So four weeks ago I posted asking for input on a new laptop. As evidenced by my scaling factor rant, I now have one, and it's in the process of getting set up.

Before I mention which laptop I got, let me just re-iterate the things I personally care about, and what I don't particularly care about. Because my choice of laptop is obviously tied very much to that, and often what I care about may not be relevant to much anybody else.

First off: I don't use my laptop as a desktop replacement, and I only travel for a small handful of events each year. So for me, the laptop is a fairly specialized thing that doesn't get daily (or even weekly) use, so the main criteria are not some kind of "average daily use", but very much "travel use".

Which is why I end up caring a lot about it being fairly small and light, because I may end up carrying it around all day at a conference. I also want it to have a good screen, because by now I'm just used to it at my main desktop, and I want my text to be legible but small.

What I don't tend to care about is touch-screens, because my fingers are big and clumsy compared to the text I'm looking at (I also can't handle the smudges: maybe I just have particularly oily fingers, but I really don't want to touch that screen).

I also don't care deeply about some "all day battery life", because quite frankly, I can't recall the last time I didn't have access to power. I might not want to bother to plug it in for some quick check, but it's just not a big overwhelming issue. By the time battery life is in "more than a couple of hours", I just don't care very much any more.

So I see laptop reviews that say "do the HD screen instead of the QHD+ one, because you can't see the pixels anyway, and it is better for battery life", and I just go "who is this crazy joker?". That's not who I am.

And no, it's not just a phase.

I do want a reasonably powerful CPU, because when I'm traveling I still build the kernel a lot. I don't do my normal full "make allmodconfig" build between each pull request like I do at home, but I'd like to do it more often than I did with my previous laptop, which is actually (along with the screen) the main reason I wanted to upgrade.

So: good screen, but fairly small and light is primary. With as much CPU power that is reasonable within those primary concerns.

End result: I now have a Dell XPS13. In fact, I've set up two of them in the last month, one for Daniela that went off to college, and the second one now for myself.

The first one was the standard XPS13 that I opened up and replaced the wireless in. It wasn't too painful, but it was a bit annoying to have to do it. The Broadcom wireless really wasn't an option - you can google for it and see even the Windows users complaining about it. But I had a time limit for Daniela going off to school, and I could get a standard XPS13 and a new intel 8260 wireless module right away. And it also acted as my "let's test this out and see" machine.

The one I have now is the "Developer Edition" version that didn't need any surgery to just work.

Anyway, the good news is that there really were a lot of fairly reasonable machines out there now, and the XPS13 was by no means the only possible choice. My thin-and-light kind of requirements used to mean that I had to compromise a lot just a few years ago, but that's no longer the case.

Right now the XPS13 stands out due to the thin bezel, which really does maximize the screen size for the size of machine. That was really what made me pick it for Daniela in the first place. It just ends up hitting my two primary goals very well: small and portable, but with the biggest screen you can cram into that size.

But the Lenovo X1 Carbon got lots of votes, and it looks good too (and a matte screen really is better). The Samsung 9 Spin looked very classy, and if it wasn't for the bezel it might have been my first choice.

Daniela actually liked the HP spectre 13 x360, which I found interesting just because it comes in two versions: butt-ugly and good looking. It was interesting just how much the color choice matters. I thought the all-silver one was the ugliest thing around, while the exact same laptop in brown-with-gold-accents is actually fairly good-looking (and that was what Daniela liked about it too). But I guess that''s very personal.

The Lenovo Yoga 900 still looks like a good choice, and that's what I sent off my older daughter to college with last year. There's apparently a 910 coming out with thinner bezels, so the XPS13 isn't going to be the only kid on the block.

Anyway, there we go. So far the XPS13 looks like a very solid machine, as long as you get the intel wireless module to go with it (and it looks like the next generation should come with good wireless by default).

I haven't used the new laptop enough to really give a review yet, but I'll comment here if anything comes up.
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