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mabuntu
1 Copper

XPS 13 Developers Edition first impressions

Hi,

My brand new XPS13 (i7/8GB/256GB) arrived today and I'd like to share my initial thoughts with you all. 

  • Design: nice sturdy ultrabook design with (limited) ultrabook connectivity (only 2 USB ports)
  • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS runs very fast and stable (in comparison with my other Ubuntu 13.10 machine)
  • Display quality is excellent, very wide viewing angles and the 1080p resolution using Ubuntu is very productive. But noticeable white 'pressure point' in the left corner when using a black background.
  • Battery life: I'm getting around 6 hours (first charge) which isn't much in comparison to other Haswell based ultrabooks (the Macbook Pro retina 13 can easily get around 9-10 hours, while using a more power hungry CPU)
  • Touch screen: personally I don't see the point of touchscreen when working in Ubuntu (even in Windows). When I want to swipe, I just use my tablet. Maybe a non-touch i7 would be an interesting option.
  • Coil whine: I'm experiencing a high-pitched sound when my keyboard backlight is on. When turned off, it's still noticeable, but very low in intensity
  • Speakers: Sound quality is decent but on regular base my left speaker makes a quite loud creaking sound.

In brief, I'm very glad a 100% Ubuntu machine is available for purchase with optimal driver support (Sputnik Team: thank you!) but I'm a little bit disappointed in the overall quality. The 'coil whine' issue and the speaker problem are well-known internet-forum topics for over a year, and still Dell isn't able to resolve those issues in the 3th iteration of the XPS 13 product. I'll wait to contact Customer Support for a repair since no clear solution for both stated problems has been found.

But, nevertheless, looking forward to the 14.04 LTS DE version!

93 Replies
mabuntu
1 Copper

RE: XPS 13 Developers Edition first impressions

After two days of light frustration about both the speaker and whining I decided to contact support. Next week they will replace 'some components'. I'm curious and I'll hope it will resolve the issues. But reading most fora, Dell isn't quite sure what the exact cause of the coil whine really is. I don't like a brand new machine to be taken apart, but the noise is just to noticeable.

Secondly, I didn't get any Sputnik stickers with my machine, is it possible to order those afterwards?

0 Kudos
svrana
1 Copper

RE: XPS 13 Developers Edition first impressions

Let us know if Dell customer service is able to get rid of the coil whine..  This is ridiculous.

0 Kudos
slcpunk
2 Bronze

RE: XPS 13 Developers Edition first impressions

maybe my surrounds are just louder, but i don't notice the noise too much at all.  if its very quiet, i might hear what others are complaining about.

i did load the i8k drivers and found the fans to quiet down quite a bit.

my biggest complaint is the dumb touch pad -- without real physical buttons.  it can not get the clicks perfect.  i had an old dell d430, tiny little touchpad, worked a million times better.  progress?  no.  fancy big touchpad, but much less usable in my mind.  

otherwise, screen is great, speed etc all that is good.  ( running mint 13 )

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mabuntu
1 Copper

RE: XPS 13 Developers Edition first impressions

Last Monday a Dell technician went by to fix the issue. But unfortunately, he only received a speaker set (!) to solve the problem, since that was the part Dell's technical support ordered. Logically, no solution and he told me Dell would contact me to see what they could do. After three days, I contacted Dell myself since I hadn't heard from them and asked for a refund. But since the speakers were replaced, they couldn't accept the laptop anymore for a refund and now all the internals (main board, ssd, ...) will be replaced instead.

So now I will be stuck with a laptop that has been opened two times, with a new keyboard, main board, ssd, sound card and probably no solution for the whining.

It's difficult to understand Dell's customer service logic, since two repairs + a lot of replacement internal components must cost a lot more than just replacing the defective unit. Here in Belgium, they haven't dealt with the whine issue before (stating the customer support guy), and when I like to refer to this forum (and all the other related topics on the Dell support forum) he replies by saying that internet fora aren't a reference in terms of customer satisfaction. 

So now I have to wait till next week to get a second repair...

0 Kudos
slcpunk
2 Bronze

RE: XPS 13 Developers Edition first impressions

So after using it in some quieter environments, I can definitely hear the whine.  It gets much softer when I turn off the keyboard backlight, as others have mentioned.  I don't find it a deal breaker, but thought it was worth adding the experience-- Dell can't deny that the thing makes noise in an unreasonable way.  ( $1700 laptop should not have an annoying whine, even if its fairly soft )

0 Kudos
DELL-Barton Ge
3 Argentium

RE: XPS 13 Developers Edition first impressions

@mabuntu, @slcpunk and @svrana

 I really apologize for your experience.  I know they are actively working on this. Since we havent been able to replicate the issue in house, support is setting up system exchanges with customers reporting the problem, to get these systems to the labs and test them and work on a solution.

I realize this isnt ideal but since we havent be able to recreate the whine this is how we have to proceed. I apologize for huge inconvenience and appreciate your patience!

thx!

Barton

Barton George

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slcpunk
2 Bronze

RE: XPS 13 Developers Edition first impressions

@barton 

Thanks for your reply, that means as much as anything to me.  ( actually knowing that a dell representative reads these forums is nice )

I guess we'll see how the replacement thing works out - will you post instructions here, or what would the next steps be?  I'm not sure I would really consider it worth my time and effort ... 

anyway, thanks again.

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DELL-Barton Ge
3 Argentium

RE: XPS 13 Developers Edition first impressions

@slcpunk

I read all the posts and I try to respond when I can.  I will look to post more info when we get it.

thanks again for your support! 🙂

Barton George

0 Kudos
elpaso66
1 Copper

RE: XPS 13 Developers Edition first impressions

I'm willing to buy an XPS 13 dev edition but I want to be sure that the coil whine problem is fixed.

Can you please give me an update?

Is this now fixed?

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