I was wondering if I could get an answer about the battery life on the Dell XPS 15.
The specifications state up to 9 hours of battery life on it. I HIGHLY doubt that's realistic under normal circumstances, especially with the i7. I hear the i7 model only gets up to 3 hours of battery life. Is that right? I mean, realistically with the TDP, there's no way you could get 9 on an i7.
What about the battery on the i5 model? It surely doesn't get 9 hours either does it?
And am I correct to believe the i7 doesn't allow switchable graphics? They advertise it as having nVidia Optimus technology, but from what I can tell, the i7 don't support switchable graphics. Yet, I've heard some reports of Dell technicians claiming that the i7 models did support Optimus, so I'm a little confused.
If someone could please tell me what kind of battery life I could get on it (with the 9-cell), I would appreciate it. I'm thinking to buy an XPS 15 but if the specifications aren't what they're claiming to be, I don't want to buy it, find out it was false advertising, and ship it back, effectively wasting my time.
No the XPS 15 will NOT get 9 hours with either of the i7 core cpu's. You are correct that the i7 does not support n-vidia optimus switching graphics. You can look at Intel's website and neither the i7 740QM nor the i7 840QM have the graphic chips built into them. I think there are some dual core i7's not availible in the XPS 15 that support optimus but the two i7 quad core options for the new XPS 14,15 or 17 do not support optimus. I don't know a battery life estimate for the 15. Mine hasn't come yet.
I just received shipment of my XPS 15 one week ago. I can honestly say that the battery life on this computer is absolutely terrible. I hopped on a plane this morning with a fully charged batter and it lasted no more than 2.5 hours. All I was doing was working on an Excel file. I'm sending this computer back. If the i7 is the problem, I won't be ordering another one. My 5-year-old Lenovo has a battery that lasts 3 times as long.
Your old system probably has a much larger battery -- and if the new one has a 4K screen, you'll likely never see more than 3-3.5 hours max from the battery. If you're looking for longer battery runtimes, return the system and order one with an FHD screen -- the screen is the single largest power consumer in the system.
I second ejn63's comment. I have the FHD screen and get good battery life. Optimus Technology is enabled on the i7 by default. You can enable the NVIDIA GPU Monitor that will tell you what programs are using NVIDIA. Everything else is using Intel. See here how to set up the monitor: NVIDIA: Display GPU activity icon in the notification area.
I have had issues with the Intel HD Graphics 530 driver and have overridden Optimus in some cases.