Pros Nice design, nice graphics, lightweight
Cons Wireless card does not work and Dell is not helpful in fixing it. Makes this laptop USELESS. Check out these forum posts: http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/p/19382502/19925221.aspx. Amazed that Dell is playing stupid on this. I ju
Summary Wireless card is non-functional and I hope that Dell gets a clue and fixes it soon. Recommendation is NOT to buy this until they do.
Pros Looks good but isn't
Cons Tech support men in India are rude and can barely be understood. For more, read below:
Summary I've only had this computer a couple months but it's been a disaster. First, with no warning, the hard drive failed and had to be replaced. Next, the silver band around the edge of the palm rest cracked in 3 places and had to be replaced. The tech and I were both shocked to find it's just cheap, brittle silver plastic. Now I have a new problem...last night, with no warning, the ac adapter and battery are malfunctioning. After 2 long calls to India it seems that the motherboard and a/c adapter must be replaced. Also, since the mouse track pad is not responding well it, too, must be replaced. All this in 2 months! What's left to break, the fan???? Thank goodness I have the fancy service contract, I guess I'm going to need it. I wish I could just return this computer. Horrible.
Pros none that I can think of
Cons Trim piece broke right out of the box. Needs to be shipped to depot for repair. Does not include a VGA port or a DVI-D port, so you can't connect to an external monitor unless you get the adapter from Dell. Battery life is poor and you can't get an extra
Summary This laptop was an exchange for my prior Dell laptop (bought 3 years of onsite service; Since then they have replaced the screen, hard drive twice, then had 4 onsite service calls for replacing the motherboard and other parts; they still couldn't get a fully functional motherboard to me, sent old laptop to depot, came back still not fully functional so they offered me an exchange. I agreed to the replacement system they described, but it never shipped after 2 weeks, then they offered me this system as the exchange).
I unpacked it last night and it booted up OK. That's when I noticed that the trip piece was broken. Tried to connect my existing monitor, but no compatible port. Tried to upgrade the RAM using the instructions in the setup manual, but could not remove one of the screws. Called Dell and they told me that, while I do have the correct type of memory, installing anybody else's memory would damage the mother board and void the warranty.
I've had it with Dell. I've been a loyal Dell customer for 15 years, but I run a business using my laptop and can't afford for it to be down so much, and I can't afford the time it takes to troubleshoot the problems.
"Cheap build quality"on by NCRebel
Pros Fast processor and solid state drive
Cons Dell's overseas support
Summary I purchased two Dell XPS 15z from the Dell Outlet 1-4-2012 and paid $725 each for the two fully loaded systems, i.e. Intel -I7, 2640 processor, high end 1080P screen, solid state drive P-810 256g, 2g-graphics display, 8g-memory etc. This system purchased new retails for about $1875 tax and delivered. Always had good luck from the Dell Outlet, seems that they scrub the problems out of the returned systems.
Had one problem with one system having the cheap chrome trim breaking out of the box and the graphic cable being disconnected, called Dell and technician came the next day and replaced case & screen (really only need to connect cable to MB) etc. Overall the system is good and all else works as advertise. The Dell (India-phone) technical support is a waste of time and you will spend hours on the phone to get a simple issue resolved. The US based technical support and the on-site technician was awesome to deal with.
This will be the last systems that I ever purchased from Dell, it's my view that HP and Samsung are selling better lap-tops without the hassle.
I cannot complain too much due to the fact I went the cheap route, but it's still extremely painful and frustrating dealing with Dell.
Pros The XPS 15z has excellent battery life for a 15" PC based notebook. It is surprisingly fast for a duo core(i7-2640M@2.8GHz, 8GB Ram). Comparable to the MBP, it is light weight for a 'metal' chassis and had a decent feel in construction. The Screen.
Cons The chiclet keyboard leaves a lot to be desired and placement of the trackpad in regard to the keyboard can cause some issues. Typing can be an adventure with obvious driver quirks. Chrome aesthetics are a cheap joke for a $1500 notebook. Wireless?
Summary After having my HP dv6000 crash on me for a second time (separation of video board from the bother board), it was time to look for a new computer as repairs would not have been worth it the second time around. I'm in college and take a majority of my notes on my computer and always carry my notebook around campus. As such, I needed a lightweight computer, with a sturdy design to hold up with the constant coming and going, with decent battery life and ergonomics. Being that I also run multiple CAD and GIS databases (ArcMap ArcDatabase) simultaneously with other programs such as the internet and iTunes, I needed a relatively quick computer as well.
After looking around and on a time crunch. I settled on the XPS 15z. It looked like the perfect computer for me on paper. However, after one weeks use, its going back. The keyboard requires an unnatural motion to type precisely and quickly. Driver quirks also have my cursor inserting in random places of a word document, ect. The constant stopping and correction leaves note taking and document composition an adventure. At first, I thought it was just me. Upon father research, many others have complained about the same thing. I have gotten used to the keyboard somewhat, but with as much as I type, acclamation has come and gone. The design and ergonomics out right stink on this notebook.
Wireless connectivity can be a bit odd at times. Connecting to various access points across campus and in local coffee shops takes a little longer. The only way I noticed is because I never had this issue with my old HP, which connected almost instantly to saved access points. This one take a while longer, almost too long that you think something is wrong and 'diagnosis' is taken by windows. After 2-5 minutes you should be good to go. Unacceptable to most, just a bit frustrating for me. Also connection and mbps seem to vary depending on location and type of wifi (b,g,n). I found myself in a few instances were I knew there was a strong signal, but showed none on the XPS 15z.
Although the overall construction of the notebook is relatively rigid, its apparent that Dell left out important attention to detail. Much like other users and reviewers have stated, the chrome accents is rough and unfinished. It is definitely not something you would hope not to find on a $1500 notebook. After a week of use, I can already tell the chrome trim surrounding the base of the notebook is going to peel and break apart. Yes, the chrome is plastic wrapped in 'chrome' paint. Not only that, it will come loose over time and either break or give your computer a cheap feel. Many owners have complained of the same issue as well. For a computer that sells itself as being comprised of a aluminum alloy and magnesium composite, it has a lot more plastic on it that one might think. Sure it keeps the weight down, but again, cheapens the feel of your computer. The lid has a solid feel to it and overall computer has a nice construction, yet little things leave you wanting more.
Slot loading drive has its quirks and my discs had issues ejecting at times. Eventually they came out. It is loud and noisy. It is also prone to vibrations if you move your computer around while the disc is spinning (for what ever reason you have too).
The track-pad has some quirks, as do most if not all windows based track pads. An optional mouse user will not notice, yet those on the go might find themselves sticking to the basics of functionality as two finger scrolling and pinch zoom is little spotty.
Its not all bad with the XPS 15z. It has very optimal performance for most. I was able to run multiple GIS databases and ArcMap as well as iTunes and a web browser simultaneously without issues. Data transfer rates between my multiple external HDD and the internal programs that use them was outstanding and I'm sure 3.0 USB helps considerably. The 1080p screen upgrade was well worth it. It is plenty bright enough and great for viewing HD videos over the web and streaming movies off of Netflix. The backlit keys are a nice touch as well to the design. Overall, it was nice to not have to worry about taking my AC adapter to school with me as battery life is right up there with the best in the industry. I averaged around five to six hours of use on power saver mode and the screen brightness turned all the way down. In this setting I was able to go my longest school day 9am to 6pm without plugging in once. This is with some web browsing, lots of note taking, and running my necessary GIS systems for my classes. I was impressed as my old HP had me plugging in after only a couple hours of use.
Although the XPS 15z performs admirably for all my computer uses at school and at home, its dumb design flaws, ergonomics, quirky drivers, and a cheapen feel has me sending this computer back to the store and looking for an alternative PC based notebook with a similar package and performance combination. The HP Envy 15 should be here tomorrow. At that point, I can continue to evaluate and search for the right computer to fit my needs.
I would not recommend this Dell XPS 15z to anyone of my friends or family. Although its a decent computer for most, those looking to do a lot of typing and writing 'on the go' as well as using the computer for operational/office programs for work or school such as I do, I suggest looking else where. There are better alternatives.