What is there to like Dell? Not much I think...

By RealBlackStuff · 14 replies
Sep 8, 2005
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  1. Why are people so interested in Dell?
    You get nothing worth mentioning from them, as far as PC-savvy people are concerned.

    The other day I installed a brandnew Dell Dimension 5100 for the daughter of a colleague.
    P4 531 (3.0GHz, HT, 1MB cache), 1GB (2x512) DDR2, 250GB SATA, 17" adjustable LCD, XP/SP2 Home, 16x DVD+/-RW, ATI Radeon X600 256MB, 7-in-1 card-reader

    Thrown in were also some cheap (albeit amplified) speakers, 2-button wheelmouse (with ball!), a crappy keyboard with odd-shaped keys, a mousemat so thin, you could almost read the paper through it, and an even crappier freebie, some inkjet Lexmark-rebadged piece of junk, with trial-cartridges (meaning they are less than half full).
    The case is horrible, with white (!) side-pannels, it opens up on the RIGHT side when seen from the front, this is against any standards I've ever seen.
    Then there are things that are NOT there:
    NO parallel port
    NO serial port
    NO firewire (optional)
    NO floppy drive (optional, AND you lose the 7-in-1 card-reader)
    NO PS/2 ports for mouse or keyboard
    NO connectors for PATA/IDE-drives
    NO more than 2 PCI slots, of which 1 free (modem in other one)
    NO 2nd SATA cable
    NO Windows CD
    Comes pre-installed with that piece of crap Norton/Symantec Internet Security 2005 and M$-Works.
    And all that for the princely sum of €970.- !

    Can someone tell me what's so good about Dell? I'm stumped!

    Addendum: The above price went up to €1'470.- only the next day!
  2. PFJ

    PFJ TS Enthusiast Posts: 112

    Hi RBS,

    it's all in the advertising and hype. Dell are in your face and like the way people associate a vacuum cleaner with 'Hoover' most newbies refer not to there possession as a PC but a 'Dell' or at least there first purchase will be a Dell until they realise a megabyte has nothing to do with the local café.

    Well done Michael Dell and the American dream!

    Wouldn't it make ye sick! puke:

  3. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    I've been lucky - I've managed to get most of my friends to think twice before buying a pre-made pc from a store, and to consult me with what they want and their budget before they go out and buy one. So far they've been quite happy :)
  4. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    The key is in your first sentence. For the price....for (and think about this) the vast majority, this is all they need. They are sometimes users who surf, send email and not much more. The minimal software they tack on, is all they need.

    The price is right for these people. Dell found the niche and took to it in a big way. Their business savvy is perfect, if you think about it.

    No, it's not for the likes of us but it works for the rest. Keep in mind that we're the minority here.
  5. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    I don't know :) I made an athlon 64 system for a friend for £400. I'f I really tried, I think I could have built that dell system for not much more than the same price, but included all the bits that dell leaves out. - of course, There'd be no profit to be made though.
  6. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

  7. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

    And on a side note, the one reason that OEM's are worth anything is simply for the technical support. Albeit that Dell's is lacking IMO. Most end users wont know what to do when a hard drive fails or their PC won't boot.

    When one of my HP/Compaq servers has any sort of failure, one call to HP and the part I need arrives overnight 8am delivery the next day. I could even request they have a technician do the work for me. If you're going to call in RMA on an ASUS board you got from Newegg, it could be weeks before your replacement arrives.

    I had a Sony monitor once with a whole vertical row of pixels stuck yellow. Well Sony only provides "Advanced Replacement" for they're monitors, which means I have to buy a new monitor from the support line, send in my old monitor when it arrived and they'll only refund my purchase if the monitor was indeed covered under warrantee. It took 4 days for my monitor to arrive, and 5 weeks to get my refund.
  8. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    Cant agree with you more RBS.

    This year we got some (actually alot) of new optiplex PCs at out school.

    Here are the specs

    2.8Ghz P4
    512 DDR2
    40 GB HDD Unformatted!!! No os at all.
    onboard everything else.

    These PCs were payed for by grants (aka US taxpayers) at the price of 900 USD a peice!!! They also came with a modem (which im sure was tagged onto the price somehow), which really stumped me, as there is no dial up acsess anywhere in the school. Some other things that baffled me

    DDR2?? IS that standard dell? I mean ddr2 is more expensive and why is that needed for word processing machines?
    The keyboards.....They actually look cool, IMO, but opon further instpection are so cheaply made, the keys hardly spring, and you can see the molded plastic lines all over them

    Im sure (as it is a grant) that some goverment offical signed off on these $900 machines, but i think we got ripped.

    My 2 cents

  9. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    dells, like other OEMs, are sold in the basic corporate method:
    1) advertise
    2) rip off the consumer, but they won't know 'till it's too late
    3) goto 1

    as i'll tell anyone who's thinking of it, DONT BUY OEM. those mass-produced s***boxes are built with one thing in mind: making the company as much money as possible. the people who usually buy OEM are meduim to large businesses (where getting standard built boxes isn't practical) and consumers that don't know any better.

    a local pc repair shop could do a way better job for less money, too.
  10. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    There will always be companies like Dell out there, and they fill an important hole.

    Kind of like McDonald's. When I was a kid, I ate that crype all the time. Now that I know what's in it, I don't go near it. There are MUCH better burgers to be had, but you have to know where to look.

    1 in 4 people in the US are obese, and McDonalds is raking it in selling trash. Why? I'll never figure that one out. The people buying Dells makes a little more sense to me than that.... but not much.
  11. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    Dell uses a lot of proprietary parts so you cannot expand on your own.
    They also have their stuff built extremely cheaply in China with agressive negotiating practices with chinese factories. (I for one will not support communists knowingly if I can help it.)

    Their prices are cheap for a reason, many of their super budget machines are so underpowered (256mb of Ram for example, or dial-up with no ethernet ports), that it is hardly worth it - you will have buy the mid-priced machine just to have something semi-functional. (a bait and switch tactic)

    My father bought an HP without my knowledge and when I tried to install a second harddrive from an old spare machine at his house, I found that there were no extra bays to put it in, nor could I add any more memory!

    I always build myself.
  12. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    what gets me is people trying to sue McDonalds when they're fat.

    They can't take responsibility for their own actions!
  13. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    M$ works is absolute crap. Open-office is so far superior and free.
  14. tokyo-joe

    tokyo-joe TS Rookie Posts: 45

    I tried to buy a Dell laptop a few years back and looked at interest rates - although it said typical 13.9% they actually offered me 29.9% (which I guess says a lot about my credit rating at that time, but also their thievery). I told them that weren't dealing with a village ***** and ended the process there and then. Still, that didn't stop some Dell bozo ringing up a month later to ask how the buying process was going.
    Shame actually as I liked the idea of ordering a system that worked for me, but I for one will not go back down that road. As it was I got 0% finance elsewhere on a Packard-Bell which nearly 3 years later still runs very well though gets a little hot when overworked.
  15. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    30% interest is pretty standard for department store credit cards...... usuary....

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