XPS 15 (Haswell) Owner's Lounge

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by mark_pozzi, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Cincinnatux

    Cincinnatux Notebook Guru

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    Hmmm. One of the things I like about Lenovo's ThinkPads (up until this year's crop, anyway) is that they rounded the front edge of the palmrest for a more comfortable, sustained typing experience. I have read elsewhere people complain about the MBP industrial design for the sharp leading edge on its palmrest (following from the 'much better to look good than to feel good' school of design), and I am really hoping I don't find the 9530's front edge annoying.

    Aesthetic style is the one area where the XPS is a poor fit for me. I dislike design where form dictates function rather than following from it. Apple has tried to balance the two (and, in my opinion, consistently failed) and it saddens me that so many of the 'premium' laptops out there today have adopted the Ikea-like super simplicity/minimalist design that Apple has made so famous. I'm not a fan of chiclet keys, and I like having an extra row of keys above dedicated function keys for media controls and office software shortcuts. I prefer laptop speakers that face me (versus ones that face the work surface) because they give a more consistent audio response than approaches that depend on the environment to resonate or reflect sound waves. I appreciate the clean lines of Apple's products and I like that Apple has driven other computer makers to rethink design, but Apple's aesthetic is a bit too sterile for me. I actually like a little machine clutter that provides me with the flexibility to use the device as I see fit.

    But the XPS and the rMBP are the only two laptops out there that combine a strong CPU, discrete GPU of at least medium heft, hiDPI touchscreen, and a wide assortment of ports in a laptop not designed to be a workstation replacement. So I'll make do with the (over simplified) design in order to get the performance that lies beneath the surface.

    Has anyone else found the palmrest to have a sharp leading edge? If so, are there any simple fixes?
     
  2. Steve84N

    Steve84N Notebook Enthusiast

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    Palmrest front edge is not uncomfortable, in fact it's quite the opposite in my opinion.

    I'm using a Targus neoprene sleeve which has a nice design, fits well, has soft 'lips' to shield the laptop from the zip and was just £11. You can close the two zips up on the AC cable to leave it in whilst charging.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Targus-Pulse-Laptop-Sleeve-15-16/dp/B007IXNF86
     
  3. Afy

    Afy Notebook Guru

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    After playing with for a few hours: If they had followed the same design principle as the XPS 11 and given this a Wacom it would have been an absolute killer.
    I have updated the drivers etc, turned off the sleep mode for the USB et al. No complaints what so ever. Only gripe for some reason my 8.1 keys from MSDN don't seem to work. Any ideas why?

    I also think we should have a separate thread for all the minor and major tweaks et al. This one is becoming to big to search through.
     
  4. [-Mac-]

    [-Mac-] Notebook Deity

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    Seems that touch screen has a huge impact in power consumption, you can see that in a comparison between Samsung Ativ Book 8 with and without touch screen:

    [​IMG]

    -40% of battery life with touch screen version of Samsung Ativ Book 8 while performing Wi-Fi surf.

    If there was a way to disable it, we might have a big increase in battery life.
     
  5. jphughan

    jphughan Notebook Deity

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    Do we know that the machines were identical in every other respect and that the same tests were performed under the same conditions? That seems like too huge a difference to attribute to just a touchscreen. Not sure there's a way to actually kill power to the touchscreen in software, but if you have absolutely no use for it at all, just disconnect the cable itself inside the chassis; it's separate from the video cable. In fact if someone wants to perform a controlled battery life test before and after doing so, that would be hugely interesting.
     
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  6. swordofsilence

    swordofsilence Notebook Consultant

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    I thought at one point someone commented on battery life savings due to disabling touch input via Windows. I don't think it was very controlled and I think it was just one person.

    I too, am interested in this. The XPS 15 will be my first touch screen laptop and I am not sure if I will even use it that way. I am excited about trying it, but it might be one of those "okay, cool" things that you only use once. Knowing the battery life impact would help me make a more informed decision.
     
  7. jphughan

    jphughan Notebook Deity

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    This is my first touch laptop as well and I didn't think I'd use it either. Now granted I'm often not using the built-in panel at all due to my desk setup, but when I AM using that panel, I've found the touchscreen is part cool and (surprisingly) part actually useful. The cool part is actually the Photos app in Metro, which gives a smartphone experience with a much larger display for your photos, not to mention the awesome resolution and color performance of the QHD panel. And the usefulness factor comes in here and there. Sometimes reaching out to touch something is faster than moving the cursor all over the display with the touchpad (though keyboard shortcuts when available and known are faster still.) The only downside is that prolonged sustained use of the touchscreen isn't really an option because it's tiring to hold your arm up in the air constantly. Still, I'd encourage you to try it out. You may find that you like it despite expectations; that was my experience.
     
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  8. [-Mac-]

    [-Mac-] Notebook Deity

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    OK, but if you are in some situation in which you want the max battery life could be useful to know if it's possible to disable the touch screen to maximize the battery life specially if touch screen has a impact so big as for Samsung Ativ Book 8.

    (The only difference the I know between Touch and no Touch model is ram configuration 8GB soldered for touch screen and 4GB soldered + 4GB in expansion slot for no touch model)
    Maybe I have lost something you can check the reviews:
    Review Samsung ATIV Book 8 Touch 880Z5E X01 Notebook - NotebookCheck.net Reviews
    Review Samsung Series 7 Chronos 770Z5E-S01DE Notebook - NotebookCheck.net Reviews
     
  9. arass

    arass Notebook Enthusiast

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    Ugg. Can anyone help me with steam? Every game I try to open in full screen loses the pointer. It still works but does not show up. Tried a bunch of different options in the mouse control panel with no improvement. Other (non-steam) games open in full screen and seem to work OK (or at least do not lose the pointer). Not sure if the problem is the high dpi monitor or the win 8. would be grateful for any suggestions or advice.
     
  10. kaborchers

    kaborchers Notebook Guru

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    I have been playing Skyrim via Steam and have had no pointer issues. Have you optimized the settings for the game via the Geforce Experience App? Also, have you updated to the latest Nvidia drivers? I know that the latest update solved some pointer/scaling issues. Nvidia has a new OEM driver downloadable through the same Geforce Experience app (accessible in the system tray usually). Give it a try and see if it helps?
     
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