I bet that question has been running through a lot of your minds. Dell launched the XPS M1330 alongside the the Inspiron notebook refresh and desktop lines on June 26th, 2007. While early-bird buyers of the new Inspirons have had their laptops go through the production process already, just waiting to be shipped, all but a few M1330 buyers are still in the pre-production stage, meaning parts are still being acquired. I ordered my M1330 approximately one week after the initial annoucment and my estimated ship date is August 22nd. Earlier buyers in North America are looking at a late July, early August ship date.
I can say, almost without a doubt that the whole launch was quite a success for Dell. The XPS M1330 really generated a lot of buzz around the internet, typically reserved for launches from the likes of Apple or Google. While the M1330 brought a lot of general interest to Dell, it also brought significant orders for itself. Just take a look over at the Notebook Review Forums. The number of viewers at any one time on the Dell subsection of the forum has almost doubled since the announcements on the 26th. If you delve a bit deeper, you can see just how many people are talking about, and more importantly, purchasing this specific laptop. Being the flagship and torch-bearer, the M1330 has served its purpose and more – it generated plenty of views (and subsequently purchases) at the Dell website and sold itself more than adequately.
I called in to several sales representatives at Dell Canada and immediately got the impression that they were swamped. Without any prompting by myself, the reps I spoke to told me how insanely popular the M1330 had been. While the reps are typically okay with some haggling and have a few options to use to help close deals, none of them made any indication that they were willing to negotiate on this specific laptop. It only makes sense that in the currently supply-constrained environment that they make as much money as they can. There’s no sense in negotiating a deal with a customer when it means that someone who is willing to pay full price must wait longer for their order. I bit the bullet and ordered it off the Dell Canada website without any concessions from the sales reps. And am I ever lucky that I didn’t wait another couple days. The mystery coupon promotion that the M1330 qualified for was eventually pulled for that laptop, but remains for the other Inspiron laptops. What other evidence does there need to be that the M1330 is hugely popular?
Another contributer to the delay seems to be with the LED backlit display. The LED backlit screen was one of the most touted features of the M1330 – one of the keys of making the laptop as thin and light as it is. As a result, it is one of the most requested upgrades. Customers who have ordered the regular display are expected to have their laptops shipped several weeks before the ones with LED displays. I’m sure Dell didn’t expect so many would upgrade to the LED display, which isn’t exactly cheap at $150.
I know it’s frustrating to many buyers in North America to have to wait so long for their laptops. Within a week, the lead time for this laptop has increased out to a month (from end of July to the end of August). It’s tough, but I’m willing to wait. I can only hope at this point that it’s worth it.
On a side note, buyers in other parts of the world don’t seem to have as much of a delay as we do here in North America. People in India, Austrailia and the United Kingdom who have very recently ordered their laptops are expecting them to ship within the next week or two.
Update: It appears as though people around the world are in fact not any luckier than us poor folk in North America. M1330s that were supposed to ship this week in places like Ireland and the UK have now been pushed back, in some cases almost a month. I’ve written a new post with some more developments, if you’d like to keep up to date. The atmosphere regarding the issue has turned from slightly apologetic for Dell to outright frustration and anger over the past week.