Computers & Electronics

Warm/Hot: MS Dell XPS 15 (9530) Reg $2299 Now $1969(edu)/$2199 Comparable to rMBP

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[OP]
Member
Apr 15, 2008
447 posts
245 upvotes
Toronto

Warm/Hot: MS Dell XPS 15 (9530) Reg $2299 Now $1969(edu)/$2199 Comparable to rMBP

I recently sold my Macbook Pro to upgrade to a higher resolution display. I have been shopping around for some time and thought this was the perfect competitor - and at a bargain price.

This is a great, future proof specification for a computer. Yes, it is on the pricey end, but you are paying for power.

Main Specs
*********

i7 -4702 (quad core) - same as retina Macbook Pro (rMBP)
512 SSD - great read/write speeds - approx 600/450
16GB RAM
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)
Backlit keyboard
4 USB (3 - USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0)
Intel 4600 and Nvidia 750 Video with 2GB dedicated
HDMI
Mini Display Port
NFC
Glass Touchpad
Great speakers


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.
45 replies
Member
Dec 24, 2010
479 posts
259 upvotes
Very few people buy macbook retinas 15 in just for the tech specs. Windows laptops will almost always have better bang for the buck in terms of specifications. I find it really unnecessary to compare it to rMBP at every term. If this is not a gaming laptop at all, there is very little use to include a gt 750m, so the yoga pro 2 would be a much better deal considering it is lighter, and has same resolution.

Retails for 500$ less without any rebate http://shop.lenovo.com/ca/en/laptops/id ... oga-2-pro/.

Now if your main use is gaming then even an alienware computer would cost less at 1900$ for the 256 ssd + 1TB HDD, GT 750m, i7.
http://www.dell.com/ca/p/alienware-14/p ... D;8~2561TB

If you didnt need the SSD, a similar spec'd computer would only cost half of that.

http://www.futureshop.ca/en-ca/product/ ... f85307en02

Now the deal by itself, is cold since it's only 100$ off (assuming you're not a student) on a 2k+ PC.

I guess it's an okay deal if you NEED 512Gb of SSD and that resolution + a GT750m and hate HDDs

I appreciate your effort but it's just cold
Jr. Member
Jan 9, 2011
102 posts
59 upvotes
Toronto
The link you posted says the battery life is up to 5 hours only, with 61Whr battery.
[OP]
Member
Apr 15, 2008
447 posts
245 upvotes
Toronto
azndnangel wrote: Very few people buy macbook retinas 15 in just for the tech specs. Windows laptops will almost always have better bang for the buck in terms of specifications. I find it really unnecessary to compare it to rMBP at every term. If this is not a gaming laptop at all, there is very little use to include a gt 750m, so the yoga pro 2 would be a much better deal considering it is lighter, and has same resolution.

Retails for 500$ less without any rebate http://shop.lenovo.com/ca/en/laptops/id ... oga-2-pro/.

Now if your main use is gaming then even an alienware computer would cost less at 1900$ for the 256 ssd + 1TB HDD, GT 750m, i7.
http://www.dell.com/ca/p/alienware-14/p ... D;8~2561TB

Now the deal by itself, is cold since it's only 100$ off (assuming you're not a student) on a 2k+ PC.

I appreciate your effort but it's just cold
There are MANY other uses for the dedicated 750. Video editing is the quickest thing that comes to mind. Some light gaming. multi-layer photoshopping with hardcore rendering, in some instances even coding benefits from a dedicated video card.

With your asus link, you are comparing a machine that weight 6.2 pounds vs the XPS 15 at 4.4 pounds. And, with the size and body of the Dell it even supports upgradable SSD, HDD, and RAM modules, something that is rarely found in newer laptops. You are comparing a 512SSD to 256SSD, not quite the same. And 16GB to 8GB RAM, again, not the same.

The point is, no other manufacturer produces a device with a quad core pc, with a 15 inch high res display and these specs, in this body, for this price. The closest competitor, Asus and their 301 zenbook series offers 8gb ram and a 256 GB SSD, at a price of $1899 on sale, with Iris 5000 graphics.

The point is, this laptop is light, slim, and well constructed. The point of comparing this to a Macbook Pro with retina rather than an Alienware is due to performance. Sure you can have killer performance in an Alienware laptop that is priced at $1699, but it will not be light and will not be slim.

On the student deal, it is a great price at $1999 (299 off) in my opinion. But to each their own.
toppretender wrote: The link you posted says the battery life is up to 5 hours only, with 61Whr battery.
Its a mistake in the specs. It comes with a 91whr 6 cell battery.
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Jul 17, 2008
11042 posts
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Who in their right mind would pay 2000$ for a laptop with a weak GPU and a lot of known problems. And why on earth would you want a 1880p resolution on a 15" display.

Mind = blown

Seriously, you want something for your 2000$ go get a ASUS or MSI
Sr. Member
User avatar
Oct 2, 2011
981 posts
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Edmonton
azndnangel wrote: Very few people buy macbook retinas 15 in just for the tech specs. Windows laptops will almost always have better bang for the buck in terms of specifications. I find it really unnecessary to compare it to rMBP at every term. If this is not a gaming laptop at all, there is very little use to include a gt 750m, so the yoga pro 2 would be a much better deal considering it is lighter, and has same resolution.

Retails for 500$ less without any rebate http://shop.lenovo.com/ca/en/laptops/id ... oga-2-pro/.

Now if your main use is gaming then even an alienware computer would cost less at 1900$ for the 256 ssd + 1TB HDD, GT 750m, i7.
http://www.dell.com/ca/p/alienware-14/p ... D;8~2561TB

If you didnt need the SSD, a similar spec'd computer would only cost half of that.

http://www.futureshop.ca/en-ca/product/ ... f85307en02

Now the deal by itself, is cold since it's only 100$ off (assuming you're not a student) on a 2k+ PC.

I guess it's an okay deal if you NEED 512Gb of SSD and that resolution + a GT750m and hate HDDs

I appreciate your effort but it's just cold
This is a multimedia/workstation notebook, the GT 750m will come in very handy for video editing. Matter of fact that's about all it's good for, unless you like older games. The XPS has always been odd to me. It pretends to be a gaming laptop but it hasn't been sufficient at that since the XPS M1510 with the 8600m GT. I've owned every iteration of XPS since then (except for this newer one), and while they've always been a "looker" or felt premium, they really are not meant to be used for gaming period. The cooling just isn't sufficient. The Studio XPS was beautiful but had terrible cooling, and pretty well all XPS have had throttling issues due to heat and or lack of proper power adapter when attempting to game.

The Yoga 2 Pro would be useless for video editing (I don't edit videos though), but I'm actually looking at it because I want a lighter laptop than my XPS15, and I want a tablet but don't want a tablet AND laptop separately.

It's stupid how this "resolution race" is going down. If someone want's a gaming notebook they'd best be looking for something with a 1080P IPS screen.

I will admit the XPS line is usually pushing the envelope for the latest tech and in a more affordable package (compared to other "premium" laptops anyway). The M1510 was the first laptop with a 1080p screen (1920x1200 16:10 actually).
[OP]
Member
Apr 15, 2008
447 posts
245 upvotes
Toronto
wetcardboard wrote: This is a multimedia/workstation notebook, the GT 750m will come in very handy for video editing. Matter of fact that's about all it's good for, unless you like older games. The XPS has always been odd to me. It pretends to be a gaming laptop but it hasn't been sufficient at that since the XPS M1510 with the 8600m GT. I've owned every iteration of XPS since then (except for this newer one), and while they've always been a "looker" or felt premium, they really are not meant to be used for gaming period. The cooling just isn't sufficient. The Studio XPS was beautiful but had terrible cooling, and pretty well all XPS have had throttling issues due to heat and or lack of proper power adapter when attempting to game.

The Yoga 2 Pro would be useless for video editing (I don't edit videos though), but I'm actually looking at it because I want a lighter laptop than my XPS15, and I want a tablet but don't want a tablet AND laptop separately.

It's stupid how this "resolution race" is going down. If someone want's a gaming notebook they'd best be looking for something with a 1080P IPS screen.
I agree. For gaming, especially at respectable resolutions, you have to kick down to 1080p resolution anyways. The XPS has been able to achieve respectable scores in comparison to the rMBP in terms of gaming benchmarks.

For anyone else that is asking why I'm comparing to a retina macbook pro, its because that was my other option =)
[OP]
Member
Apr 15, 2008
447 posts
245 upvotes
Toronto
Messerschmitt wrote: Who in their right mind would pay 2000$ for a laptop with a weak GPU and a lot of known problems. And why on earth would you want a 1880p resolution on a 15" display.

Mind = blown

Seriously, you want something for your 2000$ go get a ASUS or MSI
Suggestions for a something that I can take with me to class and it doesnt weigh me down?

I use an Asus UX32 for work, so I know their power, but frankly, if I'm paying, once again, $1500 at the least for a model with 8GB and 500GB HDD and a 1080p display, I dont think its quite worth it.

As for 1880p on a 15' - really? Video editing didnt jump out as a reason?
Newbie
Mar 31, 2008
42 posts
14 upvotes
Toronto
Messerschmitt wrote: Who in their right mind would pay 2000$ for a laptop with a weak GPU and a lot of known problems. And why on earth would you want a 1880p resolution on a 15" display.

Mind = blown

Seriously, you want something for your 2000$ go get a ASUS or MSI
Why do you all assume people are looking for a gaming laptop? I don't care about video games. I'd rather pay 2000$ for a light laptop with a huge SSD drive and a lot of memory (I do a lot of programming) rather than a bulky laptop with no battery life, lower end hard drive, but a huge GPU.
[OP]
Member
Apr 15, 2008
447 posts
245 upvotes
Toronto
listen guys, if you are going to compare this laptop to another, please at least TRY to make it on the same level. For a lot of students who are in computer/software engineering, and need to run VM or do coding, 16GB RAM is a HUGE benefit.

there is no point of comparing a 256SSD to 512SSD, or a dual core i7-4500u (mobile processor) to a quad core i7, 8GB RAM to 16GB RAM, and then say the laptop that has all the slower/inferior components is cheaper. Of course its cheaper, a 512SSD costs like $400 bucks.
Sr. Member
May 16, 2003
575 posts
78 upvotes
GTA
I bought one of these recently. Had to put the screen into 1600x940 or whatever because older apps wouldn't scale worth a damn. Fonts were either too big to fit or things like text boxes would be miniscule with 8pt fonts. I tried various options but nothing satisfactory other than changing the resolution.

I also heard the weird electronic noises coming from it, it's not nearly silent like you might expect. I also had a problem where windows would hang on the boot screen every other bootup. This only started after a couple rounds of windows updates. I guess it had something to do with fast startup. I disabled that and fiddled with the options until it would boot reliably. I hate trackpads and this one is just brutal. The right and left click areas seemed to be touch sensitive and every time I try to click I end up moving the mouse pointer. To make that worse it just didn't seem to left and right click properly.

Overall nice machine but not something I want for myself. I bought it because of the i7, 15" hq gorilla glass screen, thin & lightweight size, decent size power adapter, ssd, and battery life. The case is pretty sturdy and holding it by a corner is solid, none of the usual flex and cheap feel. The keyboard is very clean with no half-assed French keys. It didn't come loaded with crapware so that shaved an hour off my install time.

If I was designing it for office stuff I would make the screen just 1920x1080, add trackpoint, make the keyboard larger (esp. single function cursor keys) , ditch the nvidia gpu, default the ssd to 256 gig, and allow the screen around fold around for a tablet mode and make the touchscreen more useful.

I figured it would go on sale right after I bought it.
-Sean
Member
Dec 24, 2010
479 posts
259 upvotes
Sadly no one truly needs 512gb of ssd. It's just not worth the price for an extra 400$.

http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/ ... e75a03en02

This is virtually the same thing without the ssd, processor and resolution. Now, if you can justify 1000$ for an ssd and a higher resolution than 1080p. I agree with you, yours is a great deal

There's no convincing people in buying this, it just simply isnt a good deal.
[OP]
Member
Apr 15, 2008
447 posts
245 upvotes
Toronto
azndnangel wrote: Sadly no one truly needs 512gb of ssd. It's just not worth the price for an extra 400$.

http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/ ... e75a03en02

This is virtually the same thing without the ssd, processor and resolution. Now, if you can justify 1000$ for an ssd and a higher resolution than 1080p. I agree with you, yours is a great deal

There's no convincing people in buying this, it just simply isnt a good deal.
Oh please stop this. You are swaying people in wrong directions with your "internet" knowledge. You continue to throw out links for laptops that contain mobile, ultra low voltage, dual core i7 cpus.

Saying things like no one NEEDS a 512SSD is like like saying no one needs a car with a large trunk, because a smaller trunk is the same.

I've tried both the Inspiron 15 and 14 7000 series. They weigh a tonne. Are thick. Are underpowered. Have crappy displays and crappy wifi cards. This is personal REAL world usage.
Sr. Member
Jul 23, 2010
534 posts
151 upvotes
Toronto
This is two thousand dollars on a dell, it's no small sum and can probably even buy the newest next gen equipment. I think it's best to wait if you don't need a laptop right now to maximize your money. I'm way too lazy to research but I'm hearing a lot of big news about new processors this month, DDR4, and the like for DESKTOPS. Maybe laptops will be affected who knows.

Back on topic someone on the forum bought the same laptop from Dell minus the 512gb ssd for 1577 before tax. That's a $420 difference with tax it can go up to $478 if you're in Ont. did-i-get-good-deal-1477143/
[OP]
Member
Apr 15, 2008
447 posts
245 upvotes
Toronto
Tactical wrote: This is two thousand dollars on a dell, it's no small sum and can probably even buy the newest next gen equipment. I think it's best to wait if you don't need a laptop right now to maximize your money. I'm way too lazy to research but I'm hearing a lot of big news about new processors this month, DDR4, and the like for DESKTOPS. Maybe laptops will be affected who knows.

Back on topic someone on the forum bought the same laptop from Dell minus the 512gb ssd for 1577 before tax. That's a $420 difference with tax it can go up to $478 if you're in Ont. did-i-get-good-deal-1477143/
Broadwell isnt coming out till later this year (if not next year). If any CPUs get released right now, they will only have minor spec bumps.

The latop you've linked has the smaller 61whr battery as well. Just FYI and it was available $1499 last week direct from Dell.
Sr. Member
Jul 23, 2010
534 posts
151 upvotes
Toronto
mixxy wrote: Broadwell isnt coming out till later this year (if not next year). If any CPUs get released right now, they will only have minor spec bumps.

The latop you've linked has the smaller 61whr battery as well. Just FYI and it was available $1499 last week direct from Dell.
I see I see, I just went by your link. It feels like if I say anymore I'm gonna get smacked~ kidding. I'm glad you're content with your purchase though.
[OP]
Member
Apr 15, 2008
447 posts
245 upvotes
Toronto
No worries.

I just got the PC a few days ago, and thought it was a good deal for a powerful machine. My other alternative was the 15inch rMBP base model, which would have cost the same, would have had 8gb ram and a 256gb SSD without any real chance of being able to upgrade anything 2-3 years down the road if necessary.

I'm sure it will make someone who was considering it think twice.

I didnt say this was a flaming hot deal =), rather a warm one, that could be hot for some.
Member
Oct 5, 2011
381 posts
239 upvotes
Toronto
Check dell for the Mobile Precision M3800. Around same price and dell usually has coupons floating around which would make it nice. There's some with only 8gb ram 1 slot so just grab another 8gb from the store, should save you a bit if you search around.
Likewise for the SSD, there's been some deals for 512 size.

All of this assuming you don't need the laptop right away.

I recall there was a student deal for 20% for razer blade, don't know the specifics but you can look into that as well ...
There was a lenovo with sli awhile back, can check that out using the EPP site.

There should be cash back using ebates/gcr/rfd even, and maybe some reward sites like airmiles, swagbucks. Every little bit counts? heh
Member
Dec 24, 2010
479 posts
259 upvotes
mixxy wrote: Broadwell isnt coming out till later this year (if not next year). If any CPUs get released right now, they will only have minor spec bumps.

The latop you've linked has the smaller 61whr battery as well. Just FYI and it was available $1499 last week direct from Dell.
Based on the link youve provided yours has the same battery. You can say it's an "error" as much as you like, but unless you show definite proof, seems like youre just spewing random things.

All i'm trying to say is that your deal is cold and the fact that you have to keep defending it not only against myself but against almost everyone else in this thread is definite proof of that.

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