Wifi Not Working with Dell M3800

I own quite a bit of laptops. Four Thinkpads (X201, X220, X230, T420) and a Dell (M3800). Recently after my Ubuntu 14.04 broke down, and as my┬ácode’s dependence on ROS lessened, I decided to upgrade my Dell M3800’s version from 14.04 to 15.10. Well, well, well… Not everything went smoothly.

Actually one thing did not go as planned. The supposedly “Ubuntu-supported’ M3800 had issues with its wireless card firmware. The specific card that my M3800 has is the Intel AC7260. Below is the fix that I had to conduct to get it working again, which is very simple. This really should be fixed right out of the box Ubuntu…

  1. Download the latest drivers
    1. https://wireless.wiki.kernel.org/en/users/drivers/iwlwifi
  2. Update the firmware
    1. Assuming you downloaded the following:
      1. https://wireless.wiki.kernel.org/_media/en/users/drivers/iwlwifi-7260-ucode-15.227938.0.tgz
    2. Unzip in the downloaded folder
    3. Run in command line:
      1. sudo cp iwlwifi-7260-15.ucode /lib/firmware/

Running the above and updating the firmware helped as now upon boot, the M3800 connects very quickly to a nearby hotspot.

What Laptop to Use?

So I am at a technological cross-road again. Since January 2014, I have been using the DELL M3800 workstation laptop, and so far, this laptop has been brilliant for me. A stunning display, high quality hardware, amazing design from a company that is not Apple, and a great support in DELL ProSupport. While everything was perfect with this machine, there was one simple problem. This laptop had some serious coil whine issues.

Now, when I bring up the coil whine issue, something immediately that goes through people’s minds are that I am being a bit too sensitive. However, when I pay over $3,000 USD for a product, I expect the product to be somewhat near perfect. Hence, I talked with DELL, and they were more than willing to exchange it for another M3800 to see if the exchange unit would work out. In my case tho, that wasn’t the best of the choices either tho…

When I received my exchange unit, I was quick to send back the original one, and only later did I find out that this exchange unit had even greater coil whining issues! So right now, I am at a cross-road between the followings:

1. Get a refund from DELL and choose a different laptop

2. Stick with this laptop until DELL finds a solution to this

The M3800 has been perfect for me in every dimension except for this coil whining issue, which is why I am a little hesitant to move away from it. With Apple due to implement a big change to its laptops in the second half of this year doesn’t make things any better, as I would much prefer to wait than get something that will be outdated pretty soon.

Does anyone have any suggestions on a laptop then?