By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc. April 4, 2018
The concept of “law” means different things to different people. For some, laws are rules defining conventional/unconventional behavior. For others, they are immutable strictures or even barriers begging to be tested. But I’d argue that the most important (and, ironically, the least discussed) aspect of law is its predictability.
That is, laws clearly delineate expectable outcomes with certain events or behaviors. You “can’t drive ‘55”? Don’t be surprised by a traffic ticket and hefty fine when you’re caught. Feel like scamming strangers, neighbors or family members? Maybe a change of scenery for the next 5-10 years would do you good. Rush hour traffic frustrations might make road rage seem reasonable. But in real life with the cops on hand? Not so much.
Which brings me to Moore’s Law—the best remembered contribution Intel co-founder Dr. Gordon Moore made to his company and industry. As with more prosaic laws, some in IT considered Moore’s observation to be somehow immutable even though he himself, along with Arthur Rock, understood that economic reality would eventually overtake and erode its value.
But the larger benefits of Moore’s Law were found in the predictable insights it provided semiconductor partners and resellers, as well as potential buyers. If you’re thinking of purchasing a new PC or system, how do today’s products match what you can reasonably expect in 12 to 18 months? Do you really need latest/greatest features and performance? Are those qualities needed by a select few or are they important to mainstream users, too?
Those points are reflected in Dell’s latest PCs based on Intel’s latest 8th generation “Coffee Lake-H” Core processors. Interestingly, the new solutions’ benefits are designed to touch a wide range of mobile PC customers, including consumers, business people and gamers.
Wake-up and smell the Coffee Lake
So what solutions are involved in Dell’s announcements?
- XPS – Dell’s flagship XPS 15 got a major makeover that includes 6-core 8th gen Coffee Lake-H CPUs and up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics. A refreshed exterior and premium materials makes it, according to Dell, the world’s “smallest 15.6-inch performance laptop.” In addition, the new XPS 15 2-in-1 Dell unveiled at CES (and which earned more than 34 Best of CES awards) is available for purchase. The new 2-in-1 is a notable 16mm (5/8 inch) thick and also offers a best-in-class InfinityEdge 4K display. In addition, a new brushed onyx color option will become available in select countries starting May 2018.
- Inspiron – Dell’s “value” Inspiron line include desktops, laptops, 2-in-1s and AIOs. The latest additions are performance-focused AIOs that include two basic (Inspiron 22 and 24 3000) solutions that leverage Intel’s 7th gen Core chips, the new Inspiron 24 5000 with 8th gen Core and optimized for multimedia, and the new Inspiron 27 7000 with 8th gen Core and an optional NVIDIA GTX 1050 graphics card for enhanced performance and user experience. Dell also announced a new performance-focused version of its Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 with Intel Core i7 processors, premium 4K UHD touch screen, higher capacity SSDs, 16GB of DDR4 memory, NVIDIA MX130 discrete graphics and support for Dell’s Active Pen.
- Alienware – Alienware 15 and 17 gaming laptops will offer new Coffee Lake-H Core i5, i7, and i9 processors with up to 6-cores and also enable overclocking up to 5.0GHZ for the first time ever. Alienware’s Cryo-Tech v2.0 technology incorporates 50% thinner fan blades and a vapor chamber on the CPU to better cool the higher number of Intel cores more efficiently. According to Alienware, the new laptops offer a measurable 10% performance boost, improving AAA gameplay and VR immersion. Dell introduced new value-focused G Series gaming laptops with 8th Gen Intel Core high performance processors and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 GPUs, as well as the availability of HTC VIVE Pro on dell.com. Finally, the company said new Alienware Arena Rewards would enable gamers to earn points through gaming and community engagements for discounts and other rewards.
- Dell also announced software and community features for all or some of the new products. Introduced at CES in January, Dell Cinema consists of immersive technologies (CinemaColor, CinemaSound, CinemaStream) designed to enhance media content consumption. The company also introduced a new portfolio of S Family Monitors (in 23-, 24- and 27-inch variations) that upgrade both work and play applications. Finally, Dell announced that eSports organizations NBA 2K League, Miami HEAT, Misfits Gaming and Team Liquid have all selected Alienware as their exclusive technology partner.
What are we to make of all this? At one level, the new Dell and Alienware laptops offer great examples of the steadily continuing improvements achievable with the help of Intel’s evolving semiconductor technologies. Moore’s Law is illustrative in that regard, though enhancements in memory, storage, interconnect and GPU technologies also contributed to Dell’s innovative system designs and delivery.
At the same time, Dell utilized the predictable benefits offered by Intel’s Coffee Lake-H to achieve unpredictable results. The company’s new Dell Cinema features are good examples of this dynamic, demonstrating how the company is actively leveraging new technologies to enhance both the performance of its solutions and customer value. The Alienware partnership with NBA 2K League, Miami HEAT, Misfits Gaming and Team Liquid offer a different perspective, showing how those same enhancements can impact professional class applications.
Overall, Dell deserves kudos for these well-considered and well-executed additions to its XPS, Inspiron, Alienware and other lines. Predictable or not, the company’s efforts seem likely to positively impact both end users’ experiences and Dell’s commercial success.
© 2018 Pund-IT, Inc. All rights reserved.