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DontBuyDell.com (dontbuydell.com)
175 points by jakobov 5 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 245 comments

On the contrary I've had great experiences with Dell's business line (Latitude, Precision models). Likewise the business warranty is excellent - log into TechDirect and I can submit a ticket for any one of the machines in my fleet. Dell will either send a technician out to service it in the field, or they'll mail me an empty box so I can send the unit in for repair.

Consumer _anything_ is going to be hit or miss. This is known. Buying Dell's consumer line and having a hard time trying to cash in on the consumer warranty doesn't mean Dell is shit, just means their priorities are elsewhere. XPS in particular I see lots of complaints about so I don't know why one would willingly buy what one _knows_ is their lowend (yes, it's lowend crap - we know this because they advertise it as "consumer highend"). It probably still gets the job done for most people who own one.

Buy a recent, used Latitude next time and quit worrying - they are great.

I'm sympathetic to the idea that the consumer line has less support and extras than a business-class device backed by an enterprise support agreement.

I'm not sympathetic to someone dropping $1,400 USD on a new laptop, and gets written off because "consumer _anything_ is hit or miss".

Like, half of the complaints come from devices like the XPS 13, which isn't some $300 cheap-o WallMart special, that's supposed to be their flagship top-of-the-line device. If Apple did the same to like, the MacBook Air or whatever, there would be months-long complaint threads all over HN about it.

I mean, Apple has done this repeatedly with their top of the line machines. Think the stage light issue compounded by the absurd decision to permanently connect a $7 cable to a $800 display panel or the butterfly keyboard.

Or my friend who went to 3 different Apple stores to ask about her issues using Final Cut and all of them telling her she needed a new laptop to the point that she bought a brand new 16" MacBook Pro she couldn't afford... when all she needed was a USB-C external SSD and to work on her larger projects from there. Luckily I talked to her about it and loaned her mine before she'd opened the new laptop so she returned it.

It's also funny because for most years the XPS is the exact same device as the enterprise model just with a better support contract.

> Buying Dell's consumer line and having a hard time trying to cash in on the consumer warranty doesn't mean Dell is shit, just means their priorities are elsewhere.

This is the whole point of the site: don't buy products from companies whose priorities are elsewhere.

This is same for other manufacturers too.

HP: Pavilions are bad, Pro/Elite/Z series are awesome. Servers are good too.

Lenovo: Ideapads are eh, Thinkpads and servers, completely different.

The only company which builds all their hardware with comparable quality to other manufacturers' pro lines is Apple.

Funnily enough based off Lenovo's reputation for their higher end laptops, in April I bought a Lenovo X1 Carbon Gen10, pretty much as they came out. The machine is a nightmare, and has been through about 10 firmware updates over the last 6 months, but has barely improved.

From day one and still now... on Win11 that it shipped with it won't hibernate, just a black screen on resume, then pot luck over the next boots whether it starts or not. Sometimes from shutdown it does the same thing. Under little load, it gets hot as hell, you literally can't type on it, I use a bluetooth keyboard. If I'm doing light dev work, 3h battery life, tops. Audio drivers are broken, the internal 3.5mm just emits noise above around 10% volume and is distorted below that. Shipped with an underpowered 45W adapter... same SKU now ships with a 65W (an i7-1260p w/32GB).

I don't think it's faulty, there are plenty of people with the same story about Gen10s. Mine is in for repair now, so we'll see, if it comes back with the same issues, it's getting warranty returned.

I know the X1 Carbon Gen9 is a really good machine, maybe Lenovo got screwed by Intel's 12th Gen platform and Microsoft's support for the processor, but the machine should not be going out the door like that.

Come to think of it... my XPS15 9560 from 2017 is STILL a better machine, which is what I switched back to while it's in for service (and cost half as much!)

The Gen 8/9 had a bad bios update sent out and set to install in the background.

It bricked the laptops it was installed on. I know this because I had to handle the warranty stuff for my coworker who was fortunately covered under their warranty.

Required a new motherboard and half a week of downtime, but at the same time Lenovo at least fixed the problem.

> This is same for other manufacturers too.

So true. Consumer laptops are really meh, but the only way to satisfy the demand for laptops is to have a designed-for-price laptop. In a way, the market demands cheap laptops whatever sacrifices in quality will attain.

Definitely, not “in a way”. It is easy enough to see. Most people who need a laptop just need a cheap plastic shell, maybe with some middle tier gaming GPU, and some modicum of durability. I am off the Apple laptops since they went ARM and the OS left be wanting, but their hardware quality is still the best. Their prices reflect that (plus the Apple tax).

When you compare the prices of an Apple MacBook to a comparable higher end machine, the prices are not really that different.

I would say the quality is pretty similar too, model depending. On the low end, quality is not comparable (nor are the prices) but you can at least acquire "lower end" hardware with Apple's build quality for a step up in price.

> The only company which builds all their hardware with comparable quality to other manufacturers' pro lines is Apple.

Well, that's not strictly true either. Apple has had a well documented history of building some very poor quality items (amid it's history of generally building very high quality items, to be sure). However, when it does so, it promptly tells the consumer there's nothing wrong, and if there is, it's the consumer's fault for using it wrong.

Is there a website or directory where all tech companies strengths/priorities are listed out? Hardware, software, and services companies included?

Then again Ideapads can be dirt cheap.

I'll rather buy an expensive machine and use for a decade without problems instead of buying a dirt cheap machine and suffer indefinitely.

So many people go the other way on this :(

Off topic, but the Z series has gotten me a few ugly side glances in cafes since the Russia-Ukraine conflict started - a bit of misfortune with their brand there...

I actually was about to buy a Dell XPS machine a while back. When their ecommerce side was so incredibly crap to use that I moved over to Lenovo(which isn't that much better but seems to have much better warranty).

I'm glad their priorities are elsewhere, because otherwise I would have bought it first and noticed later. The enterprises that I met, don't actually buy directly from dell. They almost always buy through a third party partnership of some sort.

Do you have some suggestions on companies whose priorities are better?

It would be good to know.

Apple has been rock solid for me for a decade. Their priorities aren’t fully aligned with mine, but they’re as close as any company I know of. I really want to try a System76 or Framework as my next machine.

> Apple has been rock solid for me for a decade. Their priorities aren’t fully aligned with mine, but they’re as close as any company I know of. I really want to try a System76 or Framework as my next machine.

Aren't all those premium products?

Many of the complaints here read like: "I usually BMWs, but I decided to buy a Honda Fit and hated it. It's small and under-powered, nothing like the BMWs I prefer: Honda sucks. Honda should adopt the BMW strategy of making all their products premium."

I think it's more the case that the Honda Fit would come with engine problems that the service doesn't effectively repair under warranty, and also with a 5000 pound trailer full of unwanted junk that's hard to remove from the car.

> I think it's more the case that the Honda Fit would come with engine problems that the service doesn't effectively repair under warranty, and also with a 5000 pound trailer full of unwanted junk that's hard to remove from the car.

No. A lot of the complaints, including in the OP are about things like product-line complexity and design compromises likely from designing to a lower price.

Some people are venting anecdotes about horrible support and product quality experiences, but that's true for even Apple laptops. The literal worst laptop experience I've ever had was with a 2018 MacBook that would inscrutably and randomly freeze on wake for minutes on end. Apple replaced random parts but otherwise refused to help. The only thing that fixed the problem was a OS downgrade that Apple tried its hardest to make impossible.

Starlabs too, plenty of Linux laptops out there. Arguably a little over-priced but can you really put a dollar value on removing dystopian tech like Intel ME?

Old Thinkpads support Coreboot reliably if you feel like a DIY approach as well.

I don't think they are overpriced, I think that they price their product realistically. They're competing in a niche market and the ethos of that niche means that their target customers categorically will not accept the bloat that comes with consumer laptops from the big manufacturers, who subsidise the lower margins on these models with bloatware. Cost to serve consumers is likely a lot higher than business as businesses are generally prepared to pay for that extra cover.

Very true, that's a good way to look at it. They're definitely great value for money compared to ~$100 cheaper but filled with SMM level bloatware alternatives.

Yeah I just moved to a Mac a few months ago. Hard to know what any company thinks at any moment or etc, but I'm enjoying it.

Friend of mine had an XPS; I don't remember exactly how much it cost, but it was certainly not the cheapest, so ~$1000 USD at least.

After about 1.5 to 2 years the battery started swelling up, and became essentially unusable. Turns out they even had a recall for this model, but who keeps track of that so he never knew. Tried to order a new battery from Dell: they don't deliver them any more, no way to buy it from Dell. Tried to order one from 3rd party: that one won't work because "not a genuine battery detected kthxfuckyoulol".

I don't care if it's "consumer" or "low end" or whatever, this is just ridiculous and in my opinion should quite literally be illegal (and perhaps it already is). If Dell doesn't want to manufacture batteries: fine. But let someone else do it so we don't have to throw away our laptops after 2 years.

The XPS was their higher end answer to the unibody Macbooks a few years back, and peer with Lenovo's Thinkpad X-series.

The Inspiron line is a "cheap is expensive" trap for consumers, you can't blame people if they judge the whole company for their mass-consumption offering when its cheap build breaks at the hinges for everybody.

Frankly, if they're cutting corners on one product to the point it affects their brand image, they're probably cutting corners on all of them. This is one thing Apple gets right, their products are solid all the way down to the low end (iPhone SE et al).

(After reading further I see others have made the same point. Oops.)

Apple SE is of course not really "low end".

But I do agree with your overall point; back when I worked at a computer store people would come in to buy a laptop, and they wouldn't want a HP – even when that was actually a good model and a good fit for their needs – because they had a bad experience with a HP printer. I think that's actually pretty fair too, although I usually explained that the people who design the HP printers most likely never even talked to the people who design the HP laptops, and that even within $brand laptops there are are huge fundamental differences.

I suppose that overall, on balance, the brand recognition of "Dell" or "HP" outweighs the negative associations people have across the product range.

> I usually explained that the people who design the HP printers most likely never even talked to the people who design the HP laptops

While that is certainly true, the overall priorities of the company (is customer service important, which customers matter, how important is initial quality vs ongoing support, etc) are set at higher levels; many ties one that both those teams report up to.

It's a weak signal, but it's often highly variable what kind and quality of support vendors give for which products.

Between the 27 engineers that make up my teams, we have had to do nearly 50 battery replacements due to swollen batteries in the the last 3 years. All on the business class precision line.

I've got a small XPS, it's just horrible. Mine's 11 months old, my "j" key is already coming off (thanks vim !), the speakers are so small my iphone's louder, the battery life is terrible and I've already had fan problems. It's just a awful awful piece of hardware.

Too bad because the size is great !

EU Law is coming in in the next couple of years to make batteries in all electronic devices consumer replaceable. There must be reasonable availability of the batteries and only a fairly reasonable range of tools must be needed to do it.

For smaller electronic devices (e.g. my wireless headphones for my PC) that means that device manufacturer will have to make design changes to enable this sort of changing (I have actually changed the headphone battery, but I'm an electronic engineer and needed the soldering station at work). For larger devices like laptops, its going to affect battery supply chains.

Wholeheartedly agree. I only buy dell, and of them, I only buy latitudes. My favorite of all time was my e6440 with an socket CPU. I bought my wife one a couple of years ago, threw a quad core in there, maxed the ram and it's still working well. I had one just like it for myself but after years of my dog knocking it off the coffee table, it eventually stopped displaying. You can put three hard drives in these guys, one in the intended, one in the cd/dvd caddy and one in an m2 slot. I ran linux on it for it's entire 7-8 year life.

Today I have a 5490 (4 years old) which is a beast and puts up with tons of abuse, including drops. I've run linux on it since day 1 and never had a driver issue and is a solid workhorse.

I've always had dell latitudes, and will continue buying them as long as they last me 8 years each and run linux.

Me too! My main computing machine is a latitude from the e5xxx line which I bought 7 years ago, with a dual Intel-Nvidia GPU. it's still working perfectly, no issues whatsoever, and survived a few falls and travels. I also use it as my gaming machine, its GPU is good enough for most modern lite games and modern emulators, I don't expect top performance of course. It almost never gets too hot.

I have a latitude from 2013 that I bought 2nd handed in 2015 or 16. I still run it on holidays (convenient 12.5 inches for travelling) and it still has 4+ hours of battery and works pretty well. I switched from Ubuntu 14 to Lubuntu and it feels like new :) Lacks a bit of RAM (4Go) for some tasks but still does ok.

Probably its replacement when it dies will be a used thinkpad though, will see.

We have had terrible problems with the Precision 3000 series overheating/blue-screening on our engineers while using SolidWorks and AutoCAD, and Dell’s response to us was that they couldn’t recommend that series for that purpose, after their rep had done exactly that.

Also their WD19TB docks have been terrible. The display ports randomly crap out, the power supply randomly craps out, the ethernet ports randomly crap out. Sometimes it requires driver updates, sometimes a dock firmware update, sometimes it actually is just the hardware. Such a bitch to troubleshoot.

I get the appeal of Dell for business use, but I would never tell anyone that they are “great” for any kind of customer. They are the Sears of laptops.

Those docks are a mess. USB-C/Thunderbolt is an AWFUL connector for a dock. The strain on the cables (docks are always shoved in weird corners with tight turns and pressure on the cable) and the ports get worn out very fast with the stress. HPs slimline docks with the retractable plug on the side was probably the best/most reliable dock I've ever seen in production.

And the Precisions have bad heat management. All it takes is a little dust and the temps go nuts. I have engineers using them on shop floors and they have to clean them constantly so AutoCAD doesn't overheat (especially when they're on the dock running full tilt with a couple of external monitors)

There is a great difference between "true" Dell Precision series (e.g. the 7000 series) and those Dell Precision which are just rebranded Dell XPS and which are marketed as thin and light laptops.

The Dell Precision 7xxx have excellent heat management. I have a 6-year old Dell Precision 7510 mobile workstation, in which the CPU can dissipate in the steady state 60 W for hours (even if its nominal TDP is only 45 W), while the NVIDIA Quadro GPU also dissipates around 100 W at the same time, and this without overheating and without excessive noise.

Obviously, this is a rather thick and heavy laptop, not an ultrabook.

I'm nursing an older Elitebook w/ that side connector along right now. It's wonderful. The people sitting around me with newer models using Thunderbolt docks have been having fits-- blue screens, wild CPU usage, monitors going out, etc. I'll give up the slimline dock when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

I have not had bad experiences with my work Dells, but I do agree the docking stations are complete crap. I found an inexpensive one for home use on Amazon from Plugable and requested the same one for my setup at work. It's been great for several years now!

Another plug (heh) for Plugable. Their docks are wonderful, albeit I've only used their USB docks.

To be fair, HP's Thunderbolt docks are the exact same shit-show too. I've got experience with both and I hate them both.

It's really annoying when your HP dock needs a firmware update because Windows updated and now the laptop doesn't recognize the dock so the only way to update the firmware so that the laptop can see the dock is to connect a different laptop to the dock and update the firmware so the laptop you need to use the dock with can see the dock.

If you put two buttons in front of me, one that would either blow up HP and the other that would give me $5,000 but I had to fix another one of those docks that require 2 computers to return to the same functioning it had yesterday to get it, HP would probably be going down.

We had the same issues with Precision for software development, especially with the docks. Dell released a series of firmware updates. It resolved the issues on a small percentage of the machines, the remainder improved but not by a lot.

They gave up, we were stuck with lemons.

>>Consumer _anything_ is going to be hit or miss.

I kind of agree with that philosophy.

I have friends who had bad customer experience with Bell for their cell, have switched to Rogers, and for the rest of their lives will yell that Bell is horrible and Rogers is awesome. But I also have friends who did exactly the opposite thing from Rogers to Bell.

I have friends who have had bad personal experience with TD Canada bank teller / customer service, and switched to CIBC, and will spend the rest of their lives telling everybody how TD is awful and CIBC is awesome. And I also have friends with exact opposite experience.

One of my friendships completely deteriorated when they warned me to NEVER EVER shop at Canadian Tire. Why? In 1978 her dad had a bad experience with a Canadian Tire car shop in Regina. I made a mistake of engaging and discussing there are over 500 stores with tens of thousands of employees and millions of different experiences, EVERY company will have statistical error rate, and "This one time at a bandcamp something bad happened" might not form the pinnacle of my decision making process (not that bluntly of course:), I got a look like I'm an alien being and what KIND of friend doesn't immediately take another person's word to not shop somehwere, no follow-up questions asked???!?!!!11

Anyway :).

Every company will have some percentage of bad customer experiences.

Stories, even reviews, are a poor and maybe even deceptive way for a person to decide how to weigh their risks.

I don't know of a perfect way because we don't have perfect information - what is Dell error rate compared to Lenovo compared to HP? I do agree that every company will have an error rate especially in their consumer stuff where we are explicitly not willing to pay for quality, and only pay, at best, for superficial specs or attributes.

Nothing on that website has shown me any statistics or argument that Dell is special. Like others, I've had good experience with Dell business models, just like with Lenovo business models and HP business models. And I've tended to have bad experience with plasticky crap of consumer models.

For what it's worth, there's plenty of anecdotal evidence that suggests Canadian Tire is not a chain that prides itself on quality — from LED bulbs that last a month, to their auto department that makes it a priority to overcharge and over diagnose ignorant drivers.

Their markups are also a little nuts. If you can regularly discount items 90%, then you've been regularly overcharging.

They have the moniker "crappy tire" for a reason.

>>Their markups are also a little nuts.

A store manager explained to me as a difference between "Every day low price" model and "High-Low Pricing" model, and it turns out different people have different preferences (and neither model alone guarantees high profitability - execution matters in either approach :). Apparently numerous retailers in USA tried to switch from High-Low pricing to Everyday low pricing model... and consumers HATED it and abandoned it in droves (look for JC Penney as the case study). Basically, we talk the good talk, but we want our juicy sales.

>>their auto department that makes it a priority to overcharge and over diagnose ignorant drivers

Agree, BUT, I have not yet found a chain that doesn't. Honestly. 20 years ago I became interested in Rallying as a motosport, learned a bit about cars, and have not had trust or faith in a car shop since. I've been to massive national chains, local franchises, mom and pop shops, and everything in between. They all talked the good talk, and they've all done horrible things in the background. I have STORIES :D . And if you tell me that you have found an honest guy... chances are, you just don't know you've been fooled yet.

Business model demands it. As above - we talk the good talk, but we'll actually go to the scammy guy that quotes us 3 days and $1000, not the honest guy who quotes us 7 days and $2000. We'll complain when scammy guy then actually takes 9 days and $2500... and then immediately switch to another guy who quotes us low time and low prices.

So it again comes down to - there's a lot of anecdotes and perceptions, but it's hard to get hard statistics that can guide a rational decision.

My daughter bought an Alienware laptop and a key broke off the keyboard after about a month. I contacted Dell through Twitter and they sent a technician to her college dorm next day and fixed it.

Yeah similar experiences. The difference between getting my dell laptops fixed vs the absolute nightmarish hellscape of dealing with the apple store to get one fixed is enough to keep me a dell customer forever.

We have a fleet of Dell servers, and they are the fastest booting, most enduring, easily configured and managed machines.

This is true for many generations we have. We also have servers from other usual big manufacturers, and while some are close, Dells are much better.

Ah, also they're much more silent w.r.t. other servers even when you don't enable acoustic management.

They used to be fast booting before switching to the UEFI monster they have now.

I need to time one of the latest ones we have, but as far as I remember, even they are faster than a certain company's servers, and Intel's reference/development servers.

Both were booting in 5+ minutes under normal circumstances.

I bet its between 3-5 with the Dells. Its long enough that I often have that sinking feeling after issuing a reboot where I think its hanging and I'll need to make a trip to the data center...just to finally breath a sigh of relief when I see that 'ssh connection closed' message as it finally gets into the linux boot sequence.

Granted my experience is filtered through my IT department, but my experience with Dell's enterprise warranty was anything but smooth. Replacing a faulty m2 and a motherboard were both multi-week affairs, so bad that I wrote our CTO about our machine requisition policies.

I had such a bad experience with a Precision M90 that I decided to never ever buy Dell again. Motherboard changed 3 times until the warranty ran out and it was over.

I discussed with the last contractor that came to repair my machine and he told me that a) he would never buy from Dell, b) that the pieces use for repair were often refurbished, c) they knew that there was an issue with my particular laptop model but was running the warranty expiring game.

With that being said, their onsite servicing is outstanding.

My last 3 PC's have been Dell. The most recent being a desktop I bought off-lease for about $120. Such a great experience that I can see myself never buying new again. I simply don't need top of the line performance for software development, no matter what anyone else says. There's essentially no usable difference between my 6 year-old personal laptop and the new one I got at work last year when doing development.

Me too. My last laptop was a dell outlet refurbished precision laptop that was 2 years old when I bought it, I then used it for 5 years and it still works today, in just replaced it with a smaller/faster precision that has also been great. I need high performance and reliability to run Solidworks all day and count on our to deliver, they haven't let me down yet (knock on wood)

Just throwing this out there, but you can put Prosupport on anything if you ask about it in their live chat. Even the refurbs from Warehouse.

Oh how I wish the Latitude line had Ryzen and USB4.

I dont know, what you describe does mean to me as a consumer that dell is shit so it seems pretty justified

Macintosh has entered the building

I worked in one of Dell's outsourcing partners' call centres (admittedly I left almost 15 years ago), and back then it was the same people manning both consumer and business support lines. Towards the end of 2007 Dell started separating the two segments and that's where the problems started (edit: not sure about the exact date -- processes like that tend to take a while to plan) :

* Dell European consumer division was centralized and controlled from Ireland (IIRC).

* Consumer models like Inspiron and Dimension had a noticable drop in build quality.

* Support agents were forced to adhere to strict scripts during support calls, rather than use their own brains.

* Support agents had to convince a certain percentage of customers to replace parts themselves, rather than getting the on-site service they paid for. Agents not fillin their daily quotas were disciplined.

* Exceptions to the scripts had to be escalated. In many cases, Dell would outright ignore local consumer laws when handling complaints.

I'm sure things might have changed since then. Personally, I'm not taking the chance and will never buy a Dell product again, if I'm given a choice.

I worked for a Dell outsourced tech support center in America (Sitel, then ClientLogic). We only handled "busines" lines. In reality, it's a mix of business and consumers who used an employee purchase program. Systems are given a company number (might not be the correct name). The company number determines if a support queue handles that system. If it's not your numbers, transfer.

This was circa 2005-2007. I was in the pilot program for chat support in America.

Dell did not directly manage agents. They give a call center average metrics and it's up to the call center to hit them. Call centers are terrible places and want to cut corners and make money. 1 in 10 agents on our floor could actually fix your computer without help. Level 2 agents walk the floor to help the level 1 agents.

We did not have scripts past a greeting and maybe a closing. I don't think it was required, but you just start doing it.

There's an internal support decision tree from Dell. Once you follow it enough, you learn the shortcuts. For example, if a customer says they swapped a part to a new system and the problem follows the part, we can skip troubleshooting and replace.

Parts are split into cru and fru (customer vs field replaceable units). We tried to get customers to work with crus. Crus wouldn't get on site service. It can happen but takes approval. I never heard of a quota around this.

Second tier escalations were handled in house. That was me for technical and sometimes the customers bad day. I don't remember if there was a third level of escalation that got you to dell if you were out of technical options. If you were out of warranty by more than a grace period, I was your last stop.

Consumer systems are not as good as business grade. That's why their standard warranty is shorter. Business systems are easier to work on.

There is a level of support above business if you spend enough money where we will have a part leave the warehouse in 4 hours (maybe less). Usually, these companies have their own company numbers and presumably better agents.

I only buy Dell Latitude and above, though would consider business products from other companies. I buy them for my "business" which doesn't need any kind of proof.

> They give a call center average metrics and it's up to the call center to hit them.

Call centres taking contracts with the lowest bid is definitely a part of the overall problem.

> Second tier escalations were handled in house.

We even had a third in-house. Dell had an in-house team handling things like replacing entire systems due to legal requirements (usually due to on-site techs being unable to solve issues despite multiple visits).

> Crus wouldn't get on site service.

One of the chief complaints back in the day. Sure, you and I can replace a faulty stick of RAM, but many customers didn't agree.

> Consumer systems are not as good as business grade.

Earler Inspirons were really good systems. They were pretty much identical to Latitudes and Precisions, but with lower specs. The Build quality was on par with the higer end systems.

Unfortunately the credibility of your testimony is diminushed by the fact you are using a throwaway.

If anything, the credibility is diminished by the timeframe being 15 years ago. You would have thought their market share would have collapsed underneath the weight of all these quality control issues.

Well, Dell _did_ end up being targeted by Danish public TV for breaking consumer laws and having ridiculously long wait times for support calls. That's about the time I got out. Unfortunately, DR seems to have removed older seasons of "Kontant" from their online player.

I'd be surprised if Dell didn't do something to improve things after that, but as I said I'm not taking that chance.


Found a reference to the TV show from a Danish tabloid. It's as much as I can say without doxing myself: https://ekstrabladet.dk/forbrug/dinepenge/article4181606.ece

Edit 2:

An article about the affair in ComputerWorld: https://www.computerworld.dk/art/54886/dell-faar-taesk-for-d...

Another one about Dell trying to spam DR's comment fields with positive comments after the show was aired: https://www.computerworld.dk/art/127000/dell-bruger-lyssky-k...

I am an account from 2017, I have a bridge to sell to you.

I have been using the same Dell XPS 13 for about 6 years now, and I cannot say agree with most of that article. The Dell XPS line was my goto recommendation for people when they ask what laptop they should get.

Dell XPS support is also fantastic, if you go though the business channel and pay for support.

That said, Dell XPS is no longer my recommendation as the "New" line is a serious downgrade. They removed the headphone jack and added a touch bar. The amount of disappointment I have is immense. They took their best line and decided to make it horrible.

In June I got a new XPS13 (without the touchbar), preloaded with linux. Upon arrival, the camera and fingerprint reader did not work. The battery lasted about 2 hours and the screen literally fell out. After 2 days of frustrating tech support calls, they finally agreed to ship me a replacement.

1 month later, no replacement arrived. Many calls to support yielded no answers. I finally got them to refund my order and cancel the replacement.

A very bad experience for me and I will never buy a Dell again.

Interestingly, your comment is now in the article itself.

Your review right now helped me avoid them in the future.

I have a XPS 13 with a broken hinge. The hinge broke after about ~3 years for apparently no reason.

The broken hinge is also next to the power button, so when the screen is opened, the detached hinge section pushes the plastic of the chassis upwards. This has both cracked the plastic, and made it impossible to press the power button normally.

I fixed it by using some really strong adhesive I found (called “plastic cement” or something like that). The power button is permanently wobbly, but you can at least press it now.

But exactly a week later the other hinge broke in exactly the same way. So more hours of my life and more adhesive later, it’s somewhat salvageable, but I am very gentle when opening and closing the lid.

Maybe I got unlucky with a shitty unit, or you got lucky with a non-shitty unit. Either way, I think our anecdotes cancel each other out.

Yeah, that broken hinge issue is fairly well known. The repair is to semi-dismantle the screen and use cotton balls and superglue (or epoxy for an even more permanent fix) to bond the plastic clamshell to the hinges as the plastic they used for those models is such low-grade crappy plastic that was never meant to be used for a load bearing part that no matter what else you do it will re-break.

Even with that fix, it can and will re-break, just in a different location so you have to be forever careful with this $1,200 laptop.

Oof. I was blaming myself for broking the hinge on mine (XPS 13 9350 (2016)). Didn't know this was so common.

I fixed mine by gluing it with epoxy, and filled another part that was broken off with epoxy paste (it has a consistency like playdough).

I think for XPS line Dell has always prioritized form over function. My wife(then GF) bought top of the line XPS13 somewhere in 2011-2012. It was red, thin and looked pretty amazing, except it had crippling overheating issues that required motherboard replacement 2 times (in India). The trend continues to this day ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZpwCpubr_0 ) and hence I wouldn't touch XPS line with a 10 feet stick, if I can help it.

I got a 1200€ XPS 13 Developer Edition (with Linux) a few years ago. Sleep did not work well from the start and it would randomly drain battery while sleeping. About 9 months in, the battery swelled up and outright died, and was replaced under warranty with a week+ wait. 9 months after that, so just after the 1.5yrs warranty expired, the motherboard died. 500€ to replace. Got a ThinkPad X1 Carbon for about the same price instead and never looked back - will not buy Dell again.

I have an XPS 13 also that I'll probably be replacing in another year or two. What is your new go-to I should look into?

I have a fairly expensive Thinkpad X1 that I bought for myself and cheap MacBook Air M1 series for my kids. The M1 blows the X1 out of the water: faster, better screen, better screen aspect ratio, much better battery life. The only thing the X1 has going for it is a marginally better keyboard.

Well that and Windows. Not starting any OS debates, but would an M1 achieve the same performance and battery life if constantly running Windows in Parallels? If so, then that would put it ahead of the X1.

The HP Dev One is apparently very out of character for HP (which is a good thing). It's primarily Linux.

The article mentions about 40% of users have issues. You must be part of the 60%. Such are the dangers of anecdotes.

60% of the time it works every time.

Build quality on Dell XPS has slipped dramatically. I had one whose case would flex when you would touch it (let alone pick it up or use it in a laptop). This caused all kinds of issues, from the touchpad to being unusable to the entire system freezing.

Pretty paperweight after nine months of torture.

I guess it really boils down to whether or not you specifically received a lemon or not. There's always going to be anecdotal evidence on either side of the ledger.

That said, there's plenty of customer complaints that appear to point towards poor QA/QC by Dell. In particular, there's a very specific hardware defect with keyboards in the XPS line.

Just search for "XPS tilde (~), F1, F2 not working". You'll quickly see this is an issue plaguing various models of XPS.

My gf bought a dell xps 15" with OLED and an i9 processor. I think it was reasonably priced compared to competitors but it just so happened that her screen broke, or it got loose.

She called Dell and they sent a new one so she could transfer her work over to the new machine and picked up the other one a few days after. All and all it was a good customer experience.

In my view, it seems like it has good build quality (in general, stuff can happen) and good customer support. Although she will never run linux on it. This website reads like a frustrated developer who decided to take matters into his own hands. I am very doubtful that this is the common experience, at least if you order directly from them. Sure it may have driver issues but at least they have an option to ship it with linux and without paying the windows tax, most companies don't even do that.

I personally use a Thinkpad t460p from 2013 that runs Ubuntu and still works great honestly, even the battery life. I will soon upgrade to a desktop instead of a laptop so that I can run more heavy duty stuff like training models.

I’ve had nothing but bad experiences with dell.

The last 2 laptops I’ve had. In 2020 work provided a brand new dell XPS 15.

I opened it up. Logged in. The fans sat at 100% while idle in windows desktop. I ended up just giving it back.

Current job I got a 2022 dell XPS 15. It has an annoying whine when the fans spin up. It gets HOT! And it’s the first time ive experienced audio issues. And I’m not alone on the audio issues. Everyone at work with the same laptop has audio issues which is always resolved by restarting the laptop… for example today I connected my Bluetooth headphones. It connected but didn’t appear as an audio device so I couldn’t hear anything. This also caused the speakers on the laptop to stop working.

I also have an XPS 15 for work and encounter tons of issues with audio devices. I feel somewhat better knowing I'm not the only one. The battery also died completely last week after like 8 months of at home use...

I’ve had a lot of Dell laptops through work.

2 XPS-13’s in the past few years. 1 with camera’s positioned at the bottom of the screen, which was the absolute worst design ever, unless you enjoyed showing off your nose hairs.

1 with the screen flicker and an issue with an internal fan that failed to start consistently which resulted an a blaring alarm. It would go off in the middle of the night.

The last one was replaced by a Dell XPS-15 (by my employer) which has worked fine.

I also own a personal XPS-15 that was my first Dell purchase ~3-4 years ago. It’s never had an issue and I do some heavy compute and web scraping.

I have a refurbished Dell Precision T-5600 with 128GB of RAM and 16 core processor 4TB SSD + 2TB SSD. It’s a beast, I’ve had it for 3 years. Run it daily for large scrape jobs, store and process a lot of data. It has never let me down.

My experience with Dell with their laptop has been the worst at work.

Who thought it's a good idea to put a Intel power hungry heat generator in a laptop with no airflow or proper cooling for enterprise product ?

I had a coworker that nearly burn his leg when having the laptop on them and coding with Spotify in the background.

The thing would thermal throttle like crazy and turn into an helicopter because it has only one 50mm fan to try to cool down the machine...

We had to buy stands to help with the airflow because if you put it on a desk it would block the intake.

It cost the same price than a MacBook M1 Pro with worse performance, worse thermal and it's so loud.

I'll never want a Dell laptop ever again.

Also don't get me started on their power delivery circuit that overheat when the laptop is used while charging or the proprietary batteries.

>I had a coworker that nearly burn his leg when having the laptop on them and coding with Spotify in the background.

I wanted to argue: this isn't a laptop, until I remebered how my XPS 15 almost burned off my finger tips, and not only once, but several times. If you pack a gaming gpu into a notebook, guess what will happen: people will use it to play games, and boom: the thing is at a constant ~90°C while doing so...

How is a product like this passing any QA and beeing rushed out of the door ?

It’s amazing that my ThinkPad x1 extreme with a 7th gen Intel compiles my project faster than my dell XPS 15 with 12th gen cpu. I’m convinced the heat and throttling kills the 12th gen laptops. Apple did the right thing dropping Intel.

Dell shipped a monitor to my billing address (office) instead of the shipping address (home). Because of COVID there was no one at my office but it was picked up by "GUARD". Never found the monitor.

DELL wanted me to do an insurance claim with the shipper. The shipper wanted me to do the insurance claim with DELL. Took two months to figure out. In the meantime, I just went to a brick-and-mortar place and bought a monitor.

In the end DELL credited me the money for the missing monitor and would not provide a cash refund. I ended up selling the DELL credits to the next person who had an equally horrible experience with them.

Don't buy DELL

I have a Dell Precision. It's the worst electronic device I've ever had, and not just among computers.

Audio driver stops working randomly, I have a bookmark named "fix driver" on my bookmarks bar. Its update crapware interrupts me constantly, it rejects sleeping often, external display working is a lottery, sometimes the battery doesn't charge and sometimes windows gives warnings on low voltage adapter while I'm using the one it came with, screen backlight has weird gradients and bright points, the hinge makes weird sounds so I think it won't live too long, the fans are noisy, keyboard lighting leaks through key edges like a 10$ keyboard from AliExpress, fans are too noisy (yes I know I already mentioned this but seriously, they are noisy), battery optimized mode makes this laptop a slug and it sometimes takes a couple of minutes to wake up from sleep if you managed to make it sleep by luck.

But yeah, other than that it's a great business laptop.

Dell is the Walmart of desktops/laptops. Somehow their server line has remained high quality.

Lenovo is my laptop manufacturer of choice, but only the T, X and P Thinkpads.

They are doing their best to water down and trash the lineup. Along with the Thinkpad, there's the Thinkbook, Ideapad, Yoga, Legion, Lenovo Slim, and just the plain Lenovo.

But buying a 'Thinkpad' isn't a guarantee of quality. It used to be the T series was the standard laptop, X was thin and light, and the P series was a workstation.

Now they have the E series which is "affordable and stylish". The L series in "entry-level". Why do you need two lines of cheap junk? The Z is "is engineered sustainably from recycled vegan leather and recycled aluminum, then boxed in rapid-renewable, compostable packaging".

Based on your comment, I opened up the Lenovo website and tried to look at options/prices. I spent about 15 minutes in earnest just trying to use the selection filters (they keep unchecking themselves and freezing the screen) before the results failed to load then froze the screen. After several minutes, I gave up and came back here.

This is not the first time I've had this experience with Lenovo.

I have never bought a Mac before, but my next computer purchase will be one unless Framework fixes their battery issues first.

Two anecdotes that have nothing to do with each other:

1. When I was a computer technician back in the mid 00s, I hated working on Dells most. Their internal architecture was very dense. I often marveled at how little airflow there was.

2. I have an Alienware R11 that I bought a couple years ago. It's still doing fine. The only oddity is the result of a brief power outage a couple months ago; now it always tries to PXE boot on startup for some reason.

"The laptop does not sleep in Linux" is not a compelling reason to hate a manufacturer without a lot more details, but I always hear it as some catch-phrase when people talk about Linux/Laptop compatibility.

linux isn't linux isn't linux. distribution and wm/de matter a lot with regards to power management, and many distributions/DEs have strong opinions about defaults in many different directions.

I wouldn't expect a lot of laptop specific tweaks in a performance or desktop-flavored distribution, just as I wouldn't expect a high performance/risk file-system or IO scheduler on a user-friendly consumer-centric laptop-oriented distribution -- thus I think it's an unfair assessment when someone judges the other end of the field from the wrong side.

All that said, I own a current gen XPS15, i've ran just about every major flavor of OS on the thing. The compatibility is exactly what i'd expect out of a generic Intel 'ultrabook', ubiquitous.

> “The laptop does not sleep in Linux" is not a compelling reason to hate a manufacturer without a lot more details

Did you miss the detail that having Linux pre-installed by Dell was one of the primary selling points of the laptop model in question?

I have bought/deployed Dell business Latitude and OptiPlex systems for 18+ years.

While everything is lighter and cheaper in terms of build quality, stability is still rock solid overall unless you get cursed with a "known issue". I have had Dell replace almost every part of one system over weeks even after I proved the issue was their driver.

When I have needed support in the last few years, I have found that the once-hallowed Dell Pro Support now is just "low-level offshore workers moved onshore", hence the creation of Dell Pro Support Plus, which once was Pro Support.

One of the bummers too is if you have a sales rep you don't like, you can't get rid of them (at least in the SMB sector). You have to just ignore them from 60 days at which point you can get a new one.

The way they name models now is baffling. We were buying OptiPlex 7090 towers but they were recently discontinued. So I figured that meant we'd be seeing OptiPlex 8000s. Nope, the replacement PC is the OptiPlex 7000.

I've noticed their disaster of a website before. It's a miracle they sell anything. I work in IT, I do this kind of thing for a job and I can't make any sense of it, for the exact reasons mentioned in the article. I can't imagine any average person bothering with it when the Apple website is right there.

I don't even know why they bother selling laptops to consumers at all (as opposed to to businesses) if it's so unimportant to them that their website doesn't even work.

My Dell G5 5515 gaming laptop has this weird issue where every 15 minutes or so, the trackpad will start lagging consistently for about 5 minutes, then switch back to working normally. Upgrading from Windows 11 to a fresh install of Windows 10 didn't even fix it. The power cable also falls out easily.

They really need to consolidate their laptop lineup.

I'll just chime in with my opinion, too. Why not? Maybe somebody will find it helpful.

I generally disagree with the opinions of the article, which is to say, my experience is different. I have used XPS 15s exclusively as my dev laptops since 2016. None of the 3 I've used since then ever let me down. My oldest still works marvelously and I use as my primary dev platform with Linux, and my newest from 2021 as my backup/gaming machine with Windows 10. They do require opening and cleaning occasionally.

That said,

1) the Dell website experience when accessed from outside the US is so terrible that it's clear Dell does not feel that they actually need it to generate revenue

2) my experience with 3 laptops is a lot, but still anecdotal. I'll keep my eyes open for another dev-friendly option.

I imagine the site author is coming from the desktop world or the Mac world.

Dell is far from perfect from a QC standpoint but not nearly as bad as what's been described here. I have a $500 Dell Vostro from 2011 that is still running fine. It only needed a heat sink replacement that was covered by the Next Business Day in-home service warranty.

I usually tell family members that if they’re dead set on buying a new laptop (as opposed to used), then don’t buy anything under $1000 since it’s going to be a piece of shit.

The only exception to that rule is Dell. Don’t buy Dell at all, since it’s always going to be a piece of shit.

How do you evaluate a used laptop? I never buy used, and am curious how you kick the tires and determine if it’s a good buy or a lemon.

Dead pixels and battery age are probably the only things that matter. The only other part that really ages badly is HDD and you should consider putting in an SSD instead even if it's in good condition.

Pretty much any high end Thinkpad or Macbook that is a couple of years old can be an incredibly good value (if you don’t mind cosmetic imperfections), since they’re very reliable.

I buy them on ebay, so if they don’t work I get buyer protection. As long as it doesn’t die within the return window, I assume it’s fine. I’m sure there are more scientific methods than that, but this has worked for me.

Might be an example of how an AI just integrates whatever biases are out there (as there are probably more people complaining than saying they are happy)

My experience with Dell was great. I have a Dell Latitude (business line) that works without issue for more than 10 years (ofc, now it's only for browsing). And I also have a more recent Dell XPS 15 that got a full glass of water on it, and still keeps working - with the exception of the GPU - but considering it was soaked and out of warranty I am still happy with that.

Not sure what I would buy next, but would definitely consider Dell. In fact the most annoying thing for me is the pattern below the keyboard on the XPS, but esthetics is a personal choice anyhow.

> Might be an example of how an AI just integrates whatever biases are out there (as there are probably more people complaining than saying they are happy)

Definitely. I expect that, were they to try the same experiment with other manufacturer brands, the resulting text would be roughly the same.

Back when Dell had its Latitude series they were known for being as indestructible as the Thinkpads.

Little did I know how shitty Dell laptops were afterwards. My excourse had gone through the 300/310 Touch Ultrabook series, the XPS13 and XPS15 series, and the Dell Precision series. Bought 5 laptops from Dell, all broken within under a year of lifetime.

It was so bad that in the Ultrabook the GPU literally melted, and they claimed this laptop is working totally fine by just using the internal display with more artifacts than actual pixels.

And now, here I am in 2022, using my Thinkpad from 2012...because it keeps working.

I don't even know what to buy after the Thinkpad dies, so I have one other as a spare parts donator.

5 year's ago I've bought a 2-in-1 Dell Inspiron laptop.

2-in-1 functionality turned out to be useless and annoying in Ubuntu environment, so I almost never used it.

1 year after the purchase, WiFi signal on this laptop started to weaken rapidly. After disassembling the machine I discovered that the cable connecting WiFi module (behind the keyboard) and WiFi antenna (behind the screen) was torn apart as a result of lid movement. It was almost impossible to fix without complete disassembly of the laptop.

I was amazed how bad that design was. It was absolutely not suitable for frequent 360 degree movement of the lid.

It's ridiculous how easily they traded visual appearance (metal casing) for operational stability.

I have a XPS 13 9310 2-in-1, bought directly after release & put Linux on it. For a brand new released Laptop, this was the best Linux experience I had. Dell's preinstalled Ubuntu wasn't available as an option, but on other devices I used it always sucked, not suprising if the Ubuntu Kernel is much older than the device release. I don't understand why they do this half-baked thing.

Build quality is very good, except for the standoffs, the silicon is getting loose 2 years later. This was much better on Precision devices I had before.

I think this website is a rant by a disappointed customer, but does have lots of valid criticism listed.

>> Support

I guess they don’t do this anymore but a good few years ago a colleague at the time was able to attend some kind of training/cerification thing with dell and it meant all our hardware issues could be fast tracked. Rather than going through the normal support channels they trusted him to order replacement parts and/or directly book onsite visits for server mobo replacements without going through dell support first. I remember people using his relationship to get faster support for personal devices too and this was all above board / part of the deal.

"I asked GPT-3"

Imagine that in near future we might get an AI powered service that let's you ask for opinion on any product on the market and then have a conversation about it. Manufacturers will then produce special ads just to target the recommendation engine of those AI's.

Inb4 we already have google - sure, but having an AI write you personalized opinion with concrete arguments is whole new level of market influence.

Can't wait for apple's powered AI to argue with amazon's one about whether or not samsung's Bixby is better or worse then Microsoft's Cortana

Sounds 99% similar to what we have now with Google unable to differentiate SEO-optimized blogspam for real organic human opinions.

I swear by Dell Latitudes. Reliable, long next day on-site international warranty, and parts are easy to find and fit after the warranty expires. I've been using Latitudes for >20 years, and all my hardware issues have been solved within 24h by an on-site tech 6 times out of 6. I buy refurbished laptops from their outlet store, so they are also cheap.

But I had one Vostro, which was shit. And an XPS, which was also shit. So I can understand why someone who uses the consumer line would have quite a different opinion to me about Dell quality.

> Who the fuck names a laptop “New XPS 15?


Well, not a laptop but...


I bought two dell desktop machines and… never again. The Wi-Fi cards are the size of thumbnails and were very intermittent. I needed them replaced but couldn’t make a support call for two machines. Had to file two separate support calls. And support techs made me run diagnostics each time, and they had different responses to the same condition. They kept reading off a script and.. well, I was on the brink of insanity.

Eventually I bought new PCI Wi-Fi cards and installed them myself. So these machines now don’t have Bluetooth.

F Dell.

Here is another Dell story: Bought a Inspiron 7610 (16plus w/ 32GB RAM) in November 2021:

1. laptop switches on every night at 4:28 despite contrary BIOS settings. It took me 1 month of remote service and messages to get to some undocumented reset instructions

2. In high performance profile the laptop overheats. Service finally approved after I took video. Service changes the mainboard but forgets to insert the 2nd 16GB RAM stick!

3. Had to open/photograph the laptop to prove. Forgotten 16GB RAM gets delivered but doesn't work with the device - BSOD's on boot. Clear faul of the stick as it works with only the original RAM

4. Device gets picked up yet again (unannounced), UPS tracking says delivered and -- is lost since then.

5. Refund request issued (Sept 9) but denied.

Since early August I'm trying to get a refund or replacement - for several months now with endless chat messages and some phone calls where nobody helps but waits for the "internal team". The standard apology text snippet was issued dozens of times, I've heard at least 3 times "please give us another chance" - I should wait another 24,48 or 72h but no update.

Just off a phone call with them again today I am left with an infuriating customer support when something goes wrong on their side and no laptop I paid for. I hear from other that going after them with lawyers also takes many months.

edit: formatting

> They produce far too many models of laptops and 2-in-1. There are currently 285 models, it takes 24 pages of store just to display them all! (Compare this to Apple which is a far larger company and has ~5 laptop models)

Meh. Some people don't like the Apple "you can have any color you want, as long as it's black" product strategy. It's not a bad thing to not ape Apple.

I actually got a Dell recently, it it was solely because they offered an affordably-priced 16:10 model. If they did the Apple, "we offer 4 models, take it or leave it," I guarantee, none of them would have been affordably-priced 16:10 models.

> The design of their machines is so bad I have come to the conclusion that no one is designing them. I know this sounds like a ridiculous claim, but I am quite certain it’s true...

> Look at this camera positioning. Great for showing off your nose hairs!

Meh, again. I'm almost certain that camera placement is due to the economic decision to use a 16:9 screen on that machine, leaving a giant bezel that's just inviting someone to put something in it. 16:9 panels in laptops are a stupid fact of life, because people like cheap, but it's kind of dumb to jump to the conclusion that "no one is designing them" based on stuff like that and an experience with one of Dell's competitors.

> What is with the naming?

> There is a laptop named “New XPS 15”. Who the fuck names a laptop “New XPS 15? How am I supposed to talk about it in a year when Dell creates another XPS 15?

Is this guy even paying attention? The literal answer is in the screenshot with the broken image link right below this passage. That reveals that the "New XPS 17" has proper model number, and they offer both the old and the new model in their store (which is not a bad thing). It's obviously a just a good temporary label to make that situation clear to a user of their store. This guy obviously lionizes Apple (in comparison, at least), but they're worse in this regard: they've marketed literally dozens of models as "MacBook Pro 15," and the best they do to differentiate them is tack on a year, which doesn't tell you which is the new one unless you know thier whole product lineup.

On Apple pcs you have maybe 4 main models, but you can still configure them however you like

Why not do the same thing? Have a few main models and allow customization (I haven’t checked if that’s actually possible on Dell)

> On Apple pcs you have maybe 4 main models, but you can still configure them however you like

You mean: "you can still configure them however you like," as long as long as the only things you want to change RAM and disk space and nothing else.

> Why not do the same thing? Have a few main models and allow customization (I haven’t checked if that’s actually possible on Dell)

Didn't I already address that? "If they did the Apple, 'we offer 4 models, take it or leave it,' I guarantee, none of them would have been affordably-priced 16:10 models."

Having more models increases the likelihood a customer can get what they want. Apple offers zero models with a 16:10 screen and a number pad, for instance. If that's what you want in a Mac, you're SOL.

100% agree. I have one of the XPS13 Dev that doesn't deep sleep properly which is supposed to have first class support for sleeping. Yes it does sleep but kills the entire battery in a few hours.

Dell won't fix it https://www.dell.com/community/XPS/XPS-13-9310-Ubuntu-deep-s...

I do have the 2-in-1 version of the XPS 9310, which was only available with Windows, replaced it with Archlinux. In the 1st ~3 months after launch (of the Windows product, Dev version wasn't released yet) I experienced this problem too, but nowadays, s2idle drains the battery < 5%/day. So I highly guess your Ubuntu version has an old kernel where it's bugged.

Which takes us to the main issue, the preinstalled Linux on all Dell machines I had is garbage, premium support only helpful for Windows customers. Why do they then even offer this option? Sadly, when Lenovo started offering Linux preinstalled, they claimed it's a feature that they only ship open source drivers, even on nivida machines. Don't know much about the HP dev one, but partnering with System76 is hopefully making this a better OOTB experience.

So what's the serious laptop choice for the professional, besides Apple? (not that Apple is without its own problems, at least in some generations)

There's a horrible bug that makes most (if not all) new Dell computers, including some Dell desktops, unusable with screen reading software for the blind.

They install some audio-related bloatware from Waves which really doesn't like something about the way screen readers use the sound card. This is specifically a Dell issue, I've never seen it on a non-Dell device, and it occurs independently of what screen reader you use. The worst part is that, due to how the Windows 10/11 update mechanism works, this issue occurs even if you install a clean Windows image.

The issue causes the size of unpaged (kernel) memory to increase indefinitely, and when the memory consumption gets to over 90%, weird errors start showing up, sometimes the system hangs, sometimes it blue screens, sometimes it behaves as if a USB device was constantly being plugged and then quickly unplugged and so on. One way or another, the device becomes unusable. When trying to determine the source of the memory leak with poolmon, it's attributed to the Windows event logging system, out of all things.

There are workarounds, but they're less than ideal, one requires admin privileges and doesn't work on some models, the other disables the ability to handle headphone-port events, so, when you unplug your headphones, the audio doesn't switch back to the internal speaker.

I've personally started seeing this issue on my laptop around the middle of 2020, but other users report seeing it as early as 2019. It has been reported to Dell multiple times, including by the screen reader developers themselves, and nothing has been done. A couple months ago, a fix has finally been promised, probably to stop the hordes of blind people from complaining, but the issue hasn't actually been fixed yet, and nobody knows if it ever will be.

Most of the comments are anecdotes about experiences with Dell.

Perhaps more of us can chime in with anecdotes about good experiences we had with certain lines/models of laptops that we can recommend?

My recent experiences have been with Lenovo Legion gaming laptops.

One is a bit over 3 years old, the other is coming up on 2 years. My wife and I use them (almost) daily. They get picked up, moved around, run mostly plugged in but with CPU/GPU getting a solid work out as we play games. Other than needing a good wipedown (and mildly decreased battery life), both are indistinguishable from brand new in how they work after 2-3 years.

I did build 23° riser stands for each out of pine, so we often use them on the stands, with a board under the stand, sitting on our laps. This isn't due to heat, but because it raises the screen closer to eye level, decreasing neck strain, and works reasonably well with our arm/wrist angle, reducing wrist strain. Of course, it does open them up quite a bit underneath, so it no doubt does help with cooling as well.

My anecdata:

This is the computer my company gave me after they went out of business in 2010. It was a two year old computer then.


I had 8GB of RAM in mine. I put Windows 10 on it and used it as a Plex server until 2016. I recently cleaned it up and gave it to my parents mostly for Chrome and to use one of my Office 365 licenses. It runs amazingly well and the 15 inch 1920x1200 (not a typo) is beautiful.

I’ve probably had 5 Dell laptops since 2010 for various reasons and they have all been cleaned up, and given to someone who is still using them for basic Office + browsing.

I recommend Dells wholeheartedly to people on a budget. I also recommend Backblaze. You can get a cheap good enough Dell for $400.

My personal take is using any x86 computer after the M1 Macs came out is like using a flip phone after the iPhone was introduced. I really encourage people to buy at least an M1 MacBook Air now.

My company bought me a Dell recently laptop. Some XPS with Linux on it. It took over a month to be shipped, then arrived with the touchpad broken: it failed a BIOS self-diagnostic check, I'm not sure how they ever shipped something like that. They then had a part on backlog for another month (presumably a trackpad?), sent out a tech to come swap it out, who recommended that if it was DOA I should ship it back and they'd swap it out for a new one and I'd have it back in a couple days. Sent it back but surprise surprise they decided to replace the part and it took another month for the part to get to that office. Now it's been with "overnight Fedex" for a week shipping back, allegedly fixed.

It's been over 4 months now since I ordered it. The enterprise support contract is "good" though; there is a guy who emails me every few days updating me on the ETA for the parts, etc. But it seems to just be information, the whole logistics setup is messed up.

The XPS 13 I bought a few years ago ended up being a decent development machine, with a price point hard to match for the form factor and specs. And the Dell crapware on it was relatively low.

What are good alternatives for non-Apple slim 13' laptops with good screen real estate, low weight, loads of RAM and a decent price range?

> The XPS 13 I bought a few years ago ended up being a decent development machine, with a price point hard to match for the form factor and specs.

Good experience for me as well, although the point about not great Linux compatibility is correct (it seems that some hw fixes were not upstreamed in the kernel).

> What are good alternatives for non-Apple slim 13' laptops with good screen real estate, low weight, loads of RAM and a decent price range?

Thinkpad X/Z/T likely fits the bill (of course, within the limits of YMMV). They optionally ship with 32 GB RAM, and Ryzen 6000 series.

Unless you are actively using all that RAM simultaneously (instead of simply leaving a few applications open and switching between them) modern SSDs and zram significantly reduce the need for loads of main memory imho; it just isn't an issue if the web browser uses xx GB over time or the IDE requires a few gigs or a VM here and there needs a couple gigs because almost all of that is going to get paged out when not used actively, and once you get back to it, no big deal to have it paged in at a few GB/s. Laptops with 16 GB are common, 32 or 64 a lot less so. And laptopts with fixed memory are going to be more power efficient and somewhat higher performance (usually).

Thinkpad carbon x1? new ones are 14" with 16:10 aspect ratio. Very slim and lightweight compared to macbooks (new 14" macs are rather heavy). They are a bit on the pricey side.

>loads of RAM

Same! I'd love a laptop with a P or even U series processor that can handle 64 GB of ram.

The H series processors that you typically need to step up to generate more heat than small computers can dissipate and are thus frequently throttled.

Have you looked at framework? I have not used them but you can load them up to 64 gigs of ram by buying the memory on your own.

Framework laptops look decent to me - Tempted to get one at some point

The past 15 years I had 4 different Dell laptops. Linux was always compatible. I had zero problems.

My current one is a Latitude and I have it since 2018. Still works great.

A long time ago, one of them had a problem with the monitor. They came to my office and fixed it on the spot!

On the other hand, my macbook experience was never good. I guess it's luck

The best Laptops I ever had were all from dell. Started with the Dell XPS 12 and the rotatable screen. I thought this won't last a year. THIS FREAKING THING still works to this day. It is now over 8 years old. Moved to XPS 15 when I started coding at a new company. They were provided by my employee, but we were allowed to install our favorite OS. In my case, this is Arch Linux. For almost all XPS / Latitude and Precision Laptops there is a guide, what needs to be changed to get everything working. They work freakishly well. I am now on a framework laptop (11 gen for linux support), which is also a great Laptop. However, build quality isn't as good when you compare it to a Dell XPS or Precision.

Every other Laptop brand I tried sucked in comparison (Lenovo, Acer, Apple all > 2000$).

Yeah. Dell support sucks. I've been a customer of theirs for almost 30 years. Rarely have I ever been satisfied. Most always they trigger my rant mode. For a while I tried other vendors like HP but they were even worse! Now I have seven wonderful older laptops. I Know which older generation laptops were built well and buy them from eBay. Granted none of them are light. They are all 17" top of the line beasts costing well over $5k when they were new. Usually going on ebay for 10% of their original price. The disks, ram, fans, CPUs, GPUs, and most everything but the cases and screen are replaceable by the user. No need to talk with idiots that trigger me. I'm thinking the current seven laptops will last me 20 to 30 years by simply replacing components as they go bad.

Anyone else see the Linus Tech Tips secret shopper video covering Dell?

They repeatedly try to sell a warranty which they’re told isn’t wanted. Then they tack it on anyway.


I have had 2 motherboards replaced on my work precision 7540 in the last 2.5 years.

It all started by the CPU dying on the first motherboard a few months after first use. After 2-3 hours of back and forward with the support agent and diagnostics (machine was dead dead, blinking orange led indicator), they sent a tech relatively soon (within a week) and replaced the mobo.

A few months go by, a year - throughout this period of time after the first repair, the CPU has been sitting at 99 and thermal throttling like hot shit. Fans screaming all the time, finally I got fed up and launched another ticket. Let me tell you, I wasted a combined whole work day over two days going through diagnostics to no end. Getting messages from support at 2, 3 in the morning with massive delay between WhatsApp messages. Finally I got impatient with them so they sent a tech out (again, within a week).

Tech says temp sensor on the cpu is faulty, changes the board over again. The bloke literally remembers me from last time. TO give credit where credit is due, the tech was a top lad. He tells me that they are a 3rd party hired by Dell - they get penalised if the repair is unsuccessful - while often relying on misleading diagnosis from the first line support teams (chat).

Immediately after the repair I started noticing another issue - when you wake the machine from sleep or launch it after shutdown, without having the DC charged plugged in - CPU is throttled at 1 GHz and the machine takes minutes to even boot. No setting fixes that, I have tried resetting, running live Linux, the same. Once you plug the charger in it springs back to life.

After a few months, today, I get a BIOS warning that the machine can no longer verify the power of the charging adapter - the machine was so slow yesterday that the mouse was lagging on the screen after waking it from sleep.

I really do not like Dell. I will never buy Dell for myself or recommend it to anyone else. Oh and around 40 percent of us at work (we all use Dell laptops for remote work in the better part of the last 3 years) have experienced some sort of hardware failure / issues.

>Dell laptops come with a ton of pre-installed Bloatware

>Shows the add/remove dialog from M$Windows

There's your problem

I have for some years just bought Dell at work and home, and everything works well with Linux out of the box. Never had a problem. However, this issue

> the laptop does not sleep when closing the lid and thus the battery dies very fast

is actually an understatement of the problem. Apparently Dell changed the system for suspending laptops to something that does not work with Linux


That would make it difficult for me to ever buy a Dell laptop again. I don't see how it would be possible to use a laptop without suspend.

Dell makes their money in the B2B space now. They used to have a great consumer facing business model with their catalogs and, relatively, fair and transparent pricing.

I find their products to be garbage as well, but honestly so is every PC manufacturer. Lenovo is maybe slightly better with their Thinkpad line as long as you don't mind the legacy Lenovo design quirks and layout (I know a lot of people here like it).

I would love to hear if anyone can firmly recommend a PC laptop manufacturer at this point. Are Razer laptops any good? Is the Framework actually good or just not actively bad? What are HP laptops like these days? I feel like when people say a PC laptop is good they just mean not actively bad.

Ask GPT-3 what it "thinks" about Apple laptops, and I'll bet it's similar.

Yeah, this reminded me of those admonitions we used to get to consider the deep thoughts of young children, about e.g. politics or whatever. Maybe GPT-3 is next, after covid has forced everyone to spend more time exposed to the thoughts of those children. After they get GPT-3 to write ads so they can fire all the marketers, we'll get quite enough GPT-3 "thoughts" and be encouraged to consider the thoughts of some other unthinking entity...

The problem with Dell is you really need to understand their crazy product line, and have leverage to hold them accountable. It’s harder to do apples to apples comparisons to HP or Lenovo.

Their server and laptop hardware is often garbage, so if you need to buy it, structure in SLA penalties so that people get fired when the company screws up. That will incentivize the salespeople to make sure you get the better models. That will cost you money though.

If you are small or don’t have the budget, shop for the better gear or treat them as disposable. The upside of the sprawling product line is that they have product in every possible segment, from HDMI stock thin clients to high end workstations.

I have preferred Dell machines almost exclusively for about nine years. Then in this past December my Dell daily driver went blank in the middle of playing a YouTube video, never to boot again. I bought three replacements (Inspiron line) back to back and each one failed in turn within a week. Finally, frustrated beyond all belief I tried an HP. It had less RAM and no number pad, but otherwise has served adequately for nearly a year now. Unfortunately, after sinking $3000 into new computers in less than two weeks I've had to swear off of Dell. They just don't have the quality control I'd previously been accustomed to.

Bought a XPS 15 2020 at the release, wifi didn't work and trackpad was terribly wobbly. Tried to return it two days after delivery and then the nightmare began.

For some reason Dell kept saying that I was a business and refused to accept the returned package (apparently business doesn't have the 14 days return policy?), I had to waste 5+ hours in the phone talking with multiple people, trying to prove that I'm a normal costumer, at the end I literally had to send a picture of the delivery address showing that it was my house and not an office, after that they decided to accept the return.

I'll never get any product from Dell again.

I had a 2-in-1 XPS13 a few years ago and it was total nightmare. I had a long list of 16 problems (OS / hardware), so much so that Dell refunded me after 1 year.

The main problem was it was absolute crap in terms of CPU perfs. Totally impossible to run even one VM despite a price tag of more than 2000€. Who would know that the beautifully named i7-7Y75 Processor (up to 3.6 Ghz!!!) is the modern equivalent of a Celeron processor? I should have.

I then bought a Thinkpad with works OKish, but for the same price and same specs (except processor), allows me to run 3 or 4 VMs w/o a problem.

There's a lot of one-off nonsense in here, but then there is also:

> Another example is using a 4k screen ona a 13” laptop. Much better in terms of battery life and price to use a 2.5k screen. Humans can’t tell the difference. Why did they use a 4k?

What? Citation for sure needed. That's ~330 ppi, which is about where Apple's "retina" marketing ends up, so even with that optimistic view on things, it's still "just enough".

Regardless: humans can definitely tell the difference, because pixel density depends on how close your eye is to the display.

One of the weird complaint in the article is the number of laptops models sold by Dell. I agree that 285 models is a bit excessive, but people also complain that Apple doesn't have touch screen models, which would potentially double the number of laptops in their lineup. Different people have different requirements, and Dell is basically willing to cater all of those people. Apple will tell you to bugger off if you want a laptop that's also a tablet for $600.

Again 285 models seems like way to many, but I also believe they'd turn away a number of businesses if they didn't have a fairly high number of models available.

Regarding the support, I have a theory: Don't f-ing use WhatsApp! I have a sneaky suspicion that it's much the same as the laptops. Someone complained about WhatsApp being available as a support channel, so Dell added it, rather than risking losing customers. The result is support channels spread out and somehow WhatsApp has either been outsource to the only company willing to provide that or a team of less professional supporters because of the low volume. Personally I've had only had positive experiences with Dells support, but via their website.

Only for the phones, which seems like a poor comparison point. Their current laptops are ~230ppi; they base the desired PPI on viewing distance as I understand it.

So by Apples standards 330ppi is FAR too high for laptop viewing distances.

Laptops are often in a 2-in-1 form factor that convert to a tablet. Sure, sometimes they're a bit further away, but this doesn't mean the resolution is never needed. The smaller iPads certainly hit 300+.

But Retina is more of a marketing term than anything. I want higher DPI displays. They're good independent of the marketing. And to say that a human can't tell when it's dependent on viewing distance even for average eyesight is clearly wrong.

Forget "Steve Jobs," Get Ready For "Michael Dell":


> By the way there used to be a laptop named “New New XPS 13"

Before version control

I have an XPS 15 I got at Costco for about $2k years back that I used out in the field (i7, 16gb RAM, 1TB NVMe). Extremely happy with it and it’s still my primary go-to laptop. No extended warranty, never repaired or any issues.

I just purchased my first MacBook Pro (M2) a few months back and I absolutely love it! Now that I no longer work out in the field, I always have both laptops at my desk mounted on two Twelve South Curve Stands with an extra monitor in between. I have a magic keyboard (Touch ID) and an MX Master 3S. Can’t complain!

I only buy Dell products. I bought an XPS 15 back in 2017 and while on a trip to a country with no UPS/FedEx and the screen broke. The warranty agent worked with me to get the replacement screen shipped to a different country where a friend picked it up and delivered it to me in person. That is the best customer service I have ever had and so far sticking with Dell has paid off. Although admittedly I haven't bought anything other than their monitors in the past couple of years.

In the company that I worked for, they give me a refurbished Dell laptop, I used it every day for 8 hours or more, almost never turn it off or restart it, and it was still in perfect condition after 7 years, so much that I wanted to buy it from that company for my personal use.

During those years we only upgrade it's ram from 4 to 8 GB and changed once the battery.

I use to have open at least 10 chrome tabs in any point of time, open very heavy excel files, and never complain about anything.

The extreme heat generated by my 4yr old latitude is great for heating the office in winter...not so much in summer. Solid laptop otherwise, no complaints &runs Linux fine except for the usual sleep problems.

Looking to replace it with a 17" looks like the Precision range is the way to go... hopefully the business lines have kept up standards. Any other 17" laptops that are recommended? Not sure how anyone codes on a 13" (without an external screen)

I had an older XPS 13 developer edition. My main complaint was that it used a thin barrel-tip charger. After relegating it to the kid's Minecraft machine, the plug would get jostled around and short out the charger. After several charger replacements, I gave up and it sits unused on a shelf.

The newer generation XPS uses a USB-C charger. I wonder if that would hold up any better with kids. At least a USB brick is cheaper to replace than a proprietary Dell one.

The USB C ports get a lot of flex fast, but the connection remained stable in my experience, regarding both data & power.

My Dell Mini 9 netbook from circa 2009 (bought used for peanuts a few years ago) is still wonderful for console-mode Linux. Tiny, fanless, good battery, sturdy and very well thought out construction-wise (effortless disassembly, iirc). I think this was also a consumer-line computer, no?

On the other hand, I've always utterly disliked the 2008-ish Vostro 1015 we still have, though. Noisy fan from day one, bad keyboard and general ergonomics.

I've had best experience with Dell. Before switching to apple ecosystem I used dell laptops (Inspiron) and if I remember they were in $1.2k-$1.4k price range at the time. First one lasted 5+ years, second still works after 10+ years. Same with monitors, I trust only Dell. Just the other day I bought new 4k monitor from dell and it's great. Have 2 old dell monitors I bought 10y ago, my kids use it now. Overall, build quality is superb.

Sorry, I have Dell XPS 17 for 2 years and it’s the best laptop. 0 issues. 16:10 display ratio. Thin bezels. Bright screen. Nice large touchpad. Never had fans work like crazy unless you game. And yes you can even game on it with decent settings on large display. Just get it on Black Friday.

I had pretty bad experience with HP Envy where battery and charging were inconsistent but Dell just works.

You can pretty much tell bad things about any laptop brand.

I had a Dell M4800 with external 9cell slice battery. They claimed that a broken docking connector (pins folding on themselves) isn't covered by warranty because everyone knows that batteries are consumables only the cells still held >90% of the original capacity and weren't what needed replacement. Docking connectors sure shouldn't be consumables on a 4k€ laptop.

> For example: it was impossible to open the screen on the XPS without using two hands. One hand was needed to hold down the base and the other to pry open the screen. Clearly nobody tested this before it went into production.

I am sorry for the actual 1-handed users but this limitation was a blessing for me, toddlers wouldn't be able to open it in the disastrous case when they could reach it.

Huawei offers the best bang for the bucks...

I know Huawei is kind of taboo in the US, but for the price I paid (900$), I got a 16", 3:2, 2,5k, glass screen (not "anti-flare", which in compunter screen business, is a marketing code name for "plastic"), ryzen 7 5800H, 16gb, 512gb, usb-c & usb-a, hdmi, ceramic body, precision touch and large hyper-responsible trackpad.

This brought back memories of Apple in the mid 90s.

"It is impossible for them to properly design, test and support such a large number of different models. This is one of the reasons that their machines and support are such low quality. They don’t try to get it right, their business model is to produce a large quantity of models and obtain sales through bruteforce rather than quality."

I haven't bought a Dell computer in many years, but I love their monitors. I started with the first 1920x1200 they offered probably fifteen years ago now, and have been through a series of them culminating in the two 27" 4k panels I have on my desk now (P2715Q and P2721Q). In that time I've never had a problem, not even a dead pixel that I've noticed.

I use two P2715Q's as my daily drivers for the past 6 years. They're good. They suffer from some image persistence but it's been forgivable. Some coworkers have got the same display and say they don't have the persistence.

Burn in takes about an hour and it fades after 10-15 min.

Either I notice it more than them, or I got a bad batch. I'm pleased with the purchase despite that.

All I know is that over the many years I been working I have received several Dell laptops. I have not had any issues with them. I even purchased a throwaway Dell laptop that was several years old, has gotten several years older, has been opened up multiple times, to swap out harddrives and RAM, and is some how still working. That has been my experience at least.

Every single person I've worked with who bought a Dell has had so many issues every one of them has had to return it, get replacements and eventually give up and switched to something else.

Even seen one person getting issues as bizarre as if a Adobe app is open the computer plays the alert sound for every keypress, now Adobe might take a little blame there but still...

> Dell laptops are horrible for a number of reasons.

I was about to type "Dell is a horrible brand", but GPT-3 was faster.

Dells are like Toyotas. You can take one to almost any repair shop because components are replaceable/upgradeable, and the service manuals are available online.

Apple by comparison is like a Tesla. Nothing is upgrade-able and they do their best to prevent you from serving it anywhere other than their own service centers.

You'll get better service at the Toyota dealer, though. My wife bought a Dell XPS desktop (from the local Microcenter). Was crashy and unreliable from day one. We ran various tests, including the ones supplied by Dell, and couldn't suss out the problem. Two trips to the Microcenter tech counter found nothing. They told us if the automated tests didn't find anything, they couldn't get a warranty replacement from Dell. Our own probing suggested a memory issue, either the SSD or the RAM. We did some part swapping and found that it was indeed bad ram. New ram solved all the issues.

So we did fix it (with no warranty coverage), but it was a painful and unnecessary experience. So count us in the 'Dell is junk' column. We've never had a problem like that with an Apple product (and I've been using Apple products since 1979).

Best laptop I ever owned was a maxed out Dell XPS M1530 (2008-2013). Wonderful hinge design, WUXGA screen, that thing was a workhorse. Unfortunately it died due to issues with the nvidia gpu warping off the solder joints. I fixed it temporarily by baking the motherboard and got 6 more months out of it.

My experience with Dell laptops is, I had a 13" machine with some nvidia GPU, and ran World of Warcraft on it. It was rather hot to touch, but otherwise ran okay.

Until one day the laptop caught fire. Not metaphorically, it just sat on my desk and burned. Good thing I was next to it when this happened.

>don't buy Dell! >doesn't tell us who we should by computers from

Well how am I gonna know if I'm getting a good computer or not?

Kidding, obviously. HP's gone a similar route. I don't think I'll be purchasing a Dell or HP again in the future if simply for the decline in build quality.

I‘ve had great experiences with Dells.

The only reason I moved to a Mac recently is the improved performance and efficiency on Apple silicon.

I’m also skeptical of advice that there are better products out there, but they don’t tell you which ones they are. There’s a lot of nuance to that it is easy to just say.

You have to understand Dell's business strategy of having a presence in every single PC market segment. All the way from the cheapest of the cheap to the extreme high end. That's why you have different models of reliability.

I have a 14 year old Dell laptop. It still works pretty well. Replaced the hdd with an ssd to speed it up.

I would say that Dell hasn't really been something I've found to be competitive lately. I recently bought a refurbished HP for a family member.

I bought an XPS laptop for my wife several years ago, specifically because of how nice its display was. I hardly ever use it, and so it took me a couple years to notice there's a hot pixel. It now wears away at my sanity.

> I asked GPT-3 what it thinks about Dell laptops. Here is what an AI learned from summerizing the internet

Are there any details about how this text was generated? Or are we sure that there was no bias and no leading questions involved?

Of course there's bias.

Most people go online to complain, not praise their computers. That is what the GPT model is being trained to summarize.

Very interesting to see a GPT-3 summary used as a way to summarise public opinion.

I bought a XPS 13 dev edition with Ubuntu 12.04 in 2014 and it still works like a charm. Instead of Ubuntu it is running Fedora 37 nowadays with a decent performance. All hardware is still original.

Why is it that comments on this post as well as elsewhere make it seem that there's either a love it or hate it relationship with Dell? Is there really a bimodal distribution in their customers?

Most people don't spend energy to post "meh".

Got this company-provided DELL latitude here. Works fine, no complaints.

Out of curiosity, what's the legality of using a brand name in a domain? Does Dell have any standing (copyright?) or is this covered (in the US, anyway) under existing free speech laws?

Dell also got caught scamming a Linus Tech Tips secret shopper: https://youtu.be/Go5tLO6ipxw?t=68

Had an 15" XPS 9550 a few years back. With standard everyday use I needed 3 trackpad replacements in 12 months. To Dell's credit their support and onsite repair was excellent.

I bought an Inspiron laptop a couple of years ago. It was a terrible purchase.

I had charging problems since the beginning, the infamous coil wine issues, then my screen started showing bubble!

Don't buy dell!

I used to always buy enterprise machines from Dell outlets as they were so great and reliable, with a great warranty.

I’d never buy their general consumer stuff though, it’s stack high, sell cheap.

How did get to "you should do X because of what an AI summarized from some data" (What data? Collected how? any biases? sensitivity to prompt engineering?).

I've had a great experience with a Xps 13 and currently 15. I'm not even sure what the alternatives are if you want a high end Ubuntu machine?

All what I see I could tell the same for Asus (in particular for a Vivobook I pay something close to a mac air, it's so deceiving in comparison)

    Poor linux support on Developer Edition
Ouch. And the next ThinkPad X13 is confirmed :) Anyway, always better keyboard and trackpoint.

I'd say don't buy Lenovo, if you work even within a hundred mile radius of a US government client. The way the winds are blowing...

At least they still give out the repair guide for just about every device. I think that should be the most highlighted thing about them.

My Latitude 5420 has broken Ethernet on Linux... How it is possible to break Ethernet drives is beyond me.

I guess that on the consumer side their support might be poor, but for enterprise laptops we've had a good experience so far.

It seems you can avoid a lot of this if you avoid laptops. Never quite understood how they got that ubiquitous.

Had a maxed out XPS13, worst experience ever. Fan broke down several times, horrendoues DELL support experience.

Admins; we saw you edited the title of that anti-Lenovo post a couple of days ago - moral quandary on this one?

Request to the author: also do a GPT-3 summary of the comments here, and see if the conclusion is different.

I don't see how it could be, there would be correlation between the topic of the post and the comments relating to that post. As unsympathetic targets go, Dell is up there.

It would be funny to have GPT-3 create a website like "elonmusksucks.com" and then do a summary of the comments on HN.

Their monitors are top notch, though I did buy two and both of them have manufacturing defects

I've had two XPS13s which both died for the exact same reason: worn out power connector.

very much agree with the domain name.

My dell 5567 (2017) had its battery swollen. And now, even though its fans works all the time very loudly and CPU doesn't cool down properly and get throttled, making the laptop usable.

Does not recommend dell laptops to anyone.

My Precision Mobile 7750 is a beast. Chucked 128GB RAM into it. Should last me 10 years.

Everything said here about dell is true of every windows laptop I’ve ever owned.

I stopped considering Dell servers when they started requiring Dell hard drives.

I've had 0 problems with my vostro, maybe because its semi business grade?

My biggest problem with Dell is that they refuse to perform even simple firmware upgrades on stuff that is out of support "with Dell". Dell.com support is for stuff you buy on Dell.com, not Dell products overall.

E.g. if you buy a Dell monitor from Amazon, warranty is handled by Amazon, not Dell. This means that Dell will refuse to give you firmware updates (and they are not freely redistributable), and Amazon obviously can't update the firmware for you. Your only recourse is to keep returning to Amazon until they come back with one with the fixed firmware.

And Dell monitors are plenty buggy. I have seen systems that would fail to boot (VGA card's firmware would hang during POST) with an A0-revision monitor from Dell connected with DisplayPort. And don't get me started on the Thunderbolt docking stations... we had to send so many for replacement, my company practically hoards the working ones now.

I had no plans to buy Dell but will now. Good job.

Dell XPS are great especially for Linux.

Did anyone actually read the article?

TL;DR: GPT-3 wrote this from looking at, I guess, various internet review sites and forums etc.

GPT-3 wrote one paragraph at the beginning which is in blockquotes and clearly marked as written by GPT-3. It did not write the whole article.

I am actually almost certain that a paragraph like this:

> The design of their machines is so bad I have come to the conclusion that no one is designing them. I know this sounds like a ridiculous claim, but I am quite certain it’s true. I happened to work on a laptop project with a Dell competitor and saw how their “design” process worked. They wanted to make a laptop with an outstanding webcam, that was the purpose of the laptop.

Would not be written by a human in a serious critique of one of top producers of business line laptops though.

I would call this a rant, not a serious critique, and that paragraph is appropriate enough for a rant.

Did you read the article? That's just the first section.

Don't buy any laptop except of an old Thinkpad because anything else is either proprietary crap or overpriced or even both.

> old Thinkpad

Except older hardware is terrible from a price/performance/power point of view. The minute you actually start to use the computer for something intensive, you'd rather have a more modern, faster, lower power-consumption laptop.

It shouldn't be too hard to find 8+ hours of battery life from a typical $700 laptop these days. Add a few more hundreds of dollars to get 12th or 13th gen Intel and/or M1 Macbooks and you'll get to all-day designs.

Laptop quality is wildly all over the place. From 'that thing is a tank' to 'the ink on the keys is coming off, and the trackpad does not work right'. QA is garbage for most of these laptops. They should be fairly dialed in at this point how to make decent ones. But not really. The ergonomics of most is junk. From poor flex on the screen and keyboard, junk keys, touchpads that are too big and impossible to not rest your palm on, to weird hot spots from poor thermal management. Most of the screens are decent though now. For a long time they were fairly crappy. But yeah if you are using a laptop older than 5-8 years. It is time to start thinking about a new one. I just recently updated my 10 year old one to something fairly new. It was night and day on performance.

That's always been true though.

There have always been terrible laptops in the market. I generally recommend the following process:

1. Go to a physical store and try out the keyboards / mousepads of the laptops you're interested in. Don't worry about specs yet.

2. Look up the service manual of that model, ensure that you can replace important parts (M.2 Drive and Battery take top priority for me) with relative ease. You can probably do this on your phone after deciding you like a particular keyboard/mouse.

3. Ask the store for the specs (CPU / GPU / RAM / SSD) you want, especially if the SSD is soldered on (though ideally, buy a replaceable M.2 slot). If not available at the store, _MAYBE_ buy online, but in my experience the Retail return model just works far better than RMA to manufacturer. So prefer retail / buying off the shelf.


Normally, I start to see things worth buying at the $700 point, but with compromises of some kind (poor screen, bad mousepad, etc. etc.). Moving up to the $1000 price point, things are generally better with only one thing that's really terrible that I probably can live with (maybe soldered on SSD, a lower quality screen, or something along those lines).

Moving up to $2000 price point, I get good everything, but price sucks.

I'm pretty confident that I can find a good $700 to $1000 laptop, especially if you give me the freedom to choose a user-replaceable M.2 drive, and give me an hour or so to replace it with a $130 1TB generic drive. It won't have the best specs by modern standards, but it'd beat the pants off of any old Thinkpad from 5+ years ago. Bonus points: I probably was going to do this anyway to wipe out all that terrible crap-ware / bloatware on the laptop. So doing this _AND_ upgrading to 1TB or 2TB is just cake.

But just using the most modern chips (even of a lower-value one, like an Intel i3 or AMD Ryzen) will grossly improve battery life and have all sorts of other advantages. You really don't need to jump for the $2000+ models.

As someone with a ThinkPad from 2018, I consider general-purpose compute a problem that was solved by Intel 8th gen i5 (and higher). Bumped the RAM and SSD after I got it. Got my battery replaced a few months ago, and I'll happily replace it again if needed.

There's virtually no good reason for me personally to replace this laptop. It would be like buying a new phone because 'scroll performance is sluggish' after 6 years of constant use. Yeah, I can live with that.

Oh trust me, I know where you're coming from. I'm one of "those guys" who was really hyped up about netbooks in the 2010s.

But its performance-per-watt that people want today, which leads to smaller batteries and longer laptop-time per charge. You can't just buy low-power chips from 5 years ago and hope to keep up with today's technology, the process advantage from smaller transistors is just too powerful to keep up with.

As today's laptops reach 24+ hours per charge, its less about "compute power" and more about "battery life" for most people. The fact is, today's laptops get you both.


This is actually why I'm intrigued by Intel's P+E cores. The E-cores are from the Atom-line, meaning Intel has effectively made all 12th gen / 13th gen laptops Intel Atoms to some extent. So you have the "netbook" portion of your laptop offering incredible battery life, with the P-cores if you need to run Blender, video games, or some other high-compute problem.

If you're just gonna surf the web and watch videos, the E-cores are more than sufficient and will last over 24 hours (ex: LG Gram)

> The fact is, today's laptops get you both.

And tomorrow's laptops will be even better at that compute-battery ratio! Cycling an Intel 8th gen i5 for a 12th/13th gen i5 is meaningless if 8th gen satisfies your needs.

EDIT: I suppose I should mention I use Linux, so I've already accepted performance over battery-life since power management on Linux sucks no matter what shiny new chip comes along.

In my experience, these laptops have some kind of Windows license embedded into their motherboard, so you can freely reinstall Windows from scratch.

So there's no cost-advantage to using Linux, and Windows furthermore just has better sleep behavior + GPU integration than Linux. If I need Linux, I either spin up a VM somewhere for me to VPN / SSH into, or use VMs inside of the laptop, or even use Ubuntu on Windows (which is "good enough" for many commmand-line tasks in my experience. Ex: Shift-right click to open the advanced commands for a directory, select "Open in Ubuntu Terminal" and go from there).

> It shouldn't be too hard to find

How about decent keyboard with not flat caps? Enough interfaces? Changeable battery, maybe RAM and CPU also?

The better keyboards are a bit pricier, but...

> Enough interfaces?

USB-C Hubs are like $30 and have more than enough bandwidth for most needs.

I think HDMI is the one port I use the most after that, and yes, most of these laptops these days have an HDMI adapter?

But even when I setup 4-player games, I mostly use Bluetooth these days with wireless controllers. Which adapters do you need, and why isn't USB-C good enough for that? At work, I do have to use a wired Ethernet dongle (maybe even 2 or 3 of them) but home-use WiFi is all the internet connection I need in practice.

> Changeable battery

Before buying any laptop, check the service manual. This ensures:

1. The laptop was actually designed to be worked with.

2. You can see which parts are replaceable

For the battery: https://www.dell.com/support/manuals/en-us/xps-15-9560-lapto...

> maybe RAM

In my experience, most modern laptops (such as the Dell XPS under this topic's discussion) have replaceable RAM, M.2 drives, SATA-drives, and batteries. You may need to grab a screwdriver, but its not that hard.

Just check the service manual before buying.

> The better keyboards are a bit pricier

Nope, they are just nonexistent in modern laptops.

> USB-C Hubs are like $30 and have more than enough bandwidth for most needs.

> why isn't USB-C good enough for that?

I don't have any USB-C device (not everybody lives in a first-world countries) but at least once per year I actually need at least all 4 of my good old USB2 ports. External USB hub will suck in stability of connect and ability to charge several devices at once.

And I do not want to grab a screwdriver for changing battery which becomes common in modern razor-thin laptops, I love long outdoor sessions with a couple of spare batteries in my backpack.

> And I do not want to grab a screwdriver for changing battery which becomes common in modern razor-thin laptops, I love long outdoor sessions with a couple of spare batteries in my backpack.

With 24+ hours per charge on a lot of these modern laptops, why do you need to carry spare batteries?

Instead of spare batteries, you should probably be looking to use equipment more recent than a Thinkpad. You get far, far more "laptop usage per watt" on a modern system than anything 5 years or older. There's just all sorts of power-saving features on a modern system (most importantly: fundamental shrinking of the transistors down to 5nm or smaller, using a small fraction of the power compared to larger 22nm or 24nm transistors)

Ex: The new "P vs E" core on Windows 11 devices. The new sleep features on DDR5. NVMe using far less power than a hard drive. Etc. etc. Modern systems use an order of magnitude less power yet offer greater compute power on the go. The drive for better transistors is strongest in the laptop form factor IMO, since smaller transistors hit the "do everything": faster, cheaper, less power usage.

On top of that are the software tweaks. I know people are pissed off about Windows 11's new GUI, but the scheduler is solid and the support for Intel's low power "E" cores, plus GPU sleeping / other power saving features, really makes a difference in terms of battery life.

> I don't have any USB-C device (not everybody lives in a first-world countries) but at least once per year I actually need at least all 4 of my good old USB2 ports. External USB hub will suck in stability of connect and ability to charge several devices at once.

USB-C is something like 4GBps.

A singular USB-C hub can support 20x USB 2.0 A devices at full speed (each around 50MBps). You have all the bandwidth you need from USB 3.0 / USB-C connectors. You just need a hub so that the port can be "split" into more physical ports.

> External USB hub will suck in stability of connect and ability to charge several devices at once.

So right now, you carry a bunch of extra laptop batteries around and USB 2.0 ports that you only use ~once per year (or so).

When instead you could be carrying around a Li-ion charging station, using more efficient laptops (to get 24+ hours per charge, negating the need for spare batteries), and using a $30 USB-C port+hub on the rare occasions you need a large number of simultaneous devices on your computer?

It sounds like what you really need is a portable Li-ion battery.

> With 24-hours per charge on a lot of these modern laptops, why do you need to carry spare batteries?

At least for ability to quickly poweroff my laptop, for example if OS is hanged down or maybe if some water spilled on the device. Also I do not want to carry laptop to a service just to change battery. Last but not least, internal batteries use to be unique per model while external batteries use to be a mass product, good luck finding spare internal battery for really old laptop.

> A singular USB-C hub can support 20x USB 2.0 A devices at full speed.

The main reason of my hate to all kinds of external hubs is that when your mobile device has a beard of hubs and adapters then some of that connections are going to lose a contact mechanically. Why not just to drill more holes in the side edges of device instead of making side edges empty?

And you told nothing about where to get a modern laptop with as comfortable keyboard as in my x220.

> Why not just to drill more holes in the side edges of device instead of making side edges empty?

Because people have largely stopped using physical connectors and instead use Bluetooth and/or WiFi ones today.

There are exceptions, but those exceptions are fixed with USB-C hubs, which again are just $30 in my experience and give you all the USB-A ports you need.

I personally still prefer wired mouse (no batteries is a big advantage), but even my active digitizer pen is bluetooth, as are my Gamepads (4 players+ support). I still use physical headset (mic/speaker), and so I still try to buy headset jacks. Then HDMI.

My Phone is mostly WiFi connections for most relevant tasks.

USB is enough for the errant DVD-drive, USB-drive, RJ45 Ethernet.

HDMI is all I use aside from that.

> Also I do not want to carry laptop to a service just to change battery.

If you have a screwdriver, then you can change the batteries yourself on most of these laptops, including the Dell XPS that is being discussed in this topic. See the guide manual I posted earlier, its really not that hard.

The key is reading the service manual _BEFORE_ buying a laptop. There's many hundreds of laptop models out there. Many suck, but many others have good service guides and good service design that can be done with just a screwdriver.

Sounds like you want a desktop

The term is "mobile workstation" and some people are willing to pay the cost in weight for flexibility.

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