News Dell Hit With Fraud Case Over Alienware Area-51m Upgrade Claims

NightHawkRMX

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Its a laptop, its to be expected that there is limited upgradability. I don't particularly see anything wrong with Dells marketing. Dell never said that it could be upgraded to a next generation part.
 

wirefire

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I am not impressed with this lawsuit. There may be some room for legal interpretation with the language that Dell uses but nowhere do they detail what this upgradability is. The CPU and GPU are user replaceable. This is not standard in he laptop space and does allow for a degree up upgradability. It is a function of Intel, not Dell that will determine how "upgradable" these units are in the CPU. as for the GPU.... well as long as the power requirements can physically be met, there is no reason why any GPU couldn't be made available for the hardware.

Is what Dell advertised "deceiving".... well to the uninformed, yes it could be. If you are buying an Alienware laptop I would guess in most cases you are an "informed" buyer. it is not the kind of laptop someone buys on a whim. If it takes a 9900K you could "upgrade" it to a CPU that has a better OC (cherry picked silicon)... "upgrade" is very vauge.
 
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drtweak

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I am not impressed with this lawsuit. There may be some room for legal interpretation with the language that Dell uses but nowhere do they detail what this upgradability is. The CPU and GPU are user replaceable. This is not standard in he laptop space and does allow for a degree up upgradability. It is a function of Intel, not Dell that will determine how "upgradable" these units are in the CPU. as for the GPU.... well as long as the power requirements can physically be met, there is no reason why any GPU couldn't be made available for the hardware.

Is what Dell advertised "deceiving".... well to the uninformed, yes it could be. If you are buying an Alienware laptop I would guess in most cases you are an "informed" buyer. it is not the kind of laptop someone buys on a whim. If it takes a 9900K you could "upgrade" it to a CPU that has a better OC (cherry picked silicon)... "upgrade" is very vauge.
Boom couldn't have said it any better. Sounds like the guy needs more of an IT expert not a lawyer on this one to help him. Its like Intel only does two generations per socket. Its like ony the 8th and 9th gen are supported on the Z390 and since it came with a 9900K like not much more you can do to go from there.

Then he says

"They also never disclosed that those with the highest spec CPU and/or GPU that their device would not be upgradeable."

Ummm pretty sure those who got the highest spec CPU knew what they were getting XD
 
"The Area-51m was engineered with this in mind, finally allowing gamers to harness power comparable to even the highest-performance desktop..."
If by "comparable" they mean "significantly slower due to heat and power restrictions" then I guess that part holds up. : D
 

Co BIY

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Class action suits are an abuse of the law that very occasionally may create an incentive for large firms with many customers to do the right thing.

The word "unprecedented" really doesn't promise too much. Dell will be covered by bringing in i5 spec model and upgrading it to an i7 in about 20 minutes. Then bringing a pile of it's previous laptops and say You couldn't do that with any of these previous laptop models. Mic drop.

They need to be awarded lawyers fees for this frivolous lawsuit.
 

HyperMatrix

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He will win this case against dell. Despite the previous comments, Dell did lie. Whether intentional or not. This is clear cut in the law. Dell didn’t advertise “unparalleled customizability.” They advertised upgradability. Yet upgrades were never made available if you bought the top end laptop. Boggles the mind to see comments above stating “well he should have known laptops can’t be upgraded” when the problem is that he normally did know laptops couldn’t be upgraded, and paid extra money to Dell precisely because they said that he would be able to do something that you normally couldn’t do: UPGRADE the cpu/GPU. But that statement was false.

It’s not even an issue of a limited period of time in which upgrades were made available. It’s that in cases, no upgrades were ever made available. Samsung had a similar lawsuit with their TVs and the advertised upgradable one connect box that basically let you upgrade your existing panel to modern TB tech by upgrading the OSD/cpu/etc. They ended up having to make an upgrade box for TVs that they advertised as being upgradable in the future. Years after their initial launch. Because they were sued.

This is a guaranteed win against Dell.
 

watzupken

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I think when companies advertise that a laptop is upgradable, they should be very explicit to say what can be upgraded and what is the limitations. I was told by a company once that they GPU in their laptop is upgradable. Its a GTX 680M on an MXM card. In theory, yes, you can pull that card out and replace with another, BUT, that does not mean that you can upgrade it like a desktop GPU. With the release of the GTX 700 series, I went back to the company to ask about the prospect of upgrading the GPU, but was told that it can't be upgraded because,
  1. GTX 700 requires more power, which the existing slot/socket is unable to provide,
  2. GTX 700 uses a different display out which does not work with the current display
The long and short is, upgrade is not possible. That was my first experience with gaming laptop, and I wasn't expecting the limitation to be this bad. That's why I feel its critical to be explicit as to the limitations of any upgrade upfront.
 
He will win this case against dell. Despite the previous comments, Dell did lie. Whether intentional or not. This is clear cut in the law. Dell didn’t advertise “unparalleled customizability.” They advertised upgradability. Yet upgrades were never made available if you bought the top end laptop. Boggles the mind to see comments above stating “well he should have known laptops can’t be upgraded” when the problem is that he normally did know laptops couldn’t be upgraded, and paid extra money to Dell precisely because they said that he would be able to do something that you normally couldn’t do: UPGRADE the cpu/GPU. But that statement was false.

It’s not even an issue of a limited period of time in which upgrades were made available. It’s that in cases, no upgrades were ever made available. Samsung had a similar lawsuit with their TVs and the advertised upgradable one connect box that basically let you upgrade your existing panel to modern TB tech by upgrading the OSD/cpu/etc. They ended up having to make an upgrade box for TVs that they advertised as being upgradable in the future. Years after their initial launch. Because they were sued.

This is a guaranteed win against Dell.
There is a degree of common sense that the law expects from people.

Even if you bought the laptop with the highest components and have no upgrade path, the laptop is still an upgradable laptop it's a characteristic of the laptop, even if it doesn't apply to you it does still to the laptop.

Also you are expected to know that hardware has to be compatible and that you can't upgrade to something that is not made for your platform.
 
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jsut71

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This is stupid. With the money he’s likely paying his attorney he could have just upgraded. In Texas just to have my ex wife served divorce papers cost $500. And that is the standard mandated cost for just that. And I doubt very highly that California and San Francisco is any less expensive. During the 7 years I lived in California from my mid 20’s to early 30’s they demanded several thousands of dollars to reregister my car from the state I had moved from. Sounds like he’s just looking for a big payout or settlement from Dell.
 

hushnecampus

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There is a degree of common sense that the law expects from people.

Even if you bought the laptop with the highest components and have no upgrade path, the laptop is still an upgradable laptop it's a characteristic of the laptop, even if it doesn't apply to you it does still to the laptop.

Also you are expected to know that hardware has to be compatible and that you can't upgrade to something that is not made for your platform.
If you want to bring common sense into it I think common sense says you don't buy a laptop with the intention of replacing a part with another part from the same generation (you would just get the part you want when you buy the laptop). Upgrading implies the next generation. If installing a part from the next generation isn't possible then you're not offering unprecedented upgradability.
 

NightHawkRMX

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If you want to bring common sense into it I think common sense says you don't buy a laptop with the intention of replacing a part with another part from the same generation (you would just get the part you want when you buy the laptop). Upgrading implies the next generation. If installing a part from the next generation isn't possible then you're not offering unprecedented upgradability.
"Implied" doesn't hold up in court.
 

kal326

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Without knowing what any foot notes, asterisk, or disclaimers were in the original advertisement or announcements it’s hard to know if Dell really over sold this. Also for the people that state they should have known better or lack technical expertise. There are plenty of OEM builders that share chassis across multiple generations and even core companies. Clevo/Sager as examples.

Dell could have done something with replacement motherboards. Is it cost effective or practical, certainly not. However if you are toting the most upgradable you better bring it. Had the R2 used the same chassis where it could have been swapped motherboards with an R1, different story. Swapping CPUs isn’t a new thing within a CPU generation. Most any socketed laptop motherboard can do this. I’ve personally swapped Mobile chips in Dell, HP, and Lenovo laptops. Swapping graphics cards also isn’t a new thing for laptops either. Dell has had MXM modules in many modules. That probably also supported swapping CPUs. So what exactly were these models supposed to bring to the table that was unprecedented? Evidently nothing and that’s why they are getting sued.
 

Minus_i7

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This reminds me of the false advertising case against CocaCola/MinuteMaid that got taken up by the US Supreme Court. They were selling "Pomegranate Blueberry" juice that, while technically having a nonzero amount of those things in it, in reality was over 99% Apple and Grape juice.
 
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mac_angel

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Dell does all kinds of illegal BS, and have for years. This is rather minor compared to the other stuff they do. There have been a lot of tech reviews and videos on their latest gaming rigs that show how really, really bad they are. It made me really confused at how and/or why TomsHardware was constantly posting and promoting Dell deals. All about the almighty dollar I guess.
 
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This is really dumb. Dell can't upgrade the CPU to any chipset because they aren't compatible. Laptops are known for being not upgradable forever. For example, a Z390 chipset can not support 11gen Intel because they are not compatible.
 

HyperMatrix

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Not so sure on that.

Has anyone, ever, seen a laptop that is crossgenerationally up-gradable? I've not.
Yes. As someone else mentioned above, some laptops have upgradable motherboards. Even if we take CPUs out of the equation, GPUs that should be cross generationally upgradable were not provided. They advertised the laptop as being able to do what other laptops can’t. They failed to provide new GPU MXM modules when new cards came out, even though video cards use the same PCIe interface. That would be the least that would have been required and they failed to do so. As for CPUs, the problem is two part. One part is that the CPU wasn’t upgradable. Whatever the reason. But Dell sold it as being upgradable.

The second part is that the suit claims that Dell was well aware of what future CPU socket type compatibility would be like when they made that laptop, so knowing that, and still claiming an upgradable cpu, made it even worse. That may or may not be provable but it shouldn’t be the key to the case unless they have solid proof to backup the claim and not just say “well we assume they knew because they’re intel’s partner.” If they make that the central argument in their case without proof, it will backfire on them. The key to the case will be that some specialty laptops do offer motherboard/cpu swaps across generations. Dell was claiming to offer something not available in other laptops. Yet they couldn’t deliver at all. If you got the top end spec, you could not upgrade the cpu at all. And the GPU which should have been upgradable and wasn’t held back by the socket change excuse wasn’t made upgradable either.

Here’s why that last part is so important. Because they didn’t provide either CPU or GPU upgrades past the current generation of hardware, even when nothing was stopping them in the case of GPU upgrades, it meant that they either never intended to provide upgrades or changed their mind about providing upgrades because it wasn’t financially beneficial for them. Either of which would be problematic for Dell.
 
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If Dell said the GPU is upgradable then they are in huge trouble , because GPU can be upgraded into future generations if Dell chosen to manufacture the MXM card for it.
 
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So because they neglected to mention that if one was already at the very top of the CPU and/or GPU stack, there would be no upgrading...Dell is being sued?

LOL!
yes they can be sued because the word "upgrade" spans into future GPU generations . we all upgrade our GPU cards.

When Dell says it is upgradable this means they should make future GPU MXM cards that fits in that notebook when the new GEN comes.
 
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donlilli4

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Dell is facing a class action lawsuit from a man who purchased the Alienware Area-51m R1 and found that it could not be upgraded in the way that he hoped.

Dell Hit With Fraud Case Over Alienware Area-51m Upgrade Claims : Read more
The issue that I think the man is arguing is something called "inherent upgradeability" which is the ability to tear the unit down to the core parts, in this case the laptop display, keyboard, and casing, and rebuild it, just like you can most desktop systems. I personally own an Alienware Area 51m R2 with a Core i9-10900K and a Geforce RTX 2070 Super installed. The problem now is that while I can upgrade the RAM and the SSDs, I can't upgrade to the Core i9-11900K and the Z590 chipset, nor can I upgrade the onboard video card to the GeForce RTX 30xx series GPUs but I can with the Graphics Amplifier add-on. The Area 51 series is meant as a desktop-level replacement and not as a laptop in the essence of the design, but it does run for about 2 hours at a reduced power level. This unit replaced a MSI Dominator Pro unit that was also designed to be upgraded to the 10xx GTX series GPUs, but it died 4 and a half years in, instead of the 8 to 10 years I was expecting, and that I expect from my Area 51m R2 that historically with Alienware units tends to be their lifespan. If this is a class action filing, it will likely be national in scope, and I'll be eligible for a discount or refund of some kind.
 
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The problem with this assessment is it puts undue burden on the buyer to know what can be upgraded. Intel implied directly with words "upgradeable" and didn't specify. This is not how it works, you cannot cover yourself just through vague language. It's like buying a car that says "uses gas" but come to find out it cannot handle gas diluted with Methanol; its unreasonable. The amazing part is, with the R2, they pulled the same stunt twice.... I have an R1, the lack of GPU upgrades is just laziness on their part, they even deliberately redesigned the motherboard to keep R1 owners from getting new GPUs produced later. You can't even get the parts unless used from Dell, and then you pay exorbitant rates. It's just a bait and switch, you can't defend the practice.

What most here don't know is there are no MXM cards now; Dell had to use DGFF, their own format. They had so many issues with burning up R1's, they basically yanked the parts for repairs. Thus any supply of video cards instantly became listed as "used" - they wanted to charge me literally 2K USD to upgrade from a 2070 to a 2080 card.... and told me it was used with a 30-day warranty. Total BS. The other untold story here is how they gimped the machine severly to stop the burn-ups through a series of BIOS updates that did nothing but continually reduce performance down. Class action is more than warranted.

It's worth noting even this "Z390 chipset" was false, because they then turned around and refused to support the 9900KS chips.... see? No one is mad they didn't do upgrades for motherboards/CPUs (well except for the welch on 9900KS), its the GPU they didn't even try to do for R1 or R2... now they have them in their "X" series? WTF Dell...
 
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