XPS 15 (Haswell) Owner's Lounge

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

  1. is250

    is250 Notebook Geek

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    Anyone find a mini displayport to HDMI 2.0 converter? Want to buy a 4K TV and use it as a monitor @ 4K 60hz.
  2. gd00022

    gd00022 Newbie

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    Hello guys. I just have a question regarding battery life. I have the mid tier configuration with 1tb HDD. My battery doesnt' last for more than 2 hours. Is this normal or should I contact dell?
  3. wateroftyne

    wateroftyne Newbie

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    Same for me.. two hours tops, which I suppose is OK under that kind of use.

    Other than that, happy so far...
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
  4. turkishdelight

    turkishdelight Notebook Geek

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    Can Dell ignore a customer? I believe that they are simply ignoring my emails. Been weeks since I sent one and no response. Just sent another one to see if anything happens.
  5. KamaL

    KamaL Notebook Consultant

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    Any recommendations for a good docking station for our XPS 15?
    I'm planning on buying a 24" monitor and a wireless keyboard and mouse, so I can use it for longer periods of time.

    I need a solution to easily connect the laptop to a single port (USB 3.0) and have all other devices connected at once.

    I read good things about this one:

    Thanks in advance
  6. adlerhn

    adlerhn Notebook Consultant

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    Call them. Dell Ireland never reply to any of my emails. It looks as though they like wasting our time.
  7. turkishdelight

    turkishdelight Notebook Geek

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    Well I've been in contact with my Dell escalation agent since December and all of a sudden after I complained about a defective "new replacement unit" they stopped responding to me... typically when I send an email to the agent outside business hours I'd get an automated message back saying that it's outside office hours and they'll contact me later and I don't even get that. Just seems very fishy...

    Battery health at 83% per Dell diagnostics...not even been a month yet
  8. IceManKent

    IceManKent Notebook Consultant

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    I felt it was due time to provide an update to my own saga - regarding all the issues with my xps15 top
    tier, and where things are now, today.

    A bit of HISTORY:

    Unit #1:
    My original.
    It had blue screen issues from the start and other problems so I had Dell give me a new one as I was
    within my 30-day return period.

    Unit #2:
    This one worked well for me and I was happy with its performance, however after a few months, it began
    having fan-issues - where for some reason the fan would go to its maximum speed, then an app would crash,
    like Quickset, IE, or the Intel Display Driver.
    Then, one day, the pc simply would not turn on. Dell said the motherboard was bricked.
    I had Dell send me a new unit - a system exchange.

    Unit #3:
    Fyi - this one had Bios A07 installed.
    This one had issues with the trackpad - basically unreliable, jumpy, and unusable.
    It had issues with the display quality - weird bubbles and smears.
    It also had flaky wifi performance.
    I called Dell and demanded they send me another new system exchange.

    Unit #4:
    This is the one I now have - and my observations are as follows below:

    I got Unit #4 - my system exchange last week.
    For those that are curious - it came with Bios A08.
    Previous XPSs (the three previous ones) - had the QHD display, and the Intel AC-7260 wifi/bluetooth.
    This new system exchange has a 2160p (4K) display, and a DW 1560 wifi/bluetooth.

    I thought I would just use my existing SSD in the new laptop, but that did not work out so well.
    I found that the new machine had some different hardware inside that was causing some issues with
    drivers, etc that were loaded on my existing SSD.
    When I used my existing SSD in the new system, there were device manager issues with the wifi, the Intel
    Rapid Start and Rapid Storage devices.

    I decided to just use the SSD that came with the new pc - and go through the painstaking task of
    reinstalling all my programs and data.
    So, once all that was done I decided to run this new unit through some paces, to see if it had any issues
    (like Unit #3 had).

    Here's what I noticed on Unit #4 - the one I have now:

    - Chassis.
    One screw (lower right corner) on the bottom - was already stripped.
    Someone at the factory must have been having a bad day.
    In any event, the other screws were ok - I just need to be careful with that corner, as I just know that
    screw will fall out someday on its own and be lost forever.
    When closed, the display does not stay closed as tightly as the other units I have had.
    In fact, if you suspend it from the back and wobble it a bit, it is obvious that there is not enough
    tension being placed on the display to keep it firmly closed - as it flaps a little bit - as if it is
    Not a deal-breaker, just odd that this kind of thing can happen.

    - Display Resolution.
    The 3840x2160 (4K) resolution is actually a better fit than the QHD, regarding how it plays with the
    scaling in windows.
    Out of the box, the pc had the scaling turned all the way up - to 250%.
    This looked horrible, as almost everything looked "fuzzy".
    I dialed it down 1 notch lower - to 200%, and that made it look perfect - actually the exact setup as
    1920x1080 (1080p). Everything looked sharp and clear.
    The only negative with this resolution is that you had better have a magnifying glass handy for those
    apps that do not scale at all. There is no way a normal human can read text that small !!

    - Display Quality.
    It is not all perfect.
    This display actually has a bit more light bleeding going on in the lower left corner and a tiny bit on
    the entire right side. It is noticeable when the background is supposed to be black - for example when
    viewing a video that is letterboxed.
    I am not happy about it - but it is something I am prepared to live with as it is not (too) distracting.
    There are no dead or stuck pixels.
    The quality of images is very good.
    The brightness of this 4K display is slightly less than the QHD display. I would estimate that this 4K
    display can produce only 80% of the brightness of the QHD display.
    Once again, I am not happy about this, but it is not a deal-breaker.

    - Touchpad.
    The system exchange (Unit #3) had a HORRIBLE touchpad - that would not track your finger properly, would jump all over the place and would be hard to control.
    This new system exchange is much better, but not as good as my system exchange #2 (the one that died of
    motherboard issues).
    I would like to point out something I noticed about the trackpads on the various units I have had.
    The ones that worked well (like my laptop #1, #2, and this one - #4) - had a trackpad that was super
    smooth and slippery - like polished glass.
    The laptop #3 (that I sent back) - had a trackpad that had a more rubbery / rough texture to it.
    It was very noticeable as an obvious difference between it and the other units I had.
    This is important to note - as those of you with trackpad issues most likely have the rough/rubbery
    trackpad. I don't know why Dell has two different types of trackpads for the same laptop - as clearly
    the rubbery/rough surfaced ones are not working properly.

    - WIFI.
    I immediately noticed that there was something wrong/different with the WiFi.
    The signal strength was lower, the connection speed was lower, and the WiFi would actually disconnect
    This NEVER happened with my laptops #1 and #2. (I did not have time to troubleshoot #3 very much as I was so angry about its issues I did not use it much).
    In any event - the WIFI was noticeably POOR compared to how the others had performed.
    This new system #4 was using a Dell Wireless 1560. THIS was the issue.
    I tested wireless performance everywhere I always use the laptop in my home and the connectivity was
    flaky and slow.

    I called Dell and told them I wanted them to send me a replacement Wifi card - the Intel ac7260 - which
    was the card that I KNEW worked well in my previous laptops.
    They shipped me a new Intel 7260 card, (it arrived Today) - I installed it, and it worked WELL - just as
    it did in my previous laptops.
    The signal strength and stability was back to the performance level I was used to in my other units.

    The only issue I had was with the Bluetooth.
    For some reason, the Device Manager kept disabling it, as it found errors with it.
    After troubleshooting it for a while - I eventually found the problem.
    There was an application that was installed (for use with the DW 1560) that was causing the
    After I UN-installed it - (WIDCOMM Bluetooth Software), the bluetooth functioned normally again.
    SO, if any of you get a new system and it has the DW 1560 in it - and you are having WiFi performance
    issues - you should replace it with the Intel ac7260 - as it would appear the DW (Broadcom) card is a
    much inferior product.
    And, DON'T FORGET to UN-install the apps that go with that card !

    - Coil Whine.
    Units #1 and #2 had absolutely NO coil whine.
    Unit #3 DID have coil whine.
    Sadly, Unit #4 has coil whine also.
    This is an issue that Dell had reportedly fixed - which I can tell you is obviously not true.
    I do NOT like it, but after all that I have been through - I am not interested in asking for yet another
    system exchange for this issue.
    It is annoying to hear the squealing/screeching/scratching coil whine noise - but I will learn to deal
    with it in time - against my better judgement.

    So that's the long, sordid story of what I have experienced - to date.

    I am happy that I got the Wifi Card replaced - as that is working well now with the Intel card.
    I am satisfied with the 2160p display - for the most part.
    I am satisfied with the trackpad.

    With the track record of quality and malfunctions I have experienced with the Dell XPS 15, I would have
    to assume this will not be the end of things - but, for now, I have a laptop that is currently working
    well-enough for my needs.

    I hope that my post serves to assist the rest of you in finding resolution to your own issues with this
    laptop. One can only hope !

    PS - I hope I did not jinx myself / my Unit #4 by writing this !
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
  9. turkishdelight

    turkishdelight Notebook Geek

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    Along with this electric sound distortion that some here have been experiences I had also experienced a rattling noise when using the laptop's external speakers. If anyone experiences this it's caused by improperly installed speakers and the fix-luckily- is quite easy"

    [​IMG]This part here is meant to hold the speaker between the chassis of the laptop and the and bolt and prevent vibrating.

    What happened with mine at least was that the laptop right speaker was installed completely underneath this rubber sponge as opposed to placed into the groove depicted.

    Just unscrew the battery so you can get underneath the speaker and pop it out then place it properly between the sponge grooves and place it back in. Should fix issue!

    Pretty simple fix and may not affect many but for me at least the rattling it caused when using external speakers was extremely annoying....

    Hope this helps!

    Attached Files:

  10. cmoya

    cmoya Notebook Geek

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    There is a trick to this. Try to close the lid by pulling forward on the bottom left and right edges of the screen NOT the more natural pulling down from the top-center above the camera. If you do pull down from the top, then once it is down halfway push down on the Dell logo to finish closing it.

    The reason for this is that the tension coils that keep the screen in place so you can use the touch features of the screen also fight back as you're pulling down the screen from the top and the result is that it never really closes.
    clifforama likes this.

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