Thin/light laptop, XPS 13 competitors?

Discussion in 'Mobile Computing' started by Kueller, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Kueller

    Kueller [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,991
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2001
    Been a Surface user for a number of years now. When they first came out the form factor was amazing compared to clamshell laptops of the day. But I'm sick of the floppy Surface Pro keyboard losing connection and having to be fiddled with to reconnect, and being unable to sit it on my lap without extra room for the kickstand. The one thing I will miss is the taller aspect ratio on the Surface, 16:9 is just so short if you have any kind of toolbars open.

    I've been looking at the XPS 13, really like the screen:bezel ratio and general form factor. Don't plan to play games on it regularly. After years with the Surface Pro, it's become obvious I won't make use of tablet functionality either. Just looking for something easy to carry and durable enough to last a few years. If there are any laptops with taller aspect ratio displays I'd love to check them out as well.

    Looking mainly for 13-14", but could go up to 15" if the overall form factor is compact.
    8GB Ram or user upgradeable
    SSD or user replaceable spinny-disk
    Under $1000
    I'm sure the battery life will kill my old Surface Pro

    Thanks for the input!
     
  2. BiH115

    BiH115 Gif Guy

    Messages:
    7,849
    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    I had the first gen of the new XPS 13's (9350), and it was a fantastic machine. The thin bezels, the great keyboard, and excellent chassis/build quality made a fantastic package. I have no issues recommending one. Dell.com is having a deal now for an XPS 13 with an i5/8GB RAM/128GB SSD for $799, or with a 256GB SSD for $849. I haven't checked the Dell Outlet website, but you may find even better deals there. I'd recommend spending an extra $100 or so on the new 8th Gen Intel-based XPS 13's that just came out, as you'd be getting the latest. For $1,199 you get an i5/8GB RAM/256GB SSD.
     
  3. TMCM

    TMCM [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,185
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    I went from a SP3 to XPS 13 with the new quad core i7 and have no regrets at all
     
  4. wuzupfoo

    wuzupfoo Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    288
    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    I was shopping this segment all christmas long so this is the lineup I compared.

    Dell XPS 13 - Traditional laptop
    Yoga 920 - Convertible
    HP Spectre 360 - Convertible

    Really like the new HP spectre x360 which won my own comparo. Solid build quality, comes with a faux leather case which is nice and an active pen. I got mine during christmas for about a grand with discounts. it was a KBL-R i7 8gb 256 nvme convertible so you can use it with the included active pen in tablet mode (note I havent tried it since Im a more traditional laptop user but it gets good reviews tho probably doesnt hold a candle to the SP but the pen is included!), though I do really appreciate the open hinge as it allows all kinds of random positioning. Terrible for your posture but I use it in bed straightened out while lying down. Also great to prop up on the plane to watch a movie (extra bonus if you are united customer as the keyboard will slide right into their seat back of their new planes and you can watch movies at eye level) The extra-wide trackpad which is unique to this model amongst the competitors was also a nice touch.

    Also I agree the new updated XPS13 does look nice too but that side nose cam threw me off since I use vid conferencing.

    The yoga 920 (i think that is latest one) is also worth a look but its a 14" it lost the the competition because it wouldnt quite fit in my bag.

    Those are your main 3 choices at that price point with the new KBL-R quad cores. They are all great and similarly priced but it depends on your needs and requirements.

    EDIT: Forgot to add the Surface Laptop is a taller aspect I believe but its priced higher for specs you want and I dont believe they got the new KBL-R quad cores yet.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
  5. bobzdar

    bobzdar [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,248
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    There's this:
    Acer Swift 3, 15.6" Full HD, AMD Ryzen 7 2700U, 8GB DDR4, 512GB SSD, Windows 10, SF315-41-R6J9 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078B5WZZ5/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_jBNAAbX1D4A5B

    15", thin and light, mx150 speed igp (or roughly 3x as fast as Intel igp), 512gb ssd, under a grand. I really like the all metal frame and gorilla glass, should be pretty durable.

    Fwiw I'm a surface book user and really like it, but it's well over a grand with decent specs. To get similar performance to that acer would be in the $2k range.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
  6. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard Proud Brony

    Messages:
    2,324
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2016
    I just got the 2018 version of the XPS 13 (9370) with the 8th gen i7 and 4K touch screen. It's an amazing little machine. The gold and white is super sexy, too. I posted a couple pics in the Post Your Laptop thread.
     
  7. gsilver

    gsilver Gawd

    Messages:
    563
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Did anyone else have problems with coil whine on the XPS 13?
    I bought and returned two of them because of it.

    It seemed like a good machine otherwise, but it was really irritating.
     
  8. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard Proud Brony

    Messages:
    2,324
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2016
    Haven't heard any coil whine on my new XPS 13.
     
  9. dvsman

    dvsman [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,452
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    I have the '17 version (9360?) and I only get coil whine sometimes - it's weird. On power adaptor it's fine 99% if not all the time but the whine creeps in when it's off power adaptor and even then it seems at random. Who knows? /shrug
     
  10. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge Not the Idiot YOU are Looking for

    Messages:
    4,841
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Main complaint with the XPS13 is that the 4k panel eats battery life- and you can't get an otherwise top-end model with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD without it, old or new version. And scaling is imperfect too- I finally just set it to one quarter resolution. It's my house laptop now as its the older dual-core 9360 which lags doing photo stuff on the go, and that's my demanding app.

    I went with an ASUS Zenbook 2-in-1, Best Buy model, and like it quite a bit more for that purpose. 1080p, better battery life, with the same quad and 16Gb of RAM and 512GB SSD.

    Only further complaint is that all of these companies are stepping up to Apple-grade 'courage' and tossing ports off. Can't get a full-sized SD slot on anything, and this ASUS comes with a breakout adapter because it literally only has USB-C ports and a mic/headphone port.
     
  11. dvsman

    dvsman [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,452
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Does the new 13 xps come with the I7+Vega chip? That should bump up graphics performance by quite a bit over the integrated / Iris Pro junk that was in the previous models.
     
  12. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard Proud Brony

    Messages:
    2,324
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2016
    No, it has the Intel UHD 620 chip. The XPS 15 2-in-1 has AMD Vega, though.
     
  13. Kueller

    Kueller [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,991
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2001
    Update: I picked up a huawei Matebook X 13"! At least temporarily...

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/prod...i_watt_w19a_i7_7500u_8gb_512_ssd_windows.html

    I love the physical attributes, 0.5" thick, 2.3lbs, 13" 2160x1440 (the BH page is just wrong on the 2560x1440 res) thin bezel display with the 3:2 ratio I was hoping for. Screen looks pretty good too! Build quality seems solid out of the box, but only time will tell. Time I won't have, since it's going back. I like the form factor enough to keep it for a while, which means I'd much prefer the 4-core 8th gen and 16GB of ram. Trackpad is only passable, and it only accepts USB-C charging from one side. I'm hoping the 8th gen refresh will polish things up a bit. I have high hopes as this seems to have a few of those first generation product rough edges that could be easily smoothed out with just a little attention.