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Topic # 136544 30-Nov-2013 23:40 Send private message

I guess I could help people with unlimited resources (aka company) make decisions.

The reason I bought this laptop was because it's the first one in NZ with super high def screen that was Haswell that was light.

Specs: 2kg
- 16GB RAM
- 3200x1800 pixel 15.6 screen
- 500GB Samsung SSD
- Backlit keyboard
- Large touchpad
- Windows 8.1 Pro

Price: you don't want to know

Delivery: Took about 11 days to arrive

Unboxing: You don't get anything other than a box a charger and the laptop. No discs or sleeve.

First impression: Looks like a MacBook pro but half the weight. The palm rest is some rubbery stuff which looks like it could melt anytime. Not sure. The underside is also covered in this stuff. The heat vent in underneath it. SO you can't put this thing on fabric like the duvet for example. I don't wear shorts so I don't know how hot it gets but I bet it can burn you if you play crisis* (see 5).

Screen: Way over saturated. Wrong hue. Surprisingly easy to calibrate with intel HD4600 program. Unfortunately I am not allowed to install latest Intel driver. It also comes with Nvidia 750M with Optimus. Optimus lets you help decide whether the laptop uses Intel graphics (low power consumption) or Nvidia (unleash the power baby!). On about 40% brightness I can see everything in daylight. I am not sure about bright sunshine but it should be ok.

Touch screen - extremely smooth and precise. FOr some reason sometimes it wants to zoom when I only use one finger. But I have discovered multi gesture where I can scroll with the track pad. So no need to use the touch screen much. Unless you need some deltoid exercise.

Touch pad - a let down. very imprecise compared to my 5 year old entry level Vaio. However with some playing around with the settings I have found a reasonable setting. Satisfied. BUT the left and right click require force to work. Multi gesture is good, but you need to turn up the touch sensitivity otherwise you end up clicking on everything. Multi gesture is really good. you can change screens, scroll, right click, bring out the charm (yes I don't know why it's called that) and probably does the dinner. SOrry my old laptop is 3 years old, so I am rather amused.

Keyboard - quite chunky. loud. Not buttery smooth like my other XPS dell. Not sure if I like it or not but if it lasts then i'm happy. It is missing a few keys like pause/break which apparently is a windows 8 shortkey which I will never get to use. There is no separate media and other buttons so you have to press Fn to do anything including change songs, volume, home, page up etc. WHat was dell thinking?! Also for some reason backspace and delete is very close and I kept deleting files! The backlit feature is extremely useful and really should be standard nowadays.

Battery life: THis thing weighs 2kg. that's all. it lasts 8 hours* (see 1). with me doing all kinds of things including plugging in external drives, charging my usb DAC.

One issue is it doesn't have an optical drive. I don't know when i'll need one'. Let's hope not.

The other is - I don't know why but there is a certain lag. I have a 1st gen i7 laptop with Sata 2 SSD and that one is super fast and responsive. Maybe there are other bloat I need to get rid of.

Oh talking about bloat. I ordered extra adobe stuff and office. THe office key came on a piece of paper in the box. THe adobes needed to be downloaded by Dell. It didn't. I had to delete a hidden file, tweak the services.msc to get the thing going. Not impressed.

And nothing works well when McAfee was running. Uninstalling it should be the first thing you do. The second thing would be to use another antimalware (I used avast 2014 free with ONLY file shield, web shield slows everything down).

I can see how photo and video editing on the go would be awesome on this thing, so would games be.

There are however lots of stuff I haven't figured out ... like SKydrive, whether to use a desktop program or a metro app to open videos, photos, music, email, etc. I don't know why they didn't bring back the start menu of old. I find that needing to go to metro to find my programs a bit tedious.

Would I recommend this laptop? As of today yes, since it has no competition in NZ for QHD screen. It's not too bad but there are quirks and annoyances. Apart from that it's ok. (You could buy a car with this money!)


*****
Extra knowledge discovered:
1) with SSD it comes with 91Wh battery which is a lot more than the 61Wh battery with the other models
2) If your rig has a 91Wh battery it won't fit a sata spinning drive (not that you'd want one, but ...)
3) this is the same thing as a precision M3800 except for the GPU
4) I emailed them for an Ethernet dongle and they gave me one for free (I said why did my extravagant not have Ethernet bla bla bla) + install media (haven't arrived yet)
5) there are reports that the GPU overheats when playing games so if you are getting this for games you have been warned

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MoS

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  Reply # 952331 14-Dec-2013 20:36 Send private message

Hi, I recently purchased this laptop as well (the middle config 32gb ssd+1tb hdd), I agree with pretty much everything you have said especially in regards to the track pad, very disappointed in its inconsistent functionality.

I also bought this laptop for professional photo editing use and I am horrified by the awful over saturation of colors (especially red!)
I'm using the Intel HD Graphics Control Panel to adjust/calibrate the monitor but haven't been successful (I'm using my desktop IPS calibrated monitor as reference). 
Can you let me know what settings you used? 

Thanks!

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  Reply # 952348 14-Dec-2013 20:58 Send private message

Hey thanks for then write up!   This will be likely be my next laptop (I currently have a XPS 17 2nd Gen Intel, fully kitted out)   You will be able to change the function key default in the bios, you can set it to use the the media keys, with the Fn key letting you access F1-F12



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  Reply # 952352 14-Dec-2013 21:07 Send private message

I am pretty sure the hue changed over time! might be screen burn in. initially I had
- hue 8 (but yellow became green although red was fixed!) contrast 40 gamma 0.8 saturation -10

now I have admitted defeat and believe you cannot get IPS professional photography calibration of gamma. but colours are ok. my settings now is
- everything default
- except saturation at -20

do a test print and see how it goes

in terms of trackpad there are a few things which all interact
- mouse pointer sensitivity bang in middle
- dell touchpad options:
- pointer speed about 2-4 clicks right of bang middle (this is where the money is in terms of precision vs too slow; the rest is to make sure it's not too sensitive and no lag)
- touch pressure at least around 2/3rds (otherwise it's too sensitive and you click on everything)
- tapping speed MAX
- double click speed 4/5ths
- go to charms - settings - pc settings - mouse and touchpad -> no delay

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  Reply # 952353 14-Dec-2013 21:10 Send private message

joker97: I am pretty sure the hue changed over time! might be screen burn in. initially I had
- hue 8 (but yellow became green although red was fixed!) contrast 40 gamma 0.8 saturation -10

now I have admitted defeat and believe you cannot get IPS professional photography calibration of gamma. but colours are ok. my settings now is
- everything default
- except saturation at -20

do a test print and see how it goes

in terms of trackpad there are a few things which all interact
- mouse pointer sensitivity bang in middle
- dell touchpad options:
- pointer speed about 2-4 clicks right of bang middle (this is where the money is in terms of precision vs too slow; the rest is to make sure it's not too sensitive and no lag)
- touch pressure at least around 2/3rds (otherwise it's too sensitive and you click on everything)
- tapping speed MAX
- double click speed 4/5ths
- go to charms - settings - pc settings - mouse and touchpad -> no delay


  If you're in Dunedin I can calibrate your display for you :) (I'm a professional photographer with a hardware monitor calibrator )



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  Reply # 952552 15-Dec-2013 14:15 Send private message

wow I do live near Dunners -

might take you up on that offer next year eh :D

or maybe if you got one with the same QHD screen you could post your calib :D



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  Reply # 952553 15-Dec-2013 14:15 Send private message

oh and thanks for the BIOS tip now I only need to figure out how to do Alt-F4 without pressing 3 buttons

dpw

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  Reply # 952694 15-Dec-2013 20:27 Send private message

Thanks for the write up! I absolutely agree with the touchpad being such a let down. Everything else on this laptop I can live with perfectly well. The screen has always looked a wee bit odd to me, and I can't quite get it calibrated right. So yes, I also agree nothing short of a hardware calibrator will cure this issue!

I'm not sure if you noticed but every now and then the touch screen device will stop functioning. Turned out I have to manually disallow the OS from disabling this device under certain power conditions. That was a bit of a cock up I thought.

During the day I live in Microsoft world, but at night in the past 7 years I have lived in the OSX world... until now. I am pretty much full time Microsoft bunny except for my Android phone. This XPS 15 was the device that lured me back! Other than the touch pad I am quite happy with this laptop.

Now... I just need to find someone in ChCh with a hardware monitor calibrator :o)




Android user, .NET developer, a semi-typical (not a gamer) geek, and a Bernese Mountain Dog nut!

http://savitarbernese.com

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  Reply # 952813 15-Dec-2013 23:02 Send private message

joker97: wow I do live near Dunners -

might take you up on that offer next year eh :D

or maybe if you got one with the same QHD screen you could post your calib :D


Moving to Auckland at the end of the year so you'll be out of luck! You're gamma changing is likely due to Intel's 'power saving', go into your intel display driver, make sure you're in advanced mode, go to power and change both plugged in and on batter to maximum performance. Intel makes the blacks not very black when in the power saving mode

MoS

4 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 953260 16-Dec-2013 19:02 Send private message

joker97: I am pretty sure the hue changed over time! might be screen burn in. initially I had
- hue 8 (but yellow became green although red was fixed!) contrast 40 gamma 0.8 saturation -10

now I have admitted defeat and believe you cannot get IPS professional photography calibration of gamma. but colours are ok. my settings now is
- everything default
- except saturation at -20

do a test print and see how it goes

in terms of trackpad there are a few things which all interact
- mouse pointer sensitivity bang in middle
- dell touchpad options:
- pointer speed about 2-4 clicks right of bang middle (this is where the money is in terms of precision vs too slow; the rest is to make sure it's not too sensitive and no lag)
- touch pressure at least around 2/3rds (otherwise it's too sensitive and you click on everything)
- tapping speed MAX
- double click speed 4/5ths
- go to charms - settings - pc settings - mouse and touchpad -> no delay


Hey Joker, I think I may have found the ideal solution to our initial over saturation issue!
Open Windows Mobility Center and make sure the Default Display Color is set on "Generic Color" and not on "Splendid".
Let me know if this works for you as well. 



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  Reply # 953303 16-Dec-2013 20:16 Send private message

you're awesome! cheers :D



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  Reply # 953305 16-Dec-2013 20:18 Send private message

any ideas on how to make the touchpad more precise? I tried turning off enhanced precision :D

MoS

4 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 954167 18-Dec-2013 11:28 Send private message

For the time being it looks like we're stuck with the crappy trackpad. Unfortunate, but it's forced me to use the touchscreen more (maybe this was Dell's plan all along?). 


dpw

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  Reply # 957315 25-Dec-2013 21:00 Send private message

Is anyone using any image editing software on this laptop? I have tried Gimp, Photoshop, PaintShop Pro, Scribus, and Inkscape, but they're all failing miserably to scale up to this QHD+ resolution. These apps are damn near unusable since their displays are microscopic.




Android user, .NET developer, a semi-typical (not a gamer) geek, and a Bernese Mountain Dog nut!

http://savitarbernese.com



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  Reply # 957316 25-Dec-2013 21:03 Send private message

That it's true of all ultra hi res screens not just DellDell.

If only you could get a high spec one with 1080 screen

MoS

4 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 957317 25-Dec-2013 21:04 Send private message

Yes I'm using both Lightroom and Cs6 and they are awfully small. I've seen people scale but haven't been able to figure out how to do that...

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