Sometimes sequels are better than the original.
Dell tried again to explain to its customers why the fancy new XPS M1330 notebook they ordered has been delayed. A follow-up to Tuesday's entry was posted to its official Direct2Dell blog Friday afternoon. Judging by the comments on Dell's posting earlier in the week, customers were, well, less than impressed by the company's first try at an explanation.
Dell gives considerably more information this time around. A big reason for the delays? Dust particles in the paint. Specifically, if you wanted your laptop slathered in Crimson Red or Pearl White, expect to wait longer than your compadres that chose Tuxedo Black. Apparently this problem was only noticeable as Dell ramped up production in larger volumes. So says Alex Gruzen, senior vice president of the consumer product group, in the posting:
"There was no problem painting hundreds at a time. But as we increased the volume, otherwise manageable factors like dust contamination caused our successful yields to decrease. Adding to the complexity, the Crimson Red and the Pearl White colors require more coats of paint and more touches to create the finished product--that means there is more opportunity for dust contamination."
I'm not sure what that means. Because more units were being painted there was more dust? I put in a call to Dell, but it's late on a Friday in Texas where the company has its headquarters, so I'll update this blog if I hear back. At any rate, Dell has killed the Pearl White option on the M1330 from here on out as a result, according to Gruzen. He also blamed delays on unexpected parts shortages, specifically LED-backlit LCD screens.
For now, Dell has worked through 10 percent of its backlog, and if your order is delayed for some previously unforeseen reason, Gruzen says a Dell service rep should be phoning you shortly.