Dell XPS 12 / 13 / 15 with Skylake

fenixv

Gawd
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
612
Dell announced a refresh of the XPS 13, and new 12 and 15 models, all with Skylake. I've been holding back on buying the 13 because I was waiting for the Skylake refresh, but now that the 15 is out, it's looking like a better option. Aside from the steep price, the only gripe I have is the 16:9 aspect ratio. Does anybody out there have experience and insight on heavy word processing with a 4k 16:9 screen?

Press release on Anand
 

Bobalias_LeShay

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 27, 2013
Messages
287
I'm in the same boat. I'd been wanting to get the XPS 13 since the first generation with the infinity display came out. The last generation XPS 15 was extremely expensive and fairly bulky. But now that the XPS 15 has gotten the infinity display treatment (and gotten cheaper) it's almost a no brainer. $2,000 for the XPS 13 with i7/16/512 or $2,150 for the XPS 15 with i7/16/512. So only $150 more, but you're getting a proper 45W quad core CPU instead of a dual core 15W, you get a 2GB 960m instead of nothing, and you get a 4k display over 3200x1800. Not to mention the RAM is slotted, so you can upgrade it in the future to 32GB once SODIMMs in that size are available, versus soldered RAM for the 13. The only thing the 13 has over the 15 is smaller overall size, but that also forces you into a physically smaller screen.

I was also extremely interested in the Surface Book when it was announced due to the discrete GPU in a small sized laptop, which the XPS 13 didn't have. Now the XPS 15 is announced and not massively large, while cramming in a better GPU and MUCH faster processor. Barring something crazy from another manufacturer, I think the XPS 15 is the current gen king of the hill and laptop to beat.
 
Last edited:

StryderxX

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Messages
1,409
I'm in the same boat. I'd been wanting to get the XPS 13 since the first generation with the infinity display came out. The last generation XPS 15 was extremely expensive and fairly bulky. But now that the XPS 15 has gotten the infinity display treatment (and gotten cheaper) it's almost a no brainer. $2,000 for the XPS 13 with i7/16/512 or $2,150 for the XPS 15 with i7/16/512. So only $150 more, but you're getting a proper 45W quad core CPU instead of a dual core 15W, you get a 2GB 960m instead of nothing, and you get a 4k display over 3200x1800. Not to mention the RAM is slotted, so you can upgrade it in the future to 32GB once SODIMMs in that size are available, versus soldered RAM for the 13. The only thing the 13 has over the 15 is smaller overall size, but that also forces you into a physically smaller screen.

I was also extremely interested in the Surface Book when it was announced due to the discrete GPU in a small sized laptop, which the XPS 13 didn't have. Now the XPS 15 is announced and not massively large, while cramming in a better GPU and MUCH faster processor. Barring something crazy from another manufacturer, I think the XPS 15 is the current gen king of the hill and laptop to beat.

We really don't know what GPU is in the Surface Book yet and with all the bells and whistles the XPS 15 is a pound heavier (4.4 lbs with 4K display). I currently own an XPS 13 9343 and the one thing that I really hate about it is the keyboard. It's mushy and I'm always missing or repeating keys when I type. It's super frustrating.
 

opfreak

Gawd
Joined
Nov 17, 2005
Messages
763
dells also appear to have a full thunderbolt3 port.

So it might be possible to get an egpu solution?
 

big_aug

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
2,183
I like the XPS 15 but I'm in love with that damn Surface Book. A 960m 2gb in the XPS 15 isn't really all that spectacular.

A couple grand either way so... Damn lol
 

Bobalias_LeShay

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 27, 2013
Messages
287
We really don't know what GPU is in the Surface Book yet and with all the bells and whistles the XPS 15 is a pound heavier (4.4 lbs with 4K display). I currently own an XPS 13 9343 and the one thing that I really hate about it is the keyboard. It's mushy and I'm always missing or repeating keys when I type. It's super frustrating.
I didn't mean to imply that the XPS 15 was similar in size. It's obviously not. It's something like 2cm deeper and 6cm wider, although it is thinner. What we do know is the Surface Book has a 1GB Maxwell GPU. It'll probably be similar to a 960m if I had to guess. They're really not similar machines, but since they're both at the pinnacle of the PC laptop market, they end up getting compared anyway. (I'm obviously guilty of this.)
 

Henri108

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
465
I like the XPS 15 but I'm in love with that damn Surface Book. A 960m 2gb in the XPS 15 isn't really all that spectacular.

A couple grand either way so... Damn lol

It still offers a lot more performance than the Surface Book. GTX 960m is very powerfull in a formfactor like this. It also has a Quadcore a great battery life.
I currently have the previous 3K XPS 15 (with i7, touch, 512GB SSD, GTX750) and it's great, but I want to be able to use a pen on my screen, so will switch to the Surface Book when it drops in the EU.

The new XPS 15 offers a lot better price/performance than the previous version, and certainly compared to the Surface Book and Apple's offerings. I paid 2200€ for mine, which was already a good discounted price.
 

big_aug

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
2,183
It still offers a lot more performance than the Surface Book. GTX 960m is very powerfull in a formfactor like this. It also has a Quadcore a great battery life.
I currently have the previous 3K XPS 15 (with i7, touch, 512GB SSD, GTX750) and it's great, but I want to be able to use a pen on my screen, so will switch to the Surface Book when it drops in the EU.

The new XPS 15 offers a lot better price/performance than the previous version, and certainly compared to the Surface Book and Apple's offerings. I paid 2200€ for mine, which was already a good discounted price.

I feel like we aren't really getting much for our money at the $2000 price point with the XPS models. Processors are hardly an issue these days. It doesn't take a high end quad core to do just about everything anyone needs to do. It's basically overkill. Its like dropping a 5930k in your desktop. It's basically pointless beyond some benchmarks. A 960m is nice, but gaming is a secondary thought on these machines anyway. Not a lot of people are buying them as their gaming rig. They're buying them thinking they could play a few games if they felt like it. With something like the Surface Book, we're getting a very capable notebook with excellent tablet and digitizer functionality. We still get to play a game if we want.
 

fenixv

Gawd
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
612
I was initially really into the new Surface line but now I just can't justify the hefty price with it lacking tb3/usb-c ports. At least the new XPS refresh has a tb3 port. Microsoft is probably holding out for next year's refresh. In any event, the 16:9 aspect ratio is still a stickler on the XPS line for me. I can't believe I'm considering it but I guess there's always the rMBP bootcamp option.
 

Henri108

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
465
I was initially really into the new Surface line but now I just can't justify the hefty price with it lacking tb3/usb-c ports. At least the new XPS refresh has a tb3 port. Microsoft is probably holding out for next year's refresh. In any event, the 16:9 aspect ratio is still a stickler on the XPS line for me. I can't believe I'm considering it but I guess there's always the rMBP bootcamp option.

I might have said this before on this forum, but I switched from a rMBP (running Windows 50% of the time) to an XPS 15 with identical specs, and it was a big upgrade for me. The touch alone was very usefull for me. Then we didn't even talk about build quality, looks and used materials; which are all very nice on the XPS 15, and quite boring on the MBP's. Improved battery life, slightly faster performance in Lightroom and Photoshop,...
 

Deinos

Gawd
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
556
Thanks for talking me off the ledge. Good enough for me!

Yep. MBPr is great if you are going to use OSX predominantly with a little bit of Windows thrown in via Fusion or Parallels, but 100% Windows via Bootcamp is a terrible solution. You lose all of the mac benefits and get subpar drivers as well.
 

Aurelius

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 22, 2003
Messages
3,541
I was initially really into the new Surface line but now I just can't justify the hefty price with it lacking tb3/usb-c ports. At least the new XPS refresh has a tb3 port. Microsoft is probably holding out for next year's refresh. In any event, the 16:9 aspect ratio is still a stickler on the XPS line for me. I can't believe I'm considering it but I guess there's always the rMBP bootcamp option.

I think the MacBook Pro is the best laptop on the market, but I agree with what was said earlier: if you're going to be running Windows most of the time, get a Windows laptop. Boot Camp is there for people who prefer OS X, but occasionally need native Windows. The Surface Book sounds like what you're looking for, so long as you can afford it.
 

Henri108

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
465
I think the MacBook Pro is the best laptop on the market.

How many laptops with similar build/specs as a Macbook have you owned in the last 2 years? I bet none...

My brother switched from a full spec 13" MBP to an XPS 13 after 8 years of Mac only and is very happy with the switch. And I know several others that have switched from a Mac to a high-end Windows device and love it.
My niece just switched from a 499$ Asus laptop to a 2600$ 15"rMBP and she also loves it. But when I gave her my XPS15 for a day to work on a project (her MBP was at her College home), she told me she would have never bought the rMBP.

Some people like OSX more than Windows (most of the time they are comparing to Windows XP and 7 though), but in terms of productivity, Windows has the edge in 90% of workloads.

I would never want to own a laptop without touch capabilities ever again.
 

Aurelius

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 22, 2003
Messages
3,541
How many laptops with similar build/specs as a Macbook have you owned in the last 2 years? I bet none...

My brother switched from a full spec 13" MBP to an XPS 13 after 8 years of Mac only and is very happy with the switch. And I know several others that have switched from a Mac to a high-end Windows device and love it.
My niece just switched from a 499$ Asus laptop to a 2600$ 15"rMBP and she also loves it. But when I gave her my XPS15 for a day to work on a project (her MBP was at her College home), she told me she would have never bought the rMBP.

Some people like OSX more than Windows (most of the time they are comparing to Windows XP and 7 though), but in terms of productivity, Windows has the edge in 90% of workloads.

I would never want to own a laptop without touch capabilities ever again.

Oh, I don't deny that having touch would be nice, and that Windows has a better mix of productivity apps. Perhaps I should say best overall, not the best for everyone. Here's my reasoning:

First and foremost, the MacBook Pro is a well-designed laptop. It looks good, it's solidly built, it's light, it lasts a long time on battery and strives for good overall performance, not just faster CPUs or graphics. There's a connector that prevents people from dragging your laptop to the floor when they trip on the power cord. And importantly, it has excellent input. It's baffling how many Windows vendors will stuff their machines full of high-end components, but screw up on basics like keyboards and trackpads.

The other bit is that Apple does high-DPI screens better than you usually get on Windows PCs. How is it that Windows still doesn't know how to scale well at very high resolutions? It's disheartening when you hear people advising against the high-res displays on systems like the new XPS line precisely because Windows makes the experience worse.

OS X versus Windows is certainly a matter of preference in terms of interface, but I would say that it's better if you want a streamlined experience, like the Unix-based side of it or don't want to worry much about security.
 

Alfy

n00b
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Messages
22
The XPS15 looks sweet for certain but I'm wondering whether heat is going and battery life will be an issue on this laptop? It comes with a big battery but the combination of the 4k screen and the 45watt cpu could be a problem. I guess we will have to wait and see when the reviews start popping up. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

I was also wondering what folks thought of the 1080p screen vs the 4K screen? Worth the added cost or not? thanks
 
Last edited:

fenixv

Gawd
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
612
Anand tests showed a significant battery drop going from 1080p to 4k. On the other hand, The Wirecutter named the 1080p version the best windows ultrabook. I'm equally intrigued to see if the new XPS refresh will have such a huge gap in performance between the two screen options.
 

A15G

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 3, 2010
Messages
4,967
I've seen that the last gen with 750M showed some throttling while under heavy load/gaming.

I do mild video editing and it probably won't ever hit that, however I play games such as BF4/BF3 and some MOBA games and am somewhat scared that it'll throttle. I love the overall design and price point of the XPS 15. It's one sexy machine, that's all I have to say about it.
 

StryderxX

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Messages
1,409
Anand tests showed a significant battery drop going from 1080p to 4k. On the other hand, The Wirecutter named the 1080p version the best windows ultrabook. I'm equally intrigued to see if the new XPS refresh will have such a huge gap in performance between the two screen options.

I'm not sure what these laptop manufacturers are thinking using integrated graphics to push these insanely high resolutions. If you need ultra mobility and great battery life you have to go with something like the 1080P XPS 13 or a 13" Macbook Air that uses a 1440x900 resolution display.
 

Erasmus354

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
9,450
I've seen that the last gen with 750M showed some throttling while under heavy load/gaming.

I do mild video editing and it probably won't ever hit that, however I play games such as BF4/BF3 and some MOBA games and am somewhat scared that it'll throttle. I love the overall design and price point of the XPS 15. It's one sexy machine, that's all I have to say about it.

I don't have any throttling issues on my XPS 15. I used it as my primary machine for 5 months or so too, and did plenty of gaming on it during that time. Great machine, and the new one only looks better. They changed the bottom from the soft touch carbon fiber to a nice contoured aluminum unibody. Might help with heat dissipation in the slightly smaller chassis.


I think Dell really hit it out of the park with these machines. Checked off all the boxes, and even managed to squeeze in a bigger battery into the new XPS 13. Battery life on the i5/8GB/FHD XPS 13 should be insane.
 

tybert7

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 23, 2007
Messages
2,745
I like the xps 15, but not for for 2k. The closer than can get it to 1k with the following specs:

-i5
-16GB ram
-84 wh battery
-1080p display (both for more battery life and to avoid the 400+ dollar add on cost) - no word on display quality for the 1080p display though, is it solid aside from lower ppi?

-cheapest hd option (I can buy my own ssd with more capacity and less money)
---- The issue here is that I've read buying a version with a standard hd limits you to the smaller capacity battery, so you'd have to buy it with the smallest ssd by default.


Don't care about a discreet gpu on a notebook, have one, never use my current 15" notebook for gaming as my home desktop is so much more powerful with a better feeling keyboard and mouse and a much bigger display. I just want something reasonably fast with a good display that last forever on battery life so I don't need to ever be tethered to the wall. That is the holy grail for me. I tried to customize their new xps 15s but the options are so limited and restricted.



EDIT:

Just checked and the MINIMUM configuration with an i5 and the 84 Wh battery is 1750. And still no 16GB of ram. F*ck that. They won't be getting my money there, but I'm sure others will fill in that loss.
 
Last edited:

opfreak

Gawd
Joined
Nov 17, 2005
Messages
763
I like the xps 15, but not for for 2k. The closer than can get it to 1k with the following specs:

-i5
-16GB ram
-84 wh battery
-1080p display (both for more battery life and to avoid the 400+ dollar add on cost) - no word on display quality for the 1080p display though, is it solid aside from lower ppi?

-cheapest hd option (I can buy my own ssd with more capacity and less money)
---- The issue here is that I've read buying a version with a standard hd limits you to the smaller capacity battery, so you'd have to buy it with the smallest ssd by default.


Don't care about a discreet gpu on a notebook, have one, never use my current 15" notebook for gaming as my home desktop is so much more powerful with a better feeling keyboard and mouse and a much bigger display. I just want something reasonably fast with a good display that last forever on battery life so I don't need to ever be tethered to the wall. That is the holy grail for me. I tried to customize their new xps 15s but the options are so limited and restricted.



EDIT:

Just checked and the MINIMUM configuration with an i5 and the 84 Wh battery is 1750. And still no 16GB of ram. F*ck that. They won't be getting my money there, but I'm sure others will fill in that loss.

I think its because to get the 84wh battery you need the 4k display, which adds 450
 

Erasmus354

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
9,450
I think its because to get the 84wh battery you need the 4k display, which adds 450

I am seeing a $1699 1080p i5 + 16GB RAM + 512GB SSD + 84WHr battery option.

However let's put this in perspective a bit.

That SSD is probably a Samsung SM951. That costs $400 if you were to buy it yourself. So at least a +$330 to the price compared to a normal disk drive if you were buying parts yourself.

16GB vs. 8GB is a +$60 price difference (if you are buying parts yourself).

84WHr battery is probably also a ~+$50 price difference.

The base model XPS15 (with discrete graphics) is $1199 with 1080P, i5, 8GB, 1TB, 56WHr.

So really that $1699 is pretty damn close to what you would pay if you got the $1199 and bought upgrades yourself and recouped full retail for the existing parts.

I think the pricing is entirely reasonable compared to alternatives.
 

Henri108

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
465
My XPS 15 has a SM841 currently, so they indeed use the high-end samsung SSD's. It's really good (like startup in 9 seconds).
 

BiH115

Gif Guy
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
9,327
How's the screen quality on the 15, 1080 vs 4K? From looking online I'm finding that people are generally pleased, and the 1080 screen is excellent. Anyone had a chance to see the two side by side?

I'm debating between the 13 and 15 now...mostly because the 15 is in a 14's chassis. I'd love to be able to see the two side by side but can't seem to find a place that has them on display. How much bigger is the 15 than the 13 "feel" wise?
 

opfreak

Gawd
Joined
Nov 17, 2005
Messages
763
I am seeing a $1699 1080p i5 + 16GB RAM + 512GB SSD + 84WHr battery option.

However let's put this in perspective a bit.

That SSD is probably a Samsung SM951. That costs $400 if you were to buy it yourself. So at least a +$330 to the price compared to a normal disk drive if you were buying parts yourself.

16GB vs. 8GB is a +$60 price difference (if you are buying parts yourself).

84WHr battery is probably also a ~+$50 price difference.

The base model XPS15 (with discrete graphics) is $1199 with 1080P, i5, 8GB, 1TB, 56WHr.

So really that $1699 is pretty damn close to what you would pay if you got the $1199 and bought upgrades yourself and recouped full retail for the existing parts.

I think the pricing is entirely reasonable compared to alternatives.

good find.

I'm not complaining about pricing. When I looked at the configurations I couldn't find the setup you did. Going to make my choice harder (screen selection
 

Erasmus354

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
9,450
good find.

I'm not complaining about pricing. When I looked at the configurations I couldn't find the setup you did. Going to make my choice harder (screen selection

I am really interested to see a good review of the new XPS 15. The older one, while great, did leave a bit to be desired when it came to battery life. When Dell came out with the XPS 13 the next year they completely hit it out of the fucking park when it came to battery life. Still nobody, not even Apple, has come close to the power efficiency Dell managed on the FHD XPS 13. Almost to the point where I feel they must have cheated somehow, but multiple reviews have similar battery life.

I am hoping that Dell managed to take some of that power optimization and move it over to the XPS15. From their quoted battery life figures it looks like maybe they did. I think I saw up to 12 hours for the XPS 15.
 

opfreak

Gawd
Joined
Nov 17, 2005
Messages
763
I am really interested to see a good review of the new XPS 15. The older one, while great, did leave a bit to be desired when it came to battery life. When Dell came out with the XPS 13 the next year they completely hit it out of the fucking park when it came to battery life. Still nobody, not even Apple, has come close to the power efficiency Dell managed on the FHD XPS 13. Almost to the point where I feel they must have cheated somehow, but multiple reviews have similar battery life.

I am hoping that Dell managed to take some of that power optimization and move it over to the XPS15. From their quoted battery life figures it looks like maybe they did. I think I saw up to 12 hours for the XPS 15.

ditto.

the i7 6700hq seems as quick as my desktop 3770k which is fine for the little video enocding I do. Also keeping an eye out for a egpu solution. would let me get by with a single pc.
 

SLee

Gawd
Joined
Oct 27, 2002
Messages
971
Does anybody out there have experience and insight on heavy word processing with a 4k 16:9 screen?
I've used the late 2013 XPS 15 with the 3200 x 1800 screen for programming and MS Office and it is spectacular for that.
 

BiH115

Gif Guy
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
9,327
Still torn between the 13 with the touch screen, or the 15 with the 1080P. Need a "on the side" laptop for development work. Anyone have both side by side to compare sizing (not numbers, but feel).
 

Erasmus354

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
9,450
Still torn between the 13 with the touch screen, or the 15 with the 1080P. Need a "on the side" laptop for development work. Anyone have both side by side to compare sizing (not numbers, but feel).

Personally for an "on the side" laptop I would choose the 13. It is much more portable.
 

BiH115

Gif Guy
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
9,327
Personally for an "on the side" laptop I would choose the 13. It is much more portable.

Would the 15 no be an option as well with the 1080P screen? It seems like the weight difference is so marginal.
 

Erasmus354

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
9,450
Would the 15 no be an option as well with the 1080P screen? It seems like the weight difference is so marginal.

I have the older XPS15, my roommate has the rMBP 13" which is pretty comparable to the XPS13. Even though the weight difference doesn't seem like much, I feel it makes a pretty large difference in portability. I would only get the 15" if you feel you need the extra graphics horsepower for some reason (a secondary gaming machine). If you really just want a side machine, something to take around on trips and get some work done and maybe play some light games (integrated graphics isn't terrible), then I feel a 13" is a better choice.

Can anyone verify if the xps 13 and xps 15 refresh will be delayed?

They have been available for purchase since the announcement. Not delayed at all... http://www.dell.com/us/p/laptops?~ck=mn#!dlpgid=xps-laptops
 

sonicboom

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 31, 2008
Messages
379
Has anyone seen any xps 15 9550 reviews around? I don't mean first look or hands on , but a real review? I like the fhd xps 15 with 256 ssd, however would like to know a bit more before I order. Also, can I purchase the 84 whr battery separately since they don't offer it with anything less than the 512 ssd ?
 

nilepez

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 21, 2005
Messages
11,820
Top