John Gruber’s description of the new Dell XPS 12 was pretty darn good:
“It looks like a broken chair.”
Truth is, it also looks like a broken ad campaign. Not quite sure where to start with this one.
The headline of this poster is a tweet from one Christopher P. Boyd: “The Dell XPS 12 looks like a MacBook Air merged with an iPad.” This is funny in two ways.
First, that’s more like a product brief than a great quote. Second, who the hell is Christopher P. Boyd?
Turns out he’s a college kid with a blog containing one lone post and an About Page filled with WordPress placeholder text.
Apparently those credentials are good enough for Dell, who leaped at the opportunity to snag this important endorsement.
No, I didn’t make that up. And if you think Christopher is a little light in the credibility department, consider his more recent tweet:
That’s right. As recently as yesterday, Christopher has yet to even touch one of these things.
One would think it would be easy enough for Dell to get a colorful, gushing quote from a major technology site. But I guess not — because another airport poster has been showing up these days:
Says Seth Barton: “It remains one of the best transforming designs we’ve seen.”
Over at Expert Reviews, I read Mr. Barton’s full article. Unlike Christopher, he saw more than a photo of the computer. But not a whole lot more. His was a “brief hands-on” with a “pre-production model” at a computer show in Berlin.
Again I ask: how hard is it to get a rousing quote from a reputable site that’s actually spent some quality time with the machine? Certainly Dell has a few relationships in the business.
But that’s all marketing stuff. What about the device itself?
This hybrid idea is one that several PC makers are pursuing. Generally speaking, history shows that “two-in-one” concepts end up being somewhere between a novelty and a niche. Anyone remember the PowerBook Duo?
A convertible laptop/tablet does indeed combine two worlds. The problem is, it isn’t the best of either. According to Seth Barton, it’s a “fairly light” laptop and a tablet “with extra heft.”
Which is probably why better quotes were hard to come by.