Any Dell XPS 13 Owners?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Replytoken, May 15, 2017.

  1. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I have been mulling the purchase of a compact laptop/notebook for possible work and travel use for some months, but may actually be needing one in the near future. After extensive research, I was strongly considering Dell's XPS 13. Reviewers seem to gush over this model, but I do remind myself that many of them never met a pieced of equipment that they did not like (and if they did you would probably not see a highly critical review of it). But, in looking at user experiences, there seemed to be a number of folks calling out known design/manufacturing issues, and I am not really able to separate an unbiased sample from a bad trend. Are there any XPS13 owners here that can share their experiences, good or bad?

    Thanks,

    --Ken
     
  2. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I bought one for my wife nearly 18 months ago. Her criteria was it needed to be as small and lightweight as possible, but do what she needed and have a decent screen. Her needs were mainly word processing, online research and such. We opted not to get the touchscreen. She would have preferred it, but at the time it added ~$500 to the price.

    It has been a really great machine. The nearly bezel-less screen is fantastic. Physically it is the size of other manufacturers 11 inch models, but has the 13 inch screen. My wife appreciates the size and it has been more than capable for her needs.

    A few issues have cropped up. On occasion the keyboard and trackpad becomes slow and/or non-responsive. I get the feeling that this is more an issue with Windows Sleep/hibernate than the device itself. (Why is this so difficult for Microsoft?) Lately, the speaker has been making static, or malfunctioning. It almost sounds like a bad connection somewhere inside.

    I would have no problem recommending it for something similar to my wife's use case. If you are needing to do more powerful things - image and/or video stuff - it may or may not be ideal. It really depends on your use. I am sure it can run LR fine, though.

    I think HP makes a similar type of machine now, the Spectre. Others probably do as well.
     
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  3. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    The primary purpose would be access to MS Office as I need to frequently use the Track Changes in MS Word, and this is not available in the web-based version of Office. Photo editing, while nice, would not be the primary use.

    --Ken
     
  4. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    If that is the use case and you are fine with the screen size, then I think it would work for you.
     
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  5. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    I bought one for my daughter about a year ago. She uses it with an Office 365 installation on her laptop and it hasn't really had any issues. Besides that, she uses it for occasional programming and some basic video work. I think it is a great carry around all-day everyday laptop.

    I have a several years old Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro which I use for similar purposes (and number crunching on the go and photo editing on vacations). Not sure what the reviews are for the latest version, but I really like mine and would recommend it as well.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
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  6. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    I've had one for about a year. My needs were writing, work, and photos, in that order. I cross-shopped a Macbook and Razer Blade Stealth. The wide gamut of the Razer display would have been nice but it did not have an SD card reader. The Macbook didn't have an SD card reader either and was more expensive.

    I opted for the non-touch version of the XPS13 with 128MB HD (swappable, I'm at 255 now) and 8GB RAM (soldered, so max out when you buy). Bought a crapware-free Signature Edition from the Microsoft Store when it was on sale.

    After some early teething problems (1st one had a wonky trackpad. 2nd one had a loose trackpad. 3rd one needed service because it would not go to sleep) it's now stable, quiet, small, and fast enough for my needs. Would I get it again? Despite the QC issues, probably, because Microsoft and Dell have been pretty good about service. I'd check out the Lenova Yoga and HP Spectre and Razer Blade Stealth as well.
     
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  7. rloewy

    rloewy Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 5, 2014
    Ron
    FWIW - The new Microsoft Surface notebook seems pretty decent too - and for a while now - the upgrade from Windows S to Windows Pro is free.

    While I do not have an XPS13 - we have one in the company and the user seems fine with it. I also carry an old Yoga Pro 2 at the moment - but will likely upgrade in the near future. My Yoga Pro 2 is fine and served me well, I just need a machine with more memory/disk - so will go to something that offers 16GB next time. I believe you can get 16GB of memory on the XPS13 2-in-1 (but maybe not on the regular XPS13?)
     
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  8. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I'm currently a ThinkPad owner (3rd machine), but Lenovo seems to have somewhat lost me over the years between the spyware and the explosion of different models. I have not written them off, but I am certainly open to other makes/models at this time.

    --Ken
     
  9. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    @John M Flores@John M Flores
    I'd probably go the same route as you, but I was not aware that the MS store put this model on sale. And speaking of the MS store, were they easy to deal with on your returns/exchanges, or did they make you work with Dell? I have little time (and patience) to deal with bad support these days, so anything that reduces the hassle factor is worth consideration. If Costco sold the base model I might consider buying it there as they have a 90-day return for defective merchandise. The last I looked, the had the top tier model only.

    --Ken
     
  10. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I have not seen much about the new notebook, but will give it an additional look.

    --Ken
     
  11. bioduck

    bioduck Mu-43 Regular

    26
    Jul 27, 2016
    Baton Rouge, LA, USA
    Dan
    I purchased an XPS13 last summer, and it has served my purposes well and without fail. The only complain I have of it is the incredibly awkward placement of the web cam. Battery life is great. SSD space is acceptable. It runs what programs I need without bogging down. I don't regret my purchase and would buy again.
     
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  12. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    I haven't really looked to replace my Lenovo, so I have not paid attention to Lenovo's lineup in any way. Likely, if I was to get another Lenovo, it would be the X1 Carbon but there seem to be a lot of good thin'n'lights out there now. When we looked at machines for my daughter, she and I both preferred the Dell over the comparably spec'ced Lenovo both for looks and price. I bought hers from Best Buy because I wanted to be sure that we could go in and swap it out within 30 days if something didn't work. I don't think you will go wrong with the Dell.

    BTW, I have a good and a bad experience with returns at a Microsoft store. But even the bad experience was resolved satisfactorily by the supervisor.
     
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  13. rloewy

    rloewy Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 5, 2014
    Ron
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  14. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I did take a look at their page, but I was hoping to hear some actual user experiences. Thankfully, I still have my TP T420 for the time being. It is big and heavy, but I installed a Samsung SSD to breathe a bit more life into it, so I am not without anything at the moment. But, every pound seems to count these days when I travel, or so my shoulder seems to say.

    --Ken
     
  15. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry

    Hi, I was at the MS store yesterday and looked at one briefly... Lightweight and thin. Slightly flexible feeling, but not unusual for the weight class.

    Personally, I'm looking right now for something that can handle 32gb ram, so I didn't take it too seriously.
     
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  16. rloewy

    rloewy Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 5, 2014
    Ron
    I do not believe they are actually shipping yet, so it is hard to get experience unless you work for Microsoft and beta-tested one, I suspect.
     
  17. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Currently have a Precision 5520 on order for work (similar to the XPS 15). There are some HW differences and drivers, but close. As a daily user I think the 13 might be too small for me, but as a light / travel machine? It would be right up there on my list.

    I looked at the Lenovo options and almost went for the T470p. But one odd thing pushed me to the Dell. You can get a standard 2.5 SSD OR a PCIe drive. But not both. The Dell has the option for both if you opt for the 56w battery so you're not trapped into WAY over paying for drive options. I have the Dell coming with the smallest/cheapest PCIe and I can then add another SSD or spinning drive when I need it or find a good sale.
     
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  18. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Funny story. The first time I went they offered me bottle of water as I waited. I posted a photo on Facebook. One of my friends commented, "They would have given you an espresso at the Apple Store."

    The next time I went, I relayed the story about the espresso. They didn't have espresso but they did make me a coffee. I posted a photo on Facebook.

    More seriously, the Microsoft Store was good to deal with. Not quite as buttoned up as the Apple Store (i.e., I was asked to write down my contact info on a Post-It note) but pretty good.

    The third time I needed service I tweeted Dell and they worked with me.
     
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  19. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    Finland
    Teemu
    Bought one about a year ago (i5, 8GB ram, 256GB SSD which I afterwards changed to a 512GB one, non-touch screen ofcourse). Immediately got rid of the awful Windows10 and installed a Windows 7 on it.

    It is a great device but it's not perfect. The touchpad definitely isn't the best one I've used and it does have a light "coil whine" (which honestly doesn't bother me). It is fast, it is light, the keyboard is great, the screen is wonderful and battery life is great. What's there not to like? It does everything it's supposed to. And you gotta love the super thin bezel too. :biggrin:

    EDIT: My wife hates the touchpad (and the "mouse buttons") and always remembers to remind me of that when she borrows my XPS for something. :rolleyes-38:
     
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  20. ThomD

    ThomD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    601
    Jun 1, 2013
    SF Bay Area
    I have one ( 16g, touchscreen, ssd), love it. I don't use the touch screen. My mom has one, loves it, loves the touch screen. (Costco had a great price at Christmas).

    I like the touch pad. It does require a little getting used to how it works, but it works fine. I too get a little coil whine, but it isn't loud and doesn't bother me.
     
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