But Dell moves much faster than it has in the past, in both rolling out new products and upgrading products it does have. One area where it's finding some slippery going, though, is in trying to get its new Inspiron Mini 9 lineup out the door.
The Round Rock, Texas-based company got to market with its own, branded netbook after rivals including HP, Asus and Acer, and it's still having trouble.
John Hull, Dell's manager of Linux OS engineering, writes in a blog that the launch of its Ubuntu version of the Insprion Mini has hit a rough patch:
Several customers (notably feranick and aysui on IdeaStorm) and tech websites (Boy Genius Report, Gizmodo, and Mobile Computer Mag) have pointed out that 8GB and 16GB drives on the Inspiron Mini 9 with Ubuntu Linux are not fully formatted. The manufacturing facility has only been partitioning the hard drives up to 4GB, leaving the extra space on the hard drive unformatted. This essentially leaves that space unuseable by customers until it is partitioned and formatted by the operating system. This problem has been corrected in our factory, and future shipments of the Mini 9 with Ubuntu Linux should have fully-formatted hard drives.
To fix it, Hull says anyone who bought a mis-partitioned Mini has to use the system restore DVD, reinstall the OS and go from there. (Oh yeah, and you might want to back up all your data first.) Dell, though, is working on an easier way to reclaim the rest of the hard drive says Hull.
Dell has another problem with its Inspiron Minis that run Windows XP: reported shipping delays of up to several weeks. The unit we ordered for our Test Center, for example, was put in on Oct. 15 when Dell.com told us it was "ready to be built." Well, it's still ready to be built and Dell says we have to wait until Nov. 12.
Compared to a couple of years ago, Dell has appeared to be tons better at handling thorny product issues when they come up. It will be worth watching to see if they can keep this Mini issue from becoming a big deal.
- Three Big Questions On Apple’s Mountain Lion
- Do We Even Need A Google Drive?
- How Windows 8 Beta Could Underwhelm Us
- Three New Features For Business We Want In iPad 3
- How Meg Whitman Can Save WebOS
- 'Extra-PC Era' Describes It Better
- LibreOffice’s Bold Course for the Tablet
- Leaving Your iPhone In The Back Of A Cab
- Analysis: Ubuntu's 'Open for Business' Sign To Developers
- Firefox Memory Leaks Once Again Causing Frustrations
- Microsoft’s Windows 8 To Do List Short, But Serious
- The Door Cracks Open for the BlackBerry PlayBook
- Today’s Daily App: Maven Web Browser for iPad
- Will Ubuntu Again Benefit From Industry Turmoil?
- Samsung Takes Swipe At Google With Its Windows 7 Slate
- Intel Inside Android, via McAfee Security
- Why Michael Dell Is Right About PCs, And HP Could Be Wrong
- Why 2011 Is The Year Of Open Source
- What If They Had A Tablet Price War And Nobody Came?
- Why Google Needs to Get a Grip on Security