Jan 4, 2016
Almost one month ago I posted an article about my touch-and-go experiences with Windows 10 laptops—specifically about laptops using the brand-new Intel Skylake chip architecture. In that article I’d stated that my favorite laptop of the four was the Dell XPS 15, but I had to return it because it was having a blue screen crash several times a day. And I had returned two Surface Books because they were crashing consistently when going into or out of sleep. The only new Windows 10 Skylake laptop that didn’t crash regularly was the Lenovo Yoga 900, and so it became my laptop of choice for a while.
So here’s some good news. I seem to have fixed the Dell XPS 15. Thanks to the incredibly generous return period that Best Buy offered over the holidays, I had time to try different repair approaches before actually returning it. I traced the crash down to a driver issue that got introduced during one of the automatic Windows updates. I updated the driver, and all is well now in the Dell XPS 15.
Drives an External 4K Monitor Better
This is good news because the Dell XPS 15 does a much better job driving the external 4K monitor I got for Christmas whereas the Yoga 900 was struggling when driving that monitor. With the Yoga, my typing and mouse actions would pause for a few seconds on the screen every time a big 4K background picture changed (I have a gorgeous background slideshow set up). And there were other pauses showing up here and there that were becoming a nuisance. These pauses may be because the Yoga 900 does not have a separate discreet GPU. Or perhaps because it only has 8 GB of RAM and the Dell has 16 GB. Whatever the reason, the XPS 15 does a much better driving a 4K monitor.
Also, the strange streaming video lags I reported earlier on the Dell XPS 15 went away when I swapped in the new monitor. The WiFi dropping has also stopped for some reason. And finally, Dell solved the “Display driver stopped responding and has recovered” issue that is so common to these new laptops; the Yoga still has that going on. So for now, the Dell XPS 15 is my Windows 10 Skylake laptop of choice (I thought you might want to know). Read that linked article above for more information about the Dell XPS 15, and why I liked it so much.
But this remains a rapidly changing environment as lots of Windows 10 and manufacturer updates continue to roll out, and the “best” laptop to get changes from week to week. For example, I still like the Yoga 900 because it is a ton lighter than the Dell. So picking the best laptop is still a tough call.