xps13_1160b-100249349-origI have been saddled (by employers) with mediocre PC laptops for years. Most companies have their IT
groups recycle (aka ‘refurbish’) laptops to save costs. Inevitably, all but a couple people end up with 3-year old models that are heavier, slower, and lamer than the latest/greatest model (kind of like comparing a Miguel Cabrera 2014 to Miggy 2011).

Just as my latest laptop started acting up, an e-mail popped into my inbox from Dell. They wanted me to test drive their XPS 13 laptop and share with all of you my thoughts on it. As an incentive, I could keep the laptop and give one out to our wonderful readers. Wow, last year I got a free book to review. This year, a laptop. Just putting it out there that Rudy could use a non-minivan to drive around in…

Okay, back to the laptop. Here is what I look for in a laptop and how the Dell XPS 13 crushes my previous ones:

  • Battery Life – I spend my whole day at a desk. For night-time number-crunching, I prefer to be in front of the TV. The problem is my living room has the plug accessibility of a second-rate airport. As I refuse to huddle in a corner, I need my laptop to handle a couple hours on the couch without being plugged in. Same goes for the occasional flight or if I camp out at a coffee shop. The XPS 13 handles this very well – I’ve been getting about 4-5 hours on it. Even better, they have an accessory (the Dell Power Companion PW7015M) that can charge both the laptop and 2 USB-based devices. Came in handy when sitting on the couch with my daughter and had her iPad and my laptop charging at the same time.
  • Weight – My laptops have typically weighed in around 5 pounds. That is fine for the most part but sucks when walking w/ laptop bag in tow. The Dell XP13 is less than 3 pounds. That is two pounds I can invest in food provisions, a book, contraband, etc.
  • Size/Screen – I used to love big screens on my laptops but, nowadays, keep it slim and small (13″) and I’ll plug it into a monitor as a second screen if I am at my desk. This laptop has a 13.3″ screen with crazy resolution (4x HD) and the dimensions are tiny. I am told that it is 23% smaller than a MacBook Air 13! That is nearly 1/4 less! It is at least 50% slimmer than my previous laptop. It is almost like packing a laptop in the space of a tablet. (Note: if you plug into a second monitor, they have a nice accessory that converts your USB port into a HDMI/VGA/USB port. Minor trade-off for keeping it slim!)
  • Speed – I always have a bazillion Chrome tabs open as well as Excel and MySQL Workbench. I am also networked into my home network drive and printer. Nothing is more infuriating then when the a computer lags or freezes. I do not know if it is the Intel 5th gen core processor or the 8GB in RAM or both but this computer is fast. Like I upgraded from Billy Butler to Billy Hamilton.
  • Heat – I know it is called a ‘lap top’ but most laptops start toasting your thighs and undercarriage if you keep them on top of your lap too long. FWIW, the XPS 13 seems to run less hot than my old laptop.
  • Touch-Screen – Wait, what? Yes, this laptop has touch screen capabilities. It is taking me a while to get used to this on a computer. It is a sweet addition though I will have to hide this feature from my tablet-obsessed kid.

Enough about me bragging about my laptop. Below is the submission form for the contest. We will be giving away the Dell XPS 13 laptop (retail value: $799) in early March. The consolation prizes are 1) Free entry on the Razzball Newsletter e-mail list and 2) You can buy the laptop at retail price.

  1. McNulty says:
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    gotta get me both of those consolation prizes

    • @McNulty: Nice – just lay off the booze, will ya Jimmy?

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Jamie and mouthwash.

      • mauledbypandas says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: such a funny character!

  2. JeF With 1 F says:
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    Im first…that means i win right??

    • McNulty says:
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      I agree it should go to the first post…

  3. Great White North says:
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    I am in Alaska and I am on the same damn continent as all y’all, but can’t participate because some dumb-ass mofo at Dell doesn’t understand the difference between continental and coterminous, or that we actually have USPS, UPS, Fedex, independent trucking, barges, airplanes, and drones up here. Dell is a butthole for excluding Alaska in this promotion. Me saying that probably won’t help my chances getting a free laptop. The specs are intriguing, though.

      • Great White North says:
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        @the swinging: Wait. Am I on Tinder?

          • Great White North says:
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            @Kid A: Asian Single Lesbian? I guess that works.

            • Can you imagine..., the gallons of human spit says:
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              @Great White North: It was a Laramie cigarette campaign in the 50’s, like Lucky Strike’s LSMFT. Stood for All Smoke Laramie’s.

        • the swinging says:
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          @Great White North: I’d love to see the talent on Alaskan tinder… That’s quite a revealing pelt your wearing…

    • @Great White North: I’m shipping it so I’d be the butthole in this case. Do you have any relatives in the continental US I can ship to instead? I did look up shipping cost to Anchorage and it doesn’t seem like it’s too much more – guess those snow dogs work for cheap…

      • Great White North says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: But then I would have to explain to said relatives why I only call when I need them to pick up another fantasy sports trophy for me. It gets awkward. Sorry for calling you a butthole. It has been a really long time since I typed the word butthole thrice.

        • Great White North says:
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          @Great White North: I entered. If I win, bark three times and give it to the dogteam that shows up.

          • Great White North says:
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            @Great White North: Or put it in a flat rate box from USPS and pay the exact same price you would to ship anywhere else in the the USA.

  4. Cram It says:
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    Soooo you’d take Dell XPS 13 in what round? I haven’t seen him available in any mock drafts.

    • @Cram It: i’d take it #2 after Mike Trout. No person, place, thing gets drafted before Mike Trout.

  5. El Famous Burrito says:
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    I’ve seen the laptop’s mom’s nipples. They are quite nice.

  6. Kid A says:
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    This is too skinny to be a good waffle iron.

    • @Kid A: Agreed. Waffle irons are cheap though. So’s waffle mix. Only excuse not to own a Belgian Waffle maker is if you live in cramped quarters.

      • Kid A says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Why do you always speak in code?

  7. Rumpelsilkskin says:
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    Does it come pre-loaded with your entire 2015 baseball database?

      • marfons says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: If I win I’ll make a spreadsheet and use it to dominate an RCL

  8. Justin says:
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    12 team h2h league, ops and qs are xtra catagories. 3 Outfielders, 1 util and one additional Infield slot( anyone with any infield eligibility can play there. We also have a NA slot for prospects. We keep 7.

    My choices are:
    Jose Abreu (yes)
    Adam Jones (yes)
    Machado (Yes)
    Tanaka (Yes)
    Gray (Yes)

    The final 2 decisions are tough. The rest of my choices are
    Fielder
    Yelich
    Bruce
    Bryant
    Wacha

    I am leaning toward Fielder and Wacha… but in my gut I know I shouldn’t keep 3 SP.
    I have 2 picks in the first round and 2 in the third so I can easly re grab some of these guys. Thanks a lot in advance

    • @Justin: Yelich, Bryant. I’d consider swapping Fielder or Wacha in for Tanaka (TJS risk) or Machado (knees).

      • Justin says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: This just blew my mind, and made me re think my keepers. If healthy Tanaka and Machado are definite keepers. Prince and Wacha have injury risks as well. Based on upside it has to be tanaka and machado. Please explain deeper, I dont want to start the year with bad keepers and put myself behind the 8 ball. I always appreciate the insight and opinion Rudy. Byw very cool giveaway. Perhaps it should go to the best RCL team this year. Just a thought.

        • @Justin: for tanaka, feels very doubtful he stays healthy. TJS feels inevitable. Machado’s upside is okay but those knee injuries certainly curb some of that upside. fielder worries me a lot this year too given he had spinal fusion surgery. It is ur call. Thought about making the PC the prize for RCL but then it’d be awkward when I won it.

          • Justin says:
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            @Rudy Gamble: thanks Rudy. Im going to have to do my due diligence and figure this out. Keep up the great work!

            • Can you imagine..., the gallons of human spit says:
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              @Justin: i’ve still yet to hear anybody around here (and it’s a quite knowledgeable area of people about these things), even mention ONE pitcher who has not had TJ with Tanaka’s condition and had a season comparable to his previous great work without first having TJ when it is needed. Till I (or you) even hear of ONE, i would just assume he’s gonna have it.

  9. Gray's Sports Almanac says:
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    That is cool that the perks for the ‘perts are increasing. Very cook Rudy. BTW, it would be interesting to know how many ppl enter this contest at the end (to get some sense of the readership if you do not mind sharing).

  10. J_FOH says:
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    Are family and friends of unpaid interns eligible to win?

    Is there a quiz to demonstrate that the winner is an actual reader?

    • @J_FOH: if you’re unpaid, you’re eligible. no quiz – counting on karma for the randomizer to pick a loyal reader :)

      • J_FOH says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Yes! I can stop writing on my porn computer, a Dell from 2003!…all kidding aside, I wouldn’t enter, I need a new desktop.

  11. the swinging says:
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    Dude, you’re gettin’ a Dell

      • Wallpaper Paterson says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: That kid grew up to be a Shetland pony breeder.

  12. Terrence Mann says:
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    I was hoping this was gonna be the prize for winning razzball this year. I would have gotten back into it this year. :(

    • J_FOH says:
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      @Terrence Mann: why not just get into playing an RCL for fun?

      • Terrence Mann says:
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        @J_FOH: I’m pretty much a Grey clone. This place has helped me win quite a bit of $ (by my humble standards) over the years. I damn near won the razzball contest a few years back (when the Kramer hot tub was the prize). Not boasting. It’s all due to this place. I’ve limited myself to 3 $ teams this year. Even weekly scoring, it’s a lot of time (I’m sure you know). I would possibly join a league with a few guys on here (Simply Fred, Mark Geoffreau, Steve). Are you running an rcl league?

        • J-FOH says:
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          @Terrence Mann: I have a few and will be doing the weekly updates. I think Fred was retiring this year, but that is just a rumor. He usually plays in the ECFBL. I play with Steve in one league, he’s the best. We actually took him to his first ever baseball game last year. I always like to keep the old schoolers around here to show these young ones the way. Here is the link to my latest. If that time doesn’t work I’m sure I’ll do another

          http://games.espn.go.com/flb/tools/join?leagueId=22839&inviteKey=af248

          Password: taco

          Date: Sun, Mar 1, 2015
          Time: 11:00 PM ET/ 8 PT

        • mauledbypandas says:
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          @Terrence Mann: I might be mistaken but talk to Matt Truss. He may know something about an open spot.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      @Terrence Mann: Terrence, if you’re interested shoot me an e-mail trussellm at gmail dot com. There’s an opening in ECFBL if you’re interested. I’ll give you the details, but we’d gladly take an old-schooler such as yourself.

  13. TheStraw says:
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    I should win simply because I still use an aol account…

    Keeper help…need to choose 7

    Betts – $10
    Bryant – $4
    Bumgarner – $26
    Cespedes – $27
    Chapman – $27
    Fielder – $5
    Frazier – $6
    Goldschmidt – $30
    Gray – $7
    Jones – $32
    Gyorko – $5
    Rosenthal – $8
    Ross – $9
    Soler – $5

    I think I need to package some players to get an offensive upgrade…like using cespedes, bum, or chapman if I can get anyone to take them at those prices. Or, I can try to trade jones -good hitter but expensive – for someone like Donaldson or Brantley who cost significantly less ($8 or so). But saving money might not be a goal since stars regardless of cost are being kept over value since this is only our ‘2nd year of doing keepers. Any advice would be most excellent.

    • @TheStraw: I am not near a computer – my POV would just come $ values in my pre-season player rater

  14. B.o.B says:
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    Entered! Thanks Rude boy boy!

    So I have the 9th position in a 10 team, 5×5 OBP league. I’m curious how you would tackle this spot. Assuming the average consensus top 8 are off the board (Trout, Cutch, Kershaw, Miggy, Goldy, Stanton, Abreu, Gomez). Who do you like at 9 and, ideally, who would want to pair him up with? Could you rank a few players for that 12th pick due to not knowing who the guy after me will take at 10/11?

    Thanks!

  15. UL's Toothpick says:
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    Hey Rudy,
    Are you still planning on an NFBC league? I have been iced out of the Internet for awhile.

  16. TheTinDoor says:
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    not that my email address isn’t already spread all over the internet, but is the name/zip/email data going back to Dell, or staying at Razzball?

    • Staying at Razzball.

  17. Juan says:
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    Rudy,
    I am in a 12 team Keeper League H2H.

    I have 8 locked up.

    A.Gonzalez, S. Castro, Soler, Braun, C.Gomez,
    Harvey, Tanaka, Cueto.

    What other 2 should I keep?
    Sonny Gray, Latos, Archer, R.Zimmerman, Joc Pederson, Or Melky Cabrera?

    thanks!

  18. Juan says:
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    Rudy,
    I am in a 12 team Keeper League H2H.

    I have 8 locked up.

    A.Gonzalez, S. Castro, Soler, Braun, C.Gomez,
    Harvey, Tanaka, Cueto.

    What other 2 should I keep?
    Sonny Gray, Latos, Archer, R.Zimmerman, Joc Pederson, Or Melky Cabrera?

    thanks!

    • @Juan: joc and melky. Ditch tanaka for gray or archer

  19. Clyde Prompto says:
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    As a longtime reader, it’s awesome to see how the site has grown. The hilarious, juvenile veneer masking the cold, calculating analysis is always a winner. It’s like if the T-1000 decided to morph into Bill Murray.

      • jbird669 says:
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        @Rudy Gamble:
        It’s like if the T-1000 decided to morph into Bill Murray.
        That should be on the homepage.

  20. goodfold2 says:
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    i’m guessing with kenley ranked only 8th among RP at $10.7 on holds/player rater you’ve already adjusted his playing time to miss a month? I’m going by his holds list value there, it’s higher in 5X5, but i’m trying to figure out whether you’ve taken off a 1/6th of it’s value or not yet. I’m thinking you haven’t yet.

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @goodfold2: i’m confused about another thing as well, how would us being able to buy that computer at retail price be a consolation prize (or if it is, it would be a consolation prize the same way we’d get the ability to breathe oxygen, i.e. something we already can do ourselves)? Unless this computer simply isn’t in retail stores yet, but if that’s the case you’d have to have at least a 2nd one of these as a prize.

  21. mauledbypandas says:
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    I need a new laptop. Let’s make this happen!

  22. jbird669 says:
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    I have a desktop from 2004, fingers crossed!

  23. jbird669 says:
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    Rudy,

    Are you going to write an article about the most accurate projections from last year?

    • @jbird669: nope. leaving it to rotovalue.com, will Larson and mr cheatsheet

  24. Tball Hero says:
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    For what it is worth, Ars liked the XPS a lot.

    One question – it has been a little over a decade since I’ve used a windows laptop – how is the power management? It used to be that once the lid was closed or otherwise put to sleep that the wake-up process was almost as long as a cold boot. A mac takes a second or two. How much better have things gotten?

    Wish me luck in the drawing. Thanks!

    • Scott says:
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      @Tball Hero: Solid-state drives help a lot, and are more common in modern Windows laptops. Not sure about the giveaway one. I hibernate my work laptop every night, and it’s back online in 30-45 seconds in the morning. Not sure how much that helps…

  25. A Wesley Snipes Life says:
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    what do mookie and victorino go to on OPS player rater with news that victorino starts at RF?

  26. B.o.B says:
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    Rudy I think you accidentally skipped my question above…

  27. GleamTeam_Matt says:
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    Dayum – Backlit keyboard. AC wireless card. Only thing this puppy doesn’t have is a dedicated graphics card (no biggie). I’m in it to win it! Wish me luck.

  28. inferniscurse says:
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    Did i win yet?

Comments are closed.