Dell goes after Apple’s high-end Mac market with ‘XPS brand’ desktop and laptop ‘luxury’ Windows PCs

“Cut price tin marketer Dell has started to flog what it is calling a luxury range of PCs aimed at high end businesses,” Nick Farrell writes for The Inquirer.

“The new XPS brand will start at $2,700 for the laptop and $1,100 for entry-priced units… Dell spinners said that the real feeling of luxury will come from its customer service. Buyers of the XPS laptops will be connected with a customer service representative within five minutes. That is about half the time that regular Dell customers wait. Only with Dell is reasonable customer service considered a luxury.”

Farrell writes, “The rest of the cash seems to have gone into the look of the hardware. For example the cover of the laptop is made of a magnesium alloy that gives the product a brushed gunmetal look.”

Full article here.

“‘Looking at their consumer strategy, they don’t have the brand name that Apple and Sony (SNE) have,’ said Shaw Wu, of American Technology Research,” Rex Crum reports for Dow Jones News. “Wu points to last week’s release of Dell’s new DJ Ditty music player as an example of the challenges the company is up against in the consumer market. The $99 device can hold 220 songs and is being marketed as an alternative to Apple’s iPod Shuffle. But Apple’s dominant market position and ubiquitous iPod marketing campaign will force Dell to play catch-up. ‘They released it without much fanfare,’ said Wu, who rates Dell shares a ‘buy.’ ‘They’re trying to hit the iPod Shuffle, but Apple is already so strong there.'”

Crum reports, “Another of Dell’s strengths is its direct-sales model, which lowers manufacturing costs and allows the company to build machines that cost less than similar ones made by its competitors. But high-end customers, who tend to be more technology-savvy, are less focused on price and more concerned about what their gear can do, said Mark Stahlman, an analyst with Caris & Co.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Besides looking like prop rejects from the original Battlestar Galactica TV series (1978), these things also do not come with a ‘luxury’ operating system: Dell XPS PCs ship with Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition. Of note: the big one (middle of top picture) called the “XPS 600” offers a “customizable backlit shield with seven color choices.”

35 Comments

  1. At the begining of the summer I bought a top-of-the line 15″ PowerBook. For a lark, I went to the Dell site to price a similar laptop (e.g. same size RAM, HD & screen, “pro” OS, 802.11g wireless, Bluetooth, etc. (though a backlit keyboard was not available from Dell but standard from Apple!)).

    The Dell actualy cost more than the PowerBook. And now they want to charge $500 much more for fast phone service (you’re going to need it!)

    And the pictured laptop looks thicker than my PB!

    Are they conciously out to hasten their demise?

    MW = rate – I’ll let yoius have yor fun with that!

  2. Reaffirms my belief that Dell is really run by some secondhand car salesmen.

    Even if by some magical coincidence they created something good looking it would be like judging a book from its cover…it’s the crap inside that really nmakes it ugly.

  3. Crap? Well, yes.

    But gunmetal? Sounds cool if it were used in a good design. Now, Dell has probably ruined gunmetal for other manufacturers (at least for Apple), but if Apple came out with new Intel powerbooks in 12 months or so with a new brushed gunmetal finish I bet a lot of us would have been creaming ourselves.

  4. I couldn’t care less about the computers themselves, but I am intrigued by the photography style and set. The imposing angle of view, the black on black with dramatic soft lighting. Do I also hear the rough mechanical breathing of Darth Vader? Is this dark, intimidating stance supposed to be a threatening answer to Apples light, bright, positive take on computer advertising? Purposely or not, Dell’s advertising is taking the stance of the anti-Apple. Big mistake. I have just four words for the market of computer consumers: “Walk towards the light.”

  5. “the real feeling of luxury will come from its customer service. Buyers of the XPS laptops will be connected with a customer service representative within five minutes”

    No, the real feeling of luxury is not having to connect to customer service in the first place.

  6. Oh, man! Professional comedy writers couldn’t come up with material this good! So the luxury bit is that you only have to wait FIVE minutes on the phone when the computer fscks up instead of TEN? Do I even need to come up with a joke?

    Dell as a luxury brand, that’s choke-on-your-lunch funny. “Introducing the Belgrade, a luxury car made as only Yugo can…”

  7. If you go to their website and click on the XPS line, one of the the blurbs goes something like “15 months of virus and spyware protection included”

    MDN Daily word: tell

    as in, “Tell me how you’re even going to go 15 DAYS without getting some kind of virus/spyware on that pos!”

  8. The sad truth about this ‘new’ product line is that it’s not new at all. Dell debuted the refreshed ‘design’ a few months ago.

    The only difference is some new names for the same products, a higher price tag, one full year of support standard and Windows Media Center Edition standard.

    For anyone who ever says Apple is gouging the customer and/or Apple is expensive can finally shut up and stop complaining. Dell just took the price gouge crown.

    In the end, I find this announcement from Dell highly disappointing. I was expecting something higher-end, but oh well…that’s what I get for expecting anything different from Dell.

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