May 12

The mysterious death of Dell Zino

If you’re a fan of murder mysteries, you might enjoy this one — courtesy of Dell.

The body has disappeared. There is no smoking gun. There is a distinct lack of witnesses. And nobody’s talking.

Whatever happened to the Dell Zino?

You may remember that in November of 2009, Dell churned out a somewhat bloated copy of the Mac mini. One of its dubious claims to fame was its selection of colorful lids. (Odd, considering that this device wasn’t to be carried around and shown off like a laptop.)

Of course, there is nothing unusual about a computer being pulled from the market. With scores of PCs being introduced every year, scores must die to make room.

What is unusual is for a computer to suddenly disappear — along with most of the evidence that it ever existed.

For the fun of it, my inner investigative journalist dived into this story, eager to understand what tragedy had befallen our dearly departed. But for the most part, I came up empty.

I started by searching the Dell site. Nothing very Zino-ish, other than a bunch of memory modules for the Zino you already own. (Assuming that ninjas haven’t stolen it in the night.)

I asked a Dell sales rep via email: “Is Zino still available, and if not, do you have similar models?” The answer: “Zino is no longer available. We have no similar models.”

Surely the Internet would yield some clues. But no luck. All I could dig up were a few meager comments on a scattering of blogs from people wondering why Zino wasn’t on the Dell site anymore. Zino’s exit seems to have generated about as much interest as its entrance.

At that point, I gave up. If anyone has any real information on what happened to Zino and why, it would be interesting to hear. Otherwise, we’ll just have to file Zino away with other Dell ideas that copied Apple’s innovations, only to be quietly escorted out the back door. Like the Streak tablet and super-thin Adamo laptop.

The moral of this story, of course, is that originality sells better than imitation. Clearly Dell has some work to do in the fresh thinking department.

However, it’s not all bad news for our friends at Dell:

They may not be very good at creating magic — but they’re getting incredibly good at making things disappear.

In other news: My book, Insanely Simple, made it to the New York Times Best Seller list in its very first week. A huge thanks to all of you for your support!

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  • Erick

    I’m working in a business where we bought 20 of these PC’es. It worked out quite well for some years. Now I get “cpu fan heat” error on the most of them. I read somewhere else that there was nothing to do with it.
    One of the PC’es could run a InfoTV-program for 1 day and then hung. I tried this 3-4 times and every time it hung. Then I just put on an image on then screen and nothing else.
    It has been working now for two weeks.
    In other words, it does not like to do anything ( using the harddisk for example )
    Another thing: As long as you don’t turn it off it is working.. If you yurn it off and on aganin everything can happen. These PC’es are now 5 years old, febr. 2015

  • donlen

    I am interested

  • Ricardo De Apariencias

    I still use my Zino and it works great, except that since I bought it at least 5 years ago the technology isn’t there anymore…I need an alternative FAST…!!!

  • Dylan

    This is something I just discovered actually.
    Found a zino 400 on a local classified website with a guy asking way to much who was not interested in coming down to a fair price.

    Now I am debating buying a Zino 410 to turn into a small Linux computer to put onto my 4 computer KVM switch with everything else.
    the quad core AMD chip with 6gb of ram should be plenty good enough for the simple Linux computer I am going to build!

    I’ll have my Giant gaming rig, my old Mac Mini, a Remix Mini, and this Dell Zino 410 all on the same KVM switch and not taking much space.
    I like the sound of this idea!