We were recently contacted by someone working on behalf of Dell (NASDAQ:DELL - News), pointing out a recent campaign the company ran in Singapore, called the Dell XPS Ultrabook Challenge. You can check out the video for yourself below, but to make a long story short, participants in Singapore choose their favorite Ultrabook out of a possible five. The result, says Dell, is that 55 percent of the 1,301 participants chose the XPS.
Nonetheless, I think this video is crappy on so many levels that it doesn’t really do anyone any good, including Dell. And consumers.
One of my first questions to the representative was if he could tell me what were the competing models , but the company chose to not disclose that. I’m told:
The laptops weren’t powered up, the test was conducted solely on aesthetics. This bit is also included in the video’s written description, so full disclosure is there for viewers.
I didn’t bother reading the fine print on my first viewing, so the fact that they were not powered on was news to me. But obviously there are a number of things wrong with this when it comes to comparing. You can’t actually test the Ultrabook, but rather you can just feel it up a little . It’s sort of like a Pepsi challenge, without being allowed to actually taste the Pepsi. Similarly, my esteemed colleague Charlie notes the irony that in a video about the pure aesthetics of the device we never really see a good clear shot of the whole thing.
But perhaps the biggest reason that I’m not a fan of this video (aside from the painfully awkward “I choose Dell” testimonials at the end) is the fact that Ultrabooks are high-end products. And Dell’s survey sample is not representative of the high-end consumer. I’d put more faith in this kind of test if it were conducted among a group of gamers, or a media production class for example.
I’m still considering upgrading my 2007 13" Macbook, and so far the likely candidate would be a Lenovo Thinkpad . But I could could happily rock a Dell, particularly an XPS – as long as I can throw Linux on it.
The video is below. Give it a look for yourself and let me know what you think.
Disclosure: I am a former HP employee. Currently the computers I own are a 2010 iMac, an ageing 2007 13" Macbook which is still running well, and a tiny Dell Mini 10.
For the amateur detectives among our readership, there’s a higher quality version of another Dell XPS Challenge here. From looking at both videos, my guesses for the likely competitors would be the Samsung Series 9, the Asus Zenbook, the Acer Aspire S3, the HP Envy (or maybe the Folio). I haven’t had hands on with many of these yet, so I could be wrong. ↩
I just had the weirdest high school flashback. ↩
I don’t want to start any religious PC vs Mac wars here. But let me clarify that I am not pro-Mac or PC. I’m strictly anti-Windows. And so my next laptop will likely be a Linux box, and that works fine for me. ↩