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  #11 (permalink)  
Old December 13, 2011, 10:18 AM
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My System Specs

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I've had two Dells laptops (15") and was terribly disappointed with both of them. Overheating, bloatware, and the worst customer service I've ever experienced made me swear off the brand. This laptop really reminds me of all the negatives of when I think of Dell. I just couldn't see anything that would drive a person to buy this laptop instead of a similar shape Asus or something else.
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Old December 18, 2011, 03:00 PM
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Thanks for the review. With the shear volume of brands, hardware configurations which include various generations of CPU'S etc, these reviews are a great help in being able to wade through the mire.

I suspect the case material might have a lot to do with the ability of the unit to pick up access points effectively. Not that I know a lot about this sort of thing but I believe the aluminium could be acting as a RF shield to the antenna.

Anyhow, nice looking puter. One thing Apple has got right is design.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old January 8, 2012, 08:37 AM
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Default Spec, Review & Questions of my DELL XPS 14z

I have posted this in another forum, but haven't got any reply on the, 'Questions'. If anybody can help me with the 'Questions', it'd be greatly appreciated:
Here are my Spec, Review & Questions (for Questions, I hope others who have 14z can help me):
Spec: i7, 750Gb HDD, 4 GB RAM, NVidia GForce GPU. Use it for casual MS Office, Internet only, business (no gaming)
Review:
Pros:
1) Beautiful, clean-look, except the hingeís retro-look which is a bit ugly
2) Nice keyboard,
3) Lightweight
4) Quiet
Cons:
1) Poor Battery performance at discharge rate of 30% perhour, ie 3.5hours usage only. I used BatteryCare program to gauge. I compare this with my office laptop (DELL Latitude E6220, i5, 4Gb) which discharges at 20% rate perhour, ie 5 hours usage (you can view my tracking attached)
2) High battery wearĖrate. Using BatteryCare program, after about two weeks of usage (bought on 22/12/2011), the wear-rate is at 5.5% now. Designed capacity is 58,000mWh, now, the Total capacity has dropped to 54,810mWh. I used laptop cooler, so, I donít think the heat is damaging the battery
3) Unremovable battery since itís unibody design. Guess need to send to DELL if want to replace it. And if want to use for long period of time, cannot remove battery and use power cord only
4) No dedicated Pg Up & Down buttons for single-handed page scrolling. Need to use Fn+Up/Down buttons, so, two hands are required. Semi-Solution: found that pressing space bar can do Pg Down. Havenít found one-handed Pg Up yet
5) No dedicated End & Home buttons. Need to use Fn+Right/Left buttons. No single-hand shortcut found yet
6) No VGA out. My office laptop broke down last week, so, I had to use 14z for a work presentation. Surprised that it didnít have a VGA out. Had to borrow colleagueís laptop. Still looking for HDMI/ mini display to VGA converter. Havenít found at shop yet. Probably will order it online here. The first one is the correct adapter isnít it?
7) Different power charger, 90W instead of the normal 65W. So, canít use my office charger to charge it. If used, it will power it up, but it wonít charge
8) I didnít notice the poor display until I read the review here, & then realized that the fonts donít look great
9) 2 USB ports only
10 Too clean-look is also not that good: no wifi, Bluetooth, hdd indicators on the keyboard at all, just power and battery indicator
11) After removing MS Office 2010 Starter, I installed my own MS Office 2010 full version, but MS files wonít associate files automatically with it. Had to use, ĎOpen withí.
12) My online stocks software doesnít fully work with IE9. Now, Iím using Chrome with 'IE tab' add-on to resolve this
13) I think I have an unbolted screw or loose part in the body. If I move the laptop around/ turn upside down, I can hear the loose part moving. Will send to shop to check later

Questions:
1) Appreciate if you can comment on your own 14z battery life (Cons 1 & 2 above). Just want to know whether the discharge rate and wear-rate is normal
2) Appreciate if anybody can help with dedicated Pg Up/Down & End/Home (Cons 4 & 5). Tried looking whether if can configure the Fn buttons (which most of the time I never used), but so far, havenít found any softwares/ hacks that can configure them yet
3) Con 6: itís the correct adapter, isnít it?
4) Con 8: will changing font to ClearType resolve this?
5) If anybody can help with Cons 11 & 12, would be helpful too
6) Con 13: Any of you have loose screw/ part in your 14z?

This is my first purchased laptop (office laptop doesnít count). My first PC was DELL Desktop, which was very reliable which is the reason I bought DELL Laptop. My second PC was a home-made desktop. XPS14z is my third PC. So far, I really enjoy using it, except some complaints here and there as per the Cons above. Hope to hear from you guys
Attached Files
File Type: zip _battery.zip (15.2 KB, 2 views)

Last edited by emy_77; January 8, 2012 at 08:46 AM.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old January 8, 2012, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
1) Appreciate if you can comment on your own 14z battery life (Cons 1 & 2 above). Just want to know whether the discharge rate and wear-rate is normal
It is normal. I am not 100% sure how other sites test battery life but I routinely get frustrated about how out of touch with reality they are. Hence why we actually RUN the computer through standard tests from the start to the end of its battery life instead of draining to 75% and then extrapolating like other sites do. For example, I'm currently reviewing a Vostro V131. It's a great computer and other sites have nailed 7+ hour battery life but our tests don't allow it to go past 5:30.

Ironically (or maybe not), that's why our results actually mirror your real world results.

Quote:
2) Appreciate if anybody can help with dedicated Pg Up/Down & End/Home (Cons 4 & 5). Tried looking whether if can configure the Fn buttons (which most of the time I never used), but so far, havenít found any softwares/ hacks that can configure them yet
I wasn't able to find anything to do this either.

Quote:
3) Con 6: itís the correct adapter, isnít it?
Yes and no. Unfortunately, converting a digital signal from DisplayPort or HDMI to VGA isn't easy and requires conversion (either active or passive). This is what you'll want:

For only $11.06 each when QTY 50+ purchased - Mini DisplayPort | Thunderbolt to VGA Adapter | Mini DisplayPort to HDMI / DVI / VGA Adapters


Quote:
4) Con 8: will changing font to ClearType resolve this?
Nope. It is one of the issues with the display used on many of Dell's new notebooks. I've noticed it on nearly all of their new 1366 x 768 displays.

Quote:
5) If anybody can help with Cons 11 & 12, would be helpful too
#11: This file association issue usually happens after an uninstall, particularly if you use the Groove File Manager. #12 I can't help with unfortunately.

6) Con 13: Any of you have loose screw/ part in your 14z?

Nope. Nothing loose.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old January 8, 2012, 06:43 PM
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Hi SKYMTL,
Thanks for your fast response/ feedbacks:
Quote:
Ironically (or maybe not), that's why our results actually mirror your real world results.
Yes, I posted my review before I read your review. And when I read your review, I realized that our results are alike. Guess I should have read your review first before buying XPS 14z. However, I just fell in love with the laptop's looks, haha. I didn't check out any reviews before buying it. However, the battery issue is really disappointing. I wish, with the 8-cell, they'd have packed in the higher 83Whr, instead of just the 58Whr. It would have at least brought it up to about 5 hours, which I think should be minimum for a laptop

Quote:
I wasn't able to find anything to do this either.
If you found one-handed shorcuts for Pg Up/Down & Home/End, please do share. It's mighty annoying when you just want to scroll webpages without looking at the keyboard, that you need to scramble to find two keys to do just that

Quote:
Yes and no. Unfortunately, converting a digital signal from DisplayPort or HDMI to VGA isn't easy and requires conversion (either active or passive). This is what you'll want:
For only $11.06 each when QTY 50+ purchased - Mini DisplayPort | Thunderbolt to VGA Adapter | Mini DisplayPort to HDMI / DVI / VGA Adapters
Isn't the one I showed in my link the same thing? Looks similar to me. Just want to confirm before buying it

Quote:
Nope. It is one of the issues with the display used on many of Dell's new notebooks. I've noticed it on nearly all of their new 1366 x 768 displays.
Bugger. But it's not a big deal to me.

Thank you
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old January 8, 2012, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Isn't the one I showed in my link the same thing? Looks similar to me. Just want to confirm before buying it
Yes, however I would buy from Monoprice before buying from anywhere else.
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