Canonical today announced the release of Ubuntu 16.04, although it isn't actually on mirrors yet. Eric Hameleers announced the next test release of Slackware Live whose final will be based on upcoming Slackware 14.2 and Fedora 24 may end up slipping another week causing ripple effects through version 26. Bruce Byfield today discussed the second goal of Linux and Jonathan Riddell announced a user edition of KDE neon.
I got to play with the XPS 13 Developer Edition the last couple of days. This review will be from the perspective of a Linux enthusiast and hobby programmer. The exact specifications are: 8GB RAM, 256GB PCIe-SSD, FHD non-Touch 13.3".
I wanted to be able to do real work away from the desktop. Therefore the laptop had to fullfill these criteria:
Considering this was a dedicated Linux laptop it was too hard to install the Linux flavor of my choice (Arch Linux). The screen was flickering (which can be fixed by keeping the gpu turned on all time) and hibernation would crash the laptop (with Linux 4.6rc4). Fortunately time will make those problems go away. However, the preinstalled Ubuntu 14.04 worked surprisingly well. Hibernation didn't work either, but other than that I could not find any issues.Build quality
It's a pretty little machine which will gather some "wow"s here and there. It will easily survive your backpack and a full day of work (I got between 4-9 hours, depending on how much software-decoded video watching and compiling I did)
That's where the good stuff ends though. The soft touch materials attract fingerprints like a crime scene and you realize how gross you are. In addition to that they can't be cleaned easily with a microfiber cloth.
And lastly, the biggest problem. Coil whine or light screaching noise coming from the keyboard area (removing the i915 kernel module fixes it, but at the expense of having no display). You won't notice the noise if other people are talking around you, you're outside or have bad hearing. I am however rather sensitive when it comes to these kind of things. Now you might say: "Return it and get a new one". Apparently this seems to be a design failure by Dell. An overwhelming amount of people have complained about this for years, so returning doesn't seem to be an option. The BIOS says that mine has been manufactured on the 10th of April 2016 for those wondering wether it got fixed by now. The BIOS even knows when it arrived at my home for some reason (maybe the preinstalled Dell recovery tool found out on first boot?)Screen quality
The colors and brightness of the display are great. While I couldn't use it in direct sunlight, the display was bright enough for outdoors use. Other than that I found it a little too small. Especially because it is widescreen. It felt more like looking at a phone than a computer screen. Furthermore, the high DPI will kind of force you to use GNOME or similar DEs which handle these displays acceptably well. If I would sit less than 3 hours a day in front of the XPS 13 I wouldn't have a problem though.Power
It's powerful. It's fast. Compiling bigger projects will take a while because it's a low powered dual core. But I didn't feel limited by it. It's the perfect compromise between power and portabity.Comfortable keyboard
First of. I am not fan of mechanical keyboards. I prefer chiclet style keyboards because they are smaller and more quiet. That said the keyboard has even less key travel than a regular chiclet keyboard. Which made the typing experience just alright. I would have preferred a little bit more depth to the keys, but I could definitely live with it.Conclusion
The build quality was disappointing. I don't think I could get used to the systemic coil whine. Also the computer seems to have died now. The computer and the backlighting turns on but display stays black, which I assume can happen, but is yet another reason to be disappointed by the manufacturing quality of the XPS 13. Taking that and the fact that Linux compatability is just OK I can't recommend this laptop until these problems are fixed.submitted by /u/ouml
I know it's probably a difficult question, that I am going to ask. I have a ThinkPad T460s here with an i7 6600U CPU. I tried several distros (mainly Ubuntu and Arch). On Ubuntu 16.04 it is actually running quite well with the kernel version 4.4.0-18. However, the CPU doesn't enter deeper power saving states than PC2 (according to powertop). Although, there would exist power saving states down to PC10. Obviously, the battery doesn't last very long (at max 3-4 hours) in this condition. Recently there was a blog post, that mentioned this issue and stated that the CPU's lifetime may be impaired under these conditions (according to Intel): https://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/41713.html.
I am still quite new (and thus not very experienced) with using GNU/Linux systems. As far as my understanding goes, this is a kernel issue. I was wondering how long it would take (roughly) until the developers of linux have fixed this issue? Are we talking years, months or just weeks here?
And also I don't really understand what PC states actually are or what the difference is between PC and C states (other outputs of powertop) and how they work. So, if anyone would like to explain this, I would defintely be more than interested to hear about it as well. :-)submitted by /u/syntax92