Dec 09

In search of the lost E

vegas_e_2I know, it was just two weeks ago that I picked on Dell over its uncontrollable lust for sub-branding. No fair going after them again. But hey, I’m just reporting the news here — and yesterday’s press release from Dell got the blood flowing once more.

Besides, this time it’s about naming, so at least I’m not beating the same Dell horse.

Yesterday’s announcement was to unveil a new member of Dell’s E-Family of laptops. They call it the Precision M6500.

I’m sorry, that just hit my funny bone. After re-reading the name M6500 several times, I still couldn’t find an E in there. Why, I wondered, wouldn’t they just call it the E6500 and be done with it? That way, we’d all get our minimum daily requirement of E, and that charming “6500” moniker would remain intact.

So I went to Dell’s E-Family page for further investigation. Wouldn’t you know it, they already have an E6500 model. Damn. What are the odds of that happening? Rather than create one more E name, I guess they decided this one would be an E in spirit only.

It turns out that several members of Dell’s E-Family have actually blazed this trail before. I see E-models galore — but the E-Family also features the completely E-less XFR, Netbook, X2 Table and XT Tablet. No mention of the new M6500 just yet, but it will fit right in with those other renegade models.

Hats off to the Dell naming wizards for keeping tradition alive, and actively resisting even the appearance of logic. They’ve built a naming structure only a contortionist could love.

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  • you think it’s easy to resist common sense and logic?

    look at the naming / product charts for Sony, HP, Dell, Acer, et al, over the years…

    it takes hard work and dedication to be that dense and convoluted for that long… i say we buy ’em a few beers…

  • Hahaha! You are so right, Ken. I fail to understand why anybody inside of Dell can’t recognize what shambles their company is in, and how every single part of their company is based on complete lunacy.

  • ChuckO

    What the most likely reason for all these models? That Dell doesn’t trust their customer’s to be able to handle a customize screen to upgrade\downgrade features so they have to provide a lot of variations by having lots of different models?

  • Liebman

    I think the real reason for the mess is that Dell is not a top-down oriented company. Each brand is responsible for its own piece of the pie and could care less what the other divisions are up to. I spent a little time behind the curtain in Austin and it was as ugly as you can imagine. It’s easy to criticize from outside, but in reality Dell has no global vision that its divisions can subscribe to.

  • Cory

    Dell thinks it’s good to have choice… but it just leads to customer confusion with so much of it… and with the scrambled model and lack of any name convention… it just magnifies the problem.

    I purchased a Dell laptop and instead of being excited for it to be delivered… I was worried about my decision on model, never having seen it before. Which brings me to another point…. Microsoft doesn’t need retail stores…. but Dell does, I would have loved to visit one of these stores so I could pick out which model was the right one for me… even though I purchased it online. A Dell store could do zero in sales and still be very successful because it stimulates online sales. I was so tempted to purchase an HP because I could see and touch it.

  • ChuckO

    I had a similar experience as Cory buying a couple of HP laptops a few years ago. It made me feel insecure and creepy, like buying a car, wondering if all the choice was subterfuge and confusion to take a few extra bucks off me. I probably wouldn’t have finished the transaction but I was getting a deal thru the company I was working for.

  • Denzil

    Don’t forget the z-series – the latest sub brand to be hitched onto other sub brands for light and thin CULV (another catchy monika) laptops.

    It’s a complete minefield of undecipherable BS for the user. You’d think that they would plan to have the simplest naming convention over their competitors to make up for the fact that you can’t touch the machines easily and create a “I don’t need to see it, it does exactly what it says on the tin” halo around their products.

    In this vain, what would be wrong with following Les Paul’s naming convention?

    I’d be quite happy to buy a “Dell Standard” laptop for my Mother in law and keep a “Dell Custom Deluxe” for myself.

  • Stephen Sonnenfeld

    Putting the missing e aside for a moment, isn’t “Dell Precision M65oo an oxymoron? Like “Greater Cleveland” If your product is named “Precision” why does it need a modifier after it? That doesn’t seem very precise to me.

    But enough shooting fish in a barrel, fun as it might be.

    I love your newly developed skills as a clip art scoundrel.

  • Liebman

    Not to worry our beloved blogger, but I fear the day that one of the owners of the “clip art” appears with a subpoena. It could very well take down the entire Observatory empire.