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August 14th, 2021 05:00

Dell XPS 15 (2021/9510) issues

So I just bought a new Dell XPS 15 (2021 model) with i7, 32GB ram, 1TB SSD and RTX 3050. Coming from a basemodel Surface Laptop, this was quite a premium price and while there are many many things I love about the laptop, there's also concerns that have me wondering whether I should return it or at least try getting a new one or maybe I'm overreacting? All updates have been done and drivers are updated etc. Everything happens both in Windows 10 or Windows 11 beta.

Main concerns:

- High pitched whistle with fan noise. This is the biggest issue; whenever the fans kick on, even a little bit, there's a super annoying high pitched whistle, when the fans go harder, the whistle gets harder. I think it mostly comes from the bottom, not the fans on the back. I can use the laptop in silent-power mode most of the time luckily, but whenever I want to get some actual work done, it's super annoying. In balanced mode/adaptive battery mode, fans kick on slightly all the time, sometimes when I literally do nothing and just have the desktop open with no programs running. The other fan noise is fine, but the high pitched noise is always there with it.

- Screen color calibration. Out of the box the screen colors were terrible. After changing the mode in Premier Color, massively lowering saturation in Intels Graphics, it still looks very warm. The option to change temperature in Premier Color jumps from very warm to practically just blue with no steps in between. As I mainly use this for editing photos, I constantly have to overadjust.

- The screen itself. Luckily, real lightbleed seems to be minimal, but on both sides there seems to be a darker, slightly yellow-ish shadow half a centimer from the bezel that's very noticable on light backgrounds. It's almost like a curved display on a phone.

- Minor issue, but the front indicator light for charging the battery (why does this even exist and why can't it be turned off?) annoys me already, but the chassis also doesn't close 100% on top of it, so you see a small lit up pinstripe on one side of the indicator light.

- Minor issue for me, but talked about a lot by others. When I hold this laptop on it's side or upside down, the lid and chassis don't stay closed, there's almost a centimeter gap.

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Other things I noted:

- Out of the box with the old BIOS firmware the installation process was a mess. The machine barely worked and it took me over an hour just to get a BIOS update done. It wouldn't charge or recognize the battery so I was lucky to even get it fixed before I fully ran out of battery. Add to that the screen calibration and the horrible default audio settings and I felt the initial experience of unboxing and using the device was everything but premium.

- As I was afraid, the smudges on the carbon palm rest are quite crazy. Within minutes it looks like it's been used for years and it barely cleans up. After 4 days of usage, half the deck looks glossy and it distracts when watching movies in the dark for example. Only way I'll be able to use this without getting annoyed it by putting a skin on it.

This all sounds very negative, but I do love the performance, the screen aside from the issues mentioned, the keyboard, trackpad, audio (after adjusting the settings). I just feel like there's a lot of minor inconveniences and quality control issues for something I spent this much money on.

 

2 Berichten

August 16th, 2021 04:00

Follow up: Decided to return it. Kept getting strange glitches (keyboard lighting not turning on for a whole day), Wi-fi adapter seems to be horrible, it's great having a 4K screen, but my internet connection was way worse than with my old laptop, so couldn't even stream 4K most of the time. Another problem was the usb dongle; my controller is not recognized, everything else worked with the dongle, but the auto opening or auto-driver installing doesn't.

Beautiful product, but unfortunately, not a great experience for me.

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