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  • cloudgazer - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Apple upgraded the CPUs on their MBP line literally this morning, so the final comparison is a bit off. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Written earlier than this morning, but I appreciate the update. Apple still likes skimping on the RAM and fleecing you for RAM upgrades, but we can't expect much else. Reply
  • cloudgazer - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    No arguments there. First law of Apple is to buy your own RAM - though you always have to hang on to the original Apple supplied SODIMM in case you have to use AppleCare. Reply
  • S.D.Leary - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Thats odd. Every time I have used Applecare, I've had aftermarket RAM in my system, and they have never even mentioned it.

    SDLeary
    Reply
  • lukarak - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    They even offer guides on how to replace it. Of course they are not going to mention it. Reply
  • tipoo - Saturday, February 25, 2012 - link

    Changing RAM doesn't void the warrenty on the rest of the Mac, they just don't cover the new RAM. Reply
  • jecs - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    My current mobile computer is a Macbook Pro 2.0 from 2008 but I will wait more for my next laptop. However I am not looking for performance there. What I want is a very good screen, decent graphics and a nice and solid construction that could last for 3-4 years more. For performance I work with desktops. Reply
  • XLNC - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    I'm glad they brought attention to the horrid screen. We've been stuck with 1366x768 for far too long, because the vast majority don't understand what "resolution" means and get the cheapest laptop possible. This is one area where I applaud Apple, they provide high quality, high-res (16:10 in some cases!) screens. However, my search for a compact Windows laptop with a quality screen continues. Reply
  • FlyBri - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    I hear ya, which is why I caved and bought a MBA to run Windows 7. Quality is so far above anything else, it's completely worth it. Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    I wouldn't say so, Apple have always been slow with their screens particularly in resolution as rivals (particularly Dell and Sony) have been offering much higher resolution screens. Apple have been slow with higher resolution 13in panels, they're only offering the 1400x900 now whereas Sony have had 1600x900 13.1in panels for a couple of generations of their Z series and with the last generation were offering a 1920x1080 13.1in panel. I don't really understand how Apple have managed to get this reputation for screens given they're years behind their competition, the RGB LED backlit screens have been out a couple of years now but no sign of them on an Apple machine.

    I also disagree about what people think of resolutions, I don't think it's a case that vast majority don't want higher resolution. I'm a resolution junkie and my machines use high resolution panels but most people that use any of my machines find the resolution too high and want to turn it down and at work there's a surprising number of people who find their 17in 1280x1024 screens too high and run them at 1024x768 (which looks terrible as it's the wrong aspect ratio).

    John
    Reply
  • hechacker1 - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Apple's reputation I think is exaggerated because they take the time to factory color calibrate the screens. I don't think any other PC manufacturer does the same.

    But even Apple's factory calibration lately has tended toward the cooler 6800K temperatures instead of an ideal 6500K for web browsing or watching videos. They are playing into the fact that people tend to like the ultra bright, cool balanced screens that make them seen "bright and white" when comparing them side by side.

    Looking at past Anandtech reviews, it's clear the Macbook's generally have very high quality screens brightness, color quality, and contrast wise.

    Sure they are lacking in resolution on the laptops, but OS-X isn't resolution independent yet.
    Reply
  • kishorshack - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Go for DELL XPS 15 it has an awesome screen
    I can look at it for ages :)
    Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - link

    "This is one area where I applaud Apple, they provide high quality, high-res (16:10 in some cases!) screens."

    Rendered garbage by Apple's insistence on shoving pathetic glossy screens down customers' throats.

    Oh, you can pay $150 extra for matte on the biggest MBPs, but you can't get it on the machines most likely to leave the house: the 13" MBP or the Airs.

    Glossy screens are the biggest regression in computers ever. Yet manufacturers just get a free pass on this fraud.
    Reply
  • Stuka87 - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    So I like the small bezel around the screen. Its about time somebody did this (if somebody else has, I apologize for not knowing). This is one of the things that I really dislike about my Precision M4600. They could have easily fit a larger 16:10 display.

    Its a shame the quality of the display in the 14z is so poor. The rest of it seems to be a fairly decent design.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    I really wish they kept that 525M in there like the 15", the 520 is about half as fast. In fact, its not far from the HD3000. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    "I’m not sure why they include only one SS port, given the second USB port is right next to it."
    Not sure if this applies here, but I couldn't install Windows 7 from my USB stick on my Llano system with an AsRock A75M-ITX and A6-3500 CPU. It just didn't recognize the stick. In the USB 2.0 ports there was no problem. I guess it's driver issues. If that is the case, I can see why they want to keep at least one USB 2.0 port available.
    If that is not the case and USB 3.0 makes no problems when installing from media attached to it, then disregard this post. :-)
    Reply
  • dagamer34 - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Well, Windows 7 doesn't natively have USB 3.0 drivers included on the disk, so it's going to be confused by the chipset connected to that port. Should be fixed in Windows 8 though (it has native Windows 8 support). Reply
  • dagamer34 - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Ooops, I meant native USB 3.0 support. Reply
  • hechacker1 - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Isn't it backwards compatible though? The bios might have an option to run it in HiSpeed mode or whatever if it can't be detected as USB3.0 without a driver. Reply
  • jpochedl - Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - link

    USB3.0 can run at USB2.0 speeds, but the WinPE environment still needs a driver that supports the USB3.0 chipset in order to access the USB3.0 port.... Reply
  • Anonymous Blowhard - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    "We hope to have the 14z with GeForce GT 520M in for testing in the near future, and we’ll revisit the topic of graphics performance then"

    Spoiler alert: It's probably not worth the upgrade cost Dell is asking.

    Expect it to perform a little faster than a 320M or HD 3000. It has a little more shader muscle, but it will fall flat on its face in texture/render bound scenarios, or when that poor 64-bit memory bus chokes. Clock-bumped 410M, really.

    320M = 48:16:8 @ 450MHz, 128bit (shared) DDR3
    GT520M = 48:8:4 @ 740MHz, 64-bit DDR3

    GT525M would have been a better choice but they might have ran into thermal constraints. See the 3830TG for an example.
    Reply
  • dagamer34 - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    What's with PC manufacturers skimping on screen resolutions? 1366x768 on a 14" display should NOT be acceptable in this day and age. Heck, the MacBook Pro cramps that many pixels into a 11.6" display! Reply
  • Master_Sigma - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    $1,000+ for a laptop with a 1366x768 screen? Is this some kind of sick joke, or are there missing options in the Display category? Reply
  • ananduser - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Apple gives you a 1280x800 one for a higher price and with lower specs. Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - link

    "with lower specs"

    Uhh --- so your take-away from Anand's long review of the display and comparing it to a MacBook Pro was "the MacBook Pro display has worse specs"?
    My god --- that's some seriously broken reading comprehension.
    Reply
  • TegiriNenashi - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    What is this magic "p" letter. AFIR computer displays have "p" since 1980s. It is sad that diisplay resolution degraded to the point when TV screen quality is seen as benchmark. Reply
  • tipoo - Saturday, February 25, 2012 - link

    Technically any LCD running at non-native res will revert to i/interlaced mode, but I see your point. Reply
  • popej - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    On the picture on front page notebook looks like it had matte screen. Is it retouched? What's the reason to show false pictures in a review? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    The gallery images are the actual laptop; the front image is a Dell provided image, which may have been pre-rendered or at least retouched. I used it because I think it looks nice in the text of the article; if anyone buys the laptop because of that image and doesn't read the text, I'm not going to worry too much about it. :-) Reply
  • popej - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    I have read your article and I appreciate it :)

    OK, since you have used pictures provided by Dell I can forward my question: why is Dell using false picture to advertise its product?

    This is not a first time, when I notice similar trickery.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    The vast majority of marketing images are retouched at the very least, and I've seen plenty of pre-rendered images over the years. This is not unique to Dell in the slightest. Unless they blatantly falsify the images, I'm not too worried about it. The image on the front page may look matte, but it could be that they have a light box for images (very likely) and the reflection just happens to look more like a matte display. Reply
  • ramvalleru - Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - link

    actual screen is like this only. I bought it a day before. screen is k but for the price of 1135$, the screen is not up to the mark when compared with Sony and Dell XPS 15, 15Z. :-( Reply
  • justaviking - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    The FIRST picture IN THE ARTICLE makes it very clear that the screen is glossy. Just look at that reflection... no matte screen there! Reply
  • hybrid2d4x4 - Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - link

    I'm with you on that one. I probably shouldn't have bothered reading further since that picture all in itself makes this this laptop about as desirable as a pile of dung. No wonder Dell provided a better pic. Still, that picture on the site home page shouldn't be used at all since it misrepresents the laptop.

    On an aside, something that baffles me is how the stock MBP escapes the same criticism- the use of glass as a screen surface has got to be the single stupidest idea in the (brief) history of flat-panel displays!
    Reply
  • mules - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    I don't worry too much about the screen quality. I, like many laptop users, attach a monitor (and keyboard and mouse).

    I would have liked to see a 3rd USB port. Often, when on the road, I need a keyboard, mouse and USB drive attached.

    I'd be interested if someone made a "laptop" with no keyboard or monitor, and possibly even no battery - this can be used as a portable desktop machine at a significantly lower cost than a laptop.
    Reply
  • seanleeforever - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    yes, it is called EEE pc. check it out. Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - link

    Yes. It's called a Mac Mini. Reply
  • Hulk - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    I skipped right to the section on the screen, saw it was garbage and stopped reading.

    I'm not buying a laptop with a bad or even average screen. Period. I don't care what other good features it has. The screen is a deal breaker.

    I want an IPS matte screen!
    Reply
  • ThomasA - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Agreed, 100%. It's insanity to praise the laptop 'looks' , innards & "performance", when the MFG flakes on the main INTERFACE (the screen). Reply
  • ananduser - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Very few laptops have that, and no the lower spec-ed and higher priced MBP does not. Reply
  • ggathagan - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Thank you!
    People seem to forget that one of the leverage points users have is staying away in droves if the product stinks.
    The same goes for 16:9 resolution screens.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - link

    Same here. I've become bored with laptop reviews where I feel it's been a waste of my time reading about a "great" system that has a junk screen. So like you I go to the screen review portion, and if that's good head over to the thermal/power/noise part. If both of those are acceptable then I read the entire article.

    Sorry Jarred, I just can't get excited after reading very similar review systems anymore!
    Reply
  • somedude1234 - Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - link

    ^^^^^ T H I S ^^^^^

    I did the exact same thing, skipped to the best screen offering and didn't bother reading the rest of the article.

    My employer provided me with a Dell E6400, everything maxed out but with the default 1280x800 screen. I would have gladly traded down to a lower spec CPU or less RAM in order to get the upgraded screen, but I didn't have a say as this is a 'standard' build for us.

    Fast CPU, plenty of RAM, great backlit keyboard... and a terrible screen.

    I have to use this system every single day and I'm constantly cursing the short-sighted individual in our IT department that decided a slightly faster CPU was worth more than a vastly better screen.
    Reply
  • C300fans - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    999$? I would rather grab a Thinkpad T or X with IPS. Reply
  • Dug - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    I'm suprised they didn't just use the 3000 for graphics. 520 doesn't do much.

    I like the 6770 in the Macbook Pro's, so I would think they could at least do a 525.

    Almost everyone has a 540 in a similar laptop.

    Lenovo has a 550m in their's and under $700
    Reply
  • grkhetan - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Sorry for off-topic post -- but when will the iPhone 4S review come out? Would like to see how its performance, graphics, battery life, and reception changed... Thanks! Reply
  • mschira - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Yea looks like a nice machine, but I just don't like the quality of Dell notebooks.
    They are cheap. Fair enough, because the price is low, too, but not for me.
    Now if one could take the Asus Zenbook give it a few more mm in thickness and slot in a decent CPU but keep every quality aspect - I would be very interested.
    M.
    Reply
  • agent2099 - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Seems Dell pulled the 14z from their website. This morning you could full on order it and now you can only "take a peek at what's to come." Appears like a drastic move but they may be revising it. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    Actually, the product probably just went up early on accident. The 14z is officially announced today, but it goes on sale on Nov. 1st. Reply
  • jigglywiggly - Monday, October 24, 2011 - link

    what a pos
    not 1600x900 display or 1920x1080
    Weak gpus
    overpriced
    Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - link

    "Dell does deserve credit for cramming a full slot-load DVD-RW into a reasonably thin chassis, although the need for optical drives seems to be diminishing with each passing year."

    I honestly do not understand the mind of Dell.
    They have a chance to deliver a DIFFERENT type of computer --- an ultrabook that doesn't make the compromises of a MacBook Air, but also is not burdened with useless crap like an optical drive. But no, rather than deliver something innovative, they go all in copying the MacBook Pro. Really pathetic.
    (And yeah, having a USB3 port rather than a Thunderbolt port doesn't change the fact that this is a MacBook Pro clone.)
    Reply
  • ramvalleru - Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - link

    Apple copied the chick-let style keybord from Sony. Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - link

    1. 1366x768 glossy TN is complete crap. Use 16:10, and offer matte IPS for a reasonable cost.
    2. I doubt this "space age looking keyboard" types as well as a Latitude keyboard.
    3. The arrow keys aren't full size.
    4. An i5 laptop deserves >2 USB ports.
    5. How about offering a 120GB SSD for a reasonable +$150?
    Reply
  • TheYeti - Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - link

    We got one of these in the office a few weeks ago. The thing that we were most astounded by was the small size of the display in comparison to the size of the bottom case. The laptop was a tight fit in the same case as my 17 inch macbook pro had a roomy fit. It wouldn't fit in any of the 15 inch laptop cases that anyone in the office had.

    The display has a black border, the black border has a chrome border, the hinge is not set in the back of the bottom case, but at the top the bottom case has a plastic border, the plastic border has a chrome border. all in all the exterior of all the plastics protrudes about an inch and a half from the screen edge, and it isn't a nice screen either.

    When you hold it in your hands it feels like someone took a thin 17 inch laptop, stuck a 13 inch screen on it, and tried to hide the fact. Like putting those "don't drive over 45mph" spare wheels on a 4x4 so that it will fit in the garage. It has muscle and will move, but it is crippled by the screen.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - link

    I'm confused... what laptop are you talking about? Certainly not the XPS 14z, and I can't recall any laptop I've seen with a 13" display that is anywhere near the size of a 17" chassis. The worst I've seen in the "small screen, large chassis" department is the Alienware M11x, which is nearly a 13" chassis. Reply
  • Brad4 - Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - link

    I would not even accept one of these for free. The first thing I looked for was the resolution, and quickly determined that I am not interested in this sorry little laptop. A 16:9 ratio is disgusting. I'm a windows user and buy Apple because they offer a 16:10 resolution. Reply
  • Fanfoot - Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - link

    Sorry, but you don't talk about the trackpad and keyboard. I had a 15z for a while, and had to return it. In general I think it was a very nice laptop, HOWEVER the trackpad constantly reacted to bits of my palms touching it, causing the mouse pointer to jump randomly about. Plugging in an external mouse and setting it up to disable the trackpad once one is plugged in fixed that. However, as a programmer the keyboard remained an unfixable problem. The lack of unshifted home and end keys was something I simply couldn't get past. Lots of people might never notice this problem, but for a programmer I don't think the omission is acceptable. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - link

    You're right, I neglected to cover this much. I've added a paragraph specifically about the touchpad, as you're right: the 15z was more prone to errant clicks. The 15z (at least initially -- perhaps it has changed?) used a Cypress touchpad, while the 14z uses a Synaptics touchpad. There are a few extra settings on the Synaptics that help reduce the amount of errant clicks/brushes, particularly while typing. The keyboard I referenced in passing, but I've clarified a bit more why I prefer the XPS 15 layout to the 15z/14z.

    Thanks for the comment!
    Reply
  • mashimaroo - Monday, October 31, 2011 - link

    ive had my fair share of dell laptops but this new line looks pretty good. the main problem ive had with my laptop is fan control and heating issues Reply
  • tipoo - Saturday, February 25, 2012 - link

    Yeah, I hate Dells default fan control and no applications that I know of can controll it in new Dells. It only picks from 4 or 5 speeds rather than a gradual ramp up so it can go from silent to audible on and off, its annoying. Reply

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