Dell’s XPS error

I’m in the market for a new ultrabook, and my instinct is to go to Dell. I’ve bought dozens of Dell machines for work at this point, and found them reliable, long-lasting, and with a good support network. Laptop-wise I’ve had my personal XPS 13 for years, and it’s brilliant. It’s powerful enough to edit 45mb RAW files on the fly, it’s light enough to balance on one hand at the back of convention stages, it’s robust enough to survive being hurled around planes and trains and taxis. It looks pretty too. It’s just great.

It’s starting to age now, and I would happily replace it with the latest model. But I can’t. Dell have refreshed the line and…broken it. After introducing a ‘Plus’ model last year, to disdain from most reviewers, Dell have inexplicably scrapped the standard model entirely. The 2024 models have:

  • Keyboards with non-standard key sizes and placements
  • A touch bar instead of F keys – something Apple tried and gave up on – that isn’t customisable
  • A palm rest that works as one giant touchpad, meaning you move the mouse whenever your wrist brushes the case
  • A price tag higher than a MacBook with better specs. I’m a Windows guy but even I know the current crop of Apple laptops are blowing PCs out of the water for anything except gaming

I really tried to overlook it all as I want an easy life, but it’s too much. I could have got an older model, but I wanted Meteor Lake. So after reading countless reviews and videos, where the Dell isn’t even a contender any more, I’ve ordered an HP Spectre x360.

It’s really annoying, as I’ve recommended the XPS line to friends a bunch of times. And I still like Dell’s support, with engineers who come out to your place of work. What a weird thing to do.