Today, I thought I'd do something I never had an interest in doing before. Write a review of a computer. For the most part, in recent years, if it a computer works, I'm okay with it. But, this one seems like it's well worth it compared to others I've had so I thought it might be worth sharing my experience with it.
I picked up a Dell XPS 13 Ubuntu version laptop about a month ago. Ubuntu would be a Linux distro if you didn't know what that is. But either way, it's not important unless you're a Linux fan.
Due to work I've had some laptops I never would have picked up on my own so that I can give a pretty broad comparison. Previously I've used a Thinkpad, MacBook Pro 15, and a Sager 17" gaming laptop. Obviously screen size is the first really noticeable thing. However, even though I'm farsighted, I haven't had any issues with the 13.3 screen.
I've spent a lot of time coding on it. If you're used to a full-sized keyboard you won't go as fast on this. Or I don't. But the trade-off for portability, battery life, and stability seems worth it if you're not using it for your main developer machine. The keyboard is similar to the chiclet-style keys on the Mac. The touchpad works great. I have more (swipe) gestures working on it than the Mac offers.
So far, the battery life is very good even though I use a few different IDE, browsers, and a slew of other apps. It doesn't get too hot. Finally, the weight is incredible compared to some others. It's super light so going to the coffee shop or using it to sit on your lap is perfect.
It seems comparable with the i7 Macbook with SSD AND 16G ram as far as speed and responsiveness goes. The Sager gaming beast is faster than both but it weighs as much as a cinder block and has much less battery life. I guess if you stuff a desktop video card and CPU in a laptop it'll give better performance but at a steep price.