Sending my kid off to college and looking for a laptop that can support short term and long term needs during four years of school. Not sure what he'll get interested in during this time so I want a laptop that can support it all. He'll be majoring in cybersecurity but working in other areas like data science and IT. I found great reviews about the XPS 15 (2002) except for cooling issues, but also saw recent reviews about the Zenbook Pro 16x. The funny wheel on the left is a concern but really appreciate the cooling features. I would appreciate all feedback on this since both cost quite a bit of $$. Thanks!
Not to give you too many options to think about but the XPS 17 is actually not that much larger than the ASUS 16X if you wanted the larger display. A big thing I worry about for college students is what support is available for them if the laptop gives out on them or causes them issues that set them back in their classes. Because of this I've frequently recommended the Dell XPS lineup because we at Micro Center offer 4 Years of Dell Pro Support Plus which offers next day onsite service for accidental damage and repair. To my knowledge ASUS does not offer a similar program. But if your student is close by to a Micro Center then own coverages may be sufficient to help them out in as worst-case scenario.
Going on purely reviews, specs, and customer feedback here, the XPS is a tried-and-true model with many years of improvement and support from Dell. The heating issues typically occur when both the GPU and CPU are taxed heavily and unless your student is going to be working heavily in AI or graphics accelerated workflows this early on in school there is less to be concerned about when it comes to thermals. And even if he does, the 17-inch model should have improved cooling when compared to the 15-inch considering the larger intake and exhausts.
The Zenbook Pro 16X is a new design and model from ASUS which is a bit scary for some customers, but the Zenbook lineup from ASUS has always had fairly good computers so I think there is little to worry there. I only have two concerns on the Zenbook, the first being the OLED display, which looks amazing but may have burn in after heavy use. The second being the soldered RAM, making what was a simple and inexpensive repair now nearly impossible or every expensive. But the cooling is certainly a few years ahead in terms of technology compared to the XPS.
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