[Arm-netbook] new development laptop needed, looking at dell xps 13 9350

Franck Sinimalé franck at sinimale.fr
Sun Dec 4 11:54:28 GMT 2016

Hi all,


FYI they did not answer to my request since i live in France i guess, 
cool machines anyway !


Le 04/12/2016 à 12:39, Russell Hyer a écrit :
> Hey Luke,
> Well, obviously you know that there are a couple more hardware people
> like https://www.thinkpenguin.com/ in the US and novatech.co.uk in the
> UK, but none of these are particularly interesting from a tech or
> friendliness perspective.
> If it's just about having a machine that might be compromised whilst
> you bootstrap the new system up, then, the Mac Mini would get my
> upvote (true, it's bad in some respects concerning freedom), but it
> does support multiple screens, but, then it is locked down (soldered
> RAM).
> Whatever you decide, I feel I should add that whilst my business is
> improving, I've still not been able to generate any more money for the
> project. (I could sell some items, though, though that's more worst
> case scenario)
> Russ
> On 4 December 2016 at 11:15, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton <lkcl at lkcl.net> wrote:
>> around 3 years ago i bought an apple macbook pro 13in because it was
>> well-built, high spec'd and high-priced (translation: plenty of profit
>> so that no corners need to be cut in manufacturing, which in turn
>> means less chance of component failure).
>> that was the theory, anyway.  one design flaw, though: the PCIe SSD
>> could be "spiked" by the lack of earthing of the power supply,
>> resulting in resets of the SATA bus about twice per second.  setting
>> "min_power" on the SATA bus stopped this flood of entries in
>> /var/log/syslog... but the setting was OVER-RIDDEN at the slightest
>> opportunity.
>> also, i had no idea that i would need more than 8GB of RAM (and the
>> macbook pro is NOT UPGRADABLE - the RAM is soldered down).
>> i've also just had my backup SSD (a 4 year old kingston 512mb SSD
>> which is hardly used) totally fail after a non-intensive *READ*.  not
>> write: READ.
>> with the macbook pro's internal SSD being difficult to get at, i'm
>> feeling a leetle paranoid: this machine is a CRITICAL resource, now a
>> single point of failure.  my partner's machine only has 4GB of RAM and
>> a 1600x1080 LCD.  lovely machine but it would in no way cope with what
>> i'm doing.
>> also... i've literally worn holes in two of the keys (ctrl and S)...
>> basically it's time to get a new laptop, and i need something that has
>> particularly special high-end specifications in certain areas:
>> * 2560x1600 or greater resolution LCD (CAD development)
>> * 13in size (has to fit in my backpack)
>> * below 1.5kg weight (carryable)
>> * 16GB of RAM (i'm maxing out the 8GB)
>> * 512GB SSD (i've maxed out the 256GB drive)
>> * cooperative manufacturer that hasn't caved in to microsoft
>> cartelling business practices
>> actual processor and processor speed isn't actually relevant.  battery
>> life: also not really relevant.  doesn't *particularly* need a
>> dedicated GPU: intel shared graphics turns out to work well enough for
>> the 3D CAD work that i do (even when the framerate is seconds per
>> frame in openscad).  i run mostly from mains, and processors are so
>> insanely fast these days that speed is not really an issue.
>> now, the machine i came up with is the Dell XPS 13, 9350:
>> https://wiki.debian.org/InstallingDebianOn/Dell/Dell_XPS_13_9350
>> i looked at the lenovo yoga 900: zowee, lenovo are unethical.  they've
>> locked the BIOS so that you can't switch the NVMe SSD out of RAID mode
>> (so you can't even install windows from a windows CD), they've refused
>> refunds to people who claim mis-selling, they're ACTIVELY working to
>> release new BIOS updates that prevent and prohibit people from
>> installing linux, and they're scrambling to constantly censor reports
>> and complaints on their forum.
>> i also looked at the asus zenbook: fantastic machine.... except the
>> 13in variant peaks at 12GB of RAM.
>> sony... have stopped doing laptops!  that's the end of an era: i'm amazed...
>> now, before i go spending $USD 1500 of crowd-funding money (which is
>> easily justifiable as it's absolutely essential that i have a working
>> machine and a half-decent backup) i'd like to double-check with people
>> if they know of anything better than the XPS 9350, both in terms of
>> specification as well as support for the linux community from the
>> manufacturer.  dell appear to be cooperating, releasing BIOS updates
>> that *actively* help linux users (as opposed to lenovo who do the
>> complete opposite and then try to hide the fact, generally being
>> incredibly evasive and unethical).
>> thoughts and suggestions appreciated for evaluation.  the 9350's at
>> the top of the list right now.
>> l.
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