Couple of hours with an Dell Studio XPS 16
The following is an account of couple of hours spent on Dell Studio XPS 16 on Linux Mint 7 (Gloria)
Some of you know the issues I had gone through while trying to get a lappy few months ago. While for the near future the idea has been dropped I came into contact with the Dell XPS 1640.
So without further ado, here’s the lowdown on what I think of the Dell XPS 1640 and Linux Mint.
The laptop belongs to a Modern College Engineering student Prasad .
One of the first things I came to know is that Dell XPS 1640 is now known as Dell Studio XPS 16 . The specs of the same can be found here.
Let’s take Linux Mint first. Frankly, it seems a good interface (green colored) as opposed to the brown in Ubuntu. The terminal seems a bit under-powered as there is no multi-tab utility like in gnome-terminal but then those things should be fixable. What has been installed on the system is the latest Mint 7 .
Other than that the repository takes all the stuff from Ubuntu. I haven’t had the time to look at the repository list, there might be something which these guys also do but that would need some more investigation and if I do manage to find something would update in the post itself.
On the hardware front though, that is where things get interesting. First up is the ATI Mobility Radeon 3670 which is based on the R600 chipset.
Lot of good things happening in the recent kernel so in the next couple of months (most probably 9.10) he could get some boost without using the fglrx drivers. As of now we haven’t activated the proprietary drivers on the machine.
The other interesting bit was the Intel 5100 Wireless Link. We sat on Jangli Maharaj Road which has free (as in beer) public wifi network and got between 7~33 KBps speeds . We were there for an hour or little more. This unscientific test included browsing and downloading updates although the updates are yet to be applied.
Why it was surprising was because I was reading it as the Broadcom chipset when it was the Intel chipset which did the connection.
Here’s the lspci output which we got :-
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Memory Controller Hub (rev 07)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset PCI Express Graphics Port (rev 07)
00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 03)
00:1a.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #5 (rev 03)
00:1a.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #6 (rev 03)
00:1a.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #2 (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 1 (rev 03)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 2 (rev 03)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 4 (rev 03)
00:1c.5 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) PCI Express Port 6 (rev 03)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1 (rev 03)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2 (rev 03)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3 (rev 03)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #1 (rev 03)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile PCI Bridge (rev 93)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation ICH9M LPC Interface Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation ICH9M/M-E SATA AHCI Controller (rev 03)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) SMBus Controller (rev 03)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon Mobility HD 3670
01:00.1 Audio device: ATI Technologies Inc RV635 Audio device [Radeon HD 3600 Series]
04:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Wireless WiFi Link 5100
08:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetLink BCM5784M Gigabit Ethernet PCIe (rev 10)
09:01.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Ricoh Co Ltd R5C832 IEEE 1394 Controller (rev 05)
09:01.1 SD Host controller: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C822 SD/SDIO/MMC/MS/MSPro Host Adapter (rev 22)
09:01.2 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C843 MMC Host Controller (rev 12)
09:01.3 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd R5C592 Memory Stick Bus Host Adapter (rev 12)
09:01.4 System peripheral: Ricoh Co Ltd xD-Picture Card Controller (rev ff)
Its the entries at bold which are interesting. I had confused the Intel with Broadcom (getting old ) and didn’t have any nice experiences with Broadcom till date. I know that few months back some Broadcom drivers did make into the kernel but till I don’t experience it I don’t believe it.
On the battery front it seemed a bit low, 90 mins. of workload and we were being notified of 5% battery. The lappy also has a visual indicator which is a good thing. Its a standard 6-cell battery config. and that I guess that’s what makes up most of the weight.
There are still issues with bluetooth, audio and couple of other things but I’m sure with time and patience all these things can be worked out.
Another thing when he had purchased it, it was for 69k which has now been reduced to 65k INR.
All in all, a pretty sweet thing to look at, the only thing against I would say against it would b the price. At 65.5k it clearly overshoots my budget as well as common man’s dream 😦
Find part 2 here.