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Dell XPS 15 R2 - L502x - Owners Lounge

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by zygotic, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. zygotic

    zygotic Notebook Consultant

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    Thread for owners of the 2011 Dell XPS 15 laptop with Sandy Bridge processors. There is an order progress thread here
    [​IMG]

    The laptop is mainly plastic, with an aluminium top panel and a metalish palmrest area. Keyboard is a new island style one, whether you get a backlit one or not. Typing seems comfortable - keys don't seem stiff, as some reviews have suggested.

    Dell in the UK often deny that a backlit keyboard exists, but it does and is available and has p/n 583-14899 (thanks Occams). You may need to order by phone to get it. After purchase you can get it from the Dell UK parts and accessories supplier.

    UK editions come with an HSPA (mobile broadband) card, whether you ask for it or not. Other countries can have a TV tuner with external aerial (not available in the UK) or WWAN. TV tuner can apparently receive OTA HD signal (not satellite). All countries seem to have the SIM slot (under the battery) regardless of whether you have the WWAN card, suggesting that you could add such a card later. The number of antennae installed varies - some have a full set regardless of which cards are ordered, others have only the antennae required for the cards ordered. Antennae are threaded through the hinges into the screen bezel.

    The CPU and GPU do get warm, CPU in the low 50s in light use. 6 cell battery gave me 2.5 hours with 33% remaining, while browsing and streaming audio. I have got the CPU to hit 100C and throttle, while intentionally stressing it. I've also seen the CPU clock down to 2Ghz - below it's base speed - while under heavy load.

    It's not milled out of a solid block of magnesium and the screen is glossy. It feels less solid than an MBP but I worked out that the equivalent Apple machine would have been around £1000 more - and would've been missing a mouse button.

    The 1080p screen is the reason I got this laptop - and I'm not disappointed. It's an AUO17ED - AU Optronics B156HW01 v7. Blue LED backlight, red and green phosphor. B+RGLED, rather than individual RGB LEDs in the XPS16 backlight.

    It seems that, at least for now, you can't duplicate your desktop to a TV/projector using the HDMI output and the Fn+F1 options - can only extend. You can duplicate using the displayport output though, and so using a DP to HDMI adaptor. This may be fixed now, using beta drivers from Nvidia.

    Some links...

    Other forum threads


    Dell Service Manual
    Dell Downloads - download the software that was pre-installed on your laptop (e.g. PowerDVD) - good for after clean install or rebuild.

    Reviews

    Note that review prices sometimes don't seem to match the options they describe. Also not all options are available in all countries.

    A calibrated display profile for the B+RGLED screen, generated at 5 blocks brightness. Screens vary, including a single screen over time, but it should be better than stock. View attachment L502x-B_RGLED.zip
     
    Lasted edited by : Feb 6, 2015
  2. slb1904

    slb1904 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for opening and getting the thread going zygotic!

    Received mine on Monday and have been consolidating data from an old laptop. Also installing applications, customizing browsers and that sort of stuff at the moment.

    Won't be using the touchpad at all so won't bother customizing that.

    Which notebook cooler do people recommend? Never had one before and wouldn't know what the benchmark for a good or bad one. Thinking of getting it for when I start playing a few games. (likes of FIFA L4D2)

    Screen looks great! Sound is very good too.

    Overall I am very happy so far.
     
  3. deerchaser

    deerchaser Notebook Consultant

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    I ordered mine with the stock 4 gigs of ram. Had a WEI 0f 5.9 on the memory. I replaced it with Crucial DDR3 1333 2x4 kit ($85). WEI is now 7.5 on the new ram. I can see a big difference in overall performance. The ram dell used in my system was horribly slow for ddr3 1333.
     
  4. Occams_Cat

    Occams_Cat Notebook Guru

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    Good plan Zygotic :)

    Had mine 5 days - I love it, it's faster than my i7920 desktop, travel friendly and the screen is very good. Good battery life and relatively quiet, great selection of ports (Boooo, no VGA) and the build quality appears very good.

    i7-2630QM, 8GB RAM, UK Backlit KB, 1920x1080, GT-540M 2GB, 9 Cell.

    Runs a tad warm at full CPU/GPU capacity - though not enough to really ever be an actual issue in real life. Would prefer a higher RAM limit.

    Mine arrived with no WiFi - the aerials had not been attached to the WWLAN chip and the BluRay drive was faulty - drive was rubbing and sticking and the drive would not show in 'My Computer'. Dell, the cheeky so-and-so's, sent me a replacement for the drive - a refurbished 9 month old, used and scratched drive which was a lower spec, slower drive than the one I had originally purchased. Mine was a Hitachi CT 30N 6x BR drive made in Jan 2011 - Dell sent me a refurbed Hitachi CT 10N 4.8x BR drive made in July 2010. However - Dell had also included an HSDPA module (with GPS, nice) even though I had not ordered it or paid for it.

    This is a BRAND NEW laptop that they are expecting me to put refurbed older, slower versions of hardware into just 4 days after I received it! Needless to say Dell support was about as useful as a chocolate fire guard and after £25 in phone calls to their 0844 number they are still unable to pull their house in order and ship me a new replacement drive of equal or greater spec. Rubbish.

    In short - I love the laptop, but don't bother getting the BR option as it's only a £55 upgrade on ebay for a new one and you'll get the standard slim line DVD player too :) Swapping them is easy.

    I have put 8GB 1333MHz Crucial RAM in, and also a drive caddy in the Optical bay with the original Dell cover on it so it looks the same, with an extra 500GB HDD. The BR drive is run externally off the eSATAp socket using a SATA to eSATAp cable.

    Fantastic laptop - Weak point as ever, Dell's very hit or miss customer and warranty services. Shame.
     
  5. casper27

    casper27 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Had mine for 2 days now and all seems good apart from a small bulge in the keyboard. It is in the centre left hand side where the a,s and d keys are. I really havn't noticed any dramas with heating issues although I have not stress tested it. I ordered the 720p screen as I did not think it would make a difference for my use and I must say I am quite happy with it. I know im going to get scolded by a few on here but I really don't see me wanting to replace it any time soon which I was looking into after reading some of the comments on here. Overall really pleased with it
    i72630, 6gb Ram, 720p, 540m 2Gb, 9 cell.
     
  6. Devastator

    Devastator Notebook Enthusiast

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    Any chance you could post a link to the drive caddy you purchased for the extra 500Gb disk?
     
  7. Occams_Cat

    Occams_Cat Notebook Guru

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    I have edited the post above with the links you need. I ordered from the UK and it was an A1 top service getting here in a few days - fit was 100% perfect.
     
  8. nightswimmer

    nightswimmer Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the info. :) How did you go about getting this? Did you place an order online and then call afterwards (if so, who did you call), or did you place an order over the phone?

    I ordered on-line as I used the 10% discount code and went through Quidco for a further 10%, but when I called to ask them to add the backlit keyboard, they said there was no way to change the order.
     
  9. Occams_Cat

    Occams_Cat Notebook Guru

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    I was lucky and got Dell to add it on to my order for £30 at the point of ordering - don't ask me why they did it for my order, i just don't know. I always add a few configured systems to 'my basket' then call up and haggle. The BL KB can be purchased separately from Dell for around £55, I think. Kinda sucks that it's not a standard option, doesn't it?
     
  10. nightswimmer

    nightswimmer Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks OC. Yeah it sucks. :( I can't understand why the same options aren't available across the board - makes no sense.
     
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