Print 22 comment(s) - last by SocketAKing.. on May 17 at 1:10 PM

WSJ: "Dell is dropping the XPS line", Dell: "Nuh-uh!"

Yesterday, the internet was abuzz regarding a story from the Wall Street Journal concerning Dell's XPS lineup. The paper reported that Dell would drop its XPS lineup to focus squarely on the Alienware brand.

The paper contended that keeping both the XPS and Alienware brand names on the Dell umbrella diluted the Alienware product line. Dell, however, says that it must have missed the memo concerning any changes to its own XPS range.

"XPS remains an important Dell brand with its heritage of premium performance," said Dell's Anne Camden. "While closely associated with gaming, in the last year XPS has expanded well beyond a gaming brand -- look at the XPS One, our first entry into the all-in-one market, the XPS M1330, an industry leading ultraportable or the XPS 420 desktop, designed for multi-media activities. How the WSJ missed all this is a little beyond us.”

Camden went on to defend a few specific models of the XPS line including the XPS M1730 gaming laptop, XPS 630 gaming desktop, and XPS 730/730 H2C. She fired back at the WSJ stating, "We don’t plan an early phase-out of these systems as the WSJ incorrectly stated, and in fact will continue to refresh them to keep them on the front edge of gaming."

This direct rebuff from Dell, however, will have no impact on the company's upcoming AMD-based Alienware system which will be priced at $1,700.

"We love gamers. We love gaming. And much like we want to win every game we play, we want to lead in this market. Simple really," added Camden. "So that’s why we’re investing so much in the gaming systems of the future – we want those on an Alienware or XPS to reign supreme."

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XPS enthusiast machine?
By P4blo on 5/14/2008 11:54:00 AM , Rating: 3
They say they love gamers (sure they do, gamers spend more on top end machines), but why do they dump on the enthusiast / overclocker? My friend bought an XPS inc. Q6600 thinking it was the nizzle shizzler and he could clock it up to make use of that Q6600. Sadly I had to be the one to tell him what a piece of junk it was as we weren't even allowed to increase the CPU voltage. So he lost out on lots of performance, because he bought an XPS.

Doesn't sound like a gamer's machine to me.

RE: XPS enthusiast machine?
By kelmon on 5/14/2008 12:22:04 PM , Rating: 2
Think about it from the business perspective - why would I (Dell) want to sell you (the customer) a computer with a processor that you can increase the speed of yourself for free when I can sell you a computer with a higher speed processor for more money, particularly since higher speed processors tend to have a higher profit margin?

You might not like it but Dell aren't complete muppets. They no doubt do love gamers otherwise they'd have no XPS business to sell stonkingly expensive computers, but they're also not about to cannibalize sales of their higher-end machines.

RE: XPS enthusiast machine?
By PitViper007 on 5/14/2008 12:34:42 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, it is a gamer's machine, however it is NOT an enthusiast's machine. Big difference there. The two do often coincide, but not always. I actually own an XPS 600. While it's not the best machine out there, it has played all the games I've thrown at it (especially after a video card upgrade) including Crysis. And even more important to me, it's been a rock stable machine.

RE: XPS enthusiast machine?
By FITCamaro on 5/14/2008 2:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
So you not only overpaid for an XPS system, you then paid even more for another graphics card?

RE: XPS enthusiast machine?
By PitViper007 on 5/14/2008 2:58:29 PM , Rating: 2
Actually no, at the time I got a good graphics card, but technology improves. And as far as overpaying? No I did a cost comparison between building my own and buying the XPS from Dell. The the difference was about $100, which is well within the scope of what I feel my time is worth to build a new PC. This was incidentally the first PC that I've bought in probably 10 years that I did not build myself.

RE: XPS enthusiast machine?
By SlyNine on 5/15/2008 1:39:17 AM , Rating: 2
What were the components used in this Dell vs. the one you "looked up".

I've been doing comparisons between Dell, Gateway and other brands for a while as I build quite a few PC's for friends and family. But I have not seen these OEM computers come out on top in speed or performance, but rather software. So please do tell what came in the system and how much it cost you.

I find that the only time you can get a OEM for less is when you spend around 300-400$ on a PC.

RE: XPS enthusiast machine?
By PitViper007 on 5/15/2008 8:56:03 AM , Rating: 2
I suppose I should also point out that I was going through my company Dell Rep. If I'd paid retail, the machine would have been quite a bit more.

RE: XPS enthusiast machine?
By Noya on 5/14/2008 3:04:29 PM , Rating: 2

RE: XPS enthusiast machine?
By Diesel Donkey on 5/14/2008 1:51:33 PM , Rating: 3
How are they supposed to offer warrantees on machines that can be overclocked to death?

RE: XPS enthusiast machine?
By P4blo on 5/16/2008 8:48:11 AM , Rating: 2
Many computers are sold by vendors with traditional clockable (asus, abit, lanparty etc) motherboards and they're sold with warranties. Intel allow you to change the multiplier on their XE chips. Surely they know what that's going to be used for. Do they sell XE's with no warranty? Can they even prove the chip was used with a slightly increased voltage? Sure they could if it died through over-volting but you need to seriously over-volt them to do that.

Dell could customise the BIOS to allow slight voltage increases but nothing that would cause problems even on air cooling. Say .1 or .2 volt increase options.

RE: XPS enthusiast machine?
By SocketAKing on 5/17/2008 1:10:57 PM , Rating: 2
You hit the nail on the head.

As someone else said as well, this is for gamers, but NOT for enthusiast.

These camps are sometimes mistakenly mixed (and for good reason), but a gamer doesn't have to know a damn thing computers to be an avid gamer. An enthusiast, however, does.

This is why, for a gamer who wants a nice system, this is a great choice.

But for an enthusiast who wants something that even resembles a manageable bios, this is the wrong alley altogether.

And they wonder why enthusiast are very hardcore DIYers.

Not a good idea...
By amanojaku on 5/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: Not a good idea...
By OrSin on 5/14/2008 10:51:32 AM , Rating: 3
Too many options? Since when do you leave a store when it has too many options. Sorry but have alot of options is good. And in the game department its even better, since gamers know what they want even more then most computer buyers. And for the uneducated buyer they will just get the premade systems anyway.

I dont know many gamers buying alienware since their boxes are fugly and systems over prices. Dell line is actually close to reasonable prices and much better looking sytems.

RE: Not a good idea...
By therealnickdanger on 5/14/2008 10:54:31 AM , Rating: 5
Ultimately, having "too many options" in this case (XPS vs Alienware) results in the money still going to Dell. Given the choice between two similar notebooks, I would get the XPS just because I think the Alienware brand sounds stupid.

RE: Not a good idea...
By xsilver on 5/14/2008 11:17:50 AM , Rating: 2
agreed, the only situation where a brand name can hurt itself by having too many choices is when the consumer can clearly see a conflict as well as a correlation between the two. As long as there is some separation between xps and alienware, I think they will be fine.

RE: Not a good idea...
By kelmon on 5/14/2008 12:10:14 PM , Rating: 2
From a customer's perspective, that's probably true. However, from the business perspective the current arrangement is kinda nuts. You've effectively got 2 divisions catering to the same market with different versions of the same products. So, what you've got is higher costs to sell the same product. Each division is going to have its own employees, R&D, manufacturing, etc. While I am sure that Dell tries to share as much as possible between the Alienware and XPS divisions, they can't share everything and therefore the net result is an increased cost to doing business without any real gain. The exception to this is catering to customer who either need a computer with a whacky alien design or a customer who wants a more normal case; removing one division would prevent a sale to a customer who needs the other type of computer. Whether this potential gain in sales is sufficient to offset the increased costs is entirely debatable but I highly doubt it.

When Adobe acquired Macromedia they eventually killed off the products that competed with each other. As a company, you don't want to be in competition with yourself because there is no point. That Dell persists with these 2 divisions is strange and goes some way to explaining why they aren't worth as much as they used to be.

RE: Not a good idea...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/2008 7:03:54 PM , Rating: 2
I dont know many gamers buying alienware since their boxes are fugly and systems over prices.

Yeah. And AMD cpu's ?? For the extreme premium you pay for an Alienware they can't throw in a Core2Duo Extreme ? Garbage.

RE: Not a good idea...
By kelmon on 5/14/2008 11:58:24 AM , Rating: 2
I'd be in agreement with you except that Alienware's case design, be it for desktops or laptops, is usually absolutely abhorrent. The XPS range, while I don't see the point of 2 brands by the same company that do the same thing, at least provide cases that border on stylish, rather than the craaaazy (engage sarcasm mode) alien-faced cases that Alienware is famous for. I'm sure that some people like the Alienware designs (and I'd like to see these people shot) but not everyone does and the XPS range can cater to those people who want something less mental.

So, for the moment, I think Dell is stuck with both brands until one starts to decline (here's hoping it's Alienware). At that point I'd suggest they kill off the weakest brand and concentrate their efforts on the remainder.

By Master Kenobi on 5/14/2008 10:43:47 AM , Rating: 2
Must have been a slow news day at the WSJ. Sensationalist headlines grab viewers.

By othercents on 5/14/2008 11:44:37 AM , Rating: 2
Actually what the WSJ wrote might be correct and Dell is trying to keep the XPS brand viable until they run out of stock. By telling people the brand is going to be discontinued will slow the sales of the brand.

However the only way to really allow Alienware to compete against XPS is to give it space on the Dell website right next to all the other computers that Dell sales. Otherwise people will continue to purchase the "best" Dell available and never know that they could get something better from a sister company.


By Master Kenobi on 5/14/2008 12:00:16 PM , Rating: 2
Alienware is only a brand known in the trade rags or in games. You don't see it advertised for the public because that is not their target market.

public opinion
By kitchme on 5/14/2008 11:13:01 AM , Rating: 2
Simple procedure to find out public opinion.

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