Dell XPS 13 (9343) Making the Transition to a Smaller Laptop

When I first left desktops behind for a laptop (Lenovo T500) it was a tough step. I was used to building my own desktops from the components I selected. I was used to the power of a desktop. Converting to using a laptop was an exercise in compromises. The transition from a 15″ laptop to a smaller lighter laptop is similar, but this is the first time I have taken a step back in the area of memory. I am converting from a Lenovo T530 to a Dell XPS 13 (9343) Developer Edition. This article will cover accessories I own or am considering purchasing to replace some of the lost features of the larger laptop.

main_256Video Out
If you use your laptop to present or would like to have a larger monitor at your desk then you will want to have an adapter from mini-displayport to some other input (VGA, DVI or Displayport). In my case I went with the MDP-HDMI from Puggable which converts from mini-displayport to HDMI. Most of the presentations I do get displayed on large screen television with HDMI inputs which make this solution ideal. Linux does not have support for USB 3.0 Display Link device, but you could also choose to utilize a USB 2.0 docking station. As long as you do not have USB 3.0 drives or a need for 1000MB Ethernet connections that would be a possible solution.

main_256Network
Wireless works great when you are mobile and fairly well even when you are not. For most people there is no need for wired connections, but if you move large files then having a gigabit connection is a must have. For this I use a Pluggable Model USB3-E1000 device. Moving large files at 118 MB/s is much more enjoyable than 35 MB/s.

main_256USB 3.0 Hub
With only two USB ports a hub can make it easier to attach multiple devices. In my case since I decided to use the USB3-E1000 device I would only have one available USB port. I have the Plugable USB3-HUB7A which has seven ports. This USB hub has not been stable for me with either the the Lenovo T530 nor the Dell XPS 13 (9343). I am not sure if there is a firmware issue or something else. The current issues are that devices plugged in to the hub are not always recognized. That said this hub still allows me to use three devices directly attached and another two through a second USB 2.0 hub.

 

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