Dell Defends Reliability of SSD Notebooks

Dell reacted quickly today to dispute an analyst's claim that Dell customers are returning 20 to 30 percent of the solid state notebooks sold.Notebooks with solid state drives (SSDs) have attracted interest because such drives use less power than hard disks, are more durable, and can be faster at certain tasks. The claim of a high rate of return was contained in a report from Avian Securities, which cited performance issues and technical problems as reasons for customer dissatisfaction.

In its response, Dell claimed that the return rates are "an order of magnitude lower" than that, at around 3 percent -- well within the range for a new technology, the computer giant said. Avian managing partner Avi Cohen did not dispute Dell's numbers and said that his company's figures might have been based on early returns data and not the complete data on sales.

Nevertheless, Cohen did say that he had a sense that customers were disappointed with the notebooks, feeling that they did not provide improved performance worth of the extra cost of the drives (more than $800 for a 64GB drive). Testers report noticeable but very small speed gains on certain tasks, like application launching, but not enough to create a "Wow!" reaction.CNET News, The Register