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Thread: Dell XPS 15 / HP Envy 14: which works best with Ubuntu?

  1. #1
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    Dell XPS 15 / HP Envy 14: which works best with Ubuntu?

    I'm going to buy a laptop, and I've been looking at these two. Both seem to have compatibility problems, some more serious than others and some more solvable than others.

    Which one is the safer bet? I'm not going to use it for any really heavy duty stuff. No games, but I need to be able to use an external monitor.

    These are the exact specs in my case, in case it's relevant:

    Dell XPS 15
    Processor: Intel Core i3-2310M, 2,1 GHz
    Screen: 15,6" (1366 x 768)
    RAM: 6 GB
    Hard drive: 500 GB SATA (7 200 rpm)

    HP Envy 14
    Processor: Intel Core i7-720QM, 1,6 GHz
    Screen: 14,5" (1366 x 768)
    RAM: 8 GB
    Hard drive: 750 GB SATA (5400 rpm)

  2. #2
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    Re: Dell XPS 15 / HP Envy 14: which works best with Ubuntu?

    who put the bump in the bump-a-bump...

  3. #3
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    Re: Dell XPS 15 / HP Envy 14: which works best with Ubuntu?

    ... anyone?

  4. #4
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    Re: Dell XPS 15 / HP Envy 14: which works best with Ubuntu?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dingbats View Post
    ... anyone?
    Sorry, I just now saw this. I currently use an HP Envy 14. You should stay far far away from an HP Envy 14 and linux. It is by far the most difficult system I've tried to use with linux. the small issues are that booting just about any distro makes the screen brightness go to 0% during boot. The clickpad (touchpad) is barely supported out of the box in every distro i've tried except opensuse. In all other distros only left click works and you can't have two fingers touching it at the same time or it goes crazy.

    But by far, and I mean seriously, the biggest issue is the graphics. The HP envy 14 comes with switchable graphics. It has an intel onboard integrated graphics and an ATI dedicated graphics card. This would be fine except that HP doesn't include any way to disable either of these in the bios. You "can" get the ATI proprietary drivers installed in some distros with this laptop but it is REALLY finicky and breathing on it the wrong way makes them stop working. Also the performance of the ATI card (probably because of the very early support for switching in the catalyst driver) is abysmal compared to Windows. I have only had my envy 14 for about 8 months and will probably be replacing it soon. It is a great laptop for Windows but was a very poor choice that I wish I would have researched more for linux.

  5. #5
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    Re: Dell XPS 15 / HP Envy 14: which works best with Ubuntu?

    Quote Originally Posted by cgolson84 View Post
    Sorry, I just now saw this. I currently use an HP Envy 14. You should stay far far away from an HP Envy 14 and linux. It is by far the most difficult system I've tried to use with linux. the small issues are that booting just about any distro makes the screen brightness go to 0% during boot. The clickpad (touchpad) is barely supported out of the box in every distro i've tried except opensuse. In all other distros only left click works and you can't have two fingers touching it at the same time or it goes crazy.

    But by far, and I mean seriously, the biggest issue is the graphics. The HP envy 14 comes with switchable graphics. It has an intel onboard integrated graphics and an ATI dedicated graphics card. This would be fine except that HP doesn't include any way to disable either of these in the bios. You "can" get the ATI proprietary drivers installed in some distros with this laptop but it is REALLY finicky and breathing on it the wrong way makes them stop working. Also the performance of the ATI card (probably because of the very early support for switching in the catalyst driver) is abysmal compared to Windows. I have only had my envy 14 for about 8 months and will probably be replacing it soon. It is a great laptop for Windows but was a very poor choice that I wish I would have researched more for linux.
    Thank you so much! I'm not going with the HP then. Too bad, it's really pretty.

    I'm still hoping for the Dell, any words on it from anyone and I would be very thankful.

  6. #6
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    Re: Dell XPS 15 / HP Envy 14: which works best with Ubuntu?

    I am interested in the dell xps 15z model too. However, I see there are some incompatibilities with that in ubuntu as well. If you purchased it, I would really like to know how it behaves under linux.

    Check this out, if you haven't seen it:
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardwareSupp...s/Dell/XPS/15z

    And also this thread:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1776254

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