Thursday, May 31, 2007

Smart Values

If you are not using any kind of a coupon at Dell, or even if you are for that matter, make sure to check out the Smart values section of Dell's site. This section can be found by hovering over either the desktop or notebook menu options and is listed close to the bottom of the pop-up menu. In this section you can find some advertised systems and most of the time the tend to have slightly better deals. Dell will always offer several different deals to target certain segments of their customers. The mainstream deals are always the homepage deals, and these are almost always the deals with the least value. Next are the as advertised deals and smart values. These take some digging but are targeted to the customer that is price shopping, as they add the little extra memory or other feature to try and tip the scale in Dell's favor. Last are the coupons and 3rd party deals. These are not advertised on Dell's site at all and have to be found through 3rd parties, like parade magazine, and are targeted towards EPS, extreme price shoppers. These are going to be the best deals possible, like a $499 loaded notebook.

Free M2010 from Dell

For Dell's 23rd aniverary they are giving away 23 M2010's, aka "Bad Boys". These things are so monstrous they can't even be called notebooks. They call them portable desktops. They have massive 20.1" screens and weigh in at just over 18 pounds. These machine come jam packed with every imaginable option on them. They are basically XPS 710's smashed down into a portable package. Any way, to win a notebook go here and register. You gain entries to win by answering trivia questions. If you get a perfect score you get an extra entry. Good luck!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Notebooks Taking Over

My question to computer shoppers is this, why would you want to buy a desktop? Most consumers would answer this question with on of a handful of response's, it could be that it's going to be a family computer or that they want to play games on the system. Most users would also state that it is the price of desktops that lures them in. Well, to all of those answers I have the same response, "Same for a notebook." Let us take a deeper look in to the need for a desktop computer.

Family Computer: For some reason beyond me, most people assume that since a computer is going to be used by several people, it should be in a central place. I cannot disagree more. If I am going to be using the family computer, I'm not going to be using as a family. I want to do work in my office, just like my wife likes to surf the internet on the couch. I feel that by having the computer in a central location it is just equally frustrating for everyone using it, but nobody gets to see any benefit.

Gaming Computer: Notebooks in the gaming area are few and far between, but why is this? Is it easier to lug 75lbs worth of desktop equipment to Quake-con or show up with your 5lb notebook? Everyone will tell you that you can not get good graphics out of a notebook, but that's just not true anymore. Notebooks come with several high end cards available as options on them.

Budget Computer: This is the argument that desktops just cost less. While this one still holds some truth to it, it is not the heavy hitting truth it once was. In fact instead of telling you how you can get great computer deals on notebooks, I will just show you.

Dell notebook deals:
Dell has a great deal on the Dell e1505 notebook for a limited time. This little guy comes loaded; a 15.4in screen, 2gb of memory, core 2 duo, and great battery life. The best thing is that it's only $899. That is about the same price you would pay for a comparable desktop from any retailer.

So if you are on the hunt for a new computer, take a look around, and I think that you will see that for most users a notebook is the better choice.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Buying from SMB vs DHS

Both the home side and the small business side offer the same systems, although they go by slightly different model numbers. If you talk to anyone one the DHS (home) side they will swear to you that there is no benefit to purchasing from SMB (small business), but that is not always the case. In fact some of the best deals can be had by purchasing from SMB, but there are some draw backs. For starters, as a business customer you will not get the the chance to use your Dell Preferred Account, you will either have to purchase using a credit card or try and get qualified for the Business Account. Other than that though the experience should stay fairly close to a home purchase. You can still gain Dell Dollars from the purchase and will still get the same service options. In fact you will have even more options for the levels of service to chose from. I always recommend doing a comparison of the DHS and SMB systems, especially if you find a coupon in SMB, they are notorious for providing the biggest discounts.

Dells Pricing Structure

What is going on with dells pricing? They continue to say that they are simplifying the way that they are pricing to help eliminate confusion and garner in additional profit. Thats a great plan, your are in the business of making money, but you have yet to do any thing along those lines. In fact Dell seems to be continually bleeding money from it consumer product lines. Did you know that for the exact same computer you could receive 5 different price quotes? Thats before you start using coupons also. Dell needs to address this issue ASAP, as it is very frustrating to find out you just paid $250 more for the same thing as someone else.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dual Core Notebook $499

15.4 inch dual core note book for $499. Can't think of a better reason to price shop SMB vs HOME. This system would make the perfect Graduation present or Fathers day Gift. Dual core processing, 1 gig Ram, DVD-RW, and WI-FI built in. A really good starting point for any user. Through in a printer using your Dell Dollars and you've got yourself a pretty sweet setup. Link: Dell 1501 XP, VISTA

Return of the Sub $300 PC

Dell used to carry a PC called the B110. It was every sales person worst nightmare, because at a $299 price point everyone wanted it. The problem was it was worthless. The thing could hardly run windows never less anything else. About 6 months ago the B110 was retired, with great happiness from the sales teams. It looks like it has been reincarnated, this time as the E521. Not much has change though, it is offered at $309 with 512mb of Ram. I would not recommend getting windows vista at all on this puppy, choose to stay with XP if you want to even be able to boot the computer up. Looks like Dell didn't hold out on the higher prices for to long. Welcome back Dell, welcome back.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

PC Dominates Mac, Despite Recent Ads

Recently there have been several commercials released comparing Mac's and PC's. If you have not seen them do a search on youtube mac vs pc and you will be able to watch them all. There are about 4 official Mac commercials. I would like to address some of the accusations made by mac in these commercials.

Surgery for Vista Upgrade

The new ads suggest that to upgrade to vista, a PC needs to undergo "surgery", seeing as it is a huge under taking. This is not true, most PC's no matter how old will be perfectly fine running widows vista, some may need a graphics card upgrade, but that is a 30 sec upgrade.

PC are Plagued with Error Messages

If a PC has error messages it is likely due to one of two problems, either a virus or user error. Thats it. If you are getting tons of error messages on a PC, you would be getting the same on a Mac.

PCs come stuffed with stuff you don't need

This one is true for most users, PCs come with a lot of free trail that let you sample a variety of software of various types, some that you may never need. However, Macs are just as guilty in this area. A mac from Apple has a 15gb install of Mac OS on it, but if you do a fresh install it reduces down to 5gb. That means that from the factory two thirds of you computer is stuff piled on that you may or may not wanted. That seems pretty stuffed to me.

I would say that the biggest issue I have with these ads are that they are not comparing Macs to PCs at all. What they are doing is comparing Macs to Windows in very miss leading ways. Apple has continued to try establish themselves as a creative brand of computer. My question to Apple is this, what makes a Mac more creative than a PC? Is it the styling? Because it is not multimedia performance, PCs have always and will always be better at handling demanding multimedia. Macs can't even handle beginner 3d graphics. It can't be software either because Macs have no advantage with that. Macs have Photoshop CS, Premiere, and Final Cut Pro; all of which are either directly available on a PC or an equivalent is. Did I mention Macs are much more expensive than a PC?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Deal with Dell's Weekly Deals

Dell typical only slightly alters the weekly specials that they offer each week. They standard format is pretty simple, one week dollar off specials and the next is a percentage off discount. These specials will almost always come out to a similar price. Now there are some exceptions to this, like if your planing on purchasing a system that will go over the $1500 mark. If that is the type of system your looking at you will want to purchase during a percent of week or using a percentage off coupon. The other exception are the lose leaders that Dell offers. These are going to almost always be offered as dollar off promotions. These are still going to be in the sub $1300 price range, but this is where you will find discounts over the $400 dollar mark.

I hope this helps you decide when to purchase your system.

XPS Refurb Coupon

This week Dell has released some great coupons. Some of them are on thier TV's but they do have some on both desktops and notebooks.

7CSVKHMJLLSG25-10% off any refurbished Dell Dimension™ or XPS™ desktop computer priced at or above $500 (before tax, fees, shipping and handling)! Plus, receive Free 3-5 day shipping in Dell Outlet.

This is a great deal because it includes the Dell XPS computers, these are high end systems and they almost never have ANY kind of discounts on them. Make sure you take advantage of this great coupon.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Top 10 Reasons Why Macs Underpreform

I am getting tired of all this Mac vs PC commercialized bull. Here are the top 10 reasons why Macs will never, never, be as good as a PC.

10. Macs are way over priced. It's ridiculous looking at Apples prices. It shows through the whole product line, for example iPods. Why pay $149 for something you can get a $99, or depending on the sale $69.

9. MACS DO NOT LOOK COOL. I don't understand why people think that a white box is the single coolest thing in the world. Plain and simple, it's not.

8. Macs are so stinking slow. I have never in my life used a $3000 dollar machine that ran so freaking slow.

7. They crash all the time. When I would work in photoshop it was almost a game to load a file. Oh, will it crash this time while loading, or will it wait till I click something.

6. Once you buy it, thats it. There is no going out and upgrading your mac. If you want an upgrade you can take the machine back and get a PC.

5. The programs that come preloaded on a Mac suck. I can't even put it into words. They suck.

4. There are no programs other than the ones that come with the Mac. No developers want to invest time or money making something for ~5% of the computer users out there.

3. There are now entertainment programs (i.e. Games) written for Macs. Sure they can play music, but so can my cell phone. You know what, my cell phone has better games also.

2. Nothing other than what Apple makes is compatible with Macs. Once again nobody wants to invest the time or the money. So, once you buy in to a Mac, you start a long over priced love affair that you are so ashamed of you try to act proud. Common fanboys, we know you hate yourself on the inside.

1. The OS is a completely dumbed down, make it so easy to use that you can't use it, piece of trash. Why do people go out and pay extra money for professional grade products? Better customizations, fine tuning, features. That applies to everything from programs to tools, and even electronics. Leave it to Apple to charge more for an OS that prevents you from doing more. Thats like going to buy a meal and saying, " I'm sorry sir, but you will have to pay extra if you don't want a drink with that." Just doesn't make sense.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Dell Dollars and How to Get Them

What are Dell Dollars?

Dell dollars are basically just that, free money you can use for any purchase at Dell. There are some stipulations though, first you have to spend at least the listed amount. So if you had on coupon of Dell dollars for 75 bucks (a common denomination) then you would have to spend at least $75.01. Secondly, they do expire after 120 days. Other then that, you can use them on what ever you want. But on to the important part.

How to get them

Dell Preffered Acount

There are several ways to get Dell dollars, the easiest is to get the Dell preffered acount. Now the thing is, Dell doesn't want to give you Dell dollars, and in fact they hate it when you use coupons also. So, to make them give you the Dell dollars you have to ask for Dell dollars.I know, it's dumb that you have to ask for the promotion but if you don't, they will not give them to you. Oh, I forgot to mention, you can only get them by calling in. Anyway, they have them avalible with the Dell acount as a credit card conversion tool. They give you $75 bucks to not use your credit card. The sales person will tell you all kinds of stuff, but unless they tell you that they are lying.

Warranty Plans

The next best option for getting dell dollars are to check what warranty you are getting. Most of the time if you are going to be getting the 4 year warranty, they also have dell dollars attached to them. These are out there to help the sales person sell the 4 year over the 1,2, or 3 year. The amounts on these vary, typicaly $50 or $75 dollars, but I have seen some that are higher. Remember though, you can only get these if you are going to get the warranty.

Just be an Ass

Unfortanaly this is the best way to get anything from a large company, as they would rather pay off the bad rep you would give them. Now you can only take this one so far, but all of the phone sales reps have a closing tool, or as they call it A Refuse to Lose, open to them. They have been getting stricter on this, but you can typically get some Dell dollars thrown in to seal the deal, or even have money skimmed right off the top. Be careful though as the Dell reps are sneaky and will try to throw in the coupons you are already entitled to in a last ditch effort to prevent you from geting any thing more. Sample; Dell Rep:" Okay, I talked to my manager and he said that just because you are using the Dell Preffered Acount, I can give you $75 bucks in Dell Dollars." Yeah they really are that full of B.S.

I hope that this helps you get all the discounts you are entitled to from Dell, cause I know that they still owe me money, so I want to help you take them for every cent they have.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

All in One Printers

Dell has several all in one printers available, all with fairly similar features. They all share 3 functions; the ability to print, scan, and copy. Other functions you gain by increasing in price are faxing and a color LCD for editing. The 3 prime models are 926, 946, and the 966. The starting prices on these are $99, $149, and $199 respectively. Those are pretty standard prices for an all in one printer, but good old Dell has some really good deals on these. The printers will sometimes have 20 bucks off or so, but real deal you want to look for is when they go half off. This past week I ordered a 926, using my dell dollars, plus some extra ink cartridges. I got the 926 plus 1 black ink and 1 color ink, and after the half off on the printer it was $49. There was a free shipping deal, so after using 75 dollars in dell dollars I only had to pay ~6 bucks. Stay tuned for a review of the 926 all in one printer