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XPS M1330: What's Going On?

Since my last post, many of you made it clear that you want us to share more details about what's going on with the XPS M1330. I want to apologize for the frustration that these delays are causing you. I understand that no amount of explanation is a substitute for shipping the system, but hope this helps address some of your concerns.

Right now, we are focused on shipping as many systems as we can. Currently, we have worked through about 10% of our backlog and will focus on improving this going forward. Despite our best efforts, we may not be able to ship some orders before the original estimated ship date we gave you. In those cases, Dell will be contacting affected customers to let them know. Details will vary by region.

When you order a system, the estimated ship date factors in our best currently available information, including the number of orders in front of you and the availability of parts. It should not change unless something impacts one of these factors. If that happens, we will contact you.

As Lionel mentioned in an earlier post, we have found the production ramp more difficult than we expected—let me take a few minutes to explain the process. Before we begin shipping products to customers, we build a sizeable number of units to test our manufacturing process and to help flush out any issues that may impact our ability to build in volume. These test builds are a fraction of what we expect to build at full production. Once we start building a larger number of units, we may see issues that pop up in only one or two of them, but which require larger volumes to reveal themselves.  Since it's hard to tell if the issue is an isolated one or if it will affect a large number of units down the road, we investigate each one thoroughly. When that happens, it slows our build process.  

One example of this is the painting process. Right now, Tuxedo Black is the only color that is consistently meeting our quality standards. That's one reason why some customers are getting their orders before others. The finish on the XPS  M1330 is similar to a custom paint job on a car, but with one additional complexity—on a car, typical viewing occurs from several feet away. With a notebook, the typical viewing range is much closer... sometimes a foot or less. This requires a different level of attention to detail.  Why do I bring that up? 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.

All this ultimately results in fewer finished parts from the paint line than we expected.  You may have noticed on Dell.com yesterday we discontinued the Pearl White color. The reason is that we are just not able to produce the kind of volumes of high quality product that we need to support demand. It takes about 5 coats of paint to get the appearance we were looking for.
We are working to ship white units that meet our standards to all customers who ordered them, but those may be the last of the units using the current process, as we continue to pursue alternate methods of producing high-quality white units.

Unanticipated part shortages also hold up our ability to ship products. The most obvious issue is one mentioned in earlier posts-the LED backlit LCD display. First off, it's new technology, and that means there are fewer suppliers available. Bright white LEDs provide the backlight for the LCD instead of a fluorescent tube. It results in a brighter display that offers better color reproduction, is thinner and lighter, and draws less power. This relatively limited supply base combined with stronger than anticipated demand-the number of orders has simply exceeded our expectations-has  contributed to the delays. Our vendors are ramping production as quickly as possible, but these displays continue to be in short supply.

We're committed to shipping these systems as quickly as we can. Once again, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your business and your continued patience.

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  • Too little too late from Dell. 

    I cancelled my $2,500 m1330 order yesterday on my lunch break, and drove directly to the Sony store to pick up their new 11.1 inch TZ-170.

    After months of waiting for my Dell, I can gladly say that my new Sony is in hand now.  My only regret is that I didn't cancel my order earlier.

     

  • I ordered 4  around July 1. 2 black w/o LED, came this week, one red with LED, shipped today, and one white w/o LED. The first three arrived well before the esrimated delivery of mid-august and late august (red with LED). I understand things are not goin as well as hoped but I am very happy with the service I have recieved and communication through this blog. I am hopeful the white will come soon, but understand "stuff" happens and it must be cleaned up. Good luck in the fine tuning and ramping up of production on this exquisite product.
  • Why do you only comment on xps and not inspiron's. We are having problems as well. i ordered my inspiron 1520 on june27 est. ship july 16  and it did not ship was recommended by dell csr to cancel and reorder i did on same day july16 est. ship now aug 2 well it didnt ship got a automated call on that same day now est ship is aug 28. Oh and by the way i was it told it was the lcd shortage yea right. But you continue to sell products you do not have.  Are we just supposed wait around forever for our laptops by then they will be so outdated.  another frustrated customer                                           
  • OK, so I get it. These systems are delayed because of blah blah blah delays to "new" LED screens (Sony has had them out for how long now?), and because apparently painting has suddenly become tricky.

    To summarize this update: We've shipped 10% of the backorders, and uh....we're trying. honest.

  • I recieved my unit today. I had ordered on June 27th. They bumped my est. ship date back to Aug 3rd from July 29th however it ended up shipping 1 day early on Aug 2nd. Although I am so far happy with my unit and every time I spoke to customer care they were nice I can't help but havea bitter taste from this whole thing.

    I was told that I would be contacted on 2 different dates which never happened, it took dell 6 days to reply to my email in which they didn't even answer my question, and the delayed update here on direct2dell.com.

    If anyone is curious my unit is black with a T7300, LED LCD, BT, wireless N, fingerprint reader, 120gb HD, 1gb ram

  • Aren't these all things you should of thought of before you started selling it and marketing it?

    thanks for the honesty finally but really there is no excuse for selling a product you don't even know how to build yet???


     

  • I am one of the lucky 10% and I have to say that this is the kind of post we have been looking for the past month. Thank you Alex.

    For the first time we actually hear some details about what is really going on, and not just the standard PR blurb about the process and quality checking. The quality of the system is very important, and the fact that you are taking it seriously is appreciated. By myself anyway.

  • Speaking as someone who ordered a Black/LED M1330 on June 27 with an ESD of August 1, I feel that being contacted August 1 and pushed back four weeks to August 28 does not reconcile with the statements in the post above.  Black should be no problem, so we can rule that out.  As far as the LED goes, with years of experience as a Build-to-Order manufacturer, Dell should have very close relationships with suppliers and visibility of parts availability, so it should be very clear at the time of order if there will be a shortage of parts, and any delay should be foreseeable much earlier than 5pm on the ESD, and should be a delay of days not weeks, if any.  Furthermore, the ~8,000 posts at NotebookReview.com show that similarly spec-ed systems ordered after mine have been shipped and received already.  Certainly the post above is more specific than earlier ones that were corporate platitudes, but it still doesn't quite reconcile to the facts.
  • Please address what will happen to customers who ordered a 4 cell battery and the premium nVidia card. Will we get these orders? Why was such an obvious oversight committed before a launch?

    I ordered a 4 and 9 cell battery and I'm reading from other customers who had their orders cancelled. Again, I feel as if this is just another issue that will put me on the cancelled or further delayed camp.

    Also, what is the reason for not allowing customers to order a 9 and 6 cell battery. This is highly unusual. Please explain this, as such, this has only exasperated the problem with your 4 cell 'recall?'.

  • I personally have expressed my frustration here about the lack of information provided initially by Dell regarding the delays in shipping this notebook.  That being said, I find it extraordinary that the Dell folks are providing these forums to interact with their (huge) customer base, and really seem to be listening AND responding (in a professional manner here, and in action with respect to the IdeaStorm site).  THANK YOU Dell, from at least one customer, for this, and for your commitment to providing a high-quality product.

    NO, i don't work for Dell.   

  • It's at least good to see that these delays aren't resulting in compromised quality.  I'm still patiently awaiting my red unit and will continue doing so (my ESD isn't until Aug 23rd).  Looks like a great product, thanks for the update.
  • Alex this is basically what i was waiting for (probably that applies to others as well). At least this sounds believable of whats going on and at least i can perfectly see the issues and it gives me a better understanding of why i'm sitting here for weeks on end with a paid bill for a product i haven't seen. The informations so far have been more of a "vaporware" company so far then the ones of a renowned Computer manufacturer. Thanks for this.

    On a sidenote, even if it won't effect me, please introduce a process to change orders after they were made without cancelling. All "compensations" i have been offered so far (a bag, a printer, a warranty extension) would have required that i cancel and resubmit my order, which i'm not willing to do, being a customer who ordered on 06/28 and i need that machine by 08/27 at the latest for a trip. Reordering would shed all my hopes of ever getting this in time.

    Thank you, are there any news if EMEA has commenced producing the M1330 in red by any chance?

  • Thank you for this information, but I guess you lost a lot of customers.

    As I already mentioned in a earlier note, I ordered on July 12 and cancelled on July 14 (because of the downgrading of the processor).
    Still waiting for my money...wrote an e-mail and phoned at least three times. Every time they said sorry and that they will send a mail for confirmation of the call...still got no money and no mail confirmation...3 weeks gone now.

    Unfortunately there's no notebook as good as this one. Have to wait for something similar.

  • I am happy i am one of the lucky 10% my estimated date was Aug 13th, but when i changed my ordered it turned to Aug 22nd, but my order has shipped, i have gotten my tracking number and can't wait. The reps have been very helpful. Can't wait for the system :)

    If anyone wnats to know my specs are 2.0 ghz processor, 2 gb of ram, normal screen with 2mp carmera, my laptop is black, with nvidia video card

  • Quick question: Not that I care, I'm getting a black. But why do other models such as the 1520 not have problems with white in mass order. Surely the more mainstream 1520 is getting more orders then the xps m1330. They must paint these systems in the same manner as the 1330's.