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November 2, 2017

The Dell XPS 13 I Didn’t Want

Filed under: Main — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am

Costco had quite the selection of laptops. The price range for full-powered Windows 10 laptops ranged from $500 up to $3000. The models were varied, including one from my favorite, Lenovo. Some laptops were light and diminutive, some where as large as serving trays.

I knew I had I leave in two days, so I was a beggar not a chooser. After reviewing the lot, I settled on the Dell XPS 13. The price was $1300, which is usually what I end up paying for a laptop, though I felt it was a bit high.

Honestly, I would have taken the $500 laptop, but it was quite large and looked dumb. The Dell XPS had an i7 processor, which is what I wanted. It had plenty of RAM and SSD storage. It fit the bill nicely. A second model was available for $1700, which had a touchscreen and better graphics, but it didn’t fold flat like a tablet.

I filled marched the register, dinged my credit card for $1300, then walked to the cage to pick up my laptop. Unlike other computer purchases, I wasn’t giddy: I needed the laptop, so the purchase was more of a trial than a celebration.

And . . . they were out of the low-priced model. Figures. I could have the floor model, but Costco doesn’t offer a discount. Even if they did, I could have taken it, used it on vacation, then returned it. Still, I need a laptop, if not for the one trip to replace the Ubuntu Thinkpad that could die at any time.

Rather than stew over another model, I ponied up the $400 difference to get the other Dell XPS model, the one with the touchscreen.

I spent the rest of the day updating the laptop’s software. I installed Office 365 plus my cloud services. I switched from Microsoft Edge web browser to Chrome. In fact, I think Microsoft should give up and just set the Get Chrome Now website as the default Edge homepage.

The laptop worked wonderfully during the trip. I was able to get work done. I admire the top graphics and touchscreen, but more importantly it’s light, tiny, and has incredible battery life. I am pleased, though still not 100 percent happy because I feel I overpaid for something I didn’t really want.

The new laptop is shown in Figure 1, resting atop the old Ubuntu Thinkpad.

Figure 1. The Dell XPS 13 that I paid too much money for.

Yes, I know that Costco’s price is discounted from what the XPS actually costs (but not by much). And the thought did cross my mind to return the thing and get back my money. But I do need a laptop every so often as I go out of town. This one is it.


  1. I don’t own a laptop, never needed one also I like the fact a tower can’t be chucked at a wall when programming. Modern lappies don’t have a serial port the thing that means I always go for the eldest laptops in store if I have to use one at work.

    Comment by glennp — November 4, 2017 @ 1:02 am

  2. Interesting about the serial port. I’m curious what you’re doing with a serial port that you still need one? I don’t believe I have any serial devices left!

    Oh, and I just found out that the baby laptop still works and is now installing updates. So I didn’t need the new laptop after all. Bummer.

    Comment by admin — November 4, 2017 @ 8:14 am

  3. Well mostly it’s for connecting to big (read old) dirty great big things, in general road signs & bottle/carton/keg filling and some general old pieces of kit (a revolute Robot (arm) controlled by ancient Dec PDP8!), USB is a general way of getting one (but low the drivers if you have to use Linux)

    Comment by glennp — November 5, 2017 @ 3:50 pm

  4. I saw a USB-Serial adapter today. Thought of you.

    Comment by admin — November 5, 2017 @ 4:09 pm

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