Dell and the wow factor

Among the many announcements out of the Consumer Electronics Show this week is Dell’s new XPS 13 Ultrabook.

Dell joins other manufacturers in the embryonic ultrabook segment late to the party, some say. Even if true, does it matter if you have something really different like Smart Connect functionality? That looks pretty cool, according to PC Magazine:

[…] It periodically wakes during sleep and, if a known Wi-Fi network is available, updates your email, calendar, and other information so new content is waiting for you when you resume work. It’s also location-aware, so gadgets such as weather and restaurant listings are updated if you change cities.

Or maybe it’s on a more emotional level as I suggested in an impromptu chat in Google+ with Dell’s +Susan Beebe:

It helps in the differentiation from competitors when such differentiation is focused on emotional elements like form factor, aesthetic appeal and usability. Which all blends into a wow! factor :)


Reshared post from +Susan Beebe

Embedded Link

Dell Ultrabook Features Backlit Keyboard, Smart Connect
Dell joins the 13.3-inch ultrabook category with an aluminum and carbon-fiber flyweight starting at $999.

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Post imported by Google+Blog. Created By Daniel Treadwell.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Robert Safuto

    Personally, I’m missing the wow factor on this one. Physically it looks like a lot of other ultrabooks. The software tweaks, such as scheduled email download, provide limited value. As it stands now when I fire up Outlook it only takes a few seconds to sync with the Exchange Server. And what to make of this location awareness? Is there a GPS on board? Regardless, software can determine the general location of any computer connected to a network via the IP address.

    In the end I think that the “wow” factor of this device will be determined by the hands-on experience compared to the many competitors in the space.

    • Neville Hobson

      Agree with your final point, Rob – that’s undoubtedly how it will be.

      I haven’t seen the machine in the flesh but from the pics and videos, it has wow for me! It looks like a beautifully-made machine, an obvious comparison with Apple’s kit. Yet I think of the Adamo and Vostro laptops – really well manufactured machines, very nicely done, very appealing especially the (now defunct) Adamo.

      I like the idea of smart connect. If my PC can go and fetch all the stuff I’m interested in while I’m not at the machine, and have it ready when I want it, that’s wow! for me :)

      Still, wow is in the eye of the beholder, to mashup a phrase.

  2. cris bishop

    thank you +Susan Beebe for the battery life answer.. do you think that's a vast improvement in battery life since the past years? are there any plans for battery life improvements in the future?
    seems vary silly to keep the current specs the same year after year after year etc. there is no "wow" factor for a smaller laptop.. apple did that years ago.. i want a "wow" like look it will last a full 24hrs on the battery better yet a full 48hrs so it could do a full 8hr days for 6 days straight without a charge . seems the big makers are missing the target for portability for pretty looking

  3. cris bishop

    thank you +Neville Hobson i think its time for this to become a reality …not only is it possible but technology will only get more efficient with time. add solar cells in the lid of the screen it would trickle charge the battery in the laptop as well as a special brief case to carry your laptop with solar outsides you could charge not only your laptop from the case but your smart phones and other electronic devices and a case would have enough surface area to produce decent wattage like say 15-20watts in the full sun plus what the lid of the laptop could make say 5 watts. so any where from 15-25watts could be made with the solar alone. intel atom cpu Z670 runs at 3 watts plus a screen and video gpu required watts is it a realistic aspiration i say yes even at the price of this new slim laptop price mark

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