13 May

Della – Dell netbooks for women?

I recently opted to replace my first generation Asus EEE 701. It’s very convenient and mostly functional, but I decided I wasn’t finding it the best thing in the world for really Getting Stuff Done™ outside of sending a few emails.

I chose to get one of the new Samsung NC20s. I highly recommend it – it’s really on the netbook/laptop border, but the larger screen size and resolution is worth that little bit extra weight (and at just under £400, it’s a bargain too).

When I was selecting my new ultra-portable, the kind of things I had in mind were battery life, weight and form-factor (for carting it around to events), the specification (can I code and run photoshop?) and reviews of it’s performance. The one thing I wasn’t particularly interested in was whether it went with my handbag or shoes.

So why exactly have Dell opted to create their new “Della” site, which appears to be about specifically that one aspect?

The site is clearly aimed at women since it features lots of glossy photos of groups of ladies chatting over coffee and standing in fields staring thoughtfully off into the distance (or on the beach – because sand and cooling fans go so well), but it appears to assume that they’re not interested in the specifications or technical features of the laptop – merely how pretty they look and how they’ll help you lose weight or some other inane Heat magazine-esque topic. I’d call this patronising at best.

Perhaps they could be making a bigger deal of their “nipple” cursor controller and getting a few more blokes buying their mini range, just to be fair?

Oh, and my NC20 is an always classic little black number.

Update: Sounds like Dell have had a turn-around on the marketing campaign, pulling the name “Della” just days after it’s launch (although a sneaky look at the website’s mark-up still shows the della references throughout).