Recently, I purchased a Dell XPS 9575 laptop because I’m fascinated by the hybrid laptop and tablet modes in one computer. This was also my way to re-immerse myself into the Windows ecosystem after using it less and less in the last decade outside of a large desktop computer.

I’m now reminded what it’s like to use a computer that regularly has driver issues. One time it might be my laggy touchpad, just from tapping it to select something and the selection isn’t instantaneous. Another time, it’s plugging headphones back in and sound doesn’t work in the headphones, audio still coming out of the internal speakers. You get the idea.

Just this week, I found a solution for the headphone jack problem that didn’t first occur to me but is a good idea to fix more of these issues in the future. The audio chip inside of this Dell laptop is made by Realtek. Realtek provides its own drivers to make this computer’s audio work and generally it works pretty well, except when it doesn’t.

When I turn the laptop on from a cold boot up, I can have the headphones plugged into the computer and it works just fine. When I unplug the headphones, the audio comes out of Dell’s internal speakers. Plugging the headphones back in? Sounds still comes out of the internal speakers. It’s enough to drive you mad.

I spent a few weeks looking for solutions with little success, only that I have the restart my computer every time to make it work again. It wasn’t until I ran across an answer describing the process to switch away from Realtek’s drivers and over to Windows default audio drivers that I found the solution.

I don’t recall if this is new to me or a distant reminder from older days of putting together computers, but it was definitely an effective way to solve this stupid audio issue. It also demonstrates that default Windows drivers are likely good enough to solve more problems like this in the future.

All of that said, would I recommend this laptop, a Dell computer, or Windows to anyone else? Not this model, I’m ready to upgrade to a new one. Dell computers are still well built and this one is beautiful, but the battery life is terrible. And Windows laptops are still an excellent choice for people, sure. But if I do change, I’d probably go with the next version of the Surface Book. Can’t beat getting Microsoft products straight from Microsoft!