I am back to school and school means I'm relying on a laptop everyday. The problem is my schedule this semester puts me in class for 8 hours Monday and Thursday with no power outlets in sight. My Thinkpad T430s even with the extra bay battery would not be able to reliably last the day if I needed it. My laptop works great for me except for two things, display and battery life. I have been getting around 4-5 hours of battery life on my Thinkpad and the display is 1600x900 which is below my 1920x1080 minimum preference. I have been looking for a laptop to supplement or replace my Thinkpad for a while now.
I had two options, purchase a cheaper laptop that had better battery life and use that as a secondary laptop or purchase a new laptop with battery life and performance to satisfy all my laptop needs. I had been eyeing up the Toshiba Chromebook 2 as a cheap secondary computer and the Dell XPS 13 as a full replacement computer. The Toshiba Chromebook had consistently getting reviews as one of the best Chromebooks available and the price made it a lot easier to justify over a new >$1,000 computer when I spent $1600 on a laptop a little over 2 years ago.
Price decided that I would be getting a Chromebook, now which one would I get. I had been eyeing the Toshiba for months and it looked like the obvious choice until I found the Dell Chromebook 13. A few of the things that made me choose the Dell:
- Battery Life: 12 hours is great for my needs
- Screen Resolution: 1920x1080 was basically a minimum requirement for me
- Screen Type: I prefer matte screens over glossy
- Build: Dell build quality and design appeared higher than most other Chromebooks besides perhaps the Pixel
So far the Dell has been meeting my expectations. A great working computer that looks great and lets me do almost all my work that doesn't involve programming. I have been adjusting well to ChromeOS but have Crouton installed in case I need to do anything more. We'll see how it does in the long term but for now I am more than content with my purchase and would recommend it to anyone looking for a solid laptop for portability and productivity.