Last year when I saw the video where Linus Sebastian of LinusTechTips had accidently left his XPS 12 out in the rain, I thought to myself “that would be a cool Direct2Dell post.” But before I ever got around to actually writing it, Sebastian went and did it again! Except this time it was an XPS 13 – and this time it wasn’t an accident.
So I got even more curious about the man behind the watery videos that one YouTube commenter called “some sort of laptop necromancer.” I reached out to Sebastian to ask him if he’d always been driven to find out how things work and test their limits.
“My early attempts at disassembling things were mostly disastrous,” he told me when I asked if he could remember the first thing he took apart. “I once tried to put a PCI card in an ISA slot, which released the magic blue smoke that makes all electronics work. I remember taking apart a Sony Discman at some point, so let’s go with that (it stayed broken).”
Luckily for him, and us, most of his attempts to dry out and reassemble hardware have been more successful. Sebastian first began making videos for YouTube as a side to his job at NCIX, a Canadian online computer hardware and software retailer, but turned content creation into his full-time job in 2013 when he founded Linus Media Group. His LinusTechTips channel now has 1.6 million subscribers, and some of them were suspect that the XPS 12 video was staged or sponsored by Dell.
“It was a review unit, but not one that was provided by Dell,” Sebastian clarifies. “So it was my daily driver machine that I’d been using for over a year. I really, really, really didn’t want it to die.”
Watching the video, I didn’t either! And, that same dramatic tension was there when he attempted to re-create the scene with the XPS 13.
“Few reviewers keep me on the edge of my seat like you did,” Damon Muzny, manager of Dell’s media review program told Sebastian after watching the latest. “Next time I’m not going to send you a charger pack, but instead an umbrella as an accessory!”
Sebastian loves teaching, learning and playing with tech. He’s made around 3,000 videos and finds it hard to pick a favorite, but a recent series called Scrapyard Wars where he competed against his co-host to see who could build the best gaming machine for $300, comes to mind.
“I’m grateful every day that my job is to do something I love and share it with others,” he says.
At the risk of giving Muzny heart failure, I asked Sebastian if he had any outrageous ideas for future Dell product reviews:
“Of course,” he said. “The problem is that as far as I can tell your lawyers are dead from Cobra bites, so I don’t know who I’d consult about whether or not I’m able to DO the things I want to do with them…”
(Watch this video to get the joke.)
And just how is that original rain-soaked XPS doing?
“The good news is that the XPS 12 still works awesome to this day and actually accompanied Luke, my co-host to Taiwan for his trip to Computex,” reports Sebastian.