Re: Article reads like Paid Corporate Blogging and at odds with the comments on Dell's website!!
I don't think I qualify as "passionate about the brand." I like it because I don't have to fix the fucking things. Look, I do computers for a day job, right? The last bloody thing I want to do when I get home is futz around with some computer that's acting up. I want my video games to just work. I want my media to just play. I want all the little bits to work, out of the box, and keep doing that for years.
That's why I buy Alienware.
If I am passionate about something - other than abject lazyiness, which is a very important topic for me - it is the bullshitology of "consumer reviews." The hard science of the matter is that people bitch easily but rarely pay a compliment. If you are seeing a bunch of positive reviews about a product amidst the frantic whinging, then pay attention. This means either heavy astroturfing, or people who actually like the product so much they are overcoming the inertia of human nature to say nice things about a product.
I don't care if that's Alienware, Apple, Windows 8 or Science Barbie. There are entire PhDs full of science about group dynamics, cognitive dissonance and various individual cognitive biases. I'm not making this crap up (check Wikipedia for an actually decent overview https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_bias,) but I do study this stuff.
It's part and parcel of being interested in journalism. If I am going to offer objective an impartial news, reviews or analyses, I need to be aware of the various research into cognitive bias and be able to spot it in myself. (Self examination on this level borders on stumbling into Dunning-Kruger, but we'll bypass that for now.)
At the end of the day who is doing the reviewing matters far more than the volume, pitch or tone of the review. Is the individual capable of making judgements about hardware, software, etc? Do they have the expertise and experience, or – as per true Dunning-Kruger – do they lack the experience, but in lacking that experience also lack the knowledge to identify their own lack of knowledge?
What about business decisions? Are these people capable of understanding representative samples, making judgements about failure rates, total cost of ownership and so forth? Or are you seeing – as I deeply suspect – people deep in buyer's remorse, having overextended themselves and wished for something magical that never truly can be?
I have worked with hundreds of models of gaming notebook from about a dozen suppliers over the past 15 years. The Alienware systems coming out of that company today are the best of the lot I've ever had the pleasure to use, with the possible exception of those old Gen 2 XPSes.
You can try to call me "passionate" about a brand if you want. You'd be wrong. What I am passionate about is separating signal from noise. Amazon – no matter how invested you may be in it for your personal decision making – is nearly all noise. The statistical analysis you need to do on that site to extract signal is mind warping.
Far better to find people who shift these units in the hundreds and thousands and start talking about deployment strategies, failure rates and so forth. You get a far clearer picture, not only of the product and brand, but of human nature as pertains to bitching about things on the internet.