Warm/Hot: MS Dell XPS 15 (9530) Reg $2299 Now $1969(edu)/$2199 Comparable to rMBP
This is a great, future proof specification for a computer. Yes, it is on the pricey end, but you are paying for power.
i7 -4702 (quad core) - same as retina Macbook Pro (rMBP)
512 SSD - great read/write speeds - approx 600/450
Intel AC + Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless - same as rMBP
3200x1880 QHD display with touchscreen - better than rMBP
91Whr battery (quoted at 11 hrs, will likely fetch around 7 hours)
4 USB (3 - USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0)
Intel 4600 and Nvidia 750 Video with 2GB dedicated
Mini Display Port
I waited some time for this and although back to deals *may* be better, reps at the MS store said that this sale was one of their best. Students and teachers can get an additional 10% off on the laptop making the final price very attractive.
Please, this laptop is not a GAMING machine. Dont expect it to perform like one. It is a workstation class laptop, in a very thin and attractive body. Video editors and photshoppers will be very happy with this machine. The specs of this laptop are comparable to the high end rMBP which costs $2,649 (or $2,449 for students/teachers). The dell, right now, costs $2199 for the general public or $1999 if you are a student/teacher (valid id required).
General Public - $2299-$100 = $2199
Students - $2299 - $100 - 10% = $1969
For reference: Retina Macbook Pro - http://store.apple.com/ca/buy-mac/macbook-pro
Most common complaints
Believe it or not, every product has issues. Even Apple doesnt make perfect laptops. the rMBP has screen ghosting issues and some times, dead pixels. SSD problems and some reports of HDMI scaling issues (likely software, however)
With this dell, the most commonly reported complaints are the following:
Coil Whine - apparently some of the earlier production units have a slight humming. Noticeable when in areas where there is complete silence. Have not been in a silent environment yet to test this.
Video Drivers- use the Intel ones and you are golden
*Fan Noise - I can honestly say that I didnt experience any unnecessary overheating. I was streaming the Raptors game yesterday and also using the mini displayport to project on to a projector and I had no issues with heating. Yes the bottom does get warm, but that happens with ANY laptop these days.
I think for those people who are considering the rMBP as an option only due to the high res display, design and form factor, this is a great alternative.
I do believe that Dell's XPS series is a well constructed series. Dell does have the best customer service in the Windows OEMs category. HP used to be great, but they have really fallen behind.