Dell Shows That It’s Innovating

Last Thursday, I wrote an article called What The Dell Is Wrong In Round Rock? referring to the city where Dell is headquartered. The article is here.

I was surprised to receive two friendly notes in response: one from Dawn Lacallade at Dell’s IdeaStorm.com site which was created for the express purpose of gathering ideas from customers, and one from Richard at the Direct2Dell.com public relations blog.

Dawn agreed that the pace of innovation has been too slow, but said the company is hard at work changing that. She then pointed me to two exciting products that prove what Dell can do:

  • The Dell Crystal Monitor: A 22-inch widescreen flat panel display made of ultra-clear tempered glass, with a 1680 x 1050 high-definition resolution and a 98% color gamut to reveal more shades and tones. It won the highest design honor at the Consumer Electronics Show, the CES Best of Innovations 2008. See it here.

  • The XPS One: An all-in-one computer similar to the iMac, but Windows-based. It features an elegant display with built-in 2-megapixel webcam, integrated Hi-Def sound system, wireless keyboard and mouse, a smoked glass display base, a finished back, and a clean one-cord wire consolidation. See it here.

Richard wrote that Dell is “a work in progress” and pointed out, “This is not a short-term fix and we are not in a short-term game.”

He clarified that the Vostro line of notebooks is not supposed to compete with the MacBook Air, but is a gutsy alternative for small businesses that want power and speed in a little package.

He referred me to a review at Laptop Magazine that awarded the Dell XPS M1330 its Editors’ Choice designation and said it’s “a remarkable notebook for a very reasonable price.”

The review concludes: “So let’s review: top-notch screen, keyboard, performance, design, portability, and features, all for under $2,000. Sure, it’s not as thin as the MacBook Air or ThinkPad X300, but the XPS M1330 has more features than the former and a much lower price than the latter. This is the ultimate sweet-spot notebook for consumers.”

See the full review here.

This experience impressed me in two ways.

First, that two Dell employees took the time to compose thoughtful, polite replies to what was a fairly pointed critique from me. Both Dawn and Richard seemed proud of their company’s accomplishments. Such dedication to company success and attention to customer satisfaction is important.

Second, that the products they showcased in Dell’s defense are worthy. I particularly love the Crystal Monitor and would enjoy seeing it on my desk. That qualifies as a kind of product lust, I suppose.

This experience, combined with my recent experience of finding Dell to be the best choice for a family member’s new notebook, makes me think that however slowly it’s happening, Dell is indeed turning around.

Thanks to Dawn and Richard for taking the time to write!

Disclosure: The Kelly Letter owns shares of Dell.

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