So, that post about not liking computers? Here’s a confession: I partly wrote it as some sort of weird preparation for buying myself another one. That is, the new Kaby Lake XPS 13 developer edition. I’ve been using a second-gen (L322X) XPS 13 developer edition for a few years now, and been generally happy with it, except for a couple of things:
- That was the last generation before Intel substantially improved battery life, and it shows; I only get 2-3 hours on it.
- I’m an idiot, so the screen has a crack in it and also has either water or diet Coke (not sure. I’ve spilled both on it) trapped between the screen glass and the substrate, which gives a weird sort of rainbow effect on that edge of the screen.
The new model’s been getting great reviews, and is reported to have good battery life. I think it’s good to send a signal by buying a system with Linux preloaded (even if it’s the wrong one :>). nirik was touting the virtues of the Lenovo Yoga 910, and that sure looks nice too, but I think I’m still happy with this.
So the new XPS 13 arrived today. It’s a very nice bit of hardware, even smaller than the second-gen thanks to those crazy tiny bezels, and with an overall nice design. Keyboard and trackpad feel a bit better than before.
Of course, I installed the brand-new, just-signed-off Fedora 25 (Workstation) on it straight away (public release on Tuesday!), and guess what?
Everything worked. I mean, just everything worked. I didn’t have to lift a damn finger to do anything anywhere. Wifi works, sound works, touchscreen works, the lot. GNOME automatically enables hidpi mode, and the screen looks great. There was just nothing at all I had to do besides set up my apps. Bit boring! But welcome. Heck, even enrolling the system to a FreeIPA domain during gnome-initial-setup worked, except the user’s login keyring didn’t turn out right and I had to poke around a bit to fix that.
There’s only one slightly odd thing: the system’s function keys are lockable, like caps lock or scroll lock. Out of the box, they’re set so just pressing them uses them as multimedia keys – pressing F3 raises the volume, pressing F2 lowers it, etc. To actually get a function key you have to hold fn and press the key. Which is of course awful. But never fear! After ten minutes futilely poking around in the firmware looking for a config setting, I twigged that there’s a little ‘lock’ icon on the Esc key. Just pressing fn+Esc flips the keys over so just pressing them gets you the function key, as the universe intended, and fn+key will do the multimedia key action. Phew.