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  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    "AnandTech receives a notebook for review from a vendor not named Sony or Apple, and that notebook features a cut rate 1366x768 TN panel with poor viewing angles, poor color, poor contrast, and just poor quality all around."

    Yup. I also do take issue with the resolution, I think that 768 vertical pixels is a bit cramped, and that 1440x900 is the ratio and resolution we should be hitting on 13" screens.

    I have a 14.1" 1400x1050 machine at home, and that is just about right. I have a 15" 1920x1200 screen, and although it looks great, I do admit that the scaling issues we have in Windows as it stands, means that it can be a little uncomfortable to some (I found an issue where changing DPI even by a little made a piece of software unusable. Not just hard to use, unusable).

    Lets see some good quality 1440x900 panels in this size of laptop, what do you say, Dell?
    Reply
  • Cloudie - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I totally agree; I have a Macbook Air 13 and the 1440*900 resolution is absolutely perfect for this screen size. I only wish the colour gamut and viewing angles were closer to level of the Macbook Pros or one of the other 3 or 4 notebooks on the market with decent screens. Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    " I have a Macbook Air 13 and the 1440*900 resolution is absolutely perfect for this screen size."

    Yup, I had that on my Lenovo X301 back in 2009 and it rocked. This 1366x768 madness has to stop.
    Reply
  • apinkel - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Couldn't agree more.

    I think the MBA is a bit over-rated simply due to lack of ports and the move to a non-user-replaceable battery (sadly most of the ultrabooks have followed apple on these two items) but the one thing that I am really, really jealous of is the screen on the MBA.

    I have an X301 right now and I really like it. I like the screen size/aspect ration/resolution, the keyboard which has better feedback then every ultrabook I've tried, great port selection (I work on other people's PC's and I have to have an ethernet port), excellent battery life with the optional bay battery and light weight. I do wish the X301 had the current generation of ultra low voltage cpus but for my usage I've actually been surprised at how well the 1.4ghz CPU has performed.
    Reply
  • Dug - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    You will have moved on to another computer a long time before the battery would need to be replaced.

    One thing I wish pc ultrabooks all had was a thunderbolt port.
    Reply
  • apinkel - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I just back from a trip (last minute booking) where I had a 7 hour layover in an airport. Having a replaceable battery, even on a laptop with 5+ hours of battery life is handy to have.

    That said, the battery issue isn't a deal breaker for me. The lack of an ethernet port is.
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    Few people even buy a second battery for their notebook, let alone carry one around. And even for the Macbook, you can always buy an external battery pack like the Hyperjuice and accomplish much the same thing, with the added advantage of not having to turn the notebook off while swapping batteries. It's what I do with my Toshiba notebook, even though it does have a removable battery. Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I know... I really wish they did an X310 and 320. WTF? Now Even Lenovo's newer 13 inch have 1366x768... gack. Reply
  • apinkel - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    I agree.. I was really disappointed with the screen on the X1. They put gorilla glass on it (why?... it's not a touchscreen, it adds weight and adds glare) and the resolution changed to 1366x768.

    The big downside to the 16:9 screens is that if you want 900 lines of resolution you end up with a resolution of 1600x900... and the dpi becomes to high to be legible for me.

    With a 13.3" screen and 1440x900 you end up with a dpi of 127... which is the sweet spot IMO.
    Reply
  • kjboughton - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Couldn't agree more...

    I was recently looking for a cheaper notebook to replace an aging Dell m770 that I'd had from 2003 when I decided to try the Inspiron 14R.

    It's going back. The whole unit feels cheap but the 1366x768 TN panel from BOE-hydis is HORRIBLE. I can't stand using the notebook because of that. And to think that the $999 ~ $1499 XPS Ultrabook using a similar panel (albeit a slightly smaller viewing area) is astounding. Barf!
    Reply
  • JojoKracko - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    That is it. I'm never buying another laptop until they start making them with screens at least as good as on a $500 tablet.

    Who is with me?

    Fight the manufacturers idiocy!
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Agreed!

    I'm strongly tempted to say the same about desktop monitors, too.

    ;)
    Reply
  • cptcolo - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    I could not agree more. It is absurd that a $500 iPad3 can have a great screen that has 3,145,728 pixels yet a $1500 Ultrabook has only 1,049,088 pixels and in terrible 16:9 layout at that!

    I am with you all 1440 x 900 for 13 inch screens! They need to follow the MacBook Air all the way.
    Reply
  • xenol - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I have this problem with the laptop industry in general. Why is it that the basic panel is 1366x768? How come there are few intermediaries available (not that they don't exist in theory, but in stock) between that and 1920x1080? I had to spend weeks looking for a new laptop because I refused to have a "720p" laptop and nobody stocked bigger resolutions until I got to 17" Reply
  • Pneumothorax - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    It's why I still purchase MBP/MBA and just run win7 on them: The screens rock. The touchpad is another area that I don't understand why PC manufacturers can't at least match Apple in function. I'm still forced many times to use an external mouse when I get on a PC laptop. Reply
  • Pneumothorax - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    To Dell: It's ABSOLUTELY PATHETIC that my circa 2005 Dell Inspiron 6000 15" WUXGA 1900x1200 screen has a higher resolution than your WHOLE current consumer line of laptops in 2012! Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    "To Dell: It's ABSOLUTELY PATHETIC that my circa 2005 Dell Inspiron 6000 15" WUXGA 1900x1200 screen has a higher resolution than your WHOLE current consumer line of laptops in 2012!"

    I agree that 1366x768 is useless, but its not like your 1900x1200 was standard. Back then on a 15 insher 1280x800 was standard, 1920x1200 was an upgrade option, just like 1920x1080 is today.

    Still though, this is one thing (and the only one thing) I like about Apple, they still offer 16x10
    Reply
  • peterfares - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    The thing is a big part of Dell's lineup used to have upgradable screens. I would like it if that was still the case. Instead, we usually only have one screen, and if it's 14" or smaller it's 1366x768. ASUS did announce they will have an IPS 1920x1080 option on the refreshed Zenbooks so that should be pretty awesome. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Exactly. The screens, trackpads, and keyboards on most notebooks are garbage. It would be great if more were as good as Apple's, but then that would jack up their prices further and nerds who only see pricetags would complain that they are "overpriced".

    Racing to the bottom has destroyed quality except among premium brands.
    Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    "The screens, trackpads, and keyboards on most notebooks are garbage. It would be great if more were as good as Apple's, but then that would jack up their prices further and nerds who only see pricetags would complain that they are "overpriced""

    Alot of people dont care about those things. That is the good thing about PC's. You can get low end or high end and only pay for features you care about.
    Reply
  • ArmanUV - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    That's a "good thing"? How on earth can you not care about the screen, trackpad and keyboard? What good is a beefed up internal hardware when you have to suffer everytime you actually have to use the device?
    Do people buy laptops to brag about the cpu/gpu or do they actually use it?
    Reply
  • robco - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    That's the problem though, the XPS line is supposed to be high-end. If they wanted to make a cheaper ultrabook, they should have made it an Inspiron. There should be a higher quality baseline for a higher end product line. Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Agreed. Everything about this thing looked great, besides the resolution (and the battery could be better, but I don't usually go that long unplugged). Reply
  • nklak - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I am CEO of dell partner company, and requested Vostro V131 as soon as it was availavable in channel. Great notebook, excelent ergonomy (superb battery capacity and design) etc. etc. After 3 days of looking to lousy screen, ditched it to my wife and bought myself a sony. I still think that V131 is BETTER overall than sony Z but I COULD NOT look into it. This 768p dimm screens with no life on them are terrible. I am bussinesman, I dont watch movies on 13.3" so 16:10 (1440x900) is far more usable for all bussines apps. Reply
  • kmmatney - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    My pesonal opinion is that the 16:9 ratio just does not work well with smaller screens. It only becomes acceptable at 17", (although I probably could live with a 15" screen at 1600 x 900). I'm still using a work-provided 1920 x 1200 17" Dell from 2006. I'm approved for a new laptop, but just don't want to lose the beautiful screen I have now. I'm seriously thinking about getting a MacBook and running windows on it. Reply
  • Cloudie - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    'Aesthetics are almost always a matter of taste, but I continue to personally prefer the looks of the XPS 13 to the other ultrabooks on the market barring the hot pink Zenbook ASUS produces.'

    This line tickled me! haha. Also loving the aesthetics of the XPS 13 but it's a shame about the other stuff. Thanks for the great review!
    Reply
  • Ryan1981 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Hi, I was wondering, I don't know the meaning of the expression barring in this context (I am dutch :P) Would you care to explain what the reviewer means by "barring the zenbook"

    Thanks a lot
    Reply
  • Cloudie - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Barring in this context means 'except' or 'with the exception of'. :) Reply
  • dfiler76 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Exactly. In other words, what the reviewer means is:

    'Aesthetics are almost always a matter of taste, but I continue to personally prefer the looks of the XPS 13 to nearly all the other ultrabooks on the market. The only one I think looks nicer is the hot pink Zenbook ASUS produces.'
    Reply
  • Ryan1981 - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    Thanks a lot both :D Reply
  • r3loaded - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    All these bandwagon-jumping ultrabooks are soon to be rendered irrelevant by the upcoming Asus Zenbook UX21A/UX31A. Both will feature a 1920x1080 IPS panel as an upgrade option, immediately placing it above and beyond almost every other laptop in terms of display quality. Reply
  • ZekkPacus - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Thing is, a good panel shouldn't be an upgrade option. These devices are premium products - this ultrabook as reviewed is a $1500 machine. For that kind of cash, I want a 1440*900 IPS panel AS A MINIMUM. Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I know, it sucks too, because this is a really nice laptop outside of the crap screen. Reply
  • mmaestro - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Agreed.

    What manufacturers don't seem to realize is that a large part of consumers' perception of quality is to do with the screen. It is, after all, the thing you spend all day staring at, and so if it's crap, it's what you'll notice. This is IMO why Apple has such a perception of quality to do with their products: They don't compromise on their screens, they use absolutely beautiful panels. Until other manufacturers try to compete with that then they'll carry the perception that their product is substandard. It's stupid, and this should be obvious. Yet next to no one seems to realize this.
    Reply
  • fuzzymath10 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I think in the price categories people focus on, screen quality is not very important. Seems like more cores, more GBs of RAM, more TBs of space (SSD loses out here where it shouldn't), more inches of LCD are what sell.

    Also, while high res displays have been an option for ages (my Dell Inspiron 8500 from 2003 has a 1680x1050 display which was a $100 upgrade from 1280x800, and another $100-150 got you 1920x1200), it did also cost me $2500. If we say that's $3000 today, we have many high res options at our disposal.
    Reply
  • ThreeDee912 - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    Apple seems to focus a lot on the things people actually interact with the most, like the screen, trackpad, keyboard, and battery, as well as build quality. The actual specs are balanced. Not excessively powered that it kills the battery, but now so crap that it makes things feel sluggish. It makes sense, and this strategy seems to be working well.

    It's somewhat like the megapixel (and now optical zoom) wars. There's a lot more to cameras then the spec sheet.
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    It's not an Ultrabook, but Apple is rumored to be releasing a 2880x1800 notebook soon (2nd quarter this year is what I read), a notebook with closer to a tablet screen AND 16:10. I'm not a fan of Apple the company, but that's a head-turner for me, and it's the first time I've considered Apple in the running for a purchase since the Lisa (which was just dreaming back then as there was no way I could afford one).

    As far as I'm concerned, 16:9 is exponentially worse as screen size goes down; 16:10 or 4:3 should be what notebooks and smaller screen have.

    ;)
    Reply
  • makaronen - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I created an account here just to applaud Dustin Sklavos in summarizing the annoyment I feel about PC manufacturers and the useless screens they put in premium laptops. A good screen in every high end laptop with stable viewing angles and high contrast should be a minimum as ZekkPacus puts it!

    Asus UX31A will hopefully be a game changer and a VERY late wake-up call for PC manufacturers...
    Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Wow it cant do anything without going to 80 celcius? lol what a piece of trash. Is that really what you get for $1000? What can this steaming pile of trash do that a $500 notebook cant do? Reply
  • Rinadien - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    ummm.... weigh less than 3 lbs??? Reply
  • Taft12 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    and a Core i7 CPU. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I really don't put much stock in the opinion of someone who posts like this. The only "steaming pile" I smell here is Shadowmaster's flame.

    Can we have the option of voting posts down? Not something connected to Facebook, just for this site.
    Reply
  • bji - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    What, you don't like his opinion and you want to suppress it? Lame. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    What I want is for people to treat each other civilly, have some sense of decency and not call companies "steaming piles". What I want is for people that post like this to get that it's not cool, all it does is irritate people and create a bad impression.

    If he doesn't like Dell or one of their products, by all means post the reasons he doesn't like them, but keep the name-calling out of it, please. I wouldn't down-vote anyone for disagreeing with me, but I would anyone for making a stupid, foul, or pointless post. (Stupid usually means, to me, a post showing that the person didn't even bother to read the article.)

    The fact is, most people that talk like that don't even have any personal experience with the company they are bad-mouthing. They are just flapping their gums.

    Also, I said nothing about hiding posts that have a high negative vote count. Tomshardware does that, and I don't like it. To me, voting a post down is about telling the person his post was unacceptable, please do better next time, not about hiding it from anyone - that's censorship, and that I don't go for.

    ;)
    Reply
  • kevith - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I must say, that if I were to work on a 13" computer, with a screen-res of 1920x1080, I would not be able to see or read anything at all.

    It was better they redefined the ultra-book dogme to include a larger chassis carrying a 15" screen instead.

    Then we could have ful HD AND be able to actually see something as well.
    Reply
  • LOL__Wut__Axel - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I don't understand how mid-40s idle and low 80s are unacceptable for Sandy Bridge notebook CPUs. Those numbers seem like what you'd expect; the problem with the XPS 13 is that due to the bad ventilation the chassis gets hot and the fan gets loud.

    I have an SB Core i5 laptop and even under the most stressful test, IBT, it turbos to the max 2.7GHz on all threads even with a temp. in the low 80s. The difference is it has good ventilation and doesn't get loud or hot.
    Reply
  • smithme08 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I agree that its a very valid point to mention that many/most other ultrabooks have a memory card reader, while this model does not, however I would argue the level of importance attached to having one in general.

    Yes, cameras and phones still use these cards, however practically all of them ALSO support attachment via USB. Personally (and tastes may vary), I'd much rather plug in a USB cable than open up the device and remove the memory card. That does mean you have to carry a cable, which might be a slight negative to some. However, removing the card reader and ADDING one or two more USB ports would seem to serve people better in general considering the wide variety of USB devices out there.

    That said, this machine does NOT add any additional ports so it seems like they went with the worst of all possible scenarios and that's a shame :(

    I'd like to do a friendly informal poll :) Maybe I'm seriously in the minority. How many people would prefer additional USB ports versus a memory card reader, and how many would prefer the reader?
    Reply
  • AmdInside - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Frankly the lack of SD card reader doesn't bother me. My DSLR cameras use CF cards and that is what I prefer since it is a bit harder to lose/drop CF cards than SD cards. Since no laptop includes CF card reader, I am used to having to carry with me a CF card reader. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    Plus, unless that CF card reader is hooked up to USB 3.0, it's speed is wasted. Reply
  • Beenthere - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Weight is good. CPU and graphics suck. Price is absurd @ $999 let alone insane at $1500.

    This crap is why AMD Trinity is going to kill Intel with $500 ultrathins with more performance for hundreds less.
    Reply
  • snuuggles - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I'm confused, is the intel cpu $500 more than the equivalent AMD cpu? I agree that the price is high, but I doubt the cpu price is the only thing pushing it. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Look at prices on 256GB SSDs and you'll find a major culprit for the price hike. Reply
  • silverblue - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Agreed. It's a little unfair to lay the blame squarely at the feet of the i7. Besides, Trinity will be very hard pressed to have clocks at that level with a discrete-class GPU and still only fit in its purported 17W envelope. Reply
  • Beenthere - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    When Trinity arrives and delivers the goods people will just laugh at the Ultrabook and the absurd pricing and lack of performance. Reply
  • fic2 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Is that an echo from Bulldozer I hear? Reply
  • KitsuneKnight - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I doubt remember the Bulldozer fans sounding so hilarious... Reply
  • tecknurd - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    Let us see the i3 processor performs better than any A8 processor that AMD has to offer. Sure Intel graphics suck, but what kinds of people are going to use this notebook. Mainly people that are casual users and not gamers. Intel graphics is overwhelming plenty for casual users. The i7 processor is high performance processor, so Intel is still better when Trinity comes out. The cost is related to the SSD, so any AMD system will cost the same. Trinity have to be at least 30% faster or even better 50% better because the highest model of the first generation Bulldozer is just as fast as an Athlon II. Intel's Sandy Bridge i-series processors a much faster than Athlon II and Phenom II processors, so AMD has a lot of work they need to do to catch up. Really AMD have to introduce the third generation of Bulldozer to equal the performance of Sandy Bridge. When that happens Intel has already introduced Haswell. Say all you want but Trinity will not beat Intel's offering even you troll hard enough. It just not going to happen. AMD's arrogance is getting in their way of making highly competitive processors. Reply
  • Autisticgramma - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Its a pc with Aesthetics. Otherwise known as a wannabe apple. The reason it sucks so much is, what dell is attempting to produce is a product with apple's margin, via apples looks. Again no dice. I'd be happy if Dell stuck with what made it the behemoth it is. Ugly office hardware that works. There's a reason office PC's look like crap. So you don't stea - I mean 'misplace' them.

    What ever happened to computer parts on anandtech? I mean tablets and phones, share parts with computers. If I want a real part review sadly I must visit another site these days. I mean for an apples to apples comparison. "Today were testing the Samsung Galaxy S II against the nVidia 580, in direct x 11 applications...."

    (Hyperbole may have been used to convey the feeling of disappointment with the declining quality of my favorite site.)

    -Gramma
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Anandtech runs "computer parts" articles all the time.

    They have more editors than they used to, so there is more room for other types of hardware.

    Of course, I don't expect you to understand that even after it's pointed out, because the first part of your post demonstrates that you "wannabe" a person who can think.

    ;)
    Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    "Its a pc with Aesthetics. Otherwise known as a wannabe apple. "

    What? There are plenty of "wannabe" Apple products out there, but you're only criteria is good aesthetics? That makes no sense. This looks like a good original design to me, ventilation aside.
    Reply
  • NCM - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    CF is strong and lightweight, but it has poor thermal transfer compared to aluminum. The resulting trade-off for this Dell is compromised cooling, and it shows in these test results. This is already an area that's something of a challenge for densely packaged ultrabooks, and while the CF bottom case may protect your lap from getting toasted, those watts have to go somewhere. Or as here, fail to go somewhere, instead driving up processor core temperatures.

    The author's conclusion that the XPS 13 represents "an excellent starting point" may well be accurate, but what kind of a selling point is that for Dell? I don't know about anyone else, but when I shop I'm looking for a fully realized product, not one that may eventually become adequate in some future version.
    Reply
  • jigglywiggly - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    clevo laptops have good displays
    i have the p151hm1/np8130 and it has an amazing 95% ntsc color gamut display. 15in 1920x1080
    Reply
  • bennyg - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    Yep can't wait till Clevo make an ultrabook. It might not look spectacular but if their P150/151 line is anything to go by it'll look like a 2000 Thinkpad but have an awesome screen :)

    I got P150HM with 1080p 95% gamut matte display and its even more awesome than the 15.6" Truelife in my previous Dell. The point everyone's whining about is WHY are NBs with great displays the exception? Why has the ONLY option for a 900p/1080p screen in <14 inch been the Vaio Z for over 2 years ??!

    I also have a cheap netbook - Acer Aspire One D255E - with a screen that is astonishingly good, I was massively surprised (bought it 2nd hand for chips). It's only 600 px high which is of course the major bummer but I reckon it craps all over a great deal of notebooks even 5 times its price.
    Reply
  • ndizzy - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    In case people want to see the inside of Dell XPS 13, here is a teardown video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0Jzr1gSHHw Reply
  • QChronoD - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Any word on if you guys are going to be getting either or both of these machines in for a review? I totally agree that most of the machines out there have absolutely crap screens, and for $1,000+ we should be able to get much better. I'm hoping that both of these live up to the hype from their announcement. Reply
  • Kelly - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I may be stupid and/or ignorant but: What unit is the temperature in?

    Thanks for a nice review :)
    Reply
  • dfiler76 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    The reviewer states that the XPS 13 is idling in the mid 40s.

    45 deg F = 7 deg C (which would be way under the ambient temperature). Therefore it must be measured in Celsius.

    I can understand why you weren't sure though: If blocking the bottom vent can push the core temps within a whisker of boiling point then I wonder about the longevity of the components...
    Reply
  • lukarak - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    There's the first problem, the bottom vent. Small portable laptops with a bottom vent are just not practical. Apple does it much better. Reply
  • ExodusC - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I'm so miffed- why do manufacturers continue to make otherwise well-rounded, or even great "Ultrabooks," but pack them with such awful screens?

    If anything, I would sacrifice color reproduction on a 13" panel for a higher pixel density than what you get with these ~720p displays.

    Hell, the 1600x900 resolution on my laptop's roughly 14" panel feel much more significant than 720p.
    Reply
  • rwei - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Didn't you have an A8Jm at some point? And now an x100e?

    I went A8Jm -> Envy 17 + x120e...
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I had an A8Jm a loooooooonnnnnng time ago. If you're remotely interested in the history of Dustin's laptops (which he changes out like once a year because he can't settle on anything for too long):

    A8Jm -> HP dv6000z -> HP dv2000t -> ASUS X83 -> Dell Studio 17 + ThinkPad X100e -> Alienware M17x R3 + ThinkPad X100e
    Reply
  • rwei - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    So what you're saying is that you change machines SLIGHTLY more often than I do =/

    Oddly, though, for the first time, I have trouble seeing any reason why I'd upgrade for some time, other than hardware/battery wear (and I have 2 batteries for the Envy, so...). I game way less than before - besides, the Envy 17 is still potent enough for pretty much anything I throw at it - and I don't see anything on the horizon that would require more performance. That was not at all true when I owned the A8Jm. Even the x120e is plenty for browsing, video watching, and whatever else I'd do on the go. Only complaint about my current setup is that the Envy 17 -> Thinkpad x120e transition is really jarring with the $)*@ing bad screen on the x120e...I wish, so dearly wish, I could stick a "New iPad" screen on the x120e (time to get a dremel tool and soldering iron??). Would be just about a perfect device.

    The only thing I can think of that would make me upgrade is a Win8 tablet/notebook hybrid (which I partly bought a WP7 device in anticipation of), but I see that being at least 2 years out for reasonably mature hardware and a good software ecosystem.

    It's a strange thing that, these days, when (normal) people ask me "what computer should I buy", I can pretty much entirely discount the performance of the CPU as a consideration (barring Atom, and sometimes Zacate netbooks - "yeah, sure, that one's 60-150% faster, but who cares?!").

    AMD might be on to something with their new strategy.
    Reply
  • Hulk - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Okay that's it. My 5 year old Inspiron with a half decent high resolution screen and a C2D at 2GHz is going to have to hold me until I can buy a relatively thin and light laptop (~1" thick and around 4lbs) with a good IPS screen.

    If I'm going to suffer I might as well suffer with my current lappy and save some money. I'll just put an SSD in it when the performance gets unbearable.
    Reply
  • bji - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I'm with you. Except my laptop is a 7 year old Panasonic Y2 with a Pentium M at 1.6 Ghz, and I'm just holding out for a 15 inch Macbook Air, which I thought was supposed to come out Q1 this year but is completely MIA at this point. Reply
  • santeana - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    I've never been a fan of Dell. But if ever they had a good laptop, it was their XPS line. Great performance for the price they offered it at. Now, to see an XPS machine, supposedly a premium mainstream laptop going from a discrete graphics solution to an onboard HD3000 chip.... I dunno. Just doesn't seem right to me. Reply
  • c4v3man - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    XPS laptops have always been hit or miss. Exceptionally heavy, usually run somewhat hot, and questionable reliability. The best laptops are enterprise grade units and mobile workstations, such as Dell's Latitude's, their Precision Mobiles, HP's EliteBooks, and Toshiba's Tecra lines to name a few.

    It might be good for gaming, but not for much else.
    Reply
  • bhima - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    2 things Dell could have done to make this Ultrabook look better than the competition:
    1) a good MATTE screen. I do not understand why we still have glossy screens on mobile devices (except for phones because the gorilla glass is needed for protection), especially when all of the best screens whether desktop or laptop are all matte.

    2) Where is my Dell docking station jack? It may seem like a "little" thing, but having a Dell docking station and using a Dell laptop as your main computer is actually quite amazing. Having instant access to more ports, real keyboard and mouse AND a nice second display really solidifies the laptop as a capable primary workstation. When you are on the go, you hit one button and take your laptop off the dock. This should be on EVERY Dell laptop.

    These things would set it apart from the entire competition and would give people good reasons to choose this Dell over say a MacBook Air.
    Reply
  • Malih - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    The touchpad is basically what I'm complaining about today's laptops, specifically Windows laptops, Apple does really well in this departement.

    But I've seen the demo video in YouTube (/watch?v=mL_jasHqrVI) for the Synaptics Clickpad with WIndows 8 which seems to be quite sensitive and seems to tackle most issue I have with current touchpads,

    I just wonder whether they will release the Clickpad before Windows 8 release, perhaps coupled with laptops with decent graphics, like Trinity laptops (possibly).
    Reply
  • Stas - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    I'm really liking this laptop. Sexy, quick, Windows, 256GB SSD for <$1500. Too I wouldn't use one much. Between power of my desktop and portability of the smart phone, I'm hard pressed to justify hauling a laptop around. Reply
  • Stas - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    Too bad* Reply
  • Penti - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    I think this is pretty much spot on, on connectivity actually. Mini-DisplayPort is a plus, especially if you are running a high-res monitor when you use this as your desktop replacement or main machine with your 27" or 30" monitor as you need the DisplayPort in order to put out and feed a 2560x1440 monitor or 2560x1600 monitor, or anything over 1920x1200 that HDMI on SNB/older graphics can handle. It's easily converted to HDMI or VGA, and having only one of those is a minus. I do miss ethernet, but it's no deal killer here. Display and resolution is too bad it's not better otherwise it does look like a good ultra-portable. It has no worse display then virtually any competition. A x220 with IPS wouldn't be much more expensive though. Personally I think mini-DisplayPort and USB3 is pretty good on the connectivity side for this market any how. Does look like a clean computer with understated but good styling. Certainly looks like a one of the better ultrabooks. Reply
  • MistahJayden - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    I love everything I've heard about the computer except for that screen resolution...it's freakin killing me here.
    Can they update it? Or would I need to look for another laptop in it's place?
    It's not that bad, it's just I prefer a smaller looking interface.
    Reply
  • EricZBA - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    1366x768 is a crime against humanity. The predecessor to this unit, the Dell Studio XPS 13, had a gorgeous 13.3 inch LED LCD with 1280x800 resolution. I wish they would have built upon the awesomeness of that notebook. Reply
  • zlyles - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    Just a heads up...

    When Dell first released this ultrabook, we ordered two for some of our sales reps. With i5, 4GB memory, 128GB SSD, and Win 7 Pro, the price was $1,192 before tax.

    It took nearly a month to get the laptop, and we liked it so much we got a quote for two more. This time the quote came back at $1,500 per, with the same exact specs.

    Our Dell rep informed us due to supply and demand, Dell had increased the price and $1,500 was as low as he could get now.

    Personally I think it's BS to launch a product, then jack the price by over 25% within the first 3 weeks of it's release because of how well it is received.

    On the bright side, it is the only wedge design ultrabook of this caliber I have found with TPM hardware for encrypting the hard drive.
    Reply
  • WolfOfDeath - Monday, July 02, 2012 - link

    The author isnt sold on the Ultrabook class? He must one of the most daft people in the world. Ultrabooks are and will take over the entire laptop market. Few if any people will want laptops now if for no other reason than battery life. How short sighted can someone be? Wow, just wow. Reply

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