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New XPS 15 Laptop (dell.com)
226 points by Sui on Dec 20, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 331 comments

I have "old" one 9550 i7, 4K, 32GB - as a device for this money I wouldn't expect that I will have:

- unaligned Jack socket, so that only one channel plays

- Flickering backlight, where only one rescue is to downgrade BIOS: http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3519/t/...

- random freezes: Whole computer hangs, there is no error in Windows log, it's not related to nVidia card, it's not related to load.

Precision 5510 user here. Basically the "business version" of the same laptop. We bought a batch of them. All were plagued with BSODs that would not write any logs or do any memory dumps. We eventually got the systems stable by putting them in UEFI mode with Secure Boot on (this is not how they came from the factory). Some were picky about NVME drivers, the Samsung drives that came in a lot of them were slightly different from the retail 960s, and the drivers were hidden on some forum post...

We worked with Dell for months, and after we gave them our findings, they released about 5 BIOS updates week after week. The BIOS updates didn't really fix anything though... $3200 we were paying for these things. Very disappointed.

I returned my two XPS 9550 because of build issues. On my first unit there was "coil whine" on the AC adapter (strange noises coming from the AC adapter when I scrolled in Chrome) and the other unit wouldn't wake up from sleep. Don't think I'll buy one again.

Are people actually trying to make the comment invisible..?

The flickering and freezes I thought are well known problems with the XPS15. Have those been finally fixed with the latest updates?

I'm currently running the 9550 with ubuntu 16.04 and can confirm #2 on your list. It's pretty annoying. Bumping the brightness up helps a lot, but when on battery and/or late at night that's a terrible compromise.

It's a bug in the Intel drivers. Windows suffered from the same problem, for what it is worth.

"Suffered" because if you have updated your BIOS Intel has automagically updated their driver, so Windows is good now. Debian testing and Ubuntu 16.10 are also good now. Ubuntu 16.10 is a recent thing, but Debian testing was good well before Windows.

Your problems are therefore caused by:

a. Intel issuing shitty Skylake GPU drivers for something like 12 months. This obviously effected everyone, not just Dell. But Dell released Skylake CPU's before most so they were hit hardest. Apple worked around the problem by simply not updating their Mac Book pro line.

b. Ubuntu not updating 16.04 LTS. The 4.8 Kernel plus bug fixes, plus new Intel X drivers, plus new GPU firmware is what is required.

I've owned a 9550 for about a year now, and it's been a world of pain. There is plenty of blame to share around, but Dell is right down my list. The only thing I blame them for is the shitty Mac Book like keyboard.

Interesting, thanks for the insight there.

I'm not in a rush to upgrade to 16.10, but I'm also not opposed to it in the slightest. Maybe I'll give that a shot over the holidays here. Thanks again, cheers!

I went ahead with a clean install of 16.10, and, coupled with the following firmware update (http://downloads.dell.com/FOLDER04078627M/1/XPS_9550_1.2.18....) seems to have resolved the Intel graphics flickering. Thanks a lot for that nudge in the right direction!

This just confirmed my belief of the state of choosing a non Apple computer for work. Even with all the shortcomings and all the fat profit margins, Apple sure does make dependable machines. Now, computers do fail. But, the fact that I can take my Mac into any Apple store and claim warranty easily to get it fixed/replaced without Waiting for weeks in despair makes Apple worthy of getting my money. Would be happy to be proven wrong by some company that provides such quality and after sales service.

Yeah, it kinda sucks, but after doing a bunch of research I still end up with a Macbook (Pro) for my next machine.

There are quite a few decent alternatives that are hundreds of euros cheaper for at least as much 'machine', but Time Machine and the ability to just go to the Apple store if something is wrong (especially with Apple Care) is probably worth that difference to me.

What seals the deal (again, probably, not 100% sure yet) is vendor lock-in, a great touchpad, iOS development, and a whole bunch of miscellaneous little things.

But I will say my next Mac upgrade will not be a happy one, which is a first for me. I hope it doesn't stay this way.

That's why things you buy usually come with warranties.

Yes, you're totally right. Unfortunately I have two obstacles: - This is my device for work, just setting up environment on different PC is problematic, and extra time of waiting for it being repaired. - I bought it in a different country that currently I'm living. Frankly I don't know if I can use local support, guys from DellSweden didn't reply my question yet.

Problem is that, when you spend pretty decent amount of money for a device, you do have an expectation in terms of quality, partially you're paying for that.

This is my experience too, when buying a high-end laptop, I expect it to just work. If my time was worth dealing with shitty QA, I'd buy a low end laptop.

That high-end / low-end thing is mostly a marketing BS invented to maximize manufacturer’s profits. Works OK in the sense their profit is fine, but if you’re a consumer, you better rely on the specs only and ignore the marketing.

Or you could buy Apple and deal with all the inherent drawbacks but enjoy how it usually just works. And compared to Windows or Linux laptops it does mostly just work.

Of course the list of drawbacks gets longer and longer…

Specs dont matter much anymore. Any dual core laptop can do what most people need.

What matters is the build quality, QA, battery life, screen, heat dissipation. All things you cant infer solely based on specs.

On modern laptops, build quality and QA are more or less OK (or “equally bad” if you’re a pessimist). Because warranty returns are expensive, and also because competition.

If you buy a laptop to watch youtube and read e-mails, sure, any dual core will do, but for a professional, performance matters. Speaking of performance, I wouldn’t buy this dell because the CPU has no L4 cache. Some tasks, like compiling C++, benefit a lot from that 64-128 MB on-chip DRAM found in some previous-generation CPUs.

Specs still matter. Battery life is measured in hours; screens are measured in pixels, inches and percentage of Adobe RGB.

Cloning a Windows laptop takes less than an hour, given you have a USB 3.0 hard drive. The imaging tool is part of Windows. Also included in the installer so you can restore on a clean HDD.

Time to wait five weeks until it's "repaired", just to have it randomly freeze again all the time.

This new firmware update fixed the flickering for me: http://downloads.dell.com/FOLDER04078627M/1/XPS_9550_1.2.18....

Might be worth a try?

I have Xubuntu running on one of these and, for the most part, love this machine. There is one design defect and a couple of nitpicks I have:

- The webcam is below the screen ... I don't want to join a video conference when the primary view is my nose hair.

- Why do "modern" slim devices only have two USB ports? There is room on the chassis for more (I don't know about the interior layout).

- We've tried several of the Dell docks with these ... while I love the fact that the laptop charges through the same cable that's used for everything else (video, audio, HID devices), it's a bit buggy. Two examples are that: 1) you have to plug speakers into the computer's audio jack after the computer is attached to the dock and booted and 2) you have to be careful the magnetic switch doesn't tell the laptop/dock your lid is closed - in my case the keyboard and mouse connected to the dock become disabled even when the laptop wakes back up.

i feel like a new trend is emerging with these nice, 15 inch non-apple laptops. i say non-apple because they are attracting the pro crowd that used to buy apple exclusively. my personal fantasy is a laptop that isnt shy about being thick, affording it a huge battery, tons of ports, OLED screen and solid state trackpad like the macbook. with very reliable linux drivers for all the hardware. a very utilitarian machine.

I used to think that was what I wanted. But I think at this point a thin laptop can be good enough, and being able to get away from having a dev laptop and a travel netbook is a huge win. Moving all the ports onto a dock - provided it's a first-party fully-supported dock - is also a win, since it enables me to leave everything plugged in at home and take my computer travelling without having to unplug and replug everything.

/huge Surface Book fan

I've been surprised by my attitude over this. Either I want a honking 10 pound brick of capability or my Surface Pro 4 with dock. I really appreciate the convenience of being able to just grab the computer and go (nowithstanding the idle==shutdown-without-saving bug), but there are times I'd like to go heavy on the horsepower and battery.

If you want a computer with capability that you don't have to carry around, why not get a desktop?

Because my Surface Pro 4 can run 3 1920x1200 monitors just fine (I'm partial to a -|- setup (dontjudgeme)). The dock really makes it, no question. My monitors stands stay bolted to the desk and everything's cabled together, but I'm personally not tethered.

Best of both worlds, to me at least. (Except for when I need to do something irresponsibly inefficient like run three VMs and full screen video at once... which will work, but not be great.)

The 5k iMac is gorgeous, weighs only double your brick laptop, runs faster than any stock laptop, and is a delight to use every day. It has a lot more than 3x 1920x1200 pixels but it will take two external displays if you want them. I like mine -| with a 1920 on the side, but you could do |-| or even -|- (wtf is wrong with you?).

Desktops are a shrinking market, but innovation continues. I'm glad I looked into them.

See, I can't use the OSX interface. It makes me feel like a complete imbecile and I consistently do the wrong or useless thing. It's why I can't say good or bad things about Macs - haven't successfully used one since 2003 (thank goodness iOS apps can be compiled via Jenkins or the like!). People I respect seem to love their machines, but I turn into a cussing idiot when in front of one. Like can't-click-on-things stupid. If it didn't have a command line I'd never get anything done. Sure I could learn, but it comes up so rarely for me that I just settle for living in mild fear of having to help the secretary connect to the printer or something.

Plus 4K screens make me squinty (the SP4 has a lovely screen, but Win10 often gets confused on scaling and does horrific things to Java subwindows... and it's small). I'm pretty much a 30 year old curmudgeon now.

Oh and I used to use |-| with two 1080s on the sides of an IBM 2560x1600 monitor. Gosh you could spreadsheet the hell out of things on that 30" screen. Kinda miss it.

I strongly prefer Gnome or XUbuntu myself and I still hate losing focus-follow-mouse, but Mac is at least less brain damage than Windows. I do everything I can on the command line and with Unix or X programs, of course, so I don't even know what the mouse-based interface is supposed to be like.

And Mac does high resolution very well.

Why did you lose focus-follows-mouse? Both of those should have it, and I know for a fact Compiz does.

MacOS doesn't do ffm at all ever.

Because my Surface Pro 4 can run 3 1920x1200 monitors just fine


/saunters off to rethink his position on the Surface Pro

//wallet begins weeping in his back pocket

Monitors are a sort of special arena of contention among our types, but I gotta recommend the Dell Ultrasharp U2415 24 inch model. Native 1920x1200 at a DPI I feel comfortable with. The trick here is that it has the DisplayPort inputs and outputs needed to properly daisy chain the monitors. Then you just need to get a high data rate DP cable (Rankie DP 4K Resolution cables are legit and cheap). The crazy that follows from bad standards and misleading specs caused me all sorts of heartache.

Have you seen the new MacBook prob? It's even more impressive in this area

I have-my daily driver for work right now is a 2015 MBP, but after owning an Acer R11 and entering the world of touch screen laptops as a form factor for casual couch & bed computing...I don't know if I can go back.

Depending on how well the SP4 can run Arch (well technically Antegros-and I'm sure it may still be a while for drivers to catch up), there's a very good chance I'll probably move to that platform and never look back.

Thought I may still get a new Macbook for work. Too much of the workflow I've developed and grown attached to include Mac productivity apps

Are you rocking the i5 or the i7 to be able to do that?

I'm seriously considering getting one.

i7 - I conceded disk space in exchange for more ram and the higher end cpu. It works great, since I have tons of external drive space. It won't be the best for someone who has intense disk usage needs (like running multiple VMs at once), but I don't. I usually have a dozen apps running (like JVMs, SSMS, too many Firefox windows, a few Chrome, Excel, etc; the usual stuff). I really like that it spreads across monitors well. Just don't expect to run movies in HD 60fps (though Excel doesn't really need 60fps, right? You're not doing something silly like that. RIGHT?. Sure.)

I was referring to the "10 pound brick" you mentioned, not the Surface.

Oh I know. That's the normal counter argument, and the answer is simply that sometimes I have to work off-site, sometimes in places with questionable power. And thus more battery is better, and a 10 pound brick is probably going to devote a lot of that heft to power. (But it's rare. My coworkers sometimes need to work in the middle of nowhere, though.)

With USB-C now common for power, you could power the laptop off a USB PD capable battery like this one:


I think this is going to be my next setup.

Just bought SP4. It is basically replacing my Chromebook. This will be my light weight laptop for work from coffeeshops and couch.

I have a 5 year old Dell XPS 15 for main dev work and some photo editing. Once it dies or gets too slow, I am going to replace it with a desktop. With SP4, I should be able to do a lot more work away from my desk. Chromebook let me ssh into my servers but sometimes it was not easy to be as productive in VIM as in real IDE.

It's still a big jump between a "luggable" gaming/dev laptop that you can pack into a holdall if need be and a desktop that you can't realistically transport without a car.

First-party docks are very underrated. I like having one connection from the laptop that gives you access to KVM or whatever. I love my MBP (early 2015) but the thing looks like Medusa and I think twice about having to remove all the cables from it to use it on the couch.

But that's part of the promise of USB-C / Thunderbolt 3... interchangeable, standards-based docks that work with a single connection. I'm currently using my Dell XPS 15 (9550) with the Plugable USB-C Docking Station which uses a single cable to power the laptop, drive two monitors (one DisplayPort alt mode, the other over USB), gig ethernet, and a few USB devices.

Granted, it's not as seamless as it could be, but it's still new technology. There are issues with the USB-C connection cutting out when wifi is also on, so I've gotten in the habit of just turning off wifi when I'm docked. We're currently in the "first generation" of consumer USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 devices, so I expect those issues to get ironed out pretty quickly.

I don't know. Switching to Surface made me a lot more conscious how nice it is when everything comes from the same manufacturer and there's no way to pass the blame around. I would like standards-based USB-C docking to be sure, but I will definitely want my first USB-C dock to be a first-party one so that I have a single point of contact for issues like the one you describe (which would actually ruin my use case - my desk at home is across the room from the phone line and it wouldn't be easy to run a cable, so I need to use wifi when docked). After the technology has matured and the bugs are ironed out then I think we'll start reaping the benefits of competition and interoperability.

I've been planning for my next laptop purchase next year, and for some reason, I can't pull the Alienware 13R3 off the top of my short list. It's big (for a 13"), heavy, ugly and adorned with hideous gamer bling (WHY, WHY, WHY??), but it also has all the ports and features (discrete trackpad buttons!) I want in my work machine. Right now, it's basically between the new XPS 15 and the 13R3 (or R4 if it's out by the time I am ready).

the gamer bling thing is so funny. why does nobody in the laptop business understand that people are buying those laptops despite the bling, not because of it? every ad that i see for a gaming laptop emphasizes the competitive advantages that these laptops offer, letting "gamers" "dominate" and so on. how could they be so disconnected that they don't realize that what everyone wants is to enjoy their crispy, high definition graphics on a sleek master race machine? what the world needs is a merging of gaming laptops with xps-like pro machines. utilitarian, powerful, well made and visually inconspicuous.

Yep, when work asked what laptop I wanted a while back, I was embarrassed to send them a list of these "gamer" laptops, because they were the most powerful and adequate for what I need. Hate the bling and gamer tag.

And it's not just on laptops/desktops. I use a gamer keyboard (because of the 22 macro keys it has) and a gamer mouse (I like the ergonomics and tracking) for work. And of course, they have the obligatory fugly LED lighting and garish stylings.

If macros and ergonomics is your thing, and you don't mind a high cost, I recommend the kinesis advantage. No bling, all function and hardware-programmable, which is very nice to remap keys independent of the OS.

I use a SteelSeries Apex keyboard. It's pretty fantastic, but it has dome keys instead of mechanical switches.

I grew up on mechanical keyboards but after testing a bunch in a computer store, I realized I no longer care what kind of keys I use. It could be that I just got used to the Apple chiclet keyboards, but who knows.

My keyboard has four switchable profiles and 22 programmable keys, which means I can have 88 combinations. I mostly use the keys for launching apps and Sublime Text shortcuts though.

Not bad for around $100.

In fairness, I think ASUS gets it - they make non gamer versions of their thin gamer machines. My main problem with ASUS - they make nice machines - is that for a work machine, I want to buy a decent extended warranty where I know I'll get OK service, so that narrows it down to the bigger vendors like Dell, Lenovo, HP, etc.

AFAIK Asus doesn't yet have the Kaby Lake - Pascal combo out but they are coming https://www.nextpowerup.com/news/32428/list-of-asus-laptops-... in droves and soon. Some Belgian retailer already has some of them listed http://www.2compute.org/Product_Detail.aspx?prod=ASUS694149 http://www.2compute.org/Product_Detail.aspx?prod=ASUS695109 etc

Razer figured it out.

Razer makes nice stuff, but I'd be concerned about support for a machine used for work when comparing to Dell, HP and Lenovo.

Razers new 17" is incredible. I'd never buy a 17" laptop but what they crammed into it is genius.

Hideous gamer bling or as I like to call it "Lambo vents".

I think you'd like the upgraded Razer Pro (announced just a few months ago) if cost is not a very big issue.

I like Razer's product line, but I also like the safety of an extended warranty backed by a very large company like Dell, Lenovo or HP.

I had one of those dodgy early 2011 15" MBPs, and if I didn't have AppleCare, I would have been stuck with a costly motherboard replacement when my GPU croaked the first time. Granted, my MBP did eventually die after my AppleCare lapsed, but knowing you can get decent support in a major North American city on your warranty is something I value. I'm not sure that Razer (or ASUS, MSI or Gigabyte, for that matter) is well equipped to provide that level of service.

Hey have you considered a third party warranty like BestBuy? Or buying insurance? I've never done that and I'm curious about the pros and cons

I have bought a third party warranty once but it was never put to the test.

The only laptop I ever had that needed warranty service was my Macbook Pro. Good thing I got it, the logic board replacement cost more than the AppleCare did. Not that it helped though, my model of MBP had a design defect related to the GPU overheating and my laptop died after the AppleCare lapsed. Apple "recalled" it and fixed it, but not until after I bought a new laptop.

I've never had any issues with my non Mac laptops... None that required a major repair under warranty, at least.

The thing with third party warranties is the "put to the test" part. You never know how it's going to turn out until you need it. The thing with AppleCare and warranties from Dell/HP/Lenovo is that they are lower risk in my opinion.

That's not to say that third party warranties are bad, I just don't have much interest in trying them.

have you given the lenovo x1 carbon a look? the x1 yoga is currently at the top of my short list, mostly due to lenovo's amazing keyboards, followed by the dell xps13 developer edition for the significantly longer battery life.

I generally don't consider anything that has an ultrabook processor for a work related laptop, which is also why the XPS 13 isn't on my radar.

I generally look for a quad core i7/HQ and a discrete GPU. I guess I could probably live without the discrete GPU, but if I'm going to buy a good laptop, I may as well spend a little extra to get it.

Battery life isn't a big consideration for me - I'm plugged in most of the time and I consider any battery life >3h to be gravy.

The Dell Precision range (and probably the old Thinkpad W-range, which has since been renamed...) used to be the laptops targeted at people with your utilitarian requirements list.

It's a few years since I retired my old Precision laptop, but it definitely ticked the thick, durable, huge battery, tons of ports and reliable Linux drivers back then. I'm not sure how the contemporary models hold up.

Thinkpad T range is also right about this: a thick, powerful, utilitarian machine.

The high-powered "Txxp" models in the T range were what lead to the creation of the W range.

More recently, I think the W range might have been superseded by some certain models in the P range, though I'm not too sure about this.

Look into the Dell Precision 7xxx series. Expensive, and bulky and heavy enough to kill a man with one nice hard swing. But they are meant as serious portable workstations, and come with the fastest processors and GPUs, up to 32 GiB of memory, and bulky hard drives. They're not trendy terminals for hipsters' cloud dev environments. They can be purchased equipped with Ubuntu off Dell's site (in the USA, I dunno about other countries).

I am Precision 7 owner. With Skylake you still have 4 SODIMM slots and the new ones are a little lighter than the older ones, so you can have 64 GB RAM, a proper quad-core i7 (or Xeon), and discrete, removable graphics - the video card is on a daughter card that can be swapped out.

Mine has an M.2 SSD and a big hard disk in it, a real GTX 960 eGPU via Thunderbolt 3, and only 32 GB RAM for now. Running Linux it has tons of overhead for multiple VMs (my Win10 VM has 8GB RAM), and lots of processing power. Unlike most laptops the Precision 7x series also is built to run flat out without throttling under load.

Yes, it weighs like 8 lbs, and I don't think the new "carbon fiber" ones feel as durable as the older tan aluminum ones, but it's definitely a worthy replacement for a desktop. I just take a netbook with me most of the time when I need portability, but it's great when I know I need horsepower somewhere other than my own office.

I have an ASUS ROG laptop[0] which looks pretty sweet, but sort of reminds me to some degree to the MBP my girlfriend has, it's just black and red instead. If you want a total lookalike I think the Razer Blade[1] is pretty scarily close. You'd still spend quite a bit for anything from Razer though.


[0] Asus ROG: https://www.asus.com/ROG-Republic-Of-Gamers/ROG-G501JW/

[1] Razer Blade: http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-systems/razer-blade

There were other laptops I've been shown from Razer that looked way too much like a 'sexy' Macbook Pro style. Of course Razer / ASUS ROG are gaming specific laptops, so the specs and the prices will be higher than most laptops.

Speaking of battery, I picked up an XPS 13 recently and am very happy with it. The battery seems to last forever, the 2016 model increases the battery size from 56(?) to 60w. The only reason I didn't go with the XPS 15 was that the battery life is supposed to be terrible, and it appears that even this newly announced model only has a 56w battery, which is surprising.

out of all the laptops that are around right now, the xps series seems to be the closest to my fantasy -- this is due largely to their developer models which come with linux and linux supported hardware. when you say w do you mean Wh? ive heard murmurs of the legal limit for battery capacity in a laptop being 100Wh so that is very disappointing that the new xps would not even approach that anemic cap.

i was in a mall the other day and happened across a windows store. i was very pleased to see they had a range of xps laptops on display. i found them to be very attractive and well made. IIRC some of them had a power button on the side of the laptop instead of the top of the keyboard. my current laptop has a power button like this and i cannot fucking stand it. i press it by accident at least twice a day. any sane person would realize what a terrible idea that is -- it totally baffles me why they do this. its very sad to see such an obvious flaw on these otherwise great laptops.

The biggest battery capacity I've had in a laptop was 160Wh with the Thinkpad X220, I'm curious where that supposed 100Wh limit comes from.

i was watching a laptop review on linustechtips and i think he said it. this is why i said i heard it instead of stating it like fact!

e - i think that limit comes from airlines limiting the size of individual batteries they transport. https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/as...

The whole 100W thing was, as far as I can tell, an almost completely unsupported theory advanced by a Mac blogger about why Apple doesn't put bigger batteries in their laptops. There is apparently some FAA document saying something to that effect, but of course there are lots of regulations on various books that are unenforced or unenforceable, and there have been dozens, maybe hundreds, of laptops made over the years with larger batteries, and none have ever been, to my knowledge, barred from flying.

"Lithium ion batteries (a.k.a.: rechargeable lithium, lithium polymer, LIPO, secondary lithium). Passengers may carry all consumer-sized lithium ion batteries (up to 100 watt hours per battery)"


I remember seeing the link in the original blog post, so I knew it was a real thing, but I'm extremely skeptical of the theory that it has anything to do with anything.

The simple fact is that the FAA doesn't screen battery sizes. If you brought something the size of a car battery, they'd probably not allow it, but the difference between a 95WHr and a 140WHr laptop battery is something they're neither interested in nor capable of actively checking. Apple put a small battery in the laptop because it's more important to them to have a thin light laptop than it is to have more battery life. This random person unaffiliated with Apple then decided with no evidence that it was because of some basically unknown FAA document. That's all I meant.

I am in the same boat, even under Linux and no configuration at all, the new XPS 13 lasts an incredibly long time. Just a minor correction, the battery in the previous (early 2016 - 9350) model was actually 52W, not 56.

I'm guessing the extra space is going to the (optional) discrete GPU. That doesn't appear to be an option on the XPS 13.

This is a logical consequence of slower hardware replacement cycles: now that a reasonably fast system can be expected to still be very much acceptable five years down the line (I am writing this on an early 2011 machine that would not be much cheaper to match today), a much larger fraction of the market is willing to pay for qualities that are not represented in benchmarks.

The fastest silicon in the cheapest casing that would do the job was a reasonable strategy back when even the best hardware became obsolete within three years, but now this is much less dominant. People who are not willing to spend on build quality are likely to just stick to what they have.

These laptops have been around, and successful, for years. They've just been snuffed by hipsters because they weren't Apple.

Feel free to provide some recommended examples instead of just being snarky.

Dell's XPS series has been around since 2013, they just didn't make it to HN. Lenovo also had more compact-ish 15" models with the T540p and later the T550/T560. Not sure about HP's Envy series, I'm not following them too closely.

XPS has been heavily recommended for a long time, but dell does still have a stigma and I personally had a hard time finding a way to actually BUY one when I looked. Lenovo lost developers trust years ago when they started pulling stunt after stunt with security vulnerabilities, backdoors, and spyware.

Dell sells twice as many laptops as Apple does (making it the third largest vendor). They only carry a "stigma" in a very small echo chamber of Apple fanboys.

Is there any way I can convince you to stop with the 'Apple fanboys' bullshit? It's not furthering whatever 'cause' you have and just comes across as presumptuous.

Based on what I've been reading here on HN, most Apple users are pissed off by the choices that Apple made for the new MBP's, and are honestly exploring their options (as am I). That doesn't sound like fanboy behavior.

A) You should stop the condescending attitude towards Apple's users. It doesn't help anyone you influence anybody's opinion.

B) I believe Dell's sales volume is heavily inflated by all of the government and school contracts they have. Every computer I used in K-12 and most in college were dell machines, simply because that's what schools buy. That makes raw sales numbers irrelevant, because we're talking laptops for developers, not average office workers or students.

what? I have a 2008 dell xps. XPS is Dell's premium laptop line that has been around since forever now.

I found that after Dell went private, their XPS'es (and other products, for that matter) all of a sudden became machines I'd actually consider buying.

I had an XPS when I worked Microsoft. I haven't worked at Microsoft in over ten years. IIRC, XPS goes back to the 90s.

I had an m1530 from 2008. It was still working great until 2015 when it stopped booting. I gave it to a friend for parts, but he used a blowtorch to redo the GPU solder. Says it is still working just fine today.

Yup. Their XPS monicker is really old. My second PC was a Dell "Dimension XPS D266".

266 stood for the cutting edge 266mhz Pentium II that thing was rocking.

Anyone else getting an access denied error?

  Access Denied
  You don't have permission to access "http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/productdetails/xps-15-9560-laptop" on this server.
  Reference #18.f4741602.1482244883.2126641

It seems like they block access to the US store from outside the US? No VPN here, just a DE IP and it's blocked.

Incredible to see the price differential between the US and DE stores though, on top of the 18% VAT you expect

That seems to be the case here. Visiting http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/ from my german IP yields the same result. Unbelievable. Frankly, the whole site looks like a mess to me.

The Dell site is absolutely terrible. For a while, perhaps still, there was no way to show the tech specs for at least the XPS laptop I was looking at. The marketing speak would say something like "XPS 13 with 6th Generation Intel Core processors" and then just a series of prices. You couldn't tell what CPU it had, how much memory, nothing. There's a Q/A box on the page, and there were dozens of unanswered questions like "how big is the hard drive" with no answers.

I bought my XPS 13 from Costco, which was a nicer experience in pretty much every way.

It's really appalling. I'm guessing most of Dell's sales come from other sources (other websites or actual retail stores). Otherwise they'd be out of business with a website that terrible.

Seeing the same here (German IP), maybe GeoIP blocking?

I'm not having a problem viewing in Japan

Yeah, I can access the URL from Austria, but I'm not sure I'm actually seeing info about the new XPS. There don't seem to be any specs anywhere, so it's hard to be sure.

Greece here, both URLs work fine.

Yes, but the archive.org link further down worked for me: http://web.archive.org/web/20161220095136/http://www.dell.co...

thanks, worked like a charm!

This occasionally happens to me when browsing using a VPN. Disconnecting from the VPN solves the issue.

Most important tid-bid for me: 7th Gen Intel® Quad Core™ processors optional 4GB GeForce® GTX 1050

Supports up to 32GB of memory

Killer™ Wireless: The Killer 1535 Wireless-AC

Most important flaw for me: Seems to have no ethernet port.

Yes, I would be using a dongle all the time, which is unbearable. So long for the XPS.

The slimmer dell laptops have been lacking the RJ45 port for a while now. I have a precision m3300 (very happy with that) which doesn't have one. Had to get a cheap adapter for USB but that one feels more like a plug that sits at the end of the network cable than a dongle.

The thing I think with those of us that do have their computers connected to cable network a lot ("all the time") is that it's usually in the same place (our desk) so it's not that big a problem to adapt the end of the network cable there.

In fact I'd prefer to use a usb-c brick with all connections (video, keyboard, mouse, lan) over the current one where I insert the network cable into one usb, then the monitor into the hdmi, and the monitor usb which has the mouse/keyboard in it's hub into a second usb. Of all the "docking flaws" with my current laptop I find the lack of RJ45 to be the least annoying actually.

What do you do on a laptop that 802.11ac is too slow for? Or do you live on the NRQZ?

Gbit ethernet isn't that much faster than 802.11ac, so I'm really having a hard time thinking of a realistic use case here.

EDIT: wrote this before I realised that the wifi card this laptop ships with is particularly bad.

I use a USB3 dongle that has 3 USB ports and an ethernet port. It works great. I've used it all over the place, OSX, Mint, etc. $27 Anker, https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Unibody-Aluminum-Gigabit-Ethern...

I'm guessing that ethernet is supported via an associated dock.

I just wish they'd give me this in a 13inch package. (like the Alienware 13, just with a more mature chassis)

The problem with the Alienware 13R3 is that it's a great professional machine with the most incredibly stupid looking adornments.

I absolutely hate how the best machines are Gaming machines, which means you're stuck with all sorts of LED bling-crap.

The 13R3 looks like an absolutely killer machine for everyday work. OLED touch, quad core CPU (HQ series), fast GPU, physical touchpad buttons, ports out the wazoo, user serviceable RAM (up to 32!) and storage, etc.

Try the Razer Blade or the Razer Blade Pro. Except for the green logo on the top nothing makes it look like a gaming machine. And the Pro even has mechanical switches.

Those are nice machines, but for any laptop I buy for work reasons, I like to invest in a 3 year extended warranty.

With brands like Apple, Dell, HP and Lenovo, I know I'll get at least OK support.

Because Razer is more of a niche brand without a mature support infrastructure like the aforementioned companies, I do have some concerns.

I do agree with the support. I have a cheap Dell Inspiron with 1 year complete warranty which I extended to 3 years (very cheap package) and their service is so great that they came the next day I called them to ask about a keyboard replacement and fixed it on the spot in my home.

Last time i looked neither the 13 nor the 14 offered 32gb ram.

Check again. A refresh was launched recently and it even has Matte screen, upto 2TB of mSATA RAID0, 32GB of RAM, desktop GPU, i7-6x series (2.6Gto 3.5G Turbo).

Just did, it's only 16GB "on-board memory" for "The new Razer Blade".

The only configuration options for me are the size of the SSD and if I want the 4k Touch Screen or the matte 1080p screen.

I think you are referring to the 17 inch Razer Blade Pro. Which is nowhere near 13 or 14 inches.

You are absolutely right.

Wouldn't that be the XPS13?

The 13 doesn't have a real quad core, just a dual-core and only goes up to 16gb of ram.

I want 32 and a quad-core, in an 13-inch form-factor. Both of which the Alienware 13 offers, but thats a gaming machine.

The highest end i7 xps13 actually has surprisingly good graphics performance despite the intel integrated gpu (been using one the moment the 2016 version became available).

It might be good, but it doesn't even remotely compare to the Nvidia GTX 1060 in the VR capable 13R3. Although battery life suffers immensely because of it.

Can't get an XPS 13 with a discrete GPU, however

Correct, but if you get the 2015 you can get the Iris 540 which is a pretty decent GPU (at least compared to anything else intel ships). Beats some of the low/medium range chipsets.

Sadly dell makes makes you pick on the XPS13: Lousy CPU No iris graphics 8GB ram small disk Great battery nice matte display

And: Nice CPU Iris 540 graphics 16GB ram 3200x1800 shiny/reflective display (that halves your battery life)

Sadly I was looking for the Iris 540, 1080P display, and 16GB ram. A very rare combination. Hopefully the new dell makes the 1080P option independ of the rest of the laptop.

Sadly the kaby lake + iris graphics won't be out for a few more months. So the 2015 XPS13 is WAY faster at graphics than the 2016 kaby lake.

Nice, I don't need a fire breathing gtx 1080 and the noise and terrible battery life. However the GTX 1050 might well justified. Very curious how long the battery lasts.

Folks considering this should also check out the HP ZBook Studio G3.

It has Quadro M1000M 4GB graphics, 32 GB of ECC RAM, quad core, Linux certified by HP, 4k screen, can handle two external 4k monitors and drive the panel at about 4.5 pounds.

This is probably a trivial complaint to some, but after using a Precision 5510 for a while I really wouldn't want to go back to a laptop screen with a wide bezel again. It's up to personal aesthetic choice, mostly, I guess.

edit: It's also unclear whether the SSD in the ZBook is PCIe or not. It isn't stated, so I assume it's not, as PCIe performance is a differentiator.

> I really wouldn't want to go back to a laptop screen with a wide bezel again.

Yeah, those are real sexy. Only downside is the terrible location of the webcam, I suppose you can use an external, though.

> It's also unclear whether the SSD in the ZBook is PCIe or not. It isn't stated, so I assume it's not, as PCIe performance is a differentiator.

From the quick specs[0], two drives: one PCIe SSD, the second M.2 2280 SATA-3.


Sniff, that's a Maxwell chip not Pascal. But it came out early 2016 so perhaps early 2017 we will see a G4 with Kaby Lake and Pascal quad core. Would be nice.

> Sniff, that's a Maxwell chip not Pascal.

Is there a substantial difference? This is a development laptop so I only cared about it being able to push enough pixels.

Perhaps there's a difference for gamers?

Largely depends on whether you want 3D performance or not (that's not only for gamers). The performance/watt ratio is significantly higher on Pascal.

Buying a quadro card for gaming is like buying a truck for racing.

Speaking of laptops, what would you recommend to someone running Ubuntu? My 2013 MacBook Air is feeling it, with its non-upgradable 4 GB RAM. A discrete graphics card so I could play DotA2 once in a while would be nice, even if it's at medium graphics quality.

I'm kinda in the same boat.

I want a laptop with Iris Pro 580/p580 and NO dedicated GPU. The 580 has a bit over a TFLOP of compute (plenty for games like DoTA) and more importantly, the drivers don't suck on Linux. The issue is that any laptop that ships with that processor also ships with a crappy dedicated GPU.

When I have a 45w processor, I want to pay a few hundred extra for a 55w Nvidia M2000m that has 10% more compute power (granted, more efficient at GPGPU) and horrible drivers.

What I want:

15.6", i7-6770HQ, 32gb DDR4, M.2 SSD, high-res IPS screen, Thinkpad-grade keyboard, good webcam, decent ports (At least 2x thunderbolt, 3x usb3, SD, 3.5mm, and ethernet), a little thicker for a battery that lasts a couple days, durable build quality, large trackpad with builtin wacom, NO dedicated graphics.

I guess that's too much to ask.

I think there is a bit of a meme that Linux Intel graphics don't suck. They have broken desktops repeatedly and still have a lot of glitches on newer hardware, whereas everyone calls AMD bad but I haven't had a bad experience on their Mesa stack in over 5 years. Its generally that Intel is buggy / edge case broken and AMD is rock solid if not patching Windows drivers in performance.

Albeit, I am biased, in that I intentionally avoid bleeding edge GPU hardware in general anywhere I can, but its hard to avoid Intel's latest because each year all the NUCs / notebooks / desktop platform switch to their latest CPUs. With AMD, since they have basically no market presence anywhere, I can get away with buying a 290 a year after it comes out for $240 and then having a great out of the box experience with it, whereas my 740SU notebook 4 years ago was only 6 months new when I got one and had massive Haswell GPU bugs on latest Mesa for about 6 months after buying it.

But even then, Intel and AMD are pretty much par for support times and when you should expect good stability in my experiences, but everyone memes AMD as being trash while Intel is the savior of consumer Linux.

I bought a NUC with the Iris 540, ran ubuntu 16.04 on it and I'm quite pleased with it. Minecraft, full screen youtube, full screen netflix, random web games like slither.io, random "rich" websites, webGL particle/water demos, etc all "just work".

I've had way less problems with intel than I did with my radeons. Not sure I'd say better than nvidia (who has a pretty good binary blob driver), but similar.

Even weird edge cases like rotating a display into portrait mode while logged in worked fine.

It's not a GTX 1070 killer, but it's quite a nice upgrade from other Intel GPUs. It runs a fair variety of 2d/3d stuff at 1080P quite comfortably.

Speaking of which, seems like the 580/P580 never really delivered on the promised performance compared to the much lower power Iris 540/550 (used in the macbook pro).

The next gen looks promising though. Intel's already mentioned the kaby lake + iris for the NUC in Feb/March. I'm hoping that intel tunes the performance, power use, and price so it makes it into more devices. Iris graphics on laptops is pretty rare so far.

I think intel's pricing the iris graphics a bit too high, so it's pretty rare. Lenovo has some idea pads with iris, and the macbook pro.

Hopefully they drop the price enough to make it more popular. As you mention it's a particularly attractive option for linux.

Look at the Dell Precision 5510, you can get it without the GPU and with a larger battery instead of a SATA drive.

Has M.2 and all the other things you mentioned.

You won't find all the features in one machine, but the Dell XPS 9550 is also sold in a version without dedicated GPU.

Thinkpads are generally a safe bet.

I've been using different models from the X-Series with Ubuntu since 08.04 and am currently looking at the T450s (14", but still an Ultrabook and light enough for me).

The X1 Carbon looks damn sweet as well.

The X1 Carbon (latest.. 4th? gen) is my daily laptop since release and I can't wait to get rid of it. In anything other than low light/perfect lighting the screen is unbearably dull, speakers are appalling (though in ubuntu you can override to > 100% volume). Keyboard is pretty unsatisfying to use also.

I got it because i wanted a 14" laptop and it was the only one on the market. Screen size is perfect (15" is a bit big for travelling & carry on luggage)

This looks like the laptop i've been waiting for

I was surprised how light the T-Series models have become, hadn't looked at them in years and only remembered the heavy clunky units that made me go for the X-Series.

The current model T460s is also interesting, quite a bit more performance than its predecessor, albeit in a different price bracket.

I'm mostly going for the 450 because there's tons of decent refurb available and I'm frugal that way ;-)

Just be sure that you're comfortable with the trackpoint on the 450... They swapped the buttons for a touch sensitive area at the top of the trackpad. The physical buttons have made a welcome return on the T460 range, but if that doesn't bother you, enjoy a great machine.

You need to understand the R series became the T4x0 and the T4x0s is the real continuation of the T series.

Same here, except I have a different experience. Maybe it's because I upgraded from a 2010 Macbook Air, but I like the screen a lot. The speakers suck, I agree, but I rarely use external speakers when I'm in laptop mode. I really like that it runs Ubuntu almost perfectly, and that it has 16GB or RAM. I do wish the video card was more powerful, but it drives a 4k monitor (as well as its own display) quite well. It's stupid lightweight, too. Makes my 2010 Air feel like cast iron.

i love my 4th gen carbon (work laptop), but i have to agree the speakers are appalling. way worse than the 1st gen carbon it replaced.

I ve switched from air running Ubuntu to XPS 13 dev edition with Ubuntu. Not everything beautiful but a decent switch, great power, autonomy and screen.

Thank you! What are some things you don't like about it?

Looking for a laptop is pretty frustrating, there are a ton of models and each has a ton of versions, it's really hard to know what to get :(

One issue would be the webcam placement, it's below the screen. If you get the XPS 13 don't make the same mistake I've made, don't waste your money on this POS http://accessories.euro.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=uk... Linux support is very bad, it uses a proprietary technology. Get a USB-C to HDMI adapter instead.

I just switched to the XPS 13 as well and picked up the WD15 which is the same price on Amazon. The WD15 officially supports linux and from what I read is better than the 3100 as long as you're on a more recent kernel. Hopefully I won't have to return it.

WD15 has 1 mDP, 1 HDMI, and 1 VGA. I'm hoping to get something that supports linux + 3 DP or HDMI based monitors.

Not OP, but got the same laptop. "Jumpy trackpad" [1] and "stuck key" [2] problems are the ones I feel most.

They should have been fixed by the latest firmware (apparently still in 2015) but I can still experience them sometimes. I believe I have the latest fw (I'm surely >= 06A), but can't check ATM, so chances are I'm not on the latest. Then again, I admit I can work with it almost seamlessly (dev-work from CLI mainly).

[1] http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/os-applications/f/46... [2] en.community.dell.com/techcenter/os-applications/f/4613/t/19637021

Thanks for the information. Do you speak a European language? That's where I've seen "autonomy" used referring to battery life.

Can confirm, autonomy is how "battery life" translates to Greek too. Fun fact, autonomy means "ruled under its own law".

I always recommend the thinkpad T series. The 14s has almost the same profile as a macbook air. I've ran Linux on thinkpads for a while now, never disappointed.

I use two ThinkPads and one thing that I dislike about both of them is the Lenovo software. It's buggy and uses a lot of memory. I've gone through and uninstalled as much of it as I can and both machines have been much more stable. If I were buying a new machine today, I would probably reformat and reinstall Windows.

Doesn't matter if your just installing Linux on it

My Asus Zenbook UX305CA ran Fedora 25 out of the box with basically every peripheral including the touchscreen working perfectly. However it uses integrated (Intel i915) graphics.

Same with the XPS 13 2017, it doesn't have the power saving nvme mode yet which would I presume give it parity with Windows battery life, and Wayland was janky but X was fine.

Google IRIS 540 graphics and you should find:

Dota 2 Reborn 2015

low 1280x72059.8 85 ~ 72 fps + Compare med. 1366x76846.9 68.5 ~ 58 fps + Compare high 1920x108029.2 39.5 ~ 34 fps + Compare ultra 1920x108034.6 fps + Compare

Presumably Dota is easier on the GPU than Dota2. The kaby lake with iris graphics isn't out yet, should be Feb or March or so. The 2015 XPS 13 has the Iris 540. Sadly the 2016 XPS13 doesn't, yet.

Sorry, oops, I meant DotA2. I assume anything can run the original DotA (but I also don't know if anyone still plays that). Iris 540 is integrated and still has that performance? That's pretty nice, thanks.

For what it's worth: I've been doing gaming on my 2012 MBA using Steam's in-home streaming from my Desktop. It works really well for gaming casually on the couch, though it only works on my home LAN.

I have a Steam Link too, so I use streaming, but it's not great for twitch games like DotA and Rocket League :/

the XPS 13 runs linux perfectly.

The only reason why I regret buying a Thinkpad is that I see good machines like the XPS, but I'm not willing to buy them because I have been spoiled by Thinkpad's keyboards.

Rumours have it that next year's line-up will return to having slim bezels like the current XPS series has (and Thinkpads had a decade ago…).

A cautious promise included a Thinkpad Retro hopefully with the old keyboard next year. If it happens, I am buying it and I am not going to look at the price tag.

If only they return the ThinkLight -- that would be great.

Am I missing a price on that page? Can anyone see where it is, or know how much it costs?

I don't think it's an official page. It is still under construction I think.

Did they fix the coil whine?

I sure as hell hope so. Typing this on a 2015 XPS 15 as we speak, and the incessant "chirp chirp chirp" any time it's in a non-horizontal position (such as when docked) drives me insane.

Finally convinced support to take it in for warranty (expires in a few weeks), which means I'll be without it for a while, but hopefully they at least can swap out the mobo with a non-chirpy version...

They did not fix that either. You might be lucky to receive a device that doesn't exhibit it, or you may not notice it, or you may not even bother about it.

Dell doesn't really care - they still sell loads, and as long as the online reviewers don't complain loudly enough so that their sales are affected it is just not worth the cost.

Wow how lame of Dell. That was the reason I went with a Lenovo T460 (which I do not regret btw ;))

Lenovo is much worse than Dell though... They deserve to go bankrupt after superfish and all that other crap they did.

How does one tell which XPS 15 one is ordering?

Suppose you order one through Amazon, other than doing a feature by feature comparison, can you tell it is the "latest" one?

Look at the specific model number. 9560 is the latest XPS 15" (and 9360 is the latest XPS 13", from Oct 2016)

Thanks. I was looking for the model number but could not find it on the page.

The cpu model number is usually listed and the cpu generation gives an indication as well...

There are different models, you can check a given laptop model under XPS logo under the keyboard.

Does the tiny bezel mean a nostril cam like the XPS13?

Honestly I'd be (more than) fine with an XPS 13 without webcam and mic.

Actually I'd be so happy with a laptop like that. An XPS 13 without webcam and mic.

Sure does, the 9550 has the nostril cam and this appears to be the same form factor. Definitely one of the worst parts of the XPS 13/15 line, otherwise they're solid choices.

You see that little dot to the left of the Dell logo? That's the camera.

I'd love to hear how this laptop runs Ubuntu or Mint.

It's essentially a Precision 5510, which is what I have. I have no complaints about mine at all: Ubuntu 16.04.1 works perfectly.

One of my co-workers has the current gen (9550) and Ubuntu 16.04 runs great on it. I think he's got an intel wifi card, I'd just check Linux compatibility with the Killer wifi card before going that route. It's easy enough to change a WiFi card out aftermarket if there is issues though, an Intel 8260 card will run you $30.

I am also on 9550 with Ubuntu 16.04. I upgraded RAM to 32GB. I mostly do Android development (gradle and Android Studio eat a huge amount of memory). I've run into a few weird issues with different version of Linux kernel. Some kernel version caused no sound at all. This is such a common topics among Ubuntu users and there are so many solutions about that. I've tried most of them (solutions around alsamixer and pulseaudio) only using certain version of kernel works for me.

I am curious which linux kernel version people (and your co-worker) are using though.

Killer WiFi should work with the `ath10k` driver in recent kernels.

Does that include good working power management and a fully functioning touchpad? I went down the XPS13 Sputnik path and had endless disappointment with constant fixes.

I think that Skylake Power Management got better in the Kernel after the original XPS13 Sputnik launch, but yes the XPS13 touchpad was a pain in the ass. The XPS15 touchpad on Linux is better than the XPS13.

My biggest complaint about the XPS15 I had a little over a year ago was the spacebar. There was a manufacturing defect in mine where the touchpad ribbon cable pressed up against the spacebar and was causing unregistered keystrokes. I read internet forums where multiple people had this issue. Maybe Dell has fixed the manufacturing issue by now, but it was bad enough that I returned the XPS15.

I have bought an XPS13 Sputnik this spring, have put Debian Testing on it, and had no single issue related to the the machine itself.

At least, I think so...

And, well, I'm not too picky...

Is it really that easy to swap them out? Or does Dell lock-out non-whitelisted wifi in the BIOS like Lenovo does with thinkpads?

I swapped out the Dell Wireless (Broadcom) on an XPS 13 9350 for an Intel 8260 with no issues. I would assume the XPS 15 would be the same.

Swapped wifi on XPS 15 to intel one. Mine was one that came with dell original wifi, working perfectly.

There are USB WiFi dongles for 2$; I use one of those with the R8188EU chip.

My first thought. This looks like it might be my future Linux laptop that I've been researching for about a year.

dell "developer" releases come with linux preinstalled. so almost certainly. although i wouldnt touch ubuntu with a barge pole.



Need to be careful with the non-linux releases. They sometimes have subtly different hardware (e.g., ralink wifi instead of intel).

> i wouldnt touch ubuntu with a barge pole

Just curious what makes you say that?

Not the parent either...I'm not a fan of Ubuntu proper, even variants like Xubuntu (and I adore Xfce). I do, however, really enjoy Elementary OS which is Ubuntu based but has an amazing UI and all sorts of helpful little features baked in. I get the same feeling of "whoa, I didn't know an OS would do that and I don't know how I got by without it!" as I did 12 years ago when I started using OS X for the first time.

Some examples: The terminal is smart enough to know when you want to paste a command, and allows you to Ctrl-V without the Shift modifier if you have a terminal command in the clipboard. The terminal will intelligently auto-correct a tab completion when you use the wrong case (e.g. type "docu" and hit tab, and it will complete to "Documents" if there is no file/folder starting with "docu", instead of failing on the mixed case). Start a process in the terminal and minimize or send that window to the background, and you'll get a system notification when the task completes. That's awesome for when I start to compile something big, then load up Netflix or Vimeo to pass the time while it runs; I don't end up binging away my night on videos and forgetting about that build. There are a few more niceties in the terminal but this paragraph is already huge.

In the file manager, dealing with networked drives is much more seamless than even macOS. It has built in support for sftp, afp, nfs, smb/cifs. I can put in the ssh credentials for one of my VPS instances, and I can then browse that instance as if it's a local drive. Ironically, browsing a Windows share from Elementary is easier than from another Windows box, thanks to regressions in Windows 10's file sharing settings.

There's a bunch of functionality I won't go into as this is turning into an advertisement, but in my experience it is by far the best desktop Linux experience I've had, and the only one that comes close to the cohesiveness of macOS.

Not P but just ab example: Sublime Text won't even show menus in unity without some extension hackery. Who thought this titlebar would be a good idea? People with an 11 inch laptop? Is that the target audience now?

I really like using Ubuntu but I don't like Unity. My solution? Run Awesome WM instead :)

Same here, except KDE 5, nicely wrapped up in the Neon distro by the KDE people.

Wow that's really cool. I didn't know about this project before. Thanks for the headsup!

For better and worse, it apes the OSX interface, which includes menus in the title bar of the entire window.

sorry, that's simply wrong. OSX has menus fixed in the menu bar, not in the window titles, these are separate. And so far I find menus at the top still offer the best UX - no need to target the pointer vertically, the menu always anchored where you find it, a root representation of running apps other than their windows. Unity does almost everything the other way round - hidden menus, revealed wherever the top of your window is if you happen to figure out the right key combo or gesture. Discoverability? Who needs that, people can't operate something more complex than an iPhone app anyways...

This is for worse IMO. iIf I want a Mac I can buy a Mac.

They aren't that expensive as a pro tool when you factor in a typical lifetime of 3+ years.

The global menu bar is trivial to turn off (without any hackery) in the current ubuntu.

for a start, by default accounts can access the root account by simply running sudo -i

For me that always came across as a sane choice for single user developer/power user machines.

Also IIRC it is only the very first user that has this privilege by default. For extra users I think you'll have to explicitly enable it when you create the account (or at a later stage.)

i barely trust my own programs to have access to the root account, why should any old script be able to access the entire machine in 6 letters?

"you should never run anything as root" yet on ubuntu everything as good as runs as root by default.

even windows ussually has a seperate password to create user accounts, but with ubuntu make the mistake of leaving your machine unlocked and unattended and any little script kiddy can own your machine in fractions of a second. worse even than windows, because they get remote access by default.

I understand why they did it. but if they are making those kind of changes I dont have the energy to track down what other things they "broke" to favor some (what i consider to be) misguided idea of useability over security.

you know, stuff like this


> even windows ussually has a seperate password to create user accounts

Wrong, I'd say. Only if you or the IT department specifically set it up that way.

Also, again IIRC but I think you have to type password the first time you use sudo un a session on desktop Ubuntu (or after 15 minutes).

yet the link i posted is ubuntu users asking how to make it do exactly that, because by default something added no password to their sudo configuration.

which is also my experience.

having plenty of experience getting red hat fedora and centos set up just the way i like, i decided very quickly even getting ubuntu "safe" was more learning curve than reward.

No operating system can protect your machine if it is left unlocked - even allowing physical access makes you vulnerable. A worthy concern, but not in itself an "Ubuntu problem".

most you can get to on a normal unlocked linux machine in normal use is the see browsing history.

you cant even copy files to a usb stick because mounting it requires a password.

that is very different to making the machine yours via remote access.

and very very different than letting browser plugins create user accounts that can be accessed remotely (that have root access by default). then theres the fact that selinux seems to be a right state on ubuntu

plus what everybody else said. basically put there are several nicer and more secure distributions of linux i would choose before ubuntu.

Where in the world is the price on this page?

Looks nice but their customer service will fuck you over if you have a hardware problem serious enough to replace some vital part. There was a huge thread here only recently by some poor guy being harassed by them.

Not in my experience. I bought an XPS 15 earlier this year. It was a fairly new model and there were a lot of complaints online about quality control issues, but overwhelmingly they were happy with Dell's response. I got one and blew out the speakers (partly my fault), but Dell send me a replacement quickly.

That's not my experience with Dell (in the Netherlands). One of the keys didn't work correctly, I called them and the next day one of their mechanics replaced the keyboard at my home.

In my experience a few years ago, Dells are much easier to open up and work on than most other laptops. If you are the sort of person to build your own desktop PC you might consider doing your own laptop repair rather than deal with warranty support.

Not my experience either. In fact one of the deciding factors in my buying Dell is their warranty support.

I don't know about where you live, but where I live it's nothing short of amazing. It usually really is Next Business Day, there are no arguments, the man comes out with parts does the deed on my desk, and if it doesn't fix the issue lodges a new support call for it.

When the warranty expired I purchased a spare part. Granted finding the part number was a painful experience. But the measly $100 or whatever it was for the entire plastic back of the screen including the HV electronics, and the 2 day delivery more than made up for it.

I often look at other laptops, but then I remember HP had to be prosecuted by our government here before they would honour warranty claims, and the utter lack of response from ASUS for out of warranty parts.

For me Dell hardware seems to be much of a muchness - the manufacturers all use the same parts after all. It's Dell's support that sets them apart for me - in an opposite way to what you say.

I've never had that experience with them in over 10 years of using Dell products. I had a first gen XPS13 (I miss that thing) and 2 years down the road, I had a motherboard issue. The support was actually great and knocked out the repair quickly. Sure, I had to do it over phone/mail versus going into a physical store, but it was painless.

In my experience, I had an issue and they showed up at my door next day and replaced the motherboard. This was about 7 years ago though.

I had the XPS L502X and it was hands down the best laptop I have ever owned:

JBL Speakers that were genuinely excellent - I work at home and listen to music quite loudly so these were a huge selling point for me

Plenty of Ports

Easy to upgrade / repair - I think by the end of its life I had replaced or upgraded everything except the motherboard

All of the XPS systems since this one have paled in comparison, shitty speakers and an ultra book type.

The L502X was a chunky workhorse but it survived a years backpacking around Asia with me and then 4 years in Australia as my main work computer until it finally died enough that I couldn't be bothered to fix it (Would power on for half a second and die).

It also ran Linux like a dream - no incompatibilities!

On an Alienware 17 R3 now and it is a beast.... but it's speakers are no match for the L502X's :( Also absolutely cant get Linux to run on it so I am using Virtualbox with a dual head setup which has its share of issues

photoshop sucks at scaling down "smart-objects". You need to scale destructively to make it look ok.

The webcam is still awkwardly positioned. Have they fixed the coil noise issue yet?

It's a decent laptop; however, having the camera at the bottom of the screen is a bit annoying :/ - ppl will be looking into your nose :)

This is the biggest design flaw with this laptop. It is a very unflattering angle and makes the video essentially useless. It's the one reason I can't recommend it to people (or I recommend it with a caveat, if they use the camera often).

I am mildly excited for Kaby Lake for laptops.

I was excited to buy a Kaby Lake Mac Book Pro. Especially when the Dell XPS13 is showing off >10 hours of 4k video playback on battery [1]. I can get about 12-14 hours on my 2014/2015 MBP (coding with a dark background, low brightness) I really enjoy the added flexibility longer battery life gives me.

[1] http://www.pcworld.com/article/3127250/hardware/intel-kaby-l...

The colors on your screen will not affect battery life (Unless it is AMOLED)

Huh, thanks for pointing out this misconception I was harboring :D

If anything, dark background will use more power as the pixels need to be fully powered to block out the backlight. Not sure if this is still the case, but it used to be afaik. CRT's were the opposite in that black meant the beam was off or somesuch and therefore white used more power. But that's not been true for a long time.

Colors, I don't think explicitly shorten battery life, but greater brightness and higher resolutions, yes.

Did they fix the keyboard debounce issue? I'd like to try typing on the keyboard before purchasing.

They did not fix it, but the latest BIOSes (on the XPS13) make it better. Some people still complain though. I don't notice it, maybe I'm not typing fast enough :)

The real annoyance for me about the input devices is that the palm detection doesn't work for the touchpad (on Ubuntu), at least I couldn't get it working. So either typing suffers, or have to disable "tap to click", which is so weird I can't get used to it.

Even with the latest BIOS on the XPS13, I can reliably type "asdf" and get "asdasfdf"

Trackpad. How is the trackpad on this one? I keep buying Apple HW for my Windows as every time I try new PC, trackpad experience doesn't yield itself to the change. Period.

My right index finger is ruined from constant use of an Apple trackpad for about 3 years now. Screw trackpads. Get a mouse.

I presume this is because you actually click the trackpad rather than turn on tap-to-click. Gotta turn on that tap-to-click. It doesn't take too long for my wrist to start hurting whenever I used someone's MB without tap to click.

tap to click sometimes isn't accurate enough, especially when it comes to copying and pasting. Also the force click thing.

Apple's trackpad drivers for Windows are some of the worst on the market. They just don't care.

XPS 15 and 13 have (one of the) best trackpads on windows. I finally understand how people live without mouse. Apparently not the same as mac, but the closest experience available.

IBM/Lenovo always had great trackpads for the "Thinkpad" line, and the nipple/clit was always my favorite pointing device, I actually missing it as typing this on an MBP15.

But that it's not centered relative to the keyboard!!! ARG!!

Try a recent premium dell (precision/xps) s I think you will find them OK. I can't tell any major difference between my 2014 precision M3300 and my 2011 Macbook Pro trackpads at least.

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