Why HP is Kicking Dell’s Ass

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I’ve been a Dell guy for a long time.  Until I started building my own desktops, I bought a series of Dell desktops for me and my wife.  My first three laptops were Dells.  We used to have Dell desktops and laptops in my office.  I recommended Dells to teens of people who came to me for computer advice.  I am a long time Dell shareholder.

But the fact is that HP is kicking Dell’s ass.  Here’s why.

My office (which has thousands of computers) switched from Dells to HPs a year or so ago.  I have asked several of my friends who work for other big companies about their experience and, while Dell still holds a lot of market share, it is clear to me that HP is gaining share.  HP has the momentum for business users from what I see and hear.

When the power supplies started exploding on my self-built primary computer, I decided to buy a second computer to use as a backup- for both data and use when my primary computer is doing its fireplace imitation.  I went to Micro Center and looked around.  It was all about HP there.  I looked at a nicely priced HP Media Center computer and then came home to buy a Dell online.  I couldn’t find one I liked as well as the HP for the same or a better price.  I went back to the store and bought the HP.  It has worked like a charm, even through a Vista upgrade– and I didn’t have to wait for it to be manufactured and delivered.

HP has a virtual lock on retail shelf space as far as I can tell.  If he wants an HP,  Average Joe has to pull into the first computer store he sees.  If he wants a Dell, he has to go online, build it, send his credit card information into the big, scary internet…and wait.  Traditionally, Joe might be willing to do this, because he got a better bang for his buck and better technical support.  Dell seems to have squandered that giant advantage.

Next, my wife wanted a new computer for her birthday.  She uses computers for email, Photoshop and light word processing.  She told me what features she wanted.  I found another HP desktop that had exactly what she was looking for.  The price was right, and again I could buy it and bring it home right away.  Suddenly I had more HPs than any other brand of computer in my house- that was a weird feeling.

Finally, I decided I needed an alternate to my trusty Thinkpad X41 Tablet to take on business trips when I need a CD/DVD player and a little more H(orse)P(ower).  I looked at Dells, but the ones I liked cost more than I wanted to spend.  So one day I’m walking into a CompUSA to buy a useless Windows LifeCam (which managed to crash Vista and never worked once- more on that later) and I see this huge, 17 inch widescreen HP Pavilion laptop (model no. dv9225us).  Vista Ultimate, 64 bit, 2G of RAM, built in webcam, very nice speakers, HDMI output, etc.  For less than $1500.  Other than the unavoidable 64 bit compatibility problems (some applications aren’t compatible with the 64 bit version of Vista), this is one heck of a laptop for the money.

In sum, it looks to me like HP has the momentum across a very wide spectrum and in a very big way.

Momentum that changed me from a guy with a house and office full of Dells to a guy with a house and office full of HPs.  Sure, I feel a little disloyal, but other than that, it was a no-brainer.

And, yes, I bought that laptop.

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