XPS 13 Developer Edition Kaby Lake (9360): working great with Fedora 25

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.

3 Responses

  1. Thorsten Leemhuis
    Thorsten Leemhuis November 17, 2016 at 10:34 pm | | Reply

    Everything worked. I mean, just everything worked.

    Not on mine (I got an CNX93609 – the one with FullHD display and 256 Gig NVMe). I have very bad Wifi Tx performance and hear a static background noise in headphones. When I enable power management for the audio codec I get a cracking noise in headphones every time the codec goes to sleep or wakes up; and I hear something like a mosquito buzzing in headphones when I have my fingers on the touchpad while the codec sleeps. Ohh, and the HDMI connector on the official dock (DA200) doesn’t work properly for me. And I “only” 😉 get about 13 hours of battery runtime while getting 22,5 with Windows (no noises on headphones there, HDMI works and Wifi Tx performance is in expected range).

    Computers are fun…

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