Currently there are driver issues of which the non-working audio is most persistent. Most elaborate info on it here:
In this Reddit thread...
...you find comment from barton808, who identifies himself as the Team Lead of Sputnik (= XPS13 Linux), and gives away that they are waiting/working on the same issues (to be resolved).
I think it will make a great laptop. I currently own an XPS13 old version, and think it is just a bit short of Apple hardware. I've heard this new one should be up to par with Apple's hardware while having an eventually more compatible hardware stack.
It will probably be the most powerful Linux-preinstalled ultrabook on the market, when releaed.
Fingers crossed it may be released soon. :)
With an updated BIOS and a bunch of patches, it looks like it's getting close...
you could replace the bluetooth/wireless card with a different one.
If they have Thinkpad whitelists, do you remember if IBM did so when they owned the Thinkpad line?
iFixit gave the laptop quite a good score too: https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Dell+XPS+13+Teardown/36157
For me it's all compared to other ultrabooks, like the MacBookAir which also does 8G max.
I hope I'll never need to carry a classic-full-size laptop anymore, ever.
I haven't seen an ultrabook I'd prefer over it, especially when I rule out ones that use a tapered design.
If you want more memory you have to go to the T4XXp series, and probably buy the RAM yourself as the premium charged is considerable: 16GB on NewEgg is $120, while the premium payed for 16GB out of the box is $340. The T440s also maxes out at 12GB.
Maybe not every single day, but easily 3 days a week. Personally I could never consider owning a primary work machine with less than 32 GB of RAM, as that is just about enough (with some swap) to do something reasonable with a moderately sized data set in reasonable time, without having to try to get too clever. That being said, I currently have an MBA with 4 GB of RAM as a secondary computer to complement my workstation at work, and that's fine for most of my day to day programming tasks.
Suffice to say, you probably don't represent the average developer, or power-user. I can write code just fine without having to resort to 32GB data-sets. I think most other developers can too.
Not saying I don't acknowledge that some people may have such a need, but I don't see this is a big enough issue for enough people, to think it warrants making the already expensive developer edition even more expensive.
If you need 3-digit Gigabytes of RAM, have you considered just remoting into a server which has all the juice you need instead? In the age of the cloud, why on earth do you need all that power in your laptop? That just seems awfully backwards.
I'm currently on an 8GB machine and regularly have to pare down my working set to avoid swapping.
Sure, I agree. And I'm sure I'd be happy with this machine as secondary coding machine. But I do dream of one day getting a single laptop that covers all my needs.
have you considered just remoting into a server which has all the juice you need instead?
I do the few times I need 100+ GB of RAM, and to be honest it's a bit of a faff. Getting your tool chain set up, copying huge data sets back and forth, working out how to install proprietary software and the licensing there of. I'm unbelievably ecstatic that the option exists when I need it, but I'm equally glad every time I don't have to deal with it. Most of time my data sets aren't that big and all my work fits comfortably in 64 GB of RAM.
I had to sit on my hands to keep from giving Dell my credit card number reading that review.
Had 8gb before, machine was swapping too much, become unresponsive, etc.
If I'm not doing development with a cluster of VMs though, I rarely go over 8GB.
Edit:MBP82, created new user accounts, reboot, login, launch Firefox, load CNN, wait 2 minutes. Did this twice each Fedora 21 Workstation (Gnome) and OS X 10.9.5. Fedora free -m used = 614MB. OS X top PhysMem Used = 2866M, Activity Monitor Memory Used = 3.69GB. I suspect Activity Monitor includes "wired" which top splits out. shrug Anyway, it's not a tiny difference. Omnomnomnom.
Displayport, Dockingstation, 8GB Ram and 512GB SSD all below 1200g, that is to be beat. I hope for a 16GB Ram version for the next Surface Pro 4.
I run daily into swap, having just one VM open, Photoshop and PHPStorm...
If not, I expect it may take over a year before it's ubiquitous -- Intel isn't including USB 3.1 in Skylake, so it will require an extra chip, something manufacturers are very hesitant to add to laptops.
Luckily, I run a remote VM most of the time and can get away with 8 but if I need to do anything locally that involves a VM I start running short.
Edit: saw your pointer to the Asus UX303LN. Interesting.
Linux on good new laptops always tends to be 85-90% of the way there. I'd like to switch back to Linux from Apple products but it's never 100%.
Any way you slice it, you're having to do things you'd rather not do and that aren't at all necessary were we in a sane world.
I currently have two laptops: one is a recent (less than 3 years old) Dell Latitude 6430u, and the other one is an old Dell XPS 13 (the M1330, from 7 years ago). Of course the recent one is faster and lighter, but I have to say that the XPS still is a very good laptop, as 7 years later it is still able to compete with new ones.
So I don't need a new laptop right now but this new XPS 13 looks very interesting indeed, thanks for the information about the GNU/Linux version :).
I own the previous version XPS13 (think I bought it in 2013 or 2014). It's a great piece indeed.
I dont use the Ubuntu version that it ships with (by I like NetrunnerOS, in case any one does not know it: have a look), and in the beginning I had problems with the touchpad. Now I mainly have problem with slightly unstable wifi connection (not toooo bad, but annoying).
Last two things: it makes a bit of funny squeeking noise (condensor screem), and sometimes a keypress fires double.
That said, I really dont need the touch screen -- I rather have one without.
My mbp gave up and I was over the whole apple thing, so I went for a previous revision one just around xmas and installed Ubuntu myself (Australia doesn't get the Developer Version).
It's a great machine, and I love it, but then I got miffed when they rolled out a new revision just after I decided to buy. However, I had a feeling that Linux on the previous revision would be a lot more solid, and your post confirms that.
I find the two things that can really eat up the battery are screen brightness and having a poor Wi-Fi connection.
I have the Ivy Bridge version; I probably get 4 hours running Ubuntu and perhaps just under 5 with Windows; this is not scientific though. I really should measure it.
Sitting here using an XPS 13 Ivy Bridge (didn't buy as developer edition, but running Ubuntu) and definitely considering jumping for one of these for the battery life alone.
Reviews like at The Verge measured the battery life at 6.5 hours.
I trust Anandtech more than The Verge to conduct properly controlled tests, but it really does illustrate the point that usage has a far bigger impact on battery life on modern notebooks than it did in the past.
Toss up some terminus and vim and the FHD model sounds like a great all day coding machine.
I couldn't find anything on hdmi/4k, but this seems to suggest it doesn't make much difference (compared to what I assume the backlight and screen draws): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbolt_(interface)
At any rate, if we assume it takes 4 times as much power, and we know that phones do just fine with 1080p+ displays -- I doubt the signal is the problem. Maybe it's the RAM used for the videoframes?
I always assumed it was the screen that consumed power with HDPI displays (flipping more pixels) -- but maybe it's something else.
I could be wrong about how significant the backlight is on an LED display though.
I also thought that modern video cards (as in from the last 15-20 years) optimized 2D graphics so that regular desktop use didn't require pushing a screen full of pixels to the GPU on every frame. That would seem to diminish the significance of the actual number of pixels at QHD+.
I don't have a good answer.
This is a fairly useless metric. Since different displays have a different max brightness (and perhaps even different brightness curves, I feel like the "percents" aren't always linear), testing at a certain brightness value is the only way to go.
Thankfully AnandTech uses 200 nits for all laptops so we can actually compare these numbers.
1) Launch mmc (Win+R, "mmc")
2) File -> Add/Remove Snap-In
3) Group Policy Object Editor -> Add -> Local Computer -> Ok
4) Expand Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Search
5) Find "Prevent indexing when running on battery power to conserve energy"
6) Enable -> OK -> Close
If you're on Home Edition then make a new *.reg file with the following content:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
Going through MMC works even on virgin Windows 7 pro/ent without installing anything.
I've updated the original instructions a little to be more clear.
I work on the indexer and am always looking for more data about what we are doing wrong.
A commenter pointed out to the author that Windows Indexing was responsible for significant battery drain and the author confirmed by running the test again with it disabled.
Yes, I understand this could be seen as feature creep but I think if the savings in battery life are as much as the grandfather says then it is worth the extra complication of a setting. What do you think?
How often do users search in Outlook? I'd say maybe 5-10 times a day, and if it's already indexed, I won't notice.
> Dell claims that the battery life of the XPS 13 is an impressive 15 hours for the 1920×1080 model and 11 hours for the 3200×1800 version. Our own battery testing is a little more punishing than Dell's, but the company's numbers seem to be in the right ballpark. In our test of light Web browsing, the XPS 13 came in just shy of nine hours
Usage pattern is definitely a huge factor though:
> in a more intensive WebGL test, it hit five hours on the dot.
and so is software running (using Chrome is a terrible idea if you want battery life, for instance)
If you meant Anand, they tested both. Look for "Dell XPS 13 (9343) QHD+" and "Dell XPS 13 (9343) FHD" values in the charts.
Look at the little sliver of black that represents Mac computer sales (looks like ~5m sales/quarter) and compare with the orange line that represents Windows computer sales (just under 80m sales/quarter).
Even if 100% of the Macs are laptops and only 10% (as a pessimistic guess) of the Windows machines are laptops, sales are still heavily in the Windows territory.
However, in the end, I went back to my macbook air. There were just too many small headaches to deal with. I'll list them here. I'd like to know if there are any improvements this time around. I'd be curious to know if they're going to do another "developer edition" for this new model.
1) The touchpad sensitivity was way off in ubuntu, and I couldn't use normal configs to tune it properly. Sounds like they fixed it.
2) The wifi range was very poor compared to mba.
3) Battery life was not as good as mba.
4) Ubuntu wasn't very good at scaling high dpi resolutions on smaller displays. The mba I have doesn't have a high dpi, and I don't need it for my work. FWIW, the retina class displays in the mbp all are perfect.
5) The mba are better balanced. The xps13 was a little wobbly since the weight was not well distributed. It was also slightly harder to open and close.
Honestly, all of these things add up. Darwin isn't a "true" *nix, but it's close enough for me. If I'm off the mark on these issues these days, let me know.
I can get about 7 hours out of the battery so long as I'm only browsing the web or editing text - probably still not as good as a MacBook Air, but I'm never more than a few hours from a socket.
Ubuntu still isn't great at HDIP displays, although things are getting better.
Balance seems fine for me, but I can't compare to a mba.
I'm very happy with the XPS 13 (2014), and the 2015 version seems like a big upgrade, however I'd still recommend the 1080p display for Linux.
Yosemite is a registered UNIX 03 product.
Personally I love bare xsession+monad+apt-get of Debian, along with a sprinkle of schroot for running testing and sid in parallel, all with my home-dir available and on accessing the same X11 display. So OS X isn't really interesting. Apart from drivers married closely to the hardware, and maybe a nice collection of fonts (and font rendering) -- I won't feel very much at home in OS X.
I am curios: why would you want to move off of OS X?
On the other had, the nix ecosystem has really flubbed a lot of key opportunities for progress. You mentioned liking X11. Personally, I hate it. It's incredibly outdated. Rather than unifying behind a next generation display api, we have efforts divided between Weyland and Mir, ensuring that the display landscape for nix remains fragmented for the foreseeable future. This really is bonkers.
So, to answer your question, I want to move off OSX for the typical philosophical reasons, but I'm not willing to do it at the expense of basic ergonomics and fit and finish.
It's good that we have diversity; I wouldn't move to OS X at the expense of basic ergonomics either (even though I do admire the finish :-).
I'm a bit curious about the frustration with X11. Sure, it's a cludge and has issues and so on -- but does it matter so much that people can't wait for the alternative? I really only see two cases were it matters: If you're writing an X11 server, or if you're writing an X11 screensaver. As we have both of those, and they work fine -- I don't really feel the pain.
I'll admit that I don't do a lot of programming for X11, but both qt and gtk seem fairly pleasant to work with as far as I can tell. It might be papering over cracks -- but those cracks have already been papered over?
Did you consider running chrome OS (maybe with a full GNU/Linux chroot)?
Wikipedia probably gives the best overview of problems:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X_Window_System
Keep in mind X11 came out in the late 80s, and many of the current criticisms were expressed in the early 90s. We're full on 25 years beyond that now, with no de facto replacement.
And thank god for that. If Linux was reduced to a Mac-like experience, I would probably move on to something else, and quickly.
I need something for a power-user, something configurable, something which puts me in control. I need something which I can adapt to my needs, to flow with my work-flow. Something I can mold as I see fit. That is the promise of Linux.
What I don't need is ooh shiney rounded & patented buttons at the cost of everything else, with the late Steve Jobs having made all the decisions for me, with everything cast in stone. Oh sorry. Ceramics. My bad.
If you like it that way, good for you, feel free to stay on the Mac. A Linux laptop is supposed to be different. If you consider that to be at odds with a Macbook OSX experience, you're entitled to your opinion and you're probably right.
But that doesn't make the Linux experience bad. It just means it's not for you.
I'm hoping with newer chipsets and hopefully better support, that things are better with the 2015 models.
Now, what are the price differences? Also, the XPS 13" dev edition is 1080p, does the equivalent MBA?
The Dell can come with Ubuntu pre-installed and certified, and while they are both Unix there is the fact that Ubuntu is more-or-less FOSS whereas MacOSX is proprietary to some (most?) extents.
What I'm trying to say is that in listing the differences, you didn't list all the differences.
1) The touchpad sensitivity can be tweaked, and the config saved.
2) I have no data on the wifi range differences.
4) Is this true? I think Linux does do HiDPI?
My old xps 13 dev had a higher resolution screen, but it ended up being more of a problem than a bonus, mainly due to the inability of most of the ubuntu ecosystem to scale gui elements well. I could go on in more detail on this, but the fact is that Apple chose an even multiple for pixel scaling in retina displays (so non-retina apps can simply be displayed at effectively at twice normal size). In FullHD, some manner of fractional scaling must be employed on a 13" screen, and it needs to be done across the OS gui elements, as well as the rest of the app ecosystem in order for it to look right. I don't believe Ubuntu has this completely covered yet. In Ubuntu's defense, I haven't seen a fractional pixel scaling done "right" in a desktop environment (e.g. Windows 8).
As far as the opening/closing issue goes (as well as the other small fit and finish nits), this Forbes article mentions these details as well on the latest xps 13:
With a couple of VMs, and a webbrowser, 8 GB can get tiny, and those machines don't evolve, so I'd like to plan for a couple of years...
I kinda like the mid 1990's look. I think the best thing though is the more traditional keyboard. I really cannot stand the chiclet-style keyboards that have become all the rage.
On 13", all the RAMs are soldered on the boards.
The Asus Zenbook UX303LN has 12GB (it's better), but only 256GB of SSD.
I don't mind the price, I need a powerful tool.
I would love to find a 13" form factor convertible tablet PC that's just a bit bulkier than a Macbook Air, but has something equivalent to a Wacom stylus.
(EDIT, Actually, there are plenty of situations where more RAM but not more CPU would be of tremendous benefit.)
Either way, I'd say the high end computing market (which I'd say needing 16GB of RAM falls into, personally) is currently different from the ultra-light, ultra-portable market.
I mean, if you need 16GB, you probably need more than a low power dual core CPU anyway, and that's not realistically going to fit into the form factor of this machine today.
It's tragically expensive to import, though.
 http://www.bto.eu/bto-x-book-13cl58-ips.html (click on "Zelf Samenstellen" tab to see self-configuration options)
I almost never run any VMs, but occasionally one to play around with other distros. I see a lot of people talking like running multiple VMs is the norm for devs, and I'm curious what people are doing that requires it on a regular basis.
When I have a couple of Visual Studio instances running, an instance or two of WinDbg, Firefox, IE, and RDC Manager with several connections open, I can start getting low memory warnings!
I was actually recently (in the past couple of weeks) in the market for a laptop and heavily considered this device as an option based on the very positive CES reports but the non-upgradable 8GB ram was a dealbreaker and I ended up with a bigger, uglier Toshiba (with more memory).
For me, I absolutely need a portable to replace my PC, since I don't have an office.
I guess spoiled here to have separate PCs for work (two 21" displays), home (24" display plus TV as second display), and a laptop for portable use. Using a small display laptop as my main box would be to limiting for me.
When I am running a VM or logged on to another PC remotely, I like to view it on a second display instead of switching back and forth...
First, not all my VMs are for the same things.
A group of 8 of them is a set of build/test environments for a piece of open source software I am the author and maintainer of. They host different combinations of Linux distributions and kernels (the software is the userspace layer for a set of kernel modules), so that whenever I commit enough changes, I can just mass-run tests, code build and package builds accross those VMs. This is just run by a central Makefile on my local machine, and is more convenient than remotely using the build environment I have on my servers when on the go, sometimes using 3G WWAN, because of better latency saving me many seconds for each test build or when having totally unreliable uplink (train and plane mostly).
Then, I generally have about 5 to 10 VMs which hold customer environments, from simple standalone servers or clusters that I am currently prototyping, to full-blown network topologies with Linux/BSD server VMs connected to GNS3-powered emulated Cisco devices. I typically have copies of those on my servers too, but again, on the go, it is more convenient to have them running locally, again to speed up development cycle.
Of course, anything that requires long-running tests goes on my servers, not on the laptop. When at home (home office actually), I typically only use the VMs on my servers, fiber internet connection making working remotely with the datacenter seemless.
The paradox is that I have more things running on my laptop than on my desktop workstation, typically ~10-12GB of RAM for the VMs on my laptop, when my workstation 32GB are barely used at all (but used to be before I could afford to buy servers and host them somewhere nice) :-)
These were reasons to down-vote me?
You should not boast about having two desktops and a laptop. Lots of people prefer a single machine setup and use very large servers or large external displays when needed. This usage pattern has got nothing to do with money constraints.
"Real work." Come on.
It supports DisplayPort 1.2, which means I can Daisychain monitors. I plug in one DisplayPort cable and it connects to my 27" 1440p monitor and my 24" 1080p portrait monitor, giving me 3 separate displays to use.
This week the SSD died. I won't be calling them again, I can't face the pain of talking to them.
You wouldn't tell people not to buy a Ford because you owned one once that got a flat tire...
Seems like that is premium support. Lenovo only does that if you pay the upgraded support fee and have a business model laptop. Most have to mail their laptop to the depot and wait 1-2 weeks to get it back... then discover the original problem wasn't fixed.
In my experience, Dell's support is pretty good.
The model/make reviewed excellently, and is still considered a great choice. Two years later, it's been reliable and gets us from point A to point B affordably.
Manufacturing is hard.
Especially when you are not the one who manufactured the item, but get the blame for it's failure (Hitachi hard drives in Dell computers... Takata airbags in Toyota cars...)
As someone not fond of companies using patent-lawsuits to ban competitors from market, I can assure you that me, and lots of people like me, never once considered Apple a company it would be ethically defensible to buy hardware from.
If you're a software-developer, why would you fund and reward the lawyers trying to use software-patents to ban your right to deliver a product? It's suicidal and doesn't make sense.
Yes. Maybe these days Apple has kinda backed out a little and stepped down from the thermonuclear bit of the patent-throne. But they were the ones who started it, and we do remember. They're not getting our money.
In the mean time we're very happy companies like Asus and Dell are chugging out quality products without the guilt and bad karma associated with patent-trolling.
Come on Apple, seriously.
I know one senior sysadmin - the kind of guy other sysadmins go to for advice - who's getting a Novena laptop as his next machine for work. That thing doesn't come with a keyboard and exposes the motherboard when the screen is up.
I've used the Ethernet controller on my laptop many more times than I've used USB 3.0. Heck, I used a USB/Serial adapter more times than I used USB 3.0.
Not every professional is a web developer.
I'll never do another 15" laptop!
By depending on one non-standard HW supplier, you are building your own jail. Have you considered breaking out?
Get out there. Try these wonderful gadgets you want so badly. Taste freedom. Freedom feels good.
Thing is I love OSX, and actually, not even specifically OSX, I love some of the apps MADE for OSX only. If these damned developers would make webapps or linux ports I'd LOVE to migrate back to either a thinkpad carbon X or some sort of cool new Surface Pro/convertible deal.
I'm going to go through all of my apps at some point and see what I REALLY need that is OSX only. I just realized Intellij has a Linux version and so does Unity.. so, as long as I can virtualize efficiently with virtualbox or something to get .net 4.5+ stuff going I'm totally game to start working from Linux.
You can use VirtualBox on Linux, but QEMU with KVM is, in my experience, far more efficient, and a lot less buggy.
I often carry my Macbook on top of my head when I go around the house.
It's just really awkward to reach the touchpad that way, so I hope the next Macbook will add one on the bottom as well.
I'm glad other vendors are getting better with build quality, so there is more options available for people with my preferences.
Some history of the placement and many comments http://blog.lenovo.com/en/blog/fn-versus-ctrl-let-the-games-...
A series of posts where they asked for feedback, then acted on it.
Thinking about changing the key configuration http://blog.lenovo.com/en/blog/switch-mode-for-fn-ctrl-keys
They decided to make it bios switchable showing screenshot http://blog.lenovo.com/en/blog/switch-mode-for-fn-ctrl-keys-...
Announcement of implementing it across many models http://blog.lenovo.com/en/blog/switch-mode-for-fn-ctrl-keys-...
What did drive me off Apple laptops was more wallet oriented, keeping the best features for only the top configurations priced them beyond what I was willing to give.
Dell's claim of "a 13 inch display in the chassis of an 11 inch notebook" is reasonable:
Dell 13: 304 mm x 200 mm x 9-15 mm
Air 11: 300 mm x 192 mm x 3-17 mm
And the weights are within 100 g of each other.
I did end up getting the laptop. It was pretty nice except I could hear an electrical hiss coming from the bottom of the laptop when the room was quiet.
I had a friend who had one and confirmed the sound was coming from his as well.
I sent the laptop back and spent another 2 hours with their "support" for that.
I'll never buy from Dell again.
Do you know of similar official support for Ubuntu in other decent laptops?
EDIT: Oh wow, ThinkPad X240s and X250, along with many other models, are certified. http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/desktop/models/?query=&c... I wonder how am I supposed to use fingerprint scanner on my laptop?
I have a Galago Ultrapro personally, but if the XPS 13 2016 is any good (and they don't jump the shark like Lenovo is, what with the Intel bootguard DRM bullshit - hell if they put coreboot on any model XPS notebook I'd be all over it instantly like butter on toast).
I won't lie that the display is flimsy as cardboard, though. I was torn between the Sputnik and it, either I get performance or I get build quality, and I figure whats a warranty good for if not to subsidize a better CPU inside.
How do others cope with the incessant wheels or progress/reinvention?
When I switched to Apple I still faced issues bug only 1/10 the time as when I was with other brands. I hate apple operating system lack of getting things I want. I wish I could have stayed with Windows, I am hampered by using silly work arounds to play video games I love. Linux is great if I didn't have so many configuration issues, installing the correct video driver is a pain (I'm looking at you intel video cards). The system works.
I spent 20 years working on windows machines. The last 4 years Windows machines just have had more and more issues which pushed me to something that is stable and will work.
At least for the last 10 years or so my use has involved rarely turning them off or rebooting, just close the screen and re-open to get going again, often going for weeks or months at a time between reboots. When I do reboot it's usually because things seem slow or buggy because of some problem with the browser or with Flash.
I recently converted my 2008 vintage Thinkpad X200 to Linux. Linux Mint installed quickly and without incident and sleeps/recovers fine, just like my Windows machines. I didn't do anything other than bog standard install, no search for any specific drivers.
This is all just my personal anecdote to counter other people who claim to have had lots of problems on Windows machines. Hasn't been my experience at all.
I've liked Macbooks and Macbook Airs for quite a few years, ever since I deemed that Apple was charging reasonable prices (not sure exactly when I decided that). My next laptop may be one of the forthcoming Macbook Airs, or maybe the new 12" retina Macbook that's supposed to come out soon. I expect one of the first things I'll do is install Linux. I like the Macbook hardware; OS X not as much (although OS X is okay, too).
So none of those problems have been actual Windows problems.
Maybe I've been really fortunate but I don't remember having any problems or deaths of items. I have never had problems with the Macs I've had either, even the minis that I installed Linux on and used as tiny convenient Linux boxes back in the day when miniITX and Atom boards didn't cut it (and when PCs with the same power as the Mac Mini were significantly larger).
I have had to clean up virus-ridden machines from others though; if you fill your machine up with junk and aren't careful browsing the web things go wrong apparently.
If you could point me to some laptops that match the specs of a Macbook for the year they were out and are as thin/light then I'd much appreciate it!
Today, I'm using a Surface Pro 3 and actually like it even better than the Samsung. There's something impressive about being able to carry a full i7 development machine around like it's a thin, hardcover book.
The docking station and a large display or two would probably be a must for using it as a primary machine. I haven't tried the docking station myself, but I've heard lots of good things about it.
Given size it is a bit more difficult but there are laptops with higher display density than apple and faster processors.
What century was this? I could understand one model having these issues, but 4? I think you embellish.
I purchased and sold 4 of those the Asuses, Dell, and HP.
The Lenovos were purchased by my Prof. I complained and she gave them to the incoming students and I got a new one.
Although I will say I'm having issues with 8.1 that I can't really peg down. Sigh. We've had a string of issues with mavericks/yosemite here at work so I can't say everything is all rosey either.
Ubuntu is pretty easy going as far as linux distros and working. At least when you throw recent but not bleeding edge hardware at it!
I'll agree that right now osx is probably the most stable of systems for developing but that comes at the expense of lack of some pretty critical software (well... lets be serious, games...)
The NT kernel was worked on the by guy who did the VAX kernel. The thing is pretty rock solid so long as you don't do certain things -- like put display drivers in kernel space. There were people selling monstrous RAID arrays run by the NT kernel. You can't get much more stringent than that for stability requirements.
I don't use windows. I wish there was just a good linux laptop.
The XPS 15 is the closest, and it's apparently plagued by coil whine.
What else on the market is that size and weight with a quad core, 16gb ram, and pcie storage?
I'm looking at Dell's machine and yes it's got a higher resolution display (but is it better at that display size? I hope!), and presumably an updated processor, but that's it. No nic, no disk spinner, less ports, no VGA, etc. Call me old-fashioned but I can't consider a laptop without a couple easy ways to get data on/off (e.g. ethernet ports, disk spinners) as a development workstation.
Top that and I'll pay you.
And shame on you, Sony, for not being able to properly sell today's market leader that you came up with two years ago. Shame on you.
That said, I think the Dell is okay in terms of connections. There's seemingly half a dozen video output plugs at the moment, including one that's been around since 1952. I'd rather buy 4 adapting cables than have more than one video out on a subnotebook.
Getting data on/off seems easy: there's wifi, there's 3 USB ports for everything else. Spinning (optical) disks? Really? Might as well put a LTO tape drive in there. I'd have like Ethernet, too, but in those cases where you're most likely to need it (at home, in the office), it's easy to stash an adapter.
 I'm not even kidding. http://www.dansdata.com/gz061.htm
 Also bluetooth. And there's an SD card reader, if your development process includes taking photos. External optical drives are like, 20 bucks.
Unless you consider Japan. Sony has never been very keen on marketing their top stuff in the US and Europe; it's mystifying.
The keyboard is more plastic than for instance the Zenbook but good. I've had no issues with the track pad, two-finger scrolling works perfectly. Best trackpad I've had on a PC laptop (don't know what The Verge was raving about, maybe pinch gestures aren't as good as mac?)
As for battery issues, It does feel that it doesn’t last too long, like 3-4 hours tops (I run Bitlocker & Chrome though so that has some impact). I don't think this is as much the laptops fault really as it depends mostly on having a screen with very high resolution and depending on how you configure power saving options, what kind of work you do etc.
I think it’s pretty safe to say that the Xps "13 is the best PC laptop in this form factor right now until sharp releases the exclusivity on the screen in November, then Asus might give them a run for their money again.
To their credit I vowed never to buy a dell laptop again but they proved me wrong. A 14"-15" version of this laptop with more ram would be the ultimate though, larger screen so you can use the resolution better, more battery volume for a little better longevity.
I'm not so sure the hi-res version is the best option for developers because of the energy drain, especially if you need to work on battery for a whole day. The power pack buys you some time but very doubtful you'd last a whole day.
Also matte screens is often better than glossy for development, at least when working outside or where's there's sun.
Then again, you might need touch for development and the touch version with gorilla glass looks much better.
Personally the feature I'm dying to get now that we have almost bezel free computers are Amoled screens. Bezelfree where the true blacks of the screen blends into the little bezel there is would be truly droolworthy