I am thinking about purchasing a Dell XPS13. One of the downsides seems to be the battery life. I have heard that for an i7 can be as low as 2 hours and won't last longer than 6.30 under light usage. What's your experience on this if you have one?
Also, would an i5 conserve the battery for much longer?
I am replacing my desktop with an ultrabook (hopefully the xps13) but I can't find a docking station for this laptop. I need to easily get a keyboard/mouse, external bluray reader and monitor connected on the go but without a docking station it seems things get slightly harder. Are there any docking stations out there available for the xps13?
All else equal, an i5 will extend runtime vs. an i7 -- how much more depends on the exact CPU model.
There is no true docking station for any of the XPS or Inspiron models. If you need that, you'll need a Latitude model. Other manufacturers' product lines are similar (for example, ThinkPads have dock options; IdeaPads don't). There are universal USB port replicators you can use, but if you want a true dock, you need a Latitude.
That's not entirely true, XPS12 has a docking station from Dell. Let me rephrase the question, is there any third-party solution to allow me to easily dock my XPS13?
The XPS12 is basically a tablet - not a notebook.
Yes, there are universal port replicators from Targus, Kensington, Belkin, etc. For example,
I found the battery life to be quite good on the XPS13, until it had to be replaced.
The USB-C docking adapters I tried, but failed to make work, were:
Dell WDF15 shipped from Dell with the new XPS13
StartTech USB-C Dual Monitor (MST30C2DPPD)
Pluggable USB-C Triple display (DisplayLink Driver included with Windows 10)
Pluggable USB-C Triple display #2 (bench tested successfully by Plugable support on an XPS13)
Mokin USB-C to HDMI/USB 3.0 adapter
Reports suggest some problems have been rectified by either adjusting the wifi power to 75% which did not work for me - or completely replacing the card with an alternative brand as mentioned above). It appears there may indeed be a subcomponent (like wifi) that interfers with the USB-C components, causing any USB-C driver to fail.
FOLLOW UP - Further testing revealed an HDMI interface compatibility issue that may have cascaded to the USB-C docking station causing the dock to cycle. If true, the root cause would be the HDMI compatibility.
I tested three different Windows10 HDMI monitor configurations that all were known to worked on a mac.
LG Widescreen monitor. Works as advertised. No cycling behavior.
HANNspree HF257. Cycled/flickered.
ViewSonic VP201b (required HDMI/DVI adapter). No Signal
The last two monitors are older but still work on a mac so it seems there is some HDMI compatibility issue.
The computer may not work with your monitor and if you are not willing to buy another monitor, you will need to return the computer within the 30 day period or you will be in a support system that either is unable or unwilling to provide a remedy.