By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc. August 29, 2018
Following Gamescom 2018 where Dell announced refreshed Alienware desktop systems and new gaming monitors, the company introduced a raft of new and updated solutions for consumers and small businesses. They include:
- Inspiron 2-in-1s with enhanced performance via Intel’s new 8th Generation Core processors, sophisticated design points and value pricing
- Dell’s first premium consumer Chromebook, a 14-inch 2-in-1 solution that combines upscale Inspiron design and features, including 8th Gen Core CPUs, with the simplicity of the Chrome OS
- XPS 13 2-in-1s with 8th Gen Core processors, plus updated XPS 13 with i3 offerings
- Vostro 5000 laptops for small businesses with Intel’s latest Core CPUs
- Dell Mobile Connect now provides enhanced support for iOS apps, texts and calls
- The Dell 27 USB-C Ultrathin monitor combines aesthetic design points with functional dependability
Pricing and availability details are available at dell.com.
When considering PCs and other devices, it’s important to keep in mind how much these products depend on innovative and fruitful collaboration. Sure, PCs carry the brand and imprimatur of a primary vendor. But like other complex products, ranging from the smallest consumer electronics devices to the latest digitally-enhanced automobiles, scores of partners contribute their own efforts and innovations to the mix.
In the case of these Dell solutions, Intel obviously occupies pride of place since the Inspiron, XPS, Chromebook and Vostro offerings all leverage the latest Intel Core silicon. Plus, some Inspiron models also support optional Intel Optane memory and NVIDIA GeForce graphics components. In the Dell Ultrathin monitor with its stunning design and VESA-certified DisplayHDR 600 display, Corning’s Iris Glass light-guide plate (LGP) technology receives special mention.
The point of this is to remember that a vendor’s success depends in large part on its ability to recognize and then maximize the strengths and contributions of its strategic partners. Virtually all vendors follow this path but only a few – and Dell is certainly one – truly make the most of it.
This isn’t to say that vendors don’t or can’t incorporate organic homegrown innovations of their own. In Dell’s case, the company’s InfinityEdge display design (which has inspired most of its competitors to develop similar thin-bezel offerings) graces both the updated XPS solutions and the new Dell 27 USB-C Ultrathin monitor.
Dell’s fingerprints are also all over its new premium Chromebook 14 2-in-1. That offering is particularly interesting since it signals the company’s belief that demand exists and will grow for Chromebooks beyond established education markets, applications and use cases. Consumers are the company’s targets this time around, but can businesses be far behind?
Dell Mobile Connect is another good example of homegrown goodness. In essence, it’s a software solution that allows Android and iOS smart phones to be securely paired, managed and used with host Dell PCs. New features include full integration with Apple iOS apps notifications, including WhatsApp messages and calendar reminders, points that (along with Apple fumbling the ball with its recent Mac offerings could) could draw iPhone users to Dell solutions.
Materials/supply chain contributions
Lastly, these new and updated devices demonstrate how Dell’s efforts in materials development and supply chain evolution are enhancing affordable products and consumer customers. It’s worth remembering that Dell’s initial XPS 13 (which was unveiled at CES 2012) featured unique design elements and materials, including a smoothly shaped aluminum top case, rounded edges and a bottom plate made of carbon fiber with a tactile silicone surface treatment.
Similar aluminum and carbon fiber materials have been used in numerous Dell solutions since then, including its business-class Latitude notebooks. Now some of that materials development experience is being expressed in the Inspiron and Chromebook 14 2-in-1s’ and Vostro 500 laptops’ aluminum case components. That’s great from an aesthetic standpoint—the new solutions look terrific and feel good in the hand. Just as importantly, it should also enhance the durability of these solutions.
In a real sense, these new and updated Dell consumer offerings provide insights into the company’s technical and product evolution during the past half-decade. Dell certainly isn’t the only vendor to extend lessons learned and technologies developed for high-end offerings into more affordable product lines. But the company has followed this common course more readily, regularly and effectively than some other PC vendors.
Overall, Dell’s new Inspiron, Chromebook, XPS, Vostro, Mobile Connect and UltraThin solutions demonstrate how knowledgeable vendors can leverage their own and strategic partners’ innovations to provide tangible benefits to customers of every size and budget.
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