To Beat the MacBook Air, the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook Needs To Be in Stores

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.

Dell XPS 13z Ultrabook

Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Can't Touch Me.

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.”

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Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook Best Buy

You need to touch the XPS 13 Ultrabook to appreciate it.

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.

Apple Store Within Best Buy

Apple Store Within Best Buy.

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

Comments

  1. Dustyred14 says

    I don’t totally agree that it needs to be in stores. If you’re in the market for a mac, you walk by the windows machines in the store. That’s a decision you make beforehand, usually because of a desire to leave the windows ecosystem. I, for one, am not at all impressed with this machine. It’s years too late and Dell needs to add a little innovation to the mix to help fix the reputation they destroyed before Apple ran them out of town. If they’re just now getting with the program, and doing so by stealing all of Apple’s innovations, then I too will walk right past the machine in a store. Granted, I’ll walk by the Apple as well and then will quickly escape and order myself a Lenovo because unlike a Dell machine, I know I don’t have to personally check the laptop with my hands to verify whether it’s a piece of crap or not. And let’s not ignore the display… 13 inch edge-to-edge gorilla glass… whatever you want to call it… underneath that is the same old, cheap 1366×768 obligatory big-box manufacturer LCD. The screen is definitely the most important (and most expensive) and I swear the last two Dell laptops I got from work feel like the reason I needed to get glasses last year. Exaggeration, of course, but these are the things that set Apple apart, that’s why their clients keep paying such insane prices. While Apple products still use the Foxconn sweatshop parts, just as they all do, you can tell Apple paid for the pick of the litter and Dell scraped the bottom of the barrel when you hold them together. That’s why its not in stores. Then you’d be able to sit it next to a MacBook Air with it’s ELEVEN inch 1366×768 (or 13 inch 1440×900 – the extra vertical space makes a HUGE difference.) We’ve all seen this before. Dell does this constantly. Tries to LOOK like the trend, when they don’t realize that for most consumers, Dell created this trend themselves with low quality standards and lack of innovation. Remember when Dell was at its peak? WAY back when? Everyone mail-ordered their new machines because they knew they were getting Dell quality. Then, one day, the machine arrived at the door that even HP quality could trump. Failed products are why Dell has, and will continue to fail. It’s not about stores, or trends, or whatever. If it had anything to offer over the Macbook Air, it would have a chance. Copy-catting the superior product (and not doing so very well), slapping a measly 1-year warranty on it and trying to sell its 1366×768 junkpit LCD as anything more than the same tune in disguise is… wait… that’s a Dell! I’m telling you… they do it every year. Most recent, that laughable 15z. Every time they never learn… People (not me, but consumers with less intense computing needs who want simplicity) purchase Macs for OSX. Period. So instead of spending all these years innovating something truly impressive, raising the bar on quality and simply just making a decent computer system, they’ve copied Apple time and time again, failure over failure. It should not take an Engineer to point this out – everyone knows what owning a Dell these days is all about. Change that? Innovate? Nope. I give them 10 years… defunct or out of consumer electronics completely. Their janky products will not be missed. 

  2. guest says

    i got the dell 13 ultrabook, i love it so far i have had a inspiron 15 for years and upgrading to this feels wonderul. the keyboard is great and comfortable. the screen is just the right size ….

  3. DarrinTip says

    I’m done with PCs. I’ve never owned a Mac, but I’m ready to try one. I’m putting my cash on a 13″ Macbook Air. For me…problem solved.

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