Once I’d resolved the Surface Pro 3 had to go, I had to decide what to replace it with. I’ve had a Dell XPS 12 for two years now and love it, apart from one drawback. It’s heavier than a “normal” touch ultrabook because of the swivel screen (it needs a sturdy frame). My wife has been using one of the original XPS 13s for three years and it’s wonderfully light, and I bought her one of the new ones with the “Infinity display” earlier this year to replace it. I’d have to say it’s a beautiful machine: the display is crisp and clear and extends to the edge of the screen. Bloody marvelous.
So – my reasoning went – if she can have one, why not me?
Hence the proceeds from the sale of the Surface were ploughed right back into a Dell XPS 13. Infinity display at 3200×1800 with touch, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD. I went for a refurbished one rather than a new one and saved nearly $600 on the deal so I’m well pleased. (In the interests of full disclosure, there’s a half-inch scratch on the lid, but other than that it’s as new. I might cover the scratch with a DevExpress laptop sticker.)
And how is it? To quote myself, bloody marvelous.
1. It’s light and thin.
2. It’s fast – an i7-5500U powers it.
3. The screen is gorgeous and crisp. Color rendition was excellent as far as I could tell with these ancient eyes. I’ll probably calibrate it when I’ve finished with my travels to Build, etc – I have a Datacolor Spyder Pro for exactly that.
4. Excellent battery life. I was finishing off the installs and updates (you can’t imagine how many updates Office 365 Home needs) today, and I did it all on battery power. No issue. After some four hours of this, there was still 20% battery left.
5. No driver issues – I was using a USB Ethernet connection via a USB 3.0 hub with no issues. Even connected an external DVD drive.
6. The trackpad is very responsive, however I still use an external Arc mouse.
1. Because of the resolution of the screen, I’m running it at a larger text size than standard. Windows 8.1 doesn’t actually tell you what it is, but I’m guessing 150% (In fact I can’t read it at 100%.) Bloody hell but we developers have to get it together with non-traditional DPIs. It makes a strong case for browsers and web apps, that’s what it does.
2. There’s no pen digitizer, hence no pen. Can’t say, I miss that from the Surface, but then again, I’m no artist.
All in all, then, a much better machine for my peculiarities and travels. I’ve got it in an Acme Made Macbook Air 13 sleeve to protect it from any further scratches…