same promise of being the uber-connector. There were eventually 1 or 2 hubs to be found, but they never came down in price or became ubiquitous even though Apple went all-in on them. I'm confident USB-C will eventually have wider adoption...I'm willing to wait.
Part of the problem is that everyone in my shoes have been waiting over a year for the next big upgrade so it makes it harder to deal with the compromises. I think I'm going to upgrade to a used Macbook Pro so I can get retina but still have the few last things I want. Maybe by the time I need to replace that I'll be ready for whatever Apple is currently selling (or another vendor fills the vacuum).
Windows Server, each version, has its own product for CVEs, as does Internet Explorer.
No matter how much you lock down the guest VM, the host OS is still a weak point.
Imagine if Linux was so unoptimized that it needed twice the CPU cores and RAM; your argument would be that "but it comes with twice as much as the other guys" and ends up being twice as expensive and twice as big.
The point is that the marginal value of that extra time is absolutely negligible for most people.
This machine will be my work luggable, I'm pretty sure it'll hold up all day.
First real run is tomorrow (dev+infra stuphz), I'll drop back in and let you know how it lasted if you're interested?
I love Linux as much as the best person but we really gotta get on that power thing.
This is the concept of diminishing marginal returns. You cannot look at "10 hours" in isolation; its value is lower when the baseline is higher.
It seems strange to argue that someone buying a workstation device should be okay with half the battery as a Windows user because it's Good Enough.
- $949.99 in the U.S.
- $1323.07 in Germany (1249 Euro)
"Developer Edition" doesn't mean "built for developers", it means "fix your drivers yourself".
If Dell did their homework and ensured a silk smooth experience with Linux, the laptop would be priced higher and people would be upset that the Linux version is more expensive arguing that "Linux is free".
So bad performance is a short-term compromise. If you don't want to join the effort to fix the drivers, or you can't wait some months until the community fixes the drivers, you should get an older model.
With respect to the HDMI port on the separately sold docking station, define "does not work correctly" :)
Usually if people are having issues they post them to Barton's blog so that the issues get visibility and to discover whether other people are having similar issues. The problems that you refer to will probably be mentioned there in soon-ish.
Not likely Dell's fault. User "aexaey" commented about this.
> WiFi performance is dismal in Linux. No problem with Windows.
There were some driver issues in my generation for WiFi but this was eventually sorted out. I would prefer Intel wireless cards over Killer since Intel typically has better Linux drivers but this is usually not up to Barton and/or the Sputnik team.
> The HDMI port on the separately sold docking station does not work correctly with Linux.
If this is talking about the USB 3.0 dock from Dell (http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l...), this is because the underlying USB to display driver is from DisplayLink (http://www.displaylink.com/) and (last I checked) they have repeatedly refused to support Linux due to lack of perceived market demand. No USB dock is going to work with linked displays over Linux (that I know of/use DisplayLink under the covers).
However, TB3 docks do not typically suffer from this same problem. So now with the Sputniks coming with Thunderbolt, look at TB docks (you should be anyway) and this won't be a problem.
> The headphone port is very noisy with Linux. No noise whatsoever with Windows.
Had a similar problem with mine. Can't remember how I fixed it.
If you want to buy a laptop that has a team dedicated to supporting Linux on the hardware, you can't complain to much about Dell Sputnik. Dell has been doing good work and overall I think has made a positive impact on the Linux laptop/hardware support market. You are also more or less paying for support. It's a pretty neat thing to be able to file a support ticket with someone like Dell regarding a hardware issue on your laptop running Linux.
But this is still Linux we are talking about...and it is still very much a second-class citizen at Dell. So as long as you know this, I have to say I rather enjoy mine still.
It may be open-source and free, but if the user doesn't want or need it and it's installed and actively consuming resources, it's bloatware nonetheless. I'd be interested in knowing the battery life with a far more minimalist distro.
The minute someone can magic out a way to turn a monitor into a multi point camera, add some eye tracking logic and integrate that with the conference display, we'll have a small video teleconference revolution on our hands.
Unfortunately, doing a search I see that Apple has already thought of that.. http://appleinsider.com/articles/09/01/08/apple_files_patent...
Your data, your files are more valuable to the NSA than your microphone. If they care about what you're saying, your house is already bugged.
If they are able to access the, then odds are they can access things like my keyboard, 1password passwords, banking, etc...
Thank you for the picture!
On the go, you're SOL. Not only can everyone see up your nose, but don't even try typing unless you want to distract everyone with some nice finger close-ups.
It was one of the major reasons I went with a Lenovo x250 when buying a new laptop ~18 months ago. I really liked the XPS13, but I do use my webcam regularly and having it so low just seemed like it would be very awkward. (The other major reason I went with the x250 is that I'm a big fan of the trackpoint).
The trackpoint is the only thing that keeps me on Lenovo laptops (Carbon X1, probably P50 next). I keep the touchpad disabled on my laptop.
I personally wouldn't ever consider a trackpoint again until they do something major to improve the feel/sensitivity actual sensor or allow us to directly edit the force/velocity curves directly. God damn thing is impossible to use on a 4k/5k native display.
Why are you saying a trackpad is better for a large area? Don't you end up having to lift your finger, go back to the other end of the pad and drag it across again, instead of just applying constant pressure on the TrackPoint?
For short clicks it's just a matter of preference, IMO. When I first switched to the macbook it felt strange for about a week but after that I didn't miss it one bit.
On gnome I set the pointer speed to very (almost maximum), and am able to zoom across any screen under a second, simply by applying more pressure.
I usually look at the screen, to watch the other person's image, so a high-mounted webcam makes it seem that I'm looking at their chest. Which may or may not be appropriate.
It varies. If I'm listening to someone else I usually look at the screen, if I'm speaking I'm looking at the lens.
To echo what @StavrosK said, I don't think that looking at the screen when the webcam is above the screen would be perceived as inappropriate.
Ive worked remotely for... 7 years now and Ive probably had no more than 10 video calls for work in that time.
Asides from being much worse experience in terms of dialing in, sharing screens, etc, not seeing faces is so much worse. Inability to see emotions is terrible for team trust. We have 200 facial muscles that carry tons of information. We should use them.
If I needed to do video more often, I'd probably get a dedicated cam anyway, as it works when using external screen with laptop lid closed (which is what I do at home). But sure, that's not an option when traveling.
Look at the InfinityEdge Display here: http://www.weboo.co/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/New-Dell-XP-1...
I've used a number of their top of the line products over the years, and they've always been riddled with cost-saving compromises like this. If they put the bezel on top, they'd have to invest more money into the display hinge as well instead of whatever cheap plastic parts they currently use. That would eat into their profits, so it won't happen until the competition forces it.
camera up top = screen down a inch. Camera on the bottom = screen up a inch.
I rater the camera be clumsy since i use it 0.001% of the time, and the screen be 1" up since i use it all the time.
1" seems small. but that is probably 10 degrees on your neck if you have the laptop at half arms reach.
What's a bit weird is that even in this, what, second or third revision, they haven't managed to engineer around this issue despite it being mentioned as a major downside practically every time the laptop comes up.
 Striking comparison with a contemporary MBP: https://www.windowscentral.com/sites/wpcentral.com/files/sty...
*Killer cards are a branding of Qualcomm Atheros. Their Linux drivers are open source and the firmware is now upstream.
On a side note, Dell seems to be putting a bit of effort into this series. Do you guys think they are selling well enough for them to continue doing this or are they doing this as a hedge against Microsoft ?
I recently walked in a cafe in NYC and saw 6 of them and two macbooks, which I was shocked at.
So I hope Dell keeps it up. It's about time we had someone make decent laptops, besides apple, again. I was really missing the IBM Thinkpad series until these came along. Lenovo did not carry the torch well.
> I recently walked in a cafe in NYC and saw 6 of them and two macbooks, which I was shocked at.
Interesting! Is there any chance you caught what OS they were on (i.e. Linux vs Windows).
I guess, after almost 5 years, they are quite serious about it? Although the effort is shared with their Windows siblings.
If you haven't had the personal experience yet: stay away from new Intel processors on linux for at least a year post release. And if you must purchase something with a new Intel processor - do yourself a favor and pick a rolling-release distribution like Archlinux. -- but seriously I advice against it, I tried an XPS 15 with Skylake a little over half-a-year ago and it was extremely unstable at the time (even running the kernel of git-master).
Dual boot into Windows 10 and everything is great. This is 100% a Linux kernel and power management issue.
Edit: to go into a bit more detail, we seem to see arbitrary packet loss on the thunderbolt based network cards (pigtails and docking stations), as well as sometimes the MAC changes, which messes with our radius system.
Furthermore, there are some issues with hardware acceleration on skylake so having a QHD screen is basically a waste if you want to try and view any QHD video content.
We ran Arch the entire time my team was on these and we kept the wiki up for this product. It just seemed that we were fighting a loosing battle with Dell's docks and with Intel's skylake stuff.
On the negative, Windows 10 HiDPI scaling is still flaky, especially if you have a 1080p external monitor plugged in (then it's essentially broken), so I'd recommend skipping the 4K version.
Also, you might want to set aside a few hours for driver upgrades, unless they've updated the install image since April. Both the WiFi, graphics and USB drivers that shipped on my machine were really flaky.
I haven't tried dual booting it with Linux yet, but it runs a Linux VM just fine. The heaviest application I run on it is probably AutoCAD, which makes it struggle sometimes, especially on battery power.
You might want to also look at the HP EliteBook lineup, I've heard that they're good solid machines, perhaps with less fuss out of the box.
However, it is a bit too large for a bike commuter and I'll be selling it on eBay shortly.
Also, I'm currently on an old (1.2.0 instead of 1.2.14) bios firmware because they managed to introduce display flicker on on all but the highest brightness setting.
In short: there are real problems with quality assurance at Dell - be ready for this if you decide to buy one of their laptops.
 http://www.dell.com/support/Article/nl/nl/nlbsdt1/SLN297563/... - here they suggest to adjust the key repeat/delay settings as a last resort (doesn't help on my 5510)
A side affect on my machine is that controlling brightness using the keyboard no longer works (other fn combinations still work) and pressing the power button no longer brings up the logout/suspend/etc menu. Somehow these keys always fire a really short press signal :|
So there's that.
For the OS, Linus had been using Fedora Workstation at least until a year ago, last I heard. Linus doesn't like how Gnome deals with the 2016 XPS 13 Developer Edition either: http://www.zdnet.com/article/linus-torvalds-reveals-his-favo...
"...has the same resolution as my desktop, but apparently because the laptop screen is smaller, Gnome seems to decide on its own that I need an automatic scaling factor of 2, which blows up all the stupid things (window decorations, icons etc) to a ridiculous degree.".
To fix he said: "You need to go to the shell and run: gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface scaling-factor 1."
Here's what Linus had at home, desktop-wise, as of Jul 18, 2014:
My ultimate Frankenstein laptop in would be something similar to the dimensions of a MacBook Pro (2016), but with a few USB3 ports, memory card reader, headphone jack, function keys and full length touch bar atop the function keys. Then just max it out so I can run intense builds/tests, and emulate Windows, macOS, and Linux.
As for the OS, for now I would use macOS. I like Pantheon in ElementaryOS, though. I like that Elementary tries to emulate what drew developers to macs 2006-2010 (prior to Mac App Store when you got apps by downloading them and didn't have to control-click to open unsigned ones and have both Launchpad and Appstore when before it was just the /Applications directory). I've used various Debian-based distros, but could be swayed to Fedora, maybe.
If I had money, I'd have a nice desktop and have all of the coolest games. But I don't, so I have a thin factor laptop that just works and just big enough to read comfortably.
Thankfully, I found that the XPS13 has a DisplayPort output that is capable of driving two daisy-chained monitors in addition to the internal screen (no mirroring!), even at 2560x1440 on each. I use it with two Dell 27" monitors. They must support DP1.2 for chaining to work. To be fair, there was a regression for hotplug detection from Ubuntu 15.10 to 16.04, but it was recently fixed.
For protocol: For selling a "hipster model" it should better be thin, well-designed etc. For something that targets developers you want
- Ethernet port (ideally 10 GBit/s instead of 1 GBit/s if possible)
- Easily available maintaince manual and easy to open case to replace/extend RAM, replace SSD, clean fan etc.
- Hardware for which open specification is as much available as possible (which is a much stronger condition than "open source drivers on GNU/Linux are available")
- But besides GNU/Linux it also should be able to run Windows (often it is really import to be able to test software on Windows)
- Non-locked UEFI bootloader (including possibility to enable/disable secure boot) with ability add own keys and also remove existing secure boot keys (e.g. Microsoft's one if you really are a FOSS fanboy).
- Ideally possibility to compile UEFI firmware from source code on your own such that as few blobs as possible are compiled in (this probably also implies a necessity that a way exists to reset the UEFI to the factory state if you bricked the UEFI by too much experimenting).
- Long lifetime (5 years +) from purchase for which the device is officially supported by the manufacturer
Most developers don't care about their hardware being open source, or maintenance or unlockable UEFI, and they definitely would never compile a UEFI firmware.
Most of them probably can ignore Ethernet in favor of wifi most of the time, and can use a usb-to-ethernet adapter when really needed.
Long life is probably as important to them as it is important to everyone else.
The only real issue I think is being able to run windows, though if you are buying a linux laptop when a windows laptop of the same ilk is available, I'm not sure how much you care.
At least the Lenovo Carbon X1 has a dongle for RJ45. Useful when that `docker pull` ends up downloading a 1.5GB container...
Some of these times internet access is needed for number crunching. This is when it really comes in hand
That and moving around 30gb backups of numbers you've crunched.
Even moderately sized still have copper to every desk. Latency wins when doing development.
There are several vendors that make thunderbolt network adapters that support 10GbE SFPs. I think supporting this within the laptop would increase the laptop's size significantly. You can even go up to 40 GbE.
There's a lot of static on the headphone port too, which is disappointing.
I had no idea this was actually a thing before this morning :(
It seems to only happen when there is graphics stress -- using "semaphores=1 i915_enable_rc6=7 i915_enable_fbc=1" seems to help, and once I started playing videos with --hwdec it was quieter also..
As it only happens during video, and I usually have headphones or the speakers going at those times I'm not too bugged by it yet..
Doing a kernel compile or something noisy in a term doesn't seem to trigger it..
I see several advantage of owing it like
2. connects to extenal GPU (it already has integrated Iris Pro GPU)
3. optical audio
4. upgradable/future proof
5. my choice of keyboard/mouse/os/display
6. Thunderbolt™ 3
I really like having that little bit of friction keeping me tied to an actual workstation. If I'm feeling antsy like I should be sitting in a coffee shop or office lounge area, that's usually a good signal to me that it's time to take a break.
A workstation isn't a computer form factor, it's a comprehensive suite of ergonomic and self mental conditioning decisions. As a side benefit, it's very easy to find / build a ludicrously performant computer, for not much money, that runs Linux (or even OpenBSD!) like a dream.
I was genuinely sad when my most sign-on with a job didn't give me a non-laptop option. I'm increasingly of the opinion that kind, humane IT departments offer workstations and allow people to borrow chromebooks for rare travel or working from home. The alternative sets up a subtle expectation that you could / should be working outside work. Plus I have to schlep the stupid thing home or lock it up in a cabinet every night. If only I could epoxy it to the desk...
You heard it here: 2017 is the year when startups, to demonstrate work-life balance friendliness, advertise big desktop workstation options for employees.
You can do what I am doing, plus get multi monitor set up too. So unplugging your laptop becomes pain in ass. You can try love to hate your laptop touch pad and keyboard, so always crave using a mouse and mechanical keyboard set up. Uninstall wifi drivers too. That will help to keep your laptop locked in with an ethernet cable.
I want a powerful PC which can be easily transported without any damage to it. Mini PC seems to be better option than a gaming PC. As it has the option of external GPU which allows me share it with others, instead of it being hooked inside my laptop/custom pc all the time. Sharing decreases the cost. I know about decreased performance of external GPU over USB C in comparison to internal GPU.
I am not fan of so much power on the move. I don't even use a smart phone and I am fine with a flip phone. It has 16GB SD card and a headphone jack. Today, we see that in name of making devices thin and powerful companies are soldering RAM and SSD to motherboard. That's the reason I have decided to move away from laptops and depend on mini/custom PC. I can triple boot Windows/macOS/Linux. I also use persistence installation of Linux or even Windows using Windows to Go. So in case of emergency, I always have a way to get back to where I left off. Portable softwares, Teamviewer and SSH is always there too.
It seems to me that carrying powerful machine all the time must make one feel obligated to get back to work and hence more hectic life. I just cannot afford to pay premium price for additional power in portable form factor while losing options of upgradability.
I also welcome desktop workstation as long as I can hook a NVIDIA 1080 and play Crisis game.
PS: I read the review of Intel NUC, and it has graphics driver issues. Sad.
any opinion on this
Cubi 2 Intel Kaby Lake Core i7-7500U DDR4 mSATA HDMI Wifi Bluetooth SFF Barebone PC (Cubi2-005BUS)
Skull Canyon Graphics Output Problem
Anyway, it has been trickier to make full use of external GPU without performance sacrifice. NUC has it's own power brick, do you use that or trying to get power supply through USB C port?
As for USB-C, I use its thunderbolt3 properties to enable Razer Core. Haven't used it that much as just a usb-c port. My idea was that it would be nice to be able to power it up through something like Razer Core since it has more than enough power output through this port. According to the documents it is not possible with the NUC. Maybe next gen version will provide such a feature.
But when it was time to upgrade, I got a laptop again. Because even if 95% of the time you use it plugged into big monitors and keyboards, you really miss the 5%. You still need a laptop to go to client meetings, conference rooms, conferences, hotels, hackathons, airports, etc.
And if you're getting both a portable desktop and a "basic laptop", might as well buy a good laptop for the same total price, and avoid the effort needed to keep all the data and configuration in sync on two computers.
However, if you are sure that you can live without having a computer that is usable outside of places where you have previously dropped off a monitor, it might be the most economical option.
By the time I put a NUC on a UPS, and a monitor, keyboard, mouse, what advantage does it have over a regular desktop if I need computing power, or an rPi if I'm just noodling around in the terminal.
I certainly will choose desktop tower in comparison to this miniPC but that just isn't possible for now for me.
Some use it as their media center in living room instead of work station.
Meanwhile, Dell's Latitude line has excellent keyboards, at least as excellent as you're likely to get in a laptop these days.
I haven't messed with them since the Sandy Bridge days though, so your mileage may vary with more recent models.
If you qualify for Dell EPP, you can get a non-developer edition with the same specs as the developer edition and a Windows license for the same price.
Am I doing something wrong and just not finding the page to really customize the specs?
Used an external keyboard for the first few months, so money back is not an option anymore. Terrible experience!
(Typing this on the new MBP that people tell me is not a "Pro" machine -- but it's the best laptop I've ever owned!)
Regarding the narrow question of memory usage, I'd be surprised if Linux uses as much memory as MacOS, again because of the more extensive set of system services that runs in MacOS.
Why doesn't this seem to be a problem now? Is it replaceable?
Definitely the fastest machine I've ever owned/used.
I guess it's difficult to test, would also be interested to know if somebody has tested the different versions against each other.
- I can't get over the battery life difference, it actually tempts me back to Windows.
- If you get the highest resolution screen I've found that not all programs in Linux handle the scaling correctly and if you don't scale the text is unreadably small. This is especially telling with notifications.
- If you have DisplayPort requirements you're going to be in trouble, there are few to no DP dongles and the ones that exist don't pass through USB Type-C and so you need multiple dongles off of dongles because there is only 1 USB Type-C.
- If you did go for the touchscreen version, the touchscreen doesn't seem to always work after waking from sleep.
Aside from those things, the Ubuntu install went smoothly with everything being recognised immediately and no need to muck around with anything.
Still... that battery. Makes me wonder whether I should switch to VMWare on Windows to run my Linux.
So aggravating that the closest we can get to a gold standard for a native Linux laptop is more like a bronze standard...
And the laptop is a few weeks old. I spent 24 hours on Windows just to see how it has changed as I haven't used Windows in about 5 years (used to be 50% Linux, 50% Windows, last 5 years 100% Linux).
I didn't enjoy Windows, and sorely missed i3wm. But in it's favour, the scaling was perfect everywhere, the battery life really blew me away, and it the boot and shut down times were incredible.
I was tempted, for a moment, to consider Hyper-V Linux on Windows 10 Ent, but just went Linux instead. Knowing it has that battery life under Windows means this temptation remains.
I would love to see power estimates before and after that command! In my experience it increases battery time by 30-50%.
Then I've noticed the new Precision 5510 uses the same XPS-like design, gives you i5-6640HQ with Intel GPU (not sure why they don't offer i7 without Nvidia too).
Anyway, got mine a few days ago, seems working flawlessly (except the usual UEFI / Secure Boot stuff). Comes with Ubuntu out of the box, seems to work fine with Qubes so far.
I've heard there were issues with proper power management on skylake when it was new, so perhaps they fixed it in the kernel - no idea. Or maybe the noise is worse on the models with Nvidia, which is one of the reasons why I wanted a model without it. It's also possible that the fan will get more noisy over time, so let's see.
Update: The one thing I'm only 95% happy with is the keyboard - it's way better than on all the other 15.6" laptops I've tried (in particular no numpad stupidity), but I'd still prefer the keyboard from my old t420s. The enter is way too narrow on the "EN international" keyboard, should get the US keyboard instead, for example.
The 5510's are packaged to be relatively smaller and lighter. The Precision 7500 models are heavier and larger. The additional volume also allows more expansion (and accommodate significantly more powerful hardware at initial build).
In terms of fan noise, choice of CPU and workload is probably going to make more difference than anything else.
I tried the 13 but I personally like bigger screen to work on.
Everything worked perfectly with Ubuntu 16.10 except the headphones which I found a pretty simple solution for online.
I love it! Highly reccomended.
No overheating issues. I haven't even heard the fans yet. So quite and cool so far.
I also love the form factor. It doesn't feel like a 15'' laptop. Overall a great buy. It's not the MacBook Pro but i think it's getting there and it's definitely worth the money.
- i3-7100U https://ark.intel.com/products/95442
- i5-7200U https://ark.intel.com/products/95443
- i7-7500U https://ark.intel.com/products/95451
The most important determiner of machine performance is how much power the CPU can use. CPUs turn watts into performance. A 45W CPU will deliver 3x the performance of a 15W CPU. I'm disappointed that reporters continue to leave out this crucial information in their reviews.
Upgrading from an i3 to an i5 CPU gives you about 10% better power efficiency. Going to i7 gives another 10-15%. So for $650, you can upgrade to the i7 and get a disappointing 25% increase in performance.
DELL is still charging an extra $400 for a 256 GB SSD. Last year, I bought the 2015 XPS 13 and immediately replaced the SSD with a $200 500GB Samsung 850 EVO. Then I wasted several hours using DELL's disgracefully buggy installer. Then it was 5 more hours spread over the next weeks to solve other problems like slow wifi, video decoding becoming slow after resume, and random freezes during resume. I still have problems with sound sometimes not working. Overall, the experience has been disappointing.
It seems that DELL is releasing buggy laptops again this year. These laptops should be usable after a few months, once the Linux community has fixed the worst of DELL's software bugs. I wish DELL would put more resources behind their products and make them really good.
Can you provide a reference for this?
I'm pretty sure a CPU turns watts into HEAT and PERFORMANCE,
The 15W you're talking about is the TDP, which describe HEAT. This tells you about battery life mainly. Ghz is the unit of PERFORMANCE.
Here in Germany it always displays "Product currently not available", regardless how many times I visited the web site.