15" NoteBook (XPS 15, AERO 15x, X1E, ZENBOOK PRO, BLADE 15, ETC) Discussion

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by TSE, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. TSE macrumors 68030

    TSE

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    #1
    With Intel releasing their 9th generation 45W chips, such as the hex-core 9750H being released, and Nvidia releasing the RTX Cards, alongside the 1650M / 1660M GTX to replace the 1050M and it's variants by April, it seems as though it's prime season to see some huge refreshed for these laptops.

    What are your expectations? What are your wishes? What's the news?

    I'm really hoping for, out of all the notebooks, a more in-depth refresh of the XPS 15 and Aero 15x respectively, but for different reasons. I think the Aero 15x can benefit the most from an external refresh while the XPS 15 can benefit the most from an internal refresh.

    I think the Aero 15x is the strongest laptop on the market in terms of performance-per-dollar and thermal management. But it's not controversial to say that it is 5-6 years behind it's competitors in design. While it is certainly competitive in terms of footprint and weight, it's industrial design reminds me of the old dells from yesteryear, and the ugly AERO & Gigabyte logos need to be reconsidered. It's panelized construction feels cheap, and the keyboard and trackpad leave a lot to be desired.

    The Dell XPS, aside from the MacBook Pro, in my opinion is, is the gold-standard in terms of build-quality and overall design. That's really saying something as the design hasn't changed since 2015, and competitors this latest generation have just begun to catch up. Where it falls behind it's competitors, however, is performance-per-dollar and thermal management. I really wouldn't mind the lack of performance-per-dollar if Dell was that much ahead of other notebooks in terms of battery life, dependability, or features, but they aren't. If they kept the same industrial design, while improving the thermal management, and surprise us with a huge new feature such as an RTX option or 500-nit 4K OLED Display that doesn't cost $500, they would lead the class again.
     
  2. Queen6, Mar 10, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019

    Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

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    #2
    Depends on your priorities, I rather expect around a 15% increase in performance over the 8th Gen CPU's & 10 series dGPU's. Personally I'm more for good design over just looking nice, as I rely on the hardware and big numbers in underperforming chassis simply smacks of sales & marketing running the show.

    Dell versus the Aero 15, I'd opt for the later as being slightly smaller has far less impact in this class of notebook to me than seeing performance roll back due to inadequate thermal or power design...

    8th Gen CPU's are no slouch, if placed in a competently designed chassis, 9th Gen we'll see soon enough. Right now it's a good time to be in Windows notebook market as they are seriously delivering.
    3100CB (No Taskbar).jpg

    Q-6
     
  3. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    TSE

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    #3
    I think not only are PC Manufacturers seriously delivering, but Apple has made one of their worst products lineups with their current generation of laptops... They are slower then the competition, they are less reliable than the competition, and they are more expensive than the competition.... only things going for them is weight, battery life, and build quality.
     
  4. Queen6 macrumors 604

    Queen6

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    #4
    Undoubtedly, most current Mac's are just well appointed garbage, I don't even rate the build quality as others are getting there without issues and Mac's are seemingly riddled with problems that Apple has little interest in resolving.

    I switched to Windows in 2016 for my professional requirement as frankly Mac's don't cut it now and I for one don't need Apple's nonsense direction with what it proports to be premium products. Mac's remain to look stunning, however outside of that little else, too problematic for serious use...

    Q-6
     
  5. hajime macrumors 603

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    #5
    About 3 more months for the rumored X1E 2nd Gen to come... Give that I have waited for so long, perhaps I just wait until August. Considering whether to keep using my MBP 2010 17" while waiting.
     
  6. c0ppo macrumors 65816

    c0ppo

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    #6
    I've tried XPS 15. It's nice looking laptop for sure, with great screen and trackpad. Other then that, I didn't find anything good about it. Keyboard is really mushy, and honestly, I didn't like the build quality.

    On the other hand, X1E has great build quality, better port selection, better cooling, nicer industrial design (subjective), and probably the best keyboard out there.

    I have no plans in upgrading my X1E anytime soon. But what I wish from Lenovo and X1E in the next 2-3 years is better screen and way better battery life. XPS has way better battery then X1E for example. And of course, improved thermals. They are good at the moment, better then XPS in any case, but if possible to improve them, why not? :)
     
  7. hajime macrumors 603

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    #7
    HP announced two new laptops but they won't be available until June. Same as the X1C7 and X1Y4.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    I can squeeze 6 may be a bit more out of my X1E, which is ok, but coming from the MBP, I can help but be a tad disappointed. Overall I'm very happy with the X1E, and I generally don't have too many complaints. With the MBP, I'm usually more apt to leave w/o the charger because I had no fear of running out of juice, but I'm a bit more conservative with the X1E.

    Of course, the Razer that I had last year was even worse, but that made sense given the higher end GPU.

    I too don't have any plans for a new machine, though I am still toying with a windows tablet to compliment the laptop. I really love the look, durability and power of the Thinkpad X1 3rd generation tablet but that's well beyond the price I'm willing to pay - over a grand, and its over kill for my stated needs. The Surface Go is more along the lines of what I was thinking.
     
  9. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    TSE

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    #9
    Looks like 9th generation laptops with the GTX 1650/1660 Ti are starting to roll out, the class capable of following the thin line of power and portability.

    XPS isn't coming out until June, but other major companies have released their products, such as Razer.

    The 9th generation intel chips, like the 9750H, mostly seem to be a forgettable generation, though. They get most of the (small) speed bump not from improved design, but higher clock speeds. I advise anyone looking for this class of laptop to look closely at deals of previous generations for better performance-per-dollar.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #10
    They announced, I don't think its available yet - at least their 17" Razer pro model
     
  11. LindsayD macrumors regular

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    #11
    I have the opportunity to try a Gigabyte Aero 15, RTX2070, UHD, 32Gig RAM, 1TB SSD. I should have it next Monday. This came out of the blue and represents a saving of several hundred pounds - if it works out it will be a good deal.

    I looked at the Aeros a couple of months back, before I got my X1E. I had to return the Extreme because it had a couple of issues, but it’s still a laptop I would happily consider. I didn’t replace it because I knew an upgraded version would be coming out and indeed it is in July, however looking at the panel options I now suspect it could be out of my price bracket for the specification I would like.

    Currently my only minor reservation about the Aero will be the keyboard - I don’t do a great deal of typing because I have sore joints, but when I do need to type a nice keyboard makes things more comfortable. I’ve heard the stories about the keyboards on the Aeros being poor quality with keys falling off, or keypresses not registering et cetera.

    The screen on the Aero looks good because it’s nonreflective I believe.

    I will of course report back on my feelings and findings. Since this is one of the latest models it will be interesting to see if I experience the driver glitches that many of the previous builds became known for (although they were fixable I think). Getting the highly specified model means I won’t have the misery of trying to match the second RAM stick, which was another niggle initially deterring me.

    I am quite sensitive to fans and coil wine although I must admit the fan noise on my X1E was (in my opinion) perfectly acceptable. So it will be interesting to see how those things compare on the Aero.
     
  12. Thysanoptera macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Sorry to break it to you, but this probably the loudest gaming laptop on the market, by quite a margin. It was almost the only reason I went with GS65 over Aero.
     
  13. LindsayD macrumors regular

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    #13
    I'm in for a treat then! :p :eek:

    I've heard that said about so many of them though (including the X1E) and I think the only way is to give it ago. It's not like I'm expecting it to be silent. I'd like to satisfy my curiosity about the Aero so it will be nice to spend a bit of time with it at least. I'm not a gamer, so perhaps I'll be spared the worst of the noise.
     
  14. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    TSE

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    #14
    Fan noise is so subjective. I honestly don't mind it at all when I'm really stressing my computer. Then we have users like @hajime that can't stand any noise. Your opinion is your opinion and you should find the right option for you.

    I'm a fan of the Aero line and the price-performance ratio, the strong port selection, and the design being "good enough" - the only things I don't enjoy about it are the ugly, ugly AERO logo below the screen, and the numbpad. check out this video to see how your Aero is made!

     
  15. c0ppo macrumors 65816

    c0ppo

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    #15
    Apparently, RTX cards produce a lot of coil whine. And there is no way around it.
    But bare in mind, I'm not speaking from personal experience, just stuff I read online.
     
  16. Thysanoptera macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    I'd say that how loud it is can be measured objectively. According to notebookcheck the Aero is consistently one of the loudest, for example they measured the v8 at 54dB and the latest XA at 55 dB maximum. Comparing that to let's say Razer 15 with the same GPU at 45dB shows a massive difference.

    I've had two gigabyte laptops, U2442N and P34G, granted they were one of the first laptops Gigabyte released and at that time had internals unavailable from other manufacturers (FHD screen in 14 inch with discrete GPU and dual storage while everybody else had just iGPU and 1366 x 768), but the fans were - this time subjectively - annoying, ramping up and down constantly for no good reason. I've spend hours with EC editor trying to figure out how to tame them because third party fan control software didn't work, and the gigabyte provided a tool that had like 2 or 3 settings that didn't make much difference. It has been years ago, so I'm sure this is corrected now.
     
  17. LindsayD, May 29, 2019
    Last edited: May 29, 2019

    LindsayD macrumors regular

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    #17
    --- Post Merged, May 29, 2019 ---
    I heard that too - I suppose the extent of it could vary from machine to machine. I'll just have to see how this one compares to my other devices on that front. I tolerate fan noise better than I tolerate coil whine as I've got very sensitive high frequency hearing. It will be interesting to see, anyway.
     
  18. Thysanoptera macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    39.2 dB maximum.
     
  19. LindsayD macrumors regular

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    #19
    Yes, that is a big difference. Still, my usage might not push the Aero to maximum noise levels, at least not very often.
     
  20. Thysanoptera macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Yeah, see for yourself. Those results from notebookcheck also have to be taken with a pinch of salt, like the Aero X9 they measured at 48dB - but in their tests it is around 20% slower with Razer with same GPU, so most likely they enabled quiet mode in the control software and didn't notice. My MSI they measured at 42dB, but this one has hidden "boost" mode that adds a good 1000 rpm to fans, which is unavailable when fans are in automatic control, thus the actual result should be higher.
     
  21. LindsayD macrumors regular

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    #21
    My replies keep disappearing ..... thanks to @TSE for the video which I enjoyed, I think technical production lines are fascinating.

    Agree about the logos - I don't like them either, especially the fact the one on the reverse glows! AFAIK it still can't be turned off.

    It seems not many here have owned the Aero so maybe it will be useful go get a real world perspective from another forum user - at least from a productivity point of view (I'm not a gamer). The prevailing opinion sounds a bit pessimistic and I'm open to the fact I may or may not like this machine - I'll soon find out!
    --- Post Merged, May 29, 2019 ---
    Good point about the settings when testing. I went through some of the pro reviews but I tend to lean towards the user reviews - these seemed positive and there were surprisingly few complaints about noise vs some of the other laptops I've looked at over the past few months.

    I think buying a powerful laptop can be a bit nerve wracking, there can be some issues or unwelcome surprises. It can be stressful, even.
     
  22. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    TSE

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    #22
    I have a friend that has the Aero 15 from 2017 with the same chassis and loves it - but he's a gamer and computer developer and knows what to expect. Every class of computer has compromises which is why I don't enjoy The Verge's latest review on the Razer Blade calling it a great gaming notebook, but terrible laptop. That's no different than saying the Civic is a great city car but terrible at towing. There is no perfect notebook, but one that checks the most boxes for each user. When I purchased my XPS 15 - I knew in a lot of ways that the X1e was the superior notebook, but something I really value is battery life - that came with a lot of sacrifices vs. the X1e but I'm happy with it.
     
  23. GoldfishRT macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Well Dell is solving one of my major gripes with the XPS (and really, any laptop) in that they're sticking an OLED on the 15. No more backlight bleed!

    Now if they fix the incredibly poorly built fans and sleep they might have a stew going.

    I'm dumb (as many of you know) though, Microcenter has super well equipped 9570s for like $1500.

    But since an initial set of frustration the MacBook has been fine. I don't do work on these things anyway anymore.
     
  24. nudoru macrumors regular

    nudoru

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    #24
    I found a great deal on a Dell XPS 9650 and picked it up to see how well I could adjust to Windows (having last used it in 2012) and I really like it. The build quality is nice and being able to swap out components is great thing. The keyboard is fine for me - but the keys are spaced wider than my MBP and is causing me to make a few errors. It doesn't have the 4k screen which would have been better. I'm used to the high PPI of retina and going back to seeing pixels is jarring. That's my only complaint.

    Prior to switching to Mac's I'd been using the Dell business lines (Latitude and Precision) and really liked the build quality and support offerings (next day in your house!).

    I have an eGPU and it works great with either this Dell or my MBP and I really feel is the best solution for decent graphics performance. But I'm a coder and don't need on the go performance like that.
     
  25. lcseds macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I have the 9570. Keyboard is similar to older MBP with the spread out chicklet style. Short learning curve. At least the keys work well.
     

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30 March 10, 2019