New Dell XPS 13: Is it worth sacrificing battery life to save 200 dollars?)



I have a tad of a conundrum about a laptop that I have ordered. Costco currently has a great deal on the new generation of Dell XPS 13 where one can get the UHD+ version for 200 dollars less than the FHD+ version with the exact same specs in every other way (i7, 1 TB SSD, 16 GB RAM, a pretty well stacked machine). If it was not for this sale I would be buying the FHD+ version as I know that the battery life would be better and UHD is not necessary on a 13 (or even 15) inch laptop. I guess my question is this. Do you think other than battery life there would be any negatives to having the 4K version of this laptop from a performance perspective? I am aware that some applications may have scaling issues, but I am prepared for that (and it is probably unlikely with the applications that I use).

Thank you,


Comments (6)

6 responses to “New Dell XPS 13: Is it worth sacrificing battery life to save 200 dollars?)”

  1. wright_is

    The graphics chip will have to work harder. That means, for the normal desktop nothing... But if you are playing games at "full" resolution, it will be slower, to painfully slow, as opposed to acceptable to slow.

    The big question is, what battery life do you need. I have a Spectre X360 (2016) with UHD and it still gets up to around 7 hours of use. I only once worked somewhere where it was touch-and-go, whether I could get through a day. Usually I take the charger with me and I'm not more than an hour or two on batteries, so battery life doesn't matter much. On the other hand, if you are regularly out of reach of a mains socket for long periods of time, the extra hour or two could make a difference.

    • jdawgnoonan

      In reply to wright_is:

      Yeah, I agree on gaming, and I would not use this machine for games at all. Essentially this will simply be my laptop for when I'm not sitting at my desk at home and would be used for online learning, writing, normal web stuff, and entertainment. If I can get four or five hours a session out of the battery I'll be happy as it's doubtbul it would ever need to be unplugged longer than that. As long as it can handle those tasks without struggling I think I'll appreciate having an ultra sharp display for text. I will also be dual booting it with Fedora Linux, and the XPS is especially attractive for that since it is extremely compatible with Linux.

  2. paradyne

    A 13.4" 3840x2400 screen is 337dpi. At 1920x1200 it's only 168dpi which I find to be a bit on the low side. I mostly work with text (reading pages, editing code, staring at log files) and I really notice how well formed the characters are. I know other people might only notice what the words say. Each preference is valid and you probably know which camp you fall into!

  3. jchampeau

    It depends on how you'll use it. I had a Surface Pro 5 and its 2736x1824 display (267 PPI) I found to be problematic when running older apps that don't do scaling well. Of course Office apps, Chrome, etc., were all fine, but my WiFi system design software and an old TFTP server I like to use were practically unusable. As Paul has said many times, there's always "that one thing."

  4. thesecondaccountant

    You can manually force the screen resolution down to FHD+ so the GPU is not working as hard. Then it's just the screen power draw (which will still be slightly higher).

    200 dollars is what? 15-20% of the value? For sure, it's worth the trade-off

  5. jdawgnoonan

    I am looking forward to getting the machine. Overall I look forward to the UHD+ screen the more I think about it. And based on people's experience it sounds like other than maybe shorter battery life I personally should not have issues.

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