Friday, January 7, 2011

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Dell Should Improve Some Major Gripes On Their XPS Series

Dell should improve some of the little demerits of their XPS laptops as these although are minor, have turned out to be a major gripe. These are the only issues stopping me to buy the XPS, and I really want the XPS to improve in the next revision. Like:
  • Clumsy looking design - The design doesn't impress much in terms of beauty and eye-catchiness, especially due to the awkward-looking screen. It also lacks the most modern chicklet keyboards. But, I do not think there will be a drastic cosmetic design change, but stay tuned on the keyboard.
  • The display needs to be improved. According to the reviews, it doesn't prove to be good in terms of viewing angles, etc. meaning that it's not great for outdoor use. And the news is that there will be some interesting display offerings coming soon.
  • Very bulky and heavy design. I suspect bulk might be part of the price of cooling. Simply put, it takes volumes and velocity of air exchange inside the chasis to cool. The bulk accounts for the volume.
  • Poor battery life. Laptop battery should have long backup. Not only for 2-3 hours. Users are purchasing the laptop for its portability and the  availablity of charging port is not possible every time. And for students and  businessman the normal use itself goes beyond 4 hours a day. Whereas the backup of battery is mostly for two hours which within a year reduces to less than one hour. So if the battery performane will be increased or if the battery backup will be increased for all laptops it will be more satisfactory for the users / customers and it will also be a new marketing concept for increasing laptop sale. Read More: How To Extend The Life Of Battery
  • Not the best cooling capabilities, as, when carrying out pretty heavy workloads, the XPS 15 notebook gets intensely hot from the bottom, and moreover, the CPU (for i7) temps can go upto 94C, and the graphics card also remains at dangerous temps of 98C. 
Not sure what to say here. Heavy loads will produce heat on any laptop. I think those GPU and CPU temps are well under Intel and AMD specs, even though that is hot. I was able to see those exact temps (94C and 98C) when I ran a 17 under extreme load (CPU Prime+Furmark), but it never throttled the CPU and never went higher. Throttling was a huge complaint on the Studio XPS, and we are looking to strike a balance with the thermals.
  • Some users have reported that there is a screeching noise from the XPS 15's JBL speakers, which seems to be more of a computer's code-like sound. However, the latest BIOS and audio drivers recently posted are supposed to address the screeching issue.
  • Lack of a few ports like VGA, etc. Still, I don't think VGA is going to happen since it is becoming a legacy port now days. However, I do find it kind of odd not to have a DVI connection.
So I still expect that dell might fix these issues in the next revision. And if this happens, then dell may find an enormous increase in the popularity and overall ratings of their XPS!

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Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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