DV8P2 (5855) Observations

Discussion in 'Dell' started by gregoryx, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. gregoryx

    gregoryx Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Just making some public notes on a few of the things I've observed with this thing after six weeks with it.

    Initial disclosure: I am apparently the only person who has received a working version of this tablet. I didn't do anything special to receive this honor; just luck, I guess. I probably should have played the lottery instead of buying this tablet. That said, I like it.

    I bought it because my old DV8P got lots of use for OneNote, Outlook, Kindle, and Chrome. Probably not much else. But the pen was never good enough for my expectations; it never matched the old Wacom stuff for me, so I was eager to get something better. Plus the 2GB RAM thing always seemed too small for my terrible multi-tasking / multi-tabbing habits (more on that later). And then there was the screen: the 1280x800 resolution messed with web sites more than I could tolerate. I installed a "zoom" function for Chrome that helped; but it hardly matched having a higher resolution (more on that later, too).

    Initial / continued observations:
    - Form-factor works pretty well. Darn near identical to the old DV8P. Works in one hand fine. Not as thin or sexy as many newer tablets, but it's acceptable.
    - Screen resolution fixes that issue. Yeah, Windows isn't awesome at scaling, but it's good enough. Mostly, I have zero problems with web sites not fitting right anymore. Nice!
    - Pen is awesome. Not sure if it's as good as the old Wacoms - the feel is pretty different - but it's SO much better than the old DV8P thing, I'm thrilled. I'm eager to get a good matte screen-cover to give it the feel that I like.
    - Touch is excellent. Maybe not quite iPad but pretty close to a good Android. And the switching between pen and touch is plenty good enough.
    - Performance is fine. Not much of a performance improvement over the old DV8P noticeable. But once it's fired up and "settled in" it seems more stable and consistent - especially switching apps. But it takes a LONG time to fire up and settle in with all the stuff I have loading. I could clean it up; but once it settles, CPU rests at 1% and only changes when it should. With Outlook 2016, OneNote 2016, Kindle, and Chrome with a few tabs open all running (plus Mouse without Borders, Task Manager, DropBox, Qsync, OneDrive, ESET, Dell Update and other stuff), CPU is bouncing around 10% with memory at 80%. Not bad.

    Updates and issues:
    - Somewhere in my first couple of days of updating stuff, it borked the thing where auto-rotation stopped and the Win10 button for rotation went away. I searched and waited for a decent fix (clearly a simple driver issue); but finally just defaulted the thing and started over. All updates since have been fine.
    - After the above, I turned on System Restore; I wouldn't have done that in the past for fear of a performance hit, but it seems fine. I haven't had to use it yet, so hard to know if it'll serve me should I get hit again.
    - I've since installed all the various updates as they arrived. The recent BIOS update (Feb 10?) seems to have improved the performance a bit. Basically, it seems to be a bit snappier to respond to things like logins - it had a couple seconds delay to the unlock screen that seems much less now.
    - It gets stuck in a weird "not on / not off" state now and then. Pretty annoying. With the screen off, I hit the power button and it stays dark. So I hold the power button down for a while and it finally does this "slide to power the device off" screen. But there seems to be no way to get back IN without a reboot. And often it doesn't even power off from that power-off screen; I just have to hold the power button down until it finally shuts off, then hold the power button again until it turns back on. That seems to be happening a LOT less in the last couple of weeks - since the previous bout of updates. I'm hoping this latest bout improves it further. I seem to have also got less of the problem if I use the Windows button to wake it back up instead of the power button. TBD.

    Thoughts:
    - Hard to say if the 4Gb RAM makes a difference in performance. I'm surprised to even think that. But the CPU isn't really too robust, so I'm not sure there's a lot of multi-tasking going on. Basically, it's a bit smoother changing apps and stuff, but otherwise doesn't perform much different than the DV8P (2Gb RAM) once focused on a given app.
    - The latest and greatest MicroSD stuff runs pretty well. Not quite as fast as the internal storage, but pretty darn good. So I moved a bunch of large storage crap - portable apps and such - from my DropBox to Qsync since I can store than on the mSD. Plus backups and movies and music. All runs well. Nice.
     
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  2. yohojones

    yohojones Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Im in the same boat as you. I had the first gen and Dell had a sale on gen 2 so I pulled the trigger.
    4 gigs ram, usb c, 1080p for $600 after tax is a great deal. Monoprice has good prices on usb c cables and otg adaptors if you're looking. I was able to run a WD passport drive with the adaptor. At usb 3 speeds. So far am very satisfied.
     
  3. nannlp

    nannlp Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Can one of you please give us an idea on the battery life. Does it do all day computing ?
     
  4. yohojones

    yohojones Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Not mine. Seems like battery dies pretty quick. Using mine for watching media. Ive only had it for a couple days though.
     
  5. hdfan23

    hdfan23 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    One issue I've seen with mines is if its flat on it's back or in the folio the touchscreen either no longer responds or only partially. Not sure if it's some sensor thing or some wires getting bunched up but I can reproduce consistently. If just holding in palm of my hands, no issues, as soon as the 2 conditions I mentioned are met, the issue occurs. Hopefully not a hardware issue because it'll mean at the very least will have to return to Dell for repair or replacement. I've installed the latest drivers and BIOS, still occurs. Anyone here experience this issue?
     
  6. yohojones

    yohojones Pen Pal - Newbie

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    This happens on mine as well.
     
  7. hdfan23

    hdfan23 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Also the volume cuts in and out from the external speaker.
     
  8. yohojones

    yohojones Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I dont want to jinx it, but I updated the driver using the one from Dell site and this improved for me.

    I also unchecked the loudness box in audio properties. Either one might have fixed it.
     
  9. Woody5418

    Woody5418 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Well, I am a new guy to this forum but would like to chime in as well. Received mine last Thursday, and yesterday, the Monday, it was already at the UPS store headed back to Dell for a return.

    I was excited as I wanted this to go along with my other devices Surface Pro 4, iPad, etc. I could carry it in a coat pocket, you know the drill.

    My experience was very similar to that listed with some additional points. Sound issues with the external speaker, poor sound quality when recording video (I low expectations already, but real bad). I also experienced the start up issues. Not sure whether it was the power button itself, or purposeful design, but the only was to get th unit to power on was to hold the button down for 4 seconds. This was mentioned in the manual to do if it did not come on right away. When I did this I would also notice the charging light would blink which makes me believe it was intentional. The problem is that if you held it too little or too long, it would not power up. As a result my confidence in the thing started to suffer. I really was not sure if it was coming on or I had a problem with the device. What's funny is that it would nehave this when it was sleeping. Press the power button and it came up right away. I did load all the recent updates launched last week for drivers and BIOS which did improve the overall experience, but not the other things.

    I did give this thing a chance. I Andes up resetting it twice. The first time I decided i was going to send it back so did a reset. Then a few hours later, I pulled it out of the box and gave it another chance thinking that maybe my expectations were too high for a device that is more about portability than anything else. So, back to setting up the device to have the stuff on it I like. Spent the entire day loading programs, files and the like. Carried it around all day and was loving it. Still bugged with the whole power on thing, but was able to really get the timing right for turning it on. I literally would count to 4 to power it up. Things were progressing, thought it was going the right way.

    Then I tried to activate the SIM card. I spent time playing with the guys at AT&T for 2 hours. Multiple SIM cards, etc. and the Dell never would see the SIM card inserted. That was pretty much the last straw.

    Of course to initiate a return on the device could not be done online and had to be through Customer Service. I called, waited on hold for about 10 minutes. Talked to a live person to say I wanted to do a return, he went away for a few minutes only to come back and say that department was not in yet and I had to call back in an hour or so. Keep in mind this was 1 1/2 hours after the time they say customer service was to be open. At this point I am getting PO'd because it means another call.

    Well, an hour later I do a chat to get the return going. After to state several reasons why I want to do the return, the most important one being the SIM issue and believing the tablet ,as actually be defective, they offer me $50 off to see if I would keep it. I replied no and then they offered me $75 off. At this point I am getting mad again and just reply that this is not a negotiation and that I believe the unit is defective and want to do the return. The reply from Dell is if it is defective their technical support may be able to work through it with me. Again I say I just want to return it. Finally I get the response of okay, they will work up the return.

    I apologize for the extreme message. I have never posted so much on a forum before but had to explain the whole scenario so that others can understand these things going into the situation in the future.

    I do believe the device will prove to be very good. It is just early and with as much as it cost, I expected a better experience at the start. I really think it is powered appropriately as performance was very good with the exception of the glitches I mentioned above. I did not have it long enough to really see how the battery life would be. It seemed to be okay, but it also charged very slowly. The Dell may be a few firmware upgrades away from being where it should be, but once again, a lot of promise, but just not there yet. My opinion.
     
  10. yohojones

    yohojones Pen Pal - Newbie

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    On a positive note... I've noticed my standby time is pretty good. Not iPad good, but I can leave it unplugged over night on my nightstand and when I wake up its at 75%.
    I switched from 1080p to 480p on youtube and the battery life has improved a great deal as well. The tablet doesn't get warm anymore.
    I don't have the power button problem you mentioned. It always comes on when I press power.
     

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