Build quality of XPS 13 is nothing like a MBP. I've been fooled.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Kendo, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. Kendo macrumors 68000

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    Apr 4, 2011
    #1
    I made a post a few weeks ago where I was seriously considering getting a Dell XPS 13 because it had everything I wanted in a Windows laptop; especially that awesome display. I also thought the carbon fiber looked sleek in pictures.

    Lo and behold I finally made it to the Microsoft store and the laptop not only looked cheap, it felt cheap compared to the MBP. I'm not trying to knock the laptop in any way because the build quality is no different than other Windows laptops from Lenovo and Asus. In other words, it has a good build quality compared to other Windows laptops.

    But I keep fooling myself into thinking there a Windows PC that finally comes close to the build quality of an Apple computer, and the truth is it never comes close at all. I can finally admit, if you want a Windows computer, buy a Windows computer. If you want an Apple computer, buy an Apple computer. But never buy a Windows computer thinking you'll get the best of both worlds (Windows 10 and Apple build quality) because the only way to get Apple build quality is if you buy an Apple computer.
     
  2. chaoscarrot macrumors member

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    Mar 11, 2015
    #2
    Yep, I came to the same conclusion after I tried out the XPS 13 in store.

    However, I will say that the Razer blade is very, very nice and IMO is nearly as nice build quality as a MBP. But it obviously costs quite a bit.
     
  3. mike1123 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 19, 2007
    #3
    Another laptop that rivals MBP build quality is the HP Omen. Getting mine today for a killer mackintosh build. :)
     
  4. venom600 macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    You haven't said how the build quality is inferior though. Is it just that you don't like the feel of non unibody notebooks, or was there something actually deficient in the design? You're comparing carbon fiber reinforced plastic to aluminum so of course they are going to feel different.

    Compare another unibody based PC to the Macbook Pro and you'll find similar build quality.
     
  5. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    #5
    in what way did it feel cheap compared to a mbp? curious
     
  6. steveyo macrumors regular

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    Feb 2, 2015
    #6
    Yeah the MBP are somewhere in the middle of a consumer and business line laptop. Their lack of upgradability and modularity though are big downers.

    You need to look into the Dell Precision or Latitude, Lenovo Thinkpad T450s, Thinkpad X etc
     
  7. Derived macrumors regular

    Derived

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    #7
    And when you look at those, Apple prices become very reasonable.
     
  8. steveyo macrumors regular

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  9. Agent-P macrumors 68030

    Agent-P

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    #9
    Same. I'm curious about what specifically the OP didn't like. I still need to go take a look at the XPS 13 in store, so I can't say anything from my own personal experiences yet.
     
  10. Rigby macrumors 601

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    #10
    I guess it depends on what OP means by build quality. Is it fit and finish, choice of materials? Or sturdiness? I played a bit with one at work and it feels solid and doesn't creak or anything like that. It's a consumer class laptop just like the MBP. The design and choice of materials are a matter of taste. What really sets the Dell apart is of course the small footprint and low weight, which make it a lot more portable without sacrificing screen real estate. Neither Apple nor any other laptop maker can currently match that.
     
  11. Kendo thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #11
    Great points. I guess I am partially to blame because I expected something that it was not. Based on the pictures, I felt like this was a premium aluminum laptop on the outside while the inside was premium carbon fiber. However the inside did not feel like premium plastic (like an iPhone 5c), the material that you put your palm on feels like a cheap rubbery skin that is wallpapered onto a plastic body.

    Also, although the outside is covered in aluminum, it didn't feel that way. When you pick up a MacBook Pro, it feels like the entire construction is premium aluminum. When you pick up the Dell XPS 13, you don't notice the aluminum in the same manner. Rather it feels like you are picking up plastic laptop with two aluminum covers snapped onto the top and bottom.

    The below is a great picture of what I was expecting (and crazily excited for) but unfortunately hands on with the real product does not feel like this at all. I guess the most disappointing aspect was what felt like a carbon fiber rubbery skin that was wrapped around a plastic case on the inside, while the outside felt like two aluminum cases snapped on rather than the entire construction feeling like a solid aluminum build.

    My advice to all is if you plan on buying this laptop, go into it expecting that you are buying a Dell laptop. Don't go into it thinking you are buying build quality that rivals a MBP.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. diesel, Mar 30, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015

    diesel macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Build quality of XPS 13 is nothing like a MBP. I've been fooled.

    To me, the new dell XPS feels more "fragile" and cheaper feeling. It's not to say that I believe it actually is more fragile because that is likely not the case. It's about perception. The MBP unibody "feels" stronger and more robust but might not actually be. Once again it's the perception. I recently went with the rMBP after owning a couple of dell XPS machines with the last one a XPS m1330 from around 2008 that still runs today so XPS build quality is not something that anyone should really worry about. With that said the rMBP just looks and feels like a much better product if we are simply talking about the physical characteristics and aesthetics.

    Also the webcam lens in the new XPS is located along the bottom.......just a strange location but the only place they could put it considering the extent thin bezel.
     
  13. Simplicated macrumors 65816

    Simplicated

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    #13
    I tried one out extensively yesterday at a Microsoft Store. I'm disappointed. The keyboard flexes (unacceptable IMHO), and the choice of material is flimsy. The bottom is absolutely ugly as well.

    The only great thing about the laptop really is the display. But then Windows 8 still doesn't scale things properly...
     
  14. chaoscarrot macrumors member

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    Mar 11, 2015
    #14
    These last four posts basically sum it up:

    1) Doesn't have the same aluminum/solid feel.

    2) Carbon fiber material doesn't feel premium.

    3) The bottom sucks (two huge horizontal rubber parts vs the four corners approach of the MBP)

    4) Keyboard isn't the same level of quality.

    Really to me it boils down to overall feel, though. The XPS isn't bad by any means, keep in mind here we are comparing it to the MBP. The XPS is still a very nice machine, just not at the same level.
     
  15. radiohead14 macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    there is.. it's the Razer Blade. i have both the new Blade and a late 2013 rMBP, and the Blade is pretty much a black MBP.
     
  16. itsGrant macrumors newbie

    itsGrant

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    #16
    I experimented in the same way with the Microsoft Surface. Needless to say, I was fooled too. It's a bit gimmicky and not nearly as well built/engineered as expected.

    Ordered a new MBP last week and will be selling the surface.
     
  17. chaoscarrot macrumors member

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    #17
    I know what you mean - I went from the SP to the rMBP as well. I thought that the build quality of the SP itself was on par with the MBP, but the keyboard obviously made it quite different. And I just couldn't justify having it since I rarely if ever used it as a tablet.

    I personally find tablets themselves to be a gimmick, but I know I won't get much support with that point.
     
  18. venom600 macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    I think that there needs to be a recalibration of what "premium" means. You don't get more premium than Carbon Fiber. However, sacrifices had to be made to get the computer down to that size. It's a full power 13.3" screened notebook that is only slightly heavier than the new Macbook and is roughly the same size as the 11" Macbook air while retaining ports that neither of them have. Is it as rigid as the heavier unibody Macbook Pro? No, but it's just as premium.
     
  19. Hieveryone, Mar 30, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015

    Hieveryone macrumors 68020

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    #19
    Come on how bad could it be? It's a Dell not a Compaq..

    I mean it has got the latest processor, edge to edge display, 8GB RAM, SSD, touch screen, all the ports, super thin, ultra light, and cheaper.

    I don't see how aluminum would necessarily trump all that.

    If anyone is on the fence, order one from Dell.com. If you like keep. If you don't, return. No risk. Free shipping both ways.

    Same applies to Mac.

    In fact, I suggest ordering BOTH at the same time and do a head to head comparison. And please post a youtube review lol.
     
  20. Steve121178 macrumors 68040

    Steve121178

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    #20
    ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 3 and ThinkPad T450s are the best Windows notebooks on the planet IMO. Both are perfect but neither have the same premium look and feel of a 13" Retina MacBook Pro.
     
  21. itsGrant macrumors newbie

    itsGrant

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    #21
    Honestly I never use it as a tablet either, the only reason I switched from my MBA to the surface was because I wanted to hand-write notes on it (college student), but honestly that doesn't even work properly a lot of the time. Sticking with pen and paper/typing. So excited to go back to the Mac.
     
  22. Hieveryone macrumors 68020

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    Apr 11, 2014
    #22
    Yeah I can confirm this. I ordered a Surface Pro (2nd gen) and it was horrible.

    The 3rd gen might be ok but the 2nd was very heavy and just awkward to use.

    I ended up returning it after a week.
     
  23. Agent-P macrumors 68030

    Agent-P

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    #23
    That's my sentiment on the Surface Pro. The actual device is fantastic in terms of build quality. And while the type cover is good considering how thin is it, it still can't compete with a proper keyboard. It works in a pinch, but for longer typing sections I'll take my rMBP keyboard every time.
     
  24. dexterbell, Mar 30, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015

    dexterbell macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 29, 2015
    #24
    The Asus Zenbook UX303LN does, its also an all aluminum build. It comes way more loaded than the rMBP 13, its also thinner and lighter. Better display and GPU then the rMBP 15 too and its only $1199
     
  25. dexterbell macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 29, 2015
    #25
    The RBP gets awful reviews everywhere I have looked. People saying it dies within a year.
     

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