Dell XPS 13 still going strong

Dell XPS 13 still going strong

For some months now I use a Dell XPS 13 laptop as my daily driver and I am still quite happy with it. The main reason was roaming the office and the ability to use it to work from home when needed. Another nice thing was Dell OEM support on Ubuntu, just to be sure all fancy hardware would work out-of-the-box. Apart from this I like the idea of more Linux on the desktop by default and the philosophy of Project Sputnik.

From the start I use a D6000 docking station primairly for an extra monitor and external keyboard and mouse. Because the laptop lacks standard USB connectors I use the docking station to plug in my non-USB-C Yubikey and not to forget wired headphone. I really like this setup, because it only needs one wire to connect all peripheral equipment and the needed electricity to power the laptop. I'm lucky I have two docking stations, one at the office and one at home.

One thing I did not like was the noise coming from the CPU or system fans because of high CPU usage. When docked to the D6000 docking station and being active with mouse the 'DisplayLinkManager' process was putting a lot of pressure on the CPU. This made the fans to spin up to annoying noise levels.

In order to support Ubuntu 20.04 DisplayLink has released an updated version of the driver which is also compatible with older Ubuntu releases. This new release (5.3.1) comes with an changelog which reads:

Bugs fixed in the 5.3 release: "DL-6xxx series: CPU usage reduced when mouse is moved (31342)"

This really fixed the single issue I experienced so far. Have to admit I'm really pleased with the quailty of the system.

Almost forgot, there is one minor issue. When the laptop is not connected to the docking station and I'm using the keyboard for some time closing and opening the lid regurally the screen can become a little dirty because I suspect that when the lid is closed the keyboard slightly touches the screen. But this is probably the case with many laptops.

Apart from this a very happy user!