Saturday, November 07, 2015

Lusting over the Dell XPS 15

Dell XPS 15

Like a mildly obsessed schoolboy Marcus has spent many hours drooling and researching the possibilities for 

Dell XPS 15 laptop ownership.

The fall of our beloved Lenovo U430  had it been fatal would have forced something.

Luckily, Lenny the Lenovo is still humming along as I reported here

So really the following analysis is, well, just for the hell of it.  I mean if I could find a reasonable buyer for Lenny, and get the right spec especially keyboard  (read on) then I suppose it could happen.  ....

The Right Keyboard Grommit
As a non native Swiss I write and type using a US English keyboard. Not only do I not want a Swiss or German or French keyboard, but they fill me with horror.

Sometimes these International keyboard have you pressing 3 keys just to get to the hash (#) or dollar ($) character.  Can you imagine the torture in a programming environment.

Although I was raised on a British keyboard I still interact with older UNIX computers and they really like US not UK, so US to me is just right,  I suppose if I really, really, had to, UK would be an acceptable second.

What I found - My Spreadsheet

- US has 256GB SSD maximum
- Swiss buyers cannot order a US keyboard, but a Germany or French buyer can
- Swiss prices are best  (US price shown is with the smaller disk remember)

- I wrote to Dell Switzerland about a US keyboard  Swiss machine, but they never replied :-(

What's so Fantastic then?

The Dell XPS 15, 2015 edition is really quite something

- 15 inch screen laptop with ultra thin bezels, so it sits in a case normally reserved for a regular fat bezel 14 incher.
- Touch Screen  (note to Apple users, Laptops can have a touch screen)
- 4K Screen Resolution  (note to Apple users, Laptops can have an Industry Standard 4K screen resolution)
- PCIe Solid State M2 format disk drive
- Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.0 ports
- 16 GB memory
- Nvidia Geoforce GTX 960M graphics  (though I don't need this)
- Removable Hard disk and Memory
- Will take 32GB memory when SODIMM capacities rise
-PCIe WiFi and Bluetooth card
- WiFi 802.11ac and 802.11a/g/n

For Apple Users
This section provided as an education to Apple users.

Dear Apple users, I know you might think this perverse and somewhat shocking; but this is a laptop that you can easily open with normal tools and even upgrade or change components.

There are even  freely available laptop manuals telling you how to perform the upgrades.

I know, who would have thought it was possible eh? 

If I could stand the ghastly inappropriate French or German keyboard, then the Swiss Dell store can sell me a decent XPS15 laptop for only 2100 CHF  aka 1380 GBP.  The outstanding issues are though

- I need a US keyboard (or at least UK)
- Not clear if the machine has 2 or 1 Disk slots for PCIe and SATA SSD
- I don't have a buyer for Lenny & I certainly won't consider having 2 laptops.