Dell and I have a bit of history. I've never owned a Dell laptop but made a bit of noise a while back when Henk discovered Dell laptops for sale on their website at R 0.00. To cut a long story short the blogosphere spread the message of the error pretty fast, boosting sales so that over 2500 of the free laptop were sold in a matter of hours. Dell recovered from the mess by engaging the blogosphere, having a conversation and investing in the network.
They continue to do so, recently inviting me to a media launch which was held at the gorgeous, century-old Hazeldene Hall in Jozi. The entire invitation process was pretty unique - five separate invitations, each attached to a gift and giving me one more clue to the location, time and date of the event. Quite intriguing. The gifts were sassy, different and all meal-related, indicating that I was to experience a five-course 'feast' of technological innovation should I accept. To be dreadfully honest, I wasn't particularly keen to go at first but I'm so glad I went in retrospect - this really was a special event.
I arrived at the venue last week Friday in dreadful weather, picked up my label (Mike Stopforth: Blogger), and hurried inside. "By Word of Mouth" supplied delectable starters - the food was outstanding. I made a complete pig out of myself on account that I've never seen so many Smarties in one place at one time - I could've bathed in them. Dell are still grateful I didn't.
We were to be briefed throughout the day on the evolution of a few of Dell's older stalwarts, the Inspiron, Precision and Latitude, and then exciting introductions to the stylish Vostro and high-end gaming powerhouse XPS (with blu-ray nogal and a price tag of R 50k). The stylish, slimmer, lighter XPS M1330 is the first PC that's seriously made me reconsider my switch to Mac - it's an absolute beauty.
Kudos to Bronwen and the team at Dell for putting on a genuinely entertaining, informative and ever so slightly pretentious event that I thoroughly enjoyed. If you are a PC user (or perhaps a frustrated Mac user), and you are due an upgrade, the time is now.