Thoughts on Tuxedo DX1305

Dmitri Popov

Productivity Sauce

Jun 25, 2015 GMT
Dmitri Popov

There are a few machines in our household, but truth to be told, hardware doesn't excite me too much. I don't get obsessed by the processor model and speed, amount of RAM, screen resolution, and such. As long as the machine I use does the stuff I need it to do, I'm a happy camper. But every now and then, I come across a computer that piques my interest, like Raspberry Pi and Chromebook. This happened to me again when I had the chance to play with Linux-based machines manufactured and sold by the German-based company Tuxedo Computers. Their Ubuntu-based laptops immediately appealed to my inner geek, and I wanted to take a closer look at them. The company kindly agreed to send me a test unit of their Tuxedo DX1305 model, which I've been using as my primary machine for the past couple of weeks. And I thought I'd share my thoughts on it with you.

I won't dwell on the general hardware specifications, as they are readily available on the company's website. I'll mention, though, that all Tuxedo machines are built to order, so you can tailor the base machine to your particular needs and wallet.

What caught my eye in the first place was the machine's exterior design. The angled lines and black lid made of a rubbery material similar to the one used in ThinkPads give DX1305 a stealthy and classy look. Although the machine's chassis is made entirely of plastic, it feels solidly built. The screen lid doesn't have a lot of flex, and it can handle a reasonable amount of pressure. The screen's hinges are tight, so the screen doesn't wobble and firmly stays in the given position. DX1305 is equipped with Onkyo speakers which produce an excellent sound output for a machine of its size.

The bottom panel is made of plastic too, but it provides adequate protection of the machine's internal components. The best part is that the panel is held in place by four standard screws, and removing it gives you easy access to all upgradeable and replaceable components. So adding a larger hard disk, upgrading the wireless card, and replacing a faulty fan don't require any special tools and can be done in a matter of minutes.

Speaking of the fan, the one used in DX1305 is rather big, but despite its size it's not very loud during normal use. It can become somewhat noisy when the processor is under heavy load, but that doesn't happen very often. The keyboard is comfortable in use, and it doesn't have any noticeable flex, and the keys have just the right amount of travel. Better still, the keyboard has backlight that kicks in automatically in dim light (you can control the backlight via a dedicated hardware key, too). By the way, when you configure your machine on Tuxedo's website, you can choose your country's keyboard layout.

One of the most interesting aspects of DX1305 is the support for up to three internal hard disks: a single SATA3 SSD or regular HDD along with two mSATA SSDs. My test machine came with a Samsung 120GB SSD backed up by a Hitachi 500GB 7200rpm hard disk. This not only gives you plenty of storage space, but also makes it possible to configure an internal backup setup.

The test machine sent to me was actually a demo unit, so its battery wasn't new. However, it consistently powered the machine for about two hours of moderate use. This is not impressive by today's standards (my Acer C720 Chromebook runs for about five hours on a charge), but it's in line with what to expect from a 6-cell battery powering a machine of this class.

The only real fly in the ointment is the power supply: while the machine itself is relatively light for its specs, the supplied power brick is both bulky and heavy.

In conclusion, Tuxedo DX1305 is not the cheapest machine out there, but you'll get an awful lot for your money. And having spent some quality time with the machine I can whole-heartedly recommend it.

Although Tuxedo Computers' website is mostly in German, the company ships worldwide, and their web store for international users is in the works.

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