New Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 2018 Edition

Discussion in 'Dell' started by alextrela182, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The bongofish forum is an excellent resource for tech-heavy info; I learned on that site (after much sifting) how turn old Wacom Penabled laptop screens into mini-Cintiqs you can plug into any machine.

    But I've not visited in a long while. I don't know what they know about AES tech.

    UPDATE*****

    Just checked out bongofish again. -There is a bit of chatter about touch interfaces, but nothing I saw immediately regarding battery-operated pens.

    Also.., my old build log for the Tecra M4 dual-screen project has had 15,000+ views over the last couple of years, and is referenced as the startpoint for a couple of other people's projects. -I know I made an effort to make my build log really easy to follow for liberal arts type people who aren't techies.

    Learning and building all that stuff was a truly fun DIY adventure!

    Reading through other people's build logs, it appears that the tech has come a ways since 2015. -You can get much more advanced video drivers for those old LCD screens for only $20 or so now.

    It's too bad nobody ever made a 15" or 16" Tablet PC back in the day, or we would have some really excellent DIY desktop devices possible!

    Right now I'm not doing any tinker-projects, however I DO have a broken down Cintiq 21UX in my closet, (screen doesn't turn on), which I'd hoped to swap the screen out from. (My working desktop Cintiq has a bruise on the screen.) Unfortunately, the donar Cintq is a slightly different model, and uses rather different internal electronics. The video cards and LCD mounting technology are not compatible. -But after some tests on the broken Cintiq I determined that it is indeed the video board which is faulty and not the back light inverter or the LCD itself. I couldn't see any blown capacitors or anything else which is obviously busted, but I might one day decide to go in and really study up on electronics repair and try to fix the board. If it just comes down to replacing a nickel component, then I'd have a whole second Cintiq 21UX to play with. -And one with an un-bruised screen!

    That would be a cool project, but for another day.

    Anyway.., as to AES...

    Yeah, nobody seems terribly interested in N-Trig tech for their builds. They're still into trying to lay LCD screens over top old Intuos boards.
     
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  2. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Yeah, the bongofish guys are legendary...I learned a lot about old-school EMR on that site.

    But even within EMR tech, there needs to be some more documentation of the new UD 2.0 digitizers (w/tilt and separate drivers).

    Are these digitizers any different at a hardware level? My conversion with the EVE folks suggests that they are different (not-merely firmware un-locked) UD boards.

    I've been pondering for while to create a centralized repository for digitizer info. Like @ATIVQ mentioned, industry knowledge of display tech is generally poor—but at least you can find good sources on the net.

    Digitizer tech however...its an ancient Mayan riddle, solved by piecing together fragmented posts collected over years... :p
     
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  3. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Closed source tech is SO like that!

    I'm amazed that one guy was able to back-engineer a working interpreter for the old Penabled digitizers. I'm not entirely clear on how he even achieved that, but I gather it was a long process of testing and logically comparing input streams from USB/serial sniffers.
     
  4. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Hehe, actually I'm going to dispute this. It's so easy to blame everything on BS intellectual property laws these days...but the comparison to the display industry is an enlightening one:

    In the world of screen technology, manufacturers are happy to publish white papers detailing the engineering of their panels.

    This includes the currently applicable tech like OLED, right down to the transistor structure and operation:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Numerous such diagrams exist all over the internet for display tech, yet it's almost impossible to find the like for pen tech.

    And doesn't hurt the industry to have people more knowledgeable about the tech; look at how the display industry is booming: numerous videophile communities have grown over the years, while promising new ditigizer tech languishes and dies, because nobody can even begin talking about them... :(
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
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  5. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    There's nothing to dispute. Why is it always a dispute with you?

    Anyway, there are levels at work. There's "Closed Source" and "CLOSED SOURCE".

    The inner workings of LCD tech is pretty much an open secret with so many people involved in manufacturing billions of screens. It's about as secret as the internal combustion engine, so keeping it a black-box mystery is pretty much impossible. (Though, I'd estimate that cutting edge developments are more tightly controlled.)

    For small manufacturers like Wacom whose patents were for a long time the best available and the thing which kept them fed and relevant, their secrecy was perfectly understandable.

    Today, I'd be curious about MS's motivations regarding their lack of transparency. Probably there is simply not very much interest or need to share their notes with the world, and I could see how their leaders might argue that it wouldn't be in their immediate or future best interest.
     
  6. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Hehe, I come from the "Socratic" school of thought where debate is not be avoided, but rather encouraged. ;)

    I guess that makes me "un-Canadian", but hey, find me another place on the net where you can actually have a productive clashing of thoughts, and I'll go there. :p


    My view is that "digitizer secrecy" has only restricted the market base to a niche of crazy enthusiasts (i.e. us ;)) which only hurts the manufacturers like Wacom in the end.

    Look at the barren state of digitizer development versus the plethora of custom mice, RGB keyboards, and AR/VR cameras—less practical than pens, yet somehow more mainstream. :p

    There's a virtuous cycle to be gained when reviewers raise awareness among consumers; consumers then actually begin using the feature; and hardware/software developers can then iterate and improve.

    We've seen the power of how few choice words among review articles can literally create a hardware standard overnight:
    • USB-C in late 2016 was an iffy proposition, but in 2018, every notebook with is coming out with full x4-lane TB3 capability. It's really complete overkill, but manufacturers took notice when they were being dinged for putting out "gimped" ports.
    • A similar thing happened with backlit keyboards, where it took only about two years for backlit to become de rigeur on any notebook.
    • Viewing angles and brightness of displays, again, a short generation or two for IPS panels to become the norm after a decade+ of TN crappiness.

    I guess what I've learned after all this reflection on @Azzart's original point, is there's a massive price to paid when reviewers consistently gloss over a piece of tech—I'd say the lack of consumer awareness of pen technology has retarded the entire digitizer industry a good 15-20 years... :confused:
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  7. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I come from an observational school of thought where I see people who constantly attempt to start nonsense arguments (and in your case, ones which usually hold the character of being designed on some level to be lost from the outset, and which typically are), are doing so for reasons I am not qualified to properly diagnose. But whatever you gain from pestering me isn't a shared experience. I can put up with it, but it is tiresome. I'm not your papa or whatever is going on there.

    If you're going to argue with me, do it for legitimate reasons and not to scratch some psychological itch. If you have a point to make, make it, glory in your smarts, I'm sure we'd all be interested, but constantly framing observations as a win/lose thing is annoying.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  8. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    Another example: a 15.6" display will always be considered superior to a 15" display, because of that 0.6" extra diagonal length. But 15.6" 16:9 is less than two parts per thousand larger than 15" 3:2, and 3:2 is much better for certain tasks such as reading and editing documents in portrait-mode.

    What was I saying? Oh, uh, the "pressure levels myth" is like the '90s "megahertz myth". You can't measure pen performance using only the number of pressure levels, but that's the only metric that reviewers seem to mention.
     
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  9. Iceman82

    Iceman82 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Here I was getting excited that the XPS 15 2-in-1 thread had a bunch more posts full of info about this upcoming release...

    Very interesting conversation regarding pen tech vs display tech and so on. Thought I'd clicked a link to another thread somehow.

    No news on the XPS though?

    Edit: sorry if my sarcasm doesn't come across very well... Honestly got confused wondering which thread I was in. Had to comment.
     
  10. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    At around 4:00 the jitteryless lines in this review of the new Dell Latitude with Wacom aes gives me hope that this pen tech has grown since the recent past... :)
     
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