17 March 2014

new laptop

when i started working for scripps networks interactive (sni) back in september of 2012, i purchased an inexpensive asus laptop (u47a), which was a solid machine. it was made well and ran my fedora linux beautifully. the only thing i would like to have changed about it was the resolution size. a fourteen inch screen size only yielded a 1366×768 resolution. more memory would have been nice too, but the 8gb i had installed was enough.

in thinking about upgrading, i had several requirements:

  • needed to support up to 16gb ram

  • neeeded to have a higher resolution than 1366×768

  • backlit keyboard

  • 15″ screen

  • no numeric keypad to make me type off center


after looking at lenovo, sony, hp, asus, samsung, and gigabtye, i found what i was looking for at dell. their xps 15 was the only laptop that had everything on my list. the resolution on this laptop’s 15″ display is 3200×1800! my requirements met along with several others: backlit keyboard (without a numeric keypad), 16gb memory, bluetooth 4.0, usb 3.0, sd card reader all included. plus this particular model came with a 32gb mSATA drive and a 1tb hard drive. i replaced the 32gb mSATA with a 480gb mSATA and the 1tb with a 960gb ssd. 1.3tb of solid state storage, baby! add to it a nice design of aluminum case with a gorilla glass display which is also a touch screen, and i found a definite winner. the cost was reduced a bit by the discount that came through my company, which made it more appealing.

the only con is that the battery life could be better on this model. it runs like a champ, but i find the battery draining much more quickly than my asus. and there isn’t an option for a backup battery like most laptops. i find that a little bit of a step back. however, i can live with those limitations given that it meets more important points for me.

this was not an easy laptop to find. most topped out at 8gb of memory (wutup?) or included the 15″ display but with a numeric keypad so i’m typing on the left of my laptop. at this point, 16gb should be the max point on all laptops being made (my opinion). lenovo and samsung make some nice machines, but they both had one of these limitations or a screen resolution that was no better than my asus.

with this dell, i’m set for the next several years.