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Hands-On WIth Dell's 4K Infinity Edge-Equipped Laptops ( 77

MojoKid writes: Dell's 2015 version of the XPS 13, the company's 13-inch premium ultrabook, is arguably one of the most acclaimed laptops of the year, with its "Infinity Edge" display that comes in resolutions from 1080p up to UHD 4K, with almost no bezel, and a carbon fiber composite chassis design with a machined aluminum lid. Based on the product's success in the market, Dell recently announced they were bringing the design approach and 4K Infinity Edge display to both their XPS 15 consumer based ultrabooks as well as their Precision 15 professional line up. At Dell World 2015 this week Austin, the company had both 15-inch versions on display for demos and this quick hands on shows just how compact and well-built the machines are, though they're also now refreshed with Intel Skylake processors and PCIe NVMe SSDs.
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Hands-On WIth Dell's 4K Infinity Edge-Equipped Laptops

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  • XPS 15 is a productivity powerhouse that can also be used for multimedia and gaming.

    It's going to fry .

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A review would have been interesting, this is just fluff.

    • I particularly like how the first link is to another of his clickbait "articles". It furbishes a genre-spanning experience which will appeal to both constituencies, without appearing to be a forced mash-up.

      I give it 4.5 stars.

  • by qubezz ( 520511 ) on Saturday October 24, 2015 @05:48AM (#50792495)

    I've tried to use these keyboards, and just can't get used to them. It seems like laptops have come with flatter and flatter chicklet keyboards, with less travel, that just doesn't allow the fingers to find home. There is no dish to the key caps and no dish to the rows. Looks good, feels like crap.

    Now that the screen dictates the size of the laptop, it's also disappointing to see all the wasted bezel space around a smushed keyboard, with shortcut and function keys to get to 9-key cluster that would be above the arrows. Even page up/down over there would be a plus. Direction arrows at least exist here though.

    At least the touchpad area is generous, but again, that makes it impossible to rest your palms anywhere without the cursor going nuts.

    Took reviewing the video to see that the screen is glossy mirror finish. Another looks shiny, is actually crap, feature.

    Please give power users a laptop free of "modern" bling.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Writing from a 2014 Dell Latitude E7440. Non-chiclet keyboard, quite standard layout (Ctrl at the corner, etc), 1080p matte, metal hinges that open up to 180 (pi rad), ~1.7kg, trackpoint with 3 physical buttons :) (BTW, all of that for 700 GBP (UK Universities deal), practically equivalent to T440s (~1000 GBP).)

      Gimme those "little things" (specially the trackpoint!) instead of the crappy chicletness, glossiness, dumb layout, etc. and I am yours, XPS!

    • by jbond23 ( 525878 )
      +1 about the keyboard. home-end-pgup-pgdn on FN versions of the arrow keys is ridiculous. And the enter key needs to be about twice as big.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It looks like they reused a keyboard from a smaller model, rather than making a bigger one for this form factor. I have an 15" NEC LaVie Z that has a full size keyboard with nunpad.

      The touchpad on mine is intelligent enough to reject palm presses and small enough that it doesn't get pressed accidentally when typing anyway I don't see the advantage of a big pad over a really good small one, it just means more hand movement. Then again I have my mouse set to maximum sensitivity too.

    • I don't know about Dell, but Apple and Lenovo seemed to do a decent job on their chicklet keyboards, when using them has a natural feel.
      Toshiba on the other hand seems to hire idiots to design they keyboards Chicklet or not.

    • by rasmusbr ( 2186518 ) on Saturday October 24, 2015 @09:20AM (#50792889)

      I'm fine with they keyboard size, but the mirror-like screen totally ruins almost all laptops nowadays for me.

      I recently spent about $1k extra to get a Mac instead of a high-end Windows laptop, just because the Mac has ever so slightly less screen glare. After a few weeks of using it I have to say that was money well spent.

      I suppose I must be unusually annoyed by screen glare compared to most people, but I think that I am not the only one, and I think if Dell or Asus would release a high end laptop with a matte screen option for say $300 extra on top of the regular price, they would probably find a nice niche market.

      • I think if Dell or Asus would release a high end laptop with a matte screen option for say $300 extra on top of the regular price, they would probably find a nice niche market.

        They already do. Dell's XPS 13 (non-touch) is in fact a matte screen (IPS, 1920x1080, and one of the best I've seen). I'd assume that the non-touch version of this XPS 15 laptop will also be a matte screen (but you'd want to check this). (Having a touch screen obviously requires a glossy overlay for the digitiser, so you'll always be limited to the non-touch variants.)

        • Yeah, I was choosing between the 15" MacBook Pro and the Dell XPS 15 and I was leaning towards the Dell with the matte screen, until I discovered that it was no longer available in my market.

          The new XPS 15 will be available in mid-November, hopefully with a matte screen option. 1920x1080 is a bit on the low side for a 15" laptop, but it is acceptable, especially when you save $1k+ compared to a Mac.

          • Yeah, it's annoying that the only >1920x1080 options for the Dell XPSes are the touchscreen options. On the plus side, though, by buying the lower-res screens you apparently gain massively in battery life.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      At least the touchpad area is generous, but again, that makes it impossible to rest your palms anywhere without the cursor going nuts.

      System Settings > Input Devices > Touchpad > Sensitivity > [X] Palm Detection & Enable/Disable Touchpad > [X] Disable touchpad when typing

      Problem solved.

      I'm surprised more people don't know about this.

    • Regarding keyboards, I took some crazy glue and put a dot of glue on the F and the J keys. That elevated dot on each key works to allow my fingers to find the home keys.

  • coil whine (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cronq ( 169424 ) on Saturday October 24, 2015 @07:24AM (#50792647) Homepage

    Did they finally fix annoying coil whine? Dell wasn't able to do that for their top XPS models in last 2.5 years. Replacement boards also had this issue and Dell didn't care.

    Here is 56 pages thread: []

    Qualiity is crap these days :-(

  • Very disappointed that these machines don't support at least 32 gigabytes of RAM, especially the 15inch. We've been stuck at 16 gig now for like 5 years in this class of machine. I'm hoping the new "retro thinkpad" hopefully out next year will be the machine of choice for developers.
    • by drsmithy ( 35869 )

      You can put 32GB into the Precision laptops - they have four slots.

      Of course, they're a bit bigger and heavier than these.

  • by Provocateur ( 133110 ) <> on Saturday October 24, 2015 @08:16AM (#50792729) Homepage

    I am asking Dell to ship laptops. with no OS encumbrances. No MS tax.

    Are you still beholden to MS' bullying tactics? Where Michael sold his soul and signed on the dotted line?

    Or are you hardware makers, pure and simple?

    Ship this flagship notebook, without an OS. This is your wake-up call. Go mano a mano with the big boys. I think it is time. The Force awakens. We can buy your Windows-encumbered hardware, sure, and reach for the moon. Or you can sell us the hardware with our choice of a distro, and we can shoot for Mars instead.

    This is your wake-up call, Dell.

    Pop quiz: Do you hit the snooze button? Or show them there's a new sheriff in town, and he would like to play on your sandlot.

    • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Saturday October 24, 2015 @11:04AM (#50793109)

      I am asking Dell to ship laptops. with no OS encumbrances. No MS tax.

      The geek has been whining about this since the nineties and the answer is always the same. The mass market shopper in his tens of millions buys nothing but the plug-and-play product.

      The "known good" balanced and tested configuration of hardware and software that will meet his expectations of price and performance without hassle --- and can be returned for refund or exchange under warranty if it doesn't.

      Walmart, with its enormous purchasing power, wasted about ten years trying to find a credible Linux system that could be sold and serviced for significantly less than the budget HP or Dell desktop. Nothing ever came of it.

      The real meaning of the M$ tax is that the product that sells in very small numbers will always be always harder to find and cost you more.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward []

      Who's your daddy now ?

    • by firewrought ( 36952 ) on Saturday October 24, 2015 @12:39PM (#50793387)

      Both the XPS 13 Developer Edition and the Precision M3800 come with Linux, though it takes some searching to find ( seems the best starting point). IIRC, you actually pay ~$70-80 less for selecting Linux.

      By contrast, I wasn't able to find any similar offerings from Lenovo, Asus, HP, etc. Say what you want about Dell, but they seem to be the only big name competing for Linux in the laptop space. (There are several small players/re-branders of course, but their products are very generic since they don't have the engineering expertise.)

    • by Cramit ( 609487 )
      Dell has a developer version of the XPS 13 inifinity edge laptop that is $100 cheaper and ships with Ubuntu pre-installed. Furthermore the hardware is identical so all drivers are supported for install on the widows version. I am assuming that with a little work these drivers and tools could be ported to other distros if needed. I plan on getting the windos version of an XPS in the next year or two so that I can install linux and use the windows licence on a virtual machine as I am now so that I can run Aut
    • I am asking Dell to ship laptops. with no OS encumbrances. No MS tax.

      In the time it took you to write that you could have just looked on Dell's website and found that you can get an XPS 13 with Ubuntu 14.04LTS preloaded.

      As for no operating system at all, DO NOT WANT!

      Last thing I want is to buy an off the shelf product and then actually screw around trying to get drivers / hardware working. If it doesn't work out of the box it doesn't get bought, unless I built the box myself.

  • Almost Perfect (Score:4, Informative)

    by jon3k ( 691256 ) on Saturday October 24, 2015 @10:40AM (#50793033)
    They even make a developer edition running Ubuntu []. The problem is, all the reviews point out the poor keyboard and trackpad. Deal breaker for me. I'll stick with Macbooks until I can get something at least as good. Why is it so hard for anyone else to build a trackpad that good?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I have one of the new XPS 13's and the trackpad isn't too troublesome at all. One day a Windows update came out that forced me to recalibrate it, and that sort of thing has been standard for the machine since I got it, but things seem to have stabilized now and it works pretty well. The keyboard IS a little flat, but it works better than any other keyboard in the same form-factor that I've tried. Whether or not it's a form factor worth having is a different discussion.

  • by interval1066 ( 668936 ) on Saturday October 24, 2015 @11:51AM (#50793269) Homepage Journal
    Prolly not gonna replace my MacBookPro 13" Retina running Mint any time soon, this thing is awesome.
  • How many years before 64K displays become the norm?

    These won't be your ordinary TV or PC displays though - there's not much point in cramming 64K into something that typically takes up 10%-30% (left to right) of an average viewer's field of vision. 16K, maybe, but 64K, not for your average viewer.

    No, these will either be wall-sized displays that are intended for people to view "up close" at least some of the time, "virtual reality" displays that are intended to fill up almost all of the field of view, or "

Forty two.