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. Av8r

    Av8r Notebook Geek

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    Do you have any idea what the repair would entail? A whole new screen, or maybe only the display cable? There are many vendors that show the whole screen assembly for only $120 but they're all out of stock. Even the Dell one is out of stock, except I refuse to pay $316 for now. Surprisingly, the problem does not appear to be getting worse, but I can't imagine that will last.
     
  2. StockDC2

    StockDC2 Notebook Consultant

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    I believe it is the display cable.

    I got extremely lucky and was able to somehow transfer the warranty. Dell is sending a tech out to replace the motherboard this following week (my USB port is also bad). I will definitely keep you updated.
     
  3. Vicbus

    Vicbus Newbie

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    Hello,


    I a thinking about buying an XPS 13 (with an i5 core), but I will use it in an extremely quiet space.

    Is the fan not too noisy ? Do you know if it is possible to return it and get my money back if I think that the fans are too noisy ?


    Thanks
     
  4. Vaub

    Vaub Notebook Enthusiast

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    This thing (haswell) is dead silent fan-wise (I only hear it when I'm doing stuff in a VM or gaming). Dell nailed the fan profile with those Haswell chip.
    That being said, I have an electric whine issue when the keyboard is backlit which can be annoying. I don't think all units are as severe as mine though.
     
  5. Vicbus

    Vicbus Newbie

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    Thank you for your answer.

    Can the keyboard backlit be switched off ?
     
  6. Schizophonic

    Schizophonic Newbie

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    Hi, I've just did a fresh install of windows 8.1 with all the relevent drivers and such. I want to create a system image so if I need to reformat I don't need to spend hours downloading drivers and etc.

    I know dell has its own built in software for this but it requires me to go as a premium member. Any easier why around this?

    Thanks
     
  7. realavaloro

    realavaloro Newbie

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    Hi,

    I have had this Dell XPS 13 (9333 version) with i5 4200u for 3 days and I can't say I'm happy with it, but part of the problems are Software related..
    By the way, I'm in New Zealand.

    GOOD THINGS:
    -Nicely built, good materials, compact, beautiful design
    -Good resolution 1920x1080
    -Light, small adapter (not like the Lenovo Carbon X1 which is heavy)

    BAD THINGS:
    -Annoying sound coming from the keyboard. the sounds intensity changes when I disable the backlit keyboard (it USUALLY, not always, decreases) or when I perform some operation like dragging a scrollbar (then it increases)
    -It comes with Windows 8.1, which I don't like but it can be tweaked with a Shell application to modify the appearance and look like Win7
    -It comes with many dell applications pre-installed and EXTREMELY difficult to disable or uninstall. For example the McAffee that manages even the Windows firewall, and it is giving me some issues when adding exceptions to the firewall, etc.
    -Dell drivers on the website for this model are not all working ones (later I will explain this further)
    -I don't like the touch pad, sometimes it seems it does not respond well but it could be due to the way Windows 8.1 works, anyway I use a USB mouse now.
    -Although Windows 8.1 is high DPI aware (it displays the icons and text big enough although the resolution is huge), many applications are still DPI unaware (like google Chrome) and are displayed badly, foggy, not nitid, unless manually configured not to try to adjust the DPI, which in that case cause them to display very tiny being necessary to zoom in. However the scroll bar cannot be zoomed in and will be displayed really tiny and narrow... (too modern hardware, not too advanced software)


    -Impossible to install a Linux distribution to coexist. Not because of the Secure Booting in UEFI (which can be managed and disabled to allow Linux coexistance) but because there is a Kernel issue not supporting this built-in for current or old versions. For example, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, or 13.10 won't be able to display properly. See thread for further details about this incompatibility:
    [ubuntu] Ubuntu 13.10 64bits UEFI problems displaying even console [view image]
    -Dell does not provide customers with a copy (USB pendrive or ISO) for the installed Windows 8.1 OEM version, and an ISO cannot be retrieved from Microsoft site as it is not Retail copy but OEM.

    NOW THE VERY BAD THING (and @Schizophonic might be interested)
    -Dell Backup and Recovery tool broke my UEFI partition making Windows 8.1 unable to boot. I created a backup into a USB pendrive (thinking of restoring it if something went wrong with my Linux installation attempt) and when I decided to restore the Windows 8.1 backup, in the middle of it an error occured and after that Windows did not boot anymore and I ended up with the black screen telling me to contact administrator if I don't have a copy of Windows to repair (which I didn't)

    -I then managed to get an ISO of a Windows 8.1 64bits OEM which I place into a USB properly formated as fat32 to boot as UEFI and I re-install Windows 8.1 after cleaning the whole and only 128GB SSD drive.
    -It all installed good, and I did not even have to write the Windows license (which I had written down just in case) as it seems it is record in the Bios (the low level UEFI in my case).
    -Then I started to install all the drivers (some of the recommended ones cannot even be installed!!) and they all work good but I have a problem with the brightness of the display

    THE DELL XPS 13 display brightness issue:

    -Dell promises a high brightness thanks to the backlight display technology, and it is true. When I first received my laptop 3 days ago I was amazed by the high bright screen (I had to reduce it a bit because it was too much)
    -But now after reinstalling Windows 8.1 and official drivers from Dell support page the brightness is not very bright, even at maximum.
    Something is not working well and I know it is not a Hardware issue because I am able to see the screen very bright when I am in the UEFI configuration screens, when Windows is loading and SOMETIMES after trying reinstalling the video drivers.
    -But then I touch the brightness (Fn key + F4 or F5) and it darkens again and cannot go that bright even at maximum. Also after reinstalling the driver and restarting the computer it does not work anymore. So I just enjoy the amazing brightness for a short time and I cannot have it working again.

    Anybody has experienced the same?? I don't know if it's a driver issue (I believe so, because there was also a conflict with the Realtek Audio showing at Device Manager although sounds was working good, but now it does not show anymore this yellow icon and everything seems good with drivers, at least Windows says so because I know not everything is good...)

    PD: Linux alpha version Ubuntu 14.04 supports the built-in display, so I guess it is a matter of time until a stable Linux distro works good with this laptop. So as long as I can solve the issue with brightness I could say I am satisfied.. Until then I am quite dissapointed about many small issues.
     
  8. Dzyur

    Dzyur Newbie

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    Hey man, im in New Zealand too and just got mine like 3 days ago. I havent spent much time with it but atm I have the coil whine when the keyboard backlight is on. It seems to go away when playing a video for some reason so obviously a software problem?

    Also the brightness problem your having, have you tried flashing a torch or bright light at the screen? Its probably the dell auto brightness thingy that adjust with the sensor. I noticed that in a dark room even with it being on full brightness it still wont be that bright unless your in a very lit room then the minimum brightness level is adjusted.
     
  9. realavaloro

    realavaloro Newbie

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    You were right! This brightness is managed by some kind of sensor and the function to rely on it is enabled by default.
    I got it solved clicking on the battery icon, then power options and configuring the power options for the current plan (balanced in my case)
    Then in advanced options there is a list with an entry called Display. Expanding it I could disable this brightness sensor option. All good now! The maximum brightness now is really bright.

    The weird sound I agree it could be sw related.

    And the linux problem.. finally I have installed it on a virtual machine.


    I'm a little bit happier now with it :)
     
  10. Dzyur

    Dzyur Newbie

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    Oh true, thanks for that :) I wasn't bothered to try find a solution for it :p

    Glad your happy with it now :) Also the touchpad is bit weird with all the gestures so I just disabled all the windows 8 gestures since im on desktop mode 95% of the time :)
     
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