The Dell XPS 13 is a new $999 Ultrabook from Dell, capable of competing with the MacBook Air in looks, price and performance, but the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook is at a huge disadvantage.
You can’t go into any local store to see, touch and use the XPS 13, essential steps in the purchase process, especially for a notebook like the Dell XPS Ultrabook.
Read: Dell XPS 13 Announced
I can tell you all about the carbon fiber base and the notebook is so compact that even with a 13 inch display it is about the same size as the 11 inch MacBook Air, but unless shoppers can feel the carbon fiber base and see how small the notebook is, Dell doesn’t have a chance at converting potential MacBook Air buyers into Dell XPS 13 owners.
Our own Adam Mills didn’t fully appreciate the Dell XPS 13 until he got hands on time with it during a recent Dell Create. Work. Inspire event in San Francisco. After touching the Dell XPS 13 he had the following to share, “Let me say this. I am a MacBook Pro owner but if I didn’t own a laptop already, I would seriously consider Dell’s ultrabook. I’m serious. The edge-to-edge screen is magnificent and this thing is quick.”
That’s exactly what Dell needs to happen in every Best Buy across the nation if they want to beat the MacBook Air.
Best Buy has the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook in stock on their website, and if you go into your local store they will help you order it online, but you cannot walk in, try the Dell XPS 13 and walk out with one of your own.
The MacBook Air on the other hand can be purchased in many Best Buy locations thanks to special Apple Stores within Best Buy. Not every store has one, but in most cities, a Best Buy with Apple products is closer than a full-fledged Apple Store. In these stores, the Apple products are displayed in a dedicated section, that looks like a mini Apple Store, which you can see below.
Here, shoppers can touch and use the MacBook Air, an important step in the buying process. Best Buy even runs commercials calling out the Apple Store within a store.
If Dell really wants to position the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook as a MacBook Air competitor, they need to get the notebook in retail stores. If they want to take it a step further, Dell could open up some pop up shops at mall kiosks right down the hall from Apple Stores.
We have a Dell XPS 13 inbound for review at Notebooks.com next week. While you wait, check out our Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook coverage.
Image via Tony Buser on Flickr