Notebook News: Intel Concept Notebook, Dell Growing Pains, HP and Michigan

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Intel Unveils New-Concept Notebook type Computers

This past week in San Francisco Intel hosted what’s called the Intel Developer Conference.  This conference is geared towards keeping developers updated on what Intel has coming down the pipe hardware-wise and what types of platforms developers might expect to be developing for a few months or years down the road.  Intel also uses it as a bit of a chance to show itself off and try and steer the market in the direction it would like to see things go.

This past week Intel unveiled three notebook type devices that would, surprise, surprise, run an Intel mobile processor such as those Pentium M processors on the market at the current time.  Pictured below are two of the three prototype devices Intel has collectively dubbed ‘Florence’

this device is a cross between a tablet and a notebook

this 17-inch device is a cross between an LCD TV and a notebook

Each of the three notebook prototypes feature Extended Mobile Access (EMA) functionality that enables a closed-lid device to still have access to e-mail and other information.  No news on when Intel would like to see such devices released, but one rumor says by Christmas 2004 we might see one of these models emerge.

Dell Customer Service Declines As they Grow but still Beats HP

Dell is the number one seller of notebook computers in the U.S. so much attention is paid to their customer service.  In two recent studies by Consumer Reports and Technology Business Review the numbers showed that customer satisfaction with Dell service has declined.  In the Consumer Reports study Dell received 62 out of 100 possible points, a drop of 2 points from its 64 point rating in June of 2003.  However, it should be noted that HP, Dell’s closest competitor, scored lower at 54.  A concern that many people have in regards to Dell is that as they grow and PC shipments increase it simply becomes harder and harder for Dell to scale its customer support.  With Dell’s direct-sales method there is no in between retailer to hold some responsibility for product problems or offering product support so Dell faces a unique challenge.

Dell says they’re committed to being the best in customer service and forcing their numbers up rather than down.  It will be important for Dell to prove this and stay ahead of HP to continue to keep and win more customers in the long run.  Once a person buys a computer from Dell and has a bad experience with customer service, it generally equates to a lost customer on the next purchase.

A full synopsis of Dell’s predicament is covered by in a lenghty but good article:

HP to Supply Notebook Computers to Michigan School Kids

When I was in school I was thrilled to go into the computer room once a week and use an Apple IIe to play lemonade stand and learn a bit of typing.  Now-a-days they’re giving kids laptops in school.  Michigan schools will supply as many as 132,000 HP nx9010 notebooks to sixth-grade children.  HP won this contract and stands to make $68 million.  The goal for Michigan is to make technology a seamless part of school learning for children.



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