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Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook Arrives at CES Discussion

Discussion in 'Notebook News and Reviews' started by Jerry Jackson, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. Spaceweed

    Spaceweed Notebook Enthusiast

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    Oh don't mistake me for being angry, the style over substance argument is nothing new, it just seems to me that technologically, ultrabooks are more of a sidestep than a step forward. Though plenty of manufacturers and salesmen want to convince us otherwise. I also purposefully avoided commenting on macs when it comes to ultrabooks because they are a different kettle of fish.

    "Hello sir take a look at this stylish, ultra-modern, ultra-powerful laptop, it's so small and light you can carry it with you wherever you go!"

    "I can already do that with a normal laptop. I can also work on office and browse the web just fine already too. Taking a look at it, where are all the ports gone?"

    "Erm...."

    /rant over :p
     
  2. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

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    I agree, but then again, I carry a 6.85 lb, 16.4" laptop with me to business meetings :D
     
  3. Vogelbung

    Vogelbung I R Judgemental

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    I've been a primary buyer of ultraportables since, well, well before even Sony entered the notebook market. Although obviously pre-mid-90's, the concept of ultraportable was more what you might call a thin & light today.

    An Ultrabook is to me simply a mass-market version of what I've been used to picking as a primary carry for the last ~15 - ~18 years, and a far more sensible prospect than the netbooks, which I've always regarded as a bad joke and ironically the main reason behind the tablet migration - because netbooks provide such an incredibly inferior experience in a desktop OS.

    So the underlying concept of the Ultrabook is nothing new. A portable-first, slightly reduced functionality machine. It's simply that Apple was first in taking the premium-for-consumers path in terms of employing design and materials which uninformed consumers place a premium on. And I know it's a success because even the dumbest guy on this planet has an ego, but man - I wish everyone else wouldn't rush headlong into following Apple's lead. I'd rather they took what Sony's done and run with it.

    The XPS13 (assuming that's actually carbon fibre and not just carbon fibre patterning) seems like a half-and-half approach, and in terms of its overall attributes I'm not sure that makes a lot of sense either.
     
  4. Dell-Bill_B

    Dell-Bill_B Guest

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    It's actually carbon fiber.
     
  5. Lithiumstatic

    Lithiumstatic Notebook Enthusiast

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    I'm waiting on a 900p screen before I press the add to cart button. If something doesnt happen in regards to screen resolution in the next couple of months, I'll be going with a Z2 or Zenbook. Got credit card in hand and flexing it.

    Would like to see 6GB or 8GB of ram and better graphics, but I can live with what's currently available.
     
  6. Vogelbung

    Vogelbung I R Judgemental

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    Is there more on the construction process somewhere?
     
  7. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

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    Engadget posted a review. Very positive overall, though they didn't like the screen (thanks for the head's up that a higher-quality 900p may be on the way) and had some trackpad issues (unfortunately, a common refrain for non-OSX machines). But otherwise very positive.

    What struck me is, in the gallery, how much smaller this thing is than a MBP 13. Narrower and a lot shorter (not in terms of thickness, but in terms of distance from the hinge to the front lip). Nicely done.

    Dell XPS 13 review -- Engadget
     
  8. Dell-Bill_B

    Dell-Bill_B Guest

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    Nothing that's not woven into Direct2Dell blog posts or on the Dell YouTube channel. It might be kind of cool if we did a video to highlight materials and build quality, though. I'll pitch it and see where we come out.
     
  9. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

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    I think that would be a great idea. Most everybody has heard the term carbon fiber, but outside of automotive, motorccyle, and bicycle fans, most people couldn't pick it out of a lineup of different materials. Educating potential consumers that the XPS 13 is made of carbon fiber, and why that's a good thing, should definitely be a major part of its marketing push.
     
  10. Pseudorandom

    Pseudorandom Notebook Evangelist

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    Carbon fiber is just a type of plastic. If making sure people know its CFRP is a concern, I think there should be more "carbon fiber lines" texture on the bottom.
     
  11. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

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    In terms of denotation, yes.
    In terms of connotation, no.
     
  12. Pseudorandom

    Pseudorandom Notebook Evangelist

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    In terms of feeling, CFRP feels like quality plastic. Thus the need for "carbon fiber lines" texture to make sure people know its carbon fiber and not "plastic."
     
  13. Dell-Bill_B

    Dell-Bill_B Guest

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    This made me wonder, so I asked. I knew we had soft-coated the base as we did with the interior deck, but wasn't sure if the soft coat was imprinted with the CF weave pattern or not. The pattern you see is actually the CF weave, because the soft coating is clear. #funfact
     
  14. Vogelbung

    Vogelbung I R Judgemental

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    We've had this discussion in the Sony forums often, but not always.

    What we normally call CFRP(lastic) is plastic with chopped carbon fibres dumped into it. This is thermoplastic, i.e. moulded. It's also what Sony calls 'carbon fiber' but it doesn't look like carbon fiber because the matrix isn't uniform.

    What we normally call (real) 'carbon fiber' as you find in e.g. helmets, F1 structures, etc is sheets of woven carbon fiber in a resin matrix formed into shape under heat and pressure. This is thermoset, and looks like carbon fiber because the matrix is uniform.

    The newest Sony Z2 has an interesting approach - because the casing is too thin for CFRP to hold up, they've actually partially overmoulded sheets of microweave 'real carbon fiber' with CFRP - so the sheet forms the structural anchor for the CFRP casing shell.

    I'd be interested in knowing if the XPS13 case is thermoset or thermoplastic.
     
  15. flatsix911

    flatsix911 Notebook Evangelist

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    Here is some good news regarding fan noise ... This update should quiet them down a bit.:)

     
  16. Dell-Bill_B

    Dell-Bill_B Guest

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    And our post on the topic, in which Sam linked back to the XPS 13 owners' thread. You guys had an unprecedented level of influence on the touch pad and BIOS updates. Good show on your part for letting us know your preferences and pain points. We are very grateful.
     

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