[Techtalk] The Dell XPS 13 Developers Ubuntu

Miriam English mim at miriam-english.org
Sun Jul 26 11:30:41 UTC 2015

Hi Raena,

I'm not sure this is much help to you, but about a year ago I bought an 
extremely cheap tablet computer direct from China via dx.com for about 
$60. Unfortunately it has the Android OS preinstalled, but I hope to put 
linux on it eventually. Android sits on top of the Linux kernel so it 
shouldn't be too hard (I hope).

The interesting thing is this machine has an ARM processor and uses 
hardly any electricity at all. I've been using it most of today during a 
blackout. (We get lots of blackouts where I live.) I can plug in mouse 
and/or keyboard and use it as a desktop/laptop machine where the screen 
is also touch-sensitive. As well as using it for much of the day for 
other things I watched some hours of videos on it (with earplugs) and 
the battery level is still at 98%. This is after probably about 5 hours 
of use. Try doing that with a laptop!

I should mention one slight drawback with this machine is that the 
pixels are not quite square, which means the image is slightly 
stretched. In practice this hardly affects most of the things I do 
(writing, reading, watching videos), but I wouldn't want to do artwork 
on it. Another thing that can be a drawback is that the screen is not 
very bright. This is undoubtedly one of the reasons the battery lasts so 
long, but it means it is not very visible in sunlight. That's not a 
problem for me as I use it inside the house.

This little tablet computer has no brand name, but searching the net 
I've found it is a "Q8H" or "Q88Pro" -- a design that seems to be sold 
by a bunch of companies under different brand names.

My point is that tablet computers are worth a second look too. They can 
be low cost, light, compact, and act as laptops or desktop computers as 
needed. Also the ARM chips in many of them can be incredibly energy 
efficient. But check the specs for them very carefully.

Just a thought anyway. :)

Good luck in your search for the right machine.

	- Miriam

On 26/07/15 17:59, Raena wrote:
> Hi LChx TT List
> If this is a bad list to discuss new hardware just boot me off and
> direct me to a better list or a better place.
> I need a light portable reasonably powerful laptop not a gaming device
> but nice for video.
> I have read a bunch or reviews of the Ubuntu build of the Dell XPS 13
> Developers Ubuntu Ed. They rave about how nice the laptop looks and its
> specs but it seems as if there are some niggles with getting the
> touchpad to work properly and the display to configure nicely. Whist I
> am not averse to tweaking about and have got alot of enjoyment and
> satisfaction from getting thing to work if I am paying $1500 for
> something that is pre-installed with Ubuntu I do not want to waste a
> weekend getting it running properly. If it means installing a newer
> version of Linux then fine.
> Should I be looking for another laptop?  Are the niggles worth it? Any
> feedback advice etc would be enormously appreciated.
> Thanks
> Raena
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If you don't have any failures then you're not trying hard enough.
  - Dr. Charles Elachi, director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Website: http://miriam-english.org
Blogs:   http://miriam-e.dreamwidth.org

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