A letter from the president of M-Tech Laptops Inc.
We here at M-Tech felt it was time for a blunt consideration of the large brand name marketers of laptop computers. Specifically we will settle one name brand, Alienware/Dell, but really the business philosophy with them is no different than any other Tier 1 laptop brand. Alienware understandably gets a lot of attention from the advertising media and because of that they get a lot of attention from the buying public. We are going to discuss the reason for the attraction to Alienware and why so many now are just downright disgusted with Alienware/Dell.
First , we must all admit that Alienware/Dell knows how to market. For all intents and purposes this is really what they do rather than submerse themselves into technology. They don't have to know about technology (since they don't build, support or service a single laptop) all they need to know about is how to grab your attention and hold it. They do this primarily with looks. Let's face it, many people buy on presentation. M-Tech Laptops admits, nobody does this better than DELL. They have the clout to be able to take the lowest form of technology, spend a few hundred thousand dollars in dies and molds to give the low level laptop a face lift that would do an aging Hollywood actor proud. All of a sudden your blinded by the light ( as with their latest laptop this is literally true). A clever move to avoid discussing quality. Have you noticed you never read of Dell or Alienware ever talking about their low return for failure rate or high quality standards for the motherboards. Please, as good as Dell/Alienware is with spinning and marketing, you have to know that if they had a product that quality was as good as the laptop looks they would roll that into the marketing scheme. Instead they avoid that discussion and distract you with looks and clever wording that never once tells you their laptop is going to last for years and run faster than , oh let's say...a M-Tech Laptop?
The truth is that if Alienware were to start using the same base laptop as M-Tech Laptops and spent all the extra money on recasting the plastic chassis , you could never afford the laptop. We all remember how expensive they were ten years ago when they were using the same high quality motherboards that M-Tech Laptops used and still uses. Back then they only applied a paint job that cost a couple of hundred dollars more. Now that DELL owns them they have the clout to recast the chassis of an already existing laptop for a truly great look. The problem is the cost for a single simple change is in excess of $75,000. The changes DELL makes to these chassis are by no means simple. We must be talking millions of $$ for these modifications to the case. So wrap that cost into the cost of a good laptop and you all of a sudden would see the Alienware do a price jump of about 40%. Dell knows just were the price has to fall to keep you buying. The only way to make a really great looking laptop and keep the price reasonable is to use very low quality components within the laptop. They let you assume that because they use the Intel and Nvidia name, that is all you need to know. Truth is, these chips cannot operate anywhere close to their top speeds in the motherboards Dell uses because the quality of a motherboard controls the speed and efficiency of the chips running in them. In a proven case, a 6.5 year old Pentium 3 M-Tech laptop beat every single 2008/09 DELL and Toshiba within a franchise store in the fall of 2008. Was this because Intel's Core 2 Duo is slower than the older P3? No, it is simply that the lower quality motherboard used by today's Tier 1 laptop companies retards the performance of the CPU and GPU. So much so that a high quality laptop nearly seven years old still outperforms it. When was the last time you heard of a DELL laptop even lasting six years?
At M-Tech Laptops we are jealous of the good looks the Alienware laptop has. Every day we thank God that their laptops don't perform as they advertise. Still we try, take a look at the new M9800. We think it is a knockout. It has the feature of back lit symbols that do not need to be touched (just like the Alienware m17x). Just swipe your hand over the volume graph and viola, the volume go up or down as you please. No contact needed. Same with gaming key and some other hot keys. The keyboard is new as well. The keys do not touch each other as is traditional. On the M9800 each key is individually placed and singularly controlled by the keyboard. Tough to explain but if you look over the images in the gallery you will see what we mean. Pictures don't do justice to the awesome good looks of the M9800. What we are especially proud of is the quality. M-Tech Laptops knows what the top rating should be of a laptop with this CPU and GPU. Before and M9800 is shipped out we test each laptop. All laptops sold as M-Tech Laptops must test within the top 1% of all laptops in their category. This means two important facts for you the consumer. One is that speed is indicative of quality, which brings us to benefit number two, quality. Quality is indicative of the lifespan you can expect from your laptop. You can expect your M-Tech Laptops laptop to last years longer than any other laptop you can buy. It all ties in together. Quality lasts longer and quality allows the CPU and GPU to perform at their fastest speeds. Every years parents with kids returning to college tell us that there child is still using the laptop they went through college with (all four years) but the their kids college friends who used DELL or Alienware had to buy a new laptop each year. Part of Dell's marketing and selling cheaper than ever is that when you sell low quality you can sell cheap and if you are truly good at marketing you can make the customer come back next year and the next year again to buy another replacement laptop for their one that died within a year of purchase.
This does work to a large degree for the laptop giant. However, we see that consumers are not dumb as Dell must think they are. We hear the complaints and we get the disgruntled DELL customers who are tired of buying a laptop every year. No longer wanting to purchase a laptop that cost good money only to have it under perform and then die prematurely. We know how many of you are out there, M-Tech promises, we will never drop our quality control to keep our prices in line. Our promise is that no matter what laptop you buy we hold the same super tight requirements to each and every laptop model.
But what about all the magazine reviews I read saying how awesome Alienware is?
Come on now.. seriously. Do you think that a magazine that makes 98% of its income from advertising the product it reviews is not going to slant the reviews? M-Tech use to have a laptop reviewed in every magazine every month. Then all of a sudden we were told that we should really be advertising. When we explained we would not advertise because we did not want to roll that huge expense into our product prices, well you can guess what happens next. “Sorry just no room in this month's edition for any more laptop reviews” It doesn't take a genius to look at every laptop reviewed and see there is a corresponding amount of advertising from the laptop brand within that magazine. The magazine tells you that there is no mixing between the advertising and the editorial departments. Do we look that naive to them? They may think we believe that, if so then they are the naive ones. I have been there, M-Tech was mentioned in print three years running as the favorite of these magazines (such as Mobile Computing ) but once the magazine had grown enough to get filled with advertisements from the top brands then all of a sudden “No more room”. Listen, that's life, too bad for us. I just think you should know how these things really go. Have you ever wondered why a laptop that is supposed to be the cat's meow has so many people that bash it on the internet? Seems a contrast to be sure.
In the business world you can control prices one of two ways. You can do what the big guys do, You can make a great looking laptop and load it with features that look good and distract you from the quality of the laptop. Then they control the price of that feature rich laptop by dialing down the quality of the motherboard until the price is where you want it. This is the most widely used methods because it sells. Many buy on looks alone. Let's face it, we lie to ourselves. We want to believe that this laptop looks hot, is loaded with features, the price is very low, yet we want it so bad we overlook the old adage, if it looks too good to be true, then it is too good to be true. Many of us want something so bad we believe what we want to believe. In fact we , as a cunsumer, do Dell's work for them. Make the laptop look good and they won't have to say anything about the quality. We ,the consumer, will tell ourselves it is good because we don't want to believe otherwise.
Problem is, that's not the truth. You get what you pay for. With the cost of the visual elements added to the cost of a laptop, you could never be expected to buy an Alienware if they were build around a great or even good motherboard. Dell understands this and that is one of two reasons why they allow the inner workings of their laptops to be of such low overall quality.
Then there is method number two for controlling prices of your laptops. The M-Tech Laptops way. We never drop quality , we dial the price up or down by adding or subtracting features. This way you know that if all you can afford is $900, you won't have just thrown it away on a piece of junk. That will be the best $900 laptop money can buy. It may not be as good looking or features rich as a $4000 M-Tech laptop but the quality, hence speed and long lifespan, will be there. This may not be the philosophy everybody shares but we think it is the only way to go. Our growing sales in a very tough economy prove that many of you feel the same way. You cannot afford to throw away good money into a low quality laptop. You also know that no longer can you spend a fortune on an Alienware or any other brand laptop and know you are getting a good laptop. Just not true, they use the same standard for their $500 laptop as they do the $5000 laptops. Personally we feel that for that kind of cash, you deserve the best.
M-Tech Laptops is trying to make the laptop lineup better looking that past models. We know you like a good looking laptop and so do we. Please be patient, it isn't easy to get a great looking laptop and not have it drastically raise the laptops cost. Especially since we will not sacrifice quality to offset the increase of price. So we may never be able to completely match the looks of a Alienware. However we really believe that when push comes to shove, there are plenty of customers out there who will take quality over looks every day. You have shown this to be true so far and we thank you and promise not to let you down in the future. No matter what, we won't drop our quality now that we are starting to get noticed. We know it was the quality of our laptops that brought you here and we won't make the same mistake that Alienware made years ago and switch to a cheaper laptop to make a bigger profit margin. We think it was wrong for Alienware not to tell you that they switched laptop manufacturers on you. If they want to go cheap quality then that is their option. However, we think it unethical to not let you know that very core of their laptops went from first rate to the lowest in the industry. Many of you know this already and many more have left thousands of complaints littering the web about how the vaunted Alienware has let them down. Poorly built laptops, a technical support base out of country and repairs done by the lowest bidder.
At M-Tech Laptops your tech support is in the USA and always at the same facility were your laptop was assembled and tested, and the laptop is repaired by the same people who handled the support calls , who also happen to be the same people who built the laptop, not some place that repairs dozens of brands. We don't sell our warranty service to warranty companies any longer. This is the norm for the industry but since 1996 we have done out own repairs and will continue to do so. There are two reason for this. First, We don't want anybody else touching our laptops. We know them better than anybody else. You deserve the best. The best laptop, the best support and the best quality repair. Second, warranty companies do not share the repair history with the manufacture, s if there are downward trends and problems we would not know them and be able to correct them. This works fine for the big guys, they don't want to know of every problem. There concern is not with quality so why worry about every little detail. With M-Tech, it is all about quality. We need to know every single problem so we can make sure laptop rises above our own preset limit for laptop failures.
Let talk finally about repairs. The industry average for laptop failure in the first year has risen from 4%-5% ten years ago to 20%-22% today. The reason is there are now low quality laptops fighting for dominance in this troubled economy. M-Tech Laptops decided that no laptop will be continued for sale if the laptop failure rate goes over 2% in the first year. Not 22% but rather 2%. Guess what, in many cases we achieve 1% or less. Yet if you are that 1%, rest assured each and every laptop that fails gets our undivided attention. Why did it fail, is this a pattern, is there something we need to do. Since we repair our own laptops we see and feel the same pain you do when a laptop needs repairs. The other bigger companies are insulated from your complaints because third party companies get the laptops for repair. They don't have the expense of fixing them. We do, so we takes steps to make sure every laptop that leaves our facility stays gone.
In short, we are not perfect, but we are trying to get there. We have thousands and thousands of customers and at times we can drop the ball. However that doesn't mean the ball has to bounce more than once. We have never, not made right a mistake if you allowed us to do so. Each and every customer truly matters to us. If we make an error and disappoint you, we too are disappointed. You will never feel like some DELL customers do. Your just a name and number and if your disappointed in them, oh well. Your just one customer. That is not how M-Tech Laptops does things. You are a name to us, a name attached to a face. You become our most important customer any time you call us with a problem. Fortunately, that just doesn't happen very often. Over the years we have worked hard at eliminating problems. The proof in the pudding, so to speak. M-Tech Laptops has had steady growth during a truly troubled economy. More now than ever, people need to know that have not thrown away their hard earned money on a low quality piece of equipment.
You wont be throwing your money away on a M-Tech laptop. Thanks or your time. Let see how long this can stay in print before DELL/ Alienware makes us remove it. Could be fun.
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