Dell Bundles Amazon Alexa on New Consumer PCs

Posted on August 29, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Chromebook, Windows 10 with 9 Comments

At IFA this week, Dell announced a new lineup of PCs with integrated Amazon Alexa support, plus some new Chromebooks.

“We are excited to be at IFA again this year to showcase our technology innovations that continue to enhance the computing experience,” Dell senior vice president Ray Wah said in a prepared statement. “We’ve invested in redesigning our portfolio of mainstream laptops and 2-in-1s with beautiful designs, premium materials, and thoughtful features, illustrating our ongoing dedication to deliver quality devices every user is proud to carry.”

Dell’s announcements were, of course, timed to Intel’s announcement about a “new” generation of Core processors. And as you might expect, a number of the new Dell offerings utilize these new processors.

New from Dell this Fall are:

Inspiron 7000 2-in-1. This new family of PCs provides a brushed aluminum exterior, 13-, 15- and 17-inch models, and The 15- and 17-inch versions offer optional NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics and optional Intel Optane memory for better performance. Plus, these PCs are all Alexa-ready, with full support coming in the Fall.

Inspiron 5000 2-in-1. Available in a 14-inch form factor, the Inspiron 14 5000 2-in-1 includes many features from the 7000 series, including the optional NVIDIA GeForce MX130 graphics. But it’s also more affordable and includes a full-size HDMI port, a full-size SD card reader, two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, and one USB 2.0 port. These devices are also Alexa-ready.

Inspiron Chromebook 14 2-in-1. Dell’s first premium consumer Chromebook is a 2-in-1 convertible with “upscale features, thoughtful design, a roomy 14-inch Full HD IPS display, and seamless integration with Google applications and ecosystem.” Its made from aluminum, utilizes an 8th Generation Intel Core i3-8130U CPU and up to 128 GB of eMMC storage, and it provides up to 15 hours of battery life.

XPS 13. Dell’s flagship XPS 13 now ships with the new Intel 8th Generation i3 processor, and the XPS 13 Developer Edition is available now with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

XPS 13 2-in-1. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has likewise been updated to the new Intel chips and offers a Dynamic Power Mode to “extract maximum performance from the processor, as well as up to 15 hours of battery life and a stunning viewing experience with UltraSharp QHD+ InfinityEdge touch display.”

Vostro 14 and 15 5000. Dell’s family of small business laptops now include the new Intel chips, a USB Type-C port, an optional Single-Sign-On fingerprint reader, and a two-sided narrow border around the display.

Dell 27 USB-C Ultrathin Monitor. Dell’s new 27-inch Quad HD (2560 × 1440) display provides up to 600 nits of peak brightness, HDR capabilities, a USB Type-C connector that transmits video, data and power, and a thin, 5.5 mm bezels.

What’s perhaps more interesting to me is that Microsoft is promoting Dell’s new offerings, as it is doing with all of the other PC announcements at IFA. But Microsoft, conspicuously, fails to mention the Alexa integration that Dell is itself promoting for its consumer-focused Inspiron models. (Microsoft also failed to mention Dell’s new Chromebook.)


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Comments (9)

9 responses to “Dell Bundles Amazon Alexa on New Consumer PCs”

  1. Tony Barrett

    I get Amazon are being really aggressive with Alexa to try and hold off the Google Assistant onslaught, but out of all this, despite MS not mentioning it, where does this leave Cortana exactly? Cortana is like the runt of the assistant family - small, often ignored, not growing very fast, and usually the first to be sacrificed in the 'survival of the fittest' race.

    • jrickel96

      In reply to ghostrider:

      Microsoft is retargeting Cortana. Reality is that Alexa and Google Assistant are going nowhere fast. Yes, they have users but they are not really monetizing anything. Amazon is not getting orders from Alexa. Google is getting user data for ads.

      Yet the central problem is neither can create a case why third parties should develop long term for them. Outside of a few outliers, third party devs see very little benefit in developing skills. There are some that work well (like Hue), but most have seen no benefit.

      Apple is actually the one furthest ahead because Siri pretty much only does the things people want (not very well). Cortana is focusing more on enterprise and productivity. That's a smart niche that can enhance the experience for MS customers.

      Realistically these assistants are all niche in some way.

  2. jrickel96

    Not shocked that Microsoft wouldn't mention Alexa. They're not going to promote that or Chromebook.

    That said, there's no evidence that anyone is interested in either. Chromebooks continue to do terribly in the market. Chrome OS sits at 0.62% for August for worldwide desktop marketshare. That's roughly 11 million users globally. In a market where there are around 1.5 Billion Windows users, that is nothing.

    Alexa has shown that it has gained little traction. It is not driving sales to Amazon nor is it doing much for third party development. Digital assistants are used for very few tasks. So while Amazon has sold a decent amount of speakers there is nothing to indicate it is a market that is being monetized in any meaningful way.

    Consumers aren't really all that interested in either thing, so that's another reason not to promote them.

  3. eric_rasmussen

    Microsoft introduced Cortana with Windows 10, and I immediately thought of the advanced AI from Halo, with the conversational capabilities and witty remarks that AI was capable of. "OK," I thought, "this is first-gen stuff, she's pretty lame right now but Microsoft will expand her abilities soon."

    Microsoft added her ability to scream uselessly at me during Windows setup, but that's about it. It's like they disbanded the team or something after the initial release, because she appeared and then that was kind of it. It's no wonder, then, that companies who are actually trying to sell Windows 10 computers are now turning to Alexa instead.

  4. dontbe evil

    the XPS 13 2in1 still use Y cpu and not U … I'll go for the hp spectre x360 or Lenovo yoga 920

  5. glenn8878

    It mentions Cortana despite Alexa. As long as Dell PCs installs Windows, the Dell Chrome machines are irrelevant.

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