Dell Latitude XT Tablet PC: It’s Recall Time

The following is a guest editorial by Rob Bushway, the founder and former owner of GottaBeMobile.com.

Like many men, I take my role as a father very seriously.  It is not only my job to teach my children principles in how we live and treat each other, but also to try and model those same principles in my day to day living.

In teaching my children, one of the areas I always stress is that of servant leadership and integrity: be bold and courageous in making decisions, produce excellent work, take ownership and responsibility for decisions you make (especially where you’ve failed), and serve those whom you are called to lead. Serving others is costly, but it is what we are all called to do.

Companies are not exempt from those expectations in servant leadership. In fact, because money is often exchanged for goods and services, servant leadership should be a defacto standard in customer service and not the exception. Unfortunately, as is the case of well documented problems plaguing Dell Latitude XT customers, Dell has not lead by example.

Advertisement

Background

For the sake of brevity, I won’t rehash everything that has plagued the customers who own a Dell Latitude XT Tablet PC. Review the following links for some background on the XT issues:

Today

After having their hand forced in October, Dell indicated that Windows 7 drivers for the XT would be delivered in December. Well, we still don’t have the drivers, and despite calls for an updated status, there have been zero communications from Dell about when we can expect resolution. The current N-Trig Windows 7 drivers that were released in September 2009 are still buggy and have not been updated since, basically relegating my XT to paper-weight status. Others are in a similar boat. What’s worse is that many XT owners continue to experience issues they’ve experienced from day 1 with very little hope on the horizon of anything changing.

It is now day 83 since Windows 7 was launched and we are no further along than when we started. To a large extent, we are at the same place we were when the XT was first released in December 2007. Like many others, I’ve exhausted all of my patience on this issue, and on behalf of all other Latitude XT owners, I’m calling on Dell to man-up and take responsibility for a mess that is theirs and theirs only. It’s time to recall the Latitude XT.

Advertisement

Next Action Steps

Here are the action steps I’m calling on Dell to perform:

1)  Issue a voluntary recall of the Dell Latitude XT Tablet PC.  Customers who take advantage of the recall can either:

  1. Exchange their current XT for a non-refurbished / new-off-the-assembly line XT2 Tablet PC, with Windows 7 Professional pre-installed. The replacement system should meet or exceed the specs of their current XT. See # 2 below for the state of expected drivers.  Or;
  2. Request and receive a full refund of the purchase price of their Latitude XT system.

2)  Within 45 days of this article, issue fully compliant and working Windows 7 drivers across all system components for the XT and XT2 Tablet PC. The drivers from N-Trig will be fully functional, will not create phantom clicks, will not have digitizer issues when resuming from stand-by / hibernate, and will have zero issues when iTunes is installed. In other words, the system will work and perform as advertised.

3)  No longer use the N-Trig digitizer in any future Dell products; address the hardware design issues that contributed to the XT problems for the benefit of future Dell Tablet owners.

Dell, this is your opportunity to prove that you are serious about being a servant leader in the mobile computing industry. Do what’s right by your customers, take ownership of this problem, and deliver expedient solutions.