Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook Review & Owner's Thread

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by Scott_RC-TEK, Feb 28, 2012.

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  1. willmorg

    willmorg Notebook Enthusiast

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    I received mine this morning. I think the battery life is much better than what the reviews are stating. I installed SQL Server, Microsoft Office, Visual Studio and all the necessary updates while on the battery. After about 4 straight hours of installing and rebooting I still had about 2 hours remaining on the battery. I was also using the "Balanced" power setting. However, I noticed the battery meter is either extremely sensitive or just screwed up, because it is very inaccurate. Sometimes it would tell me I had 1.5hours remaining, sometimes it would say 8hrs, but most of the time it was between 4-5.5. I think those reviewing the laptop early are simply going by the battery meter, which just isn't accurate. I have a MacBook Air running Win7 and it never fluctuates that much.
    My biggest gripe with the XPS 13 is the fan noise.
     
  2. Scott_RC-TEK

    Scott_RC-TEK Notebook Deity

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    The battery time remaining will change under different loads and CPU states so it should be just a general reference. With these i5/i7 processors, there is so much throttling between the min and max clock multipliers, it can be confusing looking at just the Win7 indicator. Have you tried the side battery level lights?

    Scott
     
  3. willmorg

    willmorg Notebook Enthusiast

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    The side battery level lights are definitely more accurate. Personally, I don't have a problem with the Win7 indicator since I know how that works. I was just pointing out that it varies much differently than what I see on my MacBook Air which is also an i7. I bought the MacBook Air a week ago. I'm still doing my own real world testing. I need about a 6 hour battery life and I like the windows key :). I really want to send the MacBook Air back, but right now the fan noise is making lean towards sending back the Dell.
     
  4. Thundermare

    Thundermare Newbie

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    Can't the settings be altered to turn down the fan? I could have sworn that could be messed with, but maybe I am wrong.
     
  5. moshnz

    moshnz Notebook Geek

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    Is the 4000+ 3dmarks 06 that most reviews are posting correct as well?
     
  6. clintre

    clintre Notebook Evangelist

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    I will post an actual review later, can't just yet. However here are a few takes from the first night.

    The fan is loud, but once I got rid of the anti-virus it came with and a some other bloat ware, finished installed, and let search indexer finish it barely comes on for me anymore.

    Still the fan, when it is on, is loud.

    The fit and finish is awesome. Elegent is the word I would use.

    Battery life through my test last night with the screen at 30% and playing around in Outlook, Chrome, and a few other things was just at 6 hours and 23 minutes.

    Ironically I used Avast AV and when it is installed I get a ton of network issues. Unintalled and loaded Essentials and everything worked fine. Will have to look into that.

    Cold boots incredibly fast, resumes even faster. Wow!

    Overall I really like it with my limited time using it. There are quirks and the fan noise is just stupid, when it is on. Luckily it has not come on as much as it did at first. I have the i5 so that may help a little.
     
  7. willmorg

    willmorg Notebook Enthusiast

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    I spent over an hour with Dell support last night discussing the fan noise. I was able to convince them to send me a replacement, but it sounds like this is a problem others are having as well. I'm really surprised this didn't come up in any of the major reviews.

    I've been comparing the XPS 13 to my MacBook Air, but I also have a Vostro V13. The fan is much quieter and barely ever comes on. Which tells me Dell knows how to make a quiet laptop :).

    I have the XPS 13 i7 and the fan runs almost constantly with just Outlook and Visual Studio open. This is extremely disappointing. Looks like the XPS 13 is going to be returned and I'll keep using my MacBook Air :(
     
  8. Kaso

    Kaso Notebook Virtuoso

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    The svelte form may cause poor ventilation. That, plus a not-so-smart BIOS and cheap fan (oh yes, fan quality ranges widely), makes the situation unbearable.

    XPS 13 as a development system?
     
  9. willmorg

    willmorg Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yes, when traveling. But it's mostly web development.
     
  10. pixelcloak

    pixelcloak Notebook Guru

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    Mine arrived last night, as well. Besides the fan noise, the first thing I noticed is how bad two finger scrolling is on the touchpad. The touchpad is made by Cypress, a manufacture I'm not familiar with. The settings allow multi-finger gestures and can be tweaked to some extent, however, I could not reliably get the two finger scrolling to work consistently. Scrolling down a web page in Chrome or IE is jumpy and hard to control. Coming from a macbook air, this is a huge deal breaker for me. I'll be sending this back for a refund.
     
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