If you're not one to keep up with the latest trends and technology developments, buying a computer can be pretty stressful. While you might be able to offer a friend in need some helpful advice on what kind of computer they need, not everyone has a friend they can turn to in times of tech turmoil, such as choosing a graphics solution. For these folk, Dell is doing its best to make the process easier, however, the company is apparently misleading customers instead of helping them.
Over the weekend, PC Pro pointed to a Reddit post that highlighted a pretty startling error on Dell's UK website. The page uses the following image in an attempt to demonstrate the difference between a 'standard graphics card' and a 'high-end graphics card.'
The monitor on the left, supposedly connected to a computer with a standard graphics cards, shows a desktop that is blurry and washed out. The monitor on the right, which is apparently displaying an image rendered by a high-end graphics card, shows the same image, but with sharper lines and brighter colours. PC Pro points out that Dell's apparent use of identical monitors in this illustration would suggest that the company is implying that your choice of graphics card will affect how even something as basic as your desktop is displayed.
Of course, though the difference between a 'standard' graphics card and a 'high-end' card is noticeable in many applications, an idle desktop is certainly not one of them. Dell presents this image alongside a choice of either the AMD Radeon HD 6350 or dual Radeon HD 6450 for customers purchasing the Dell Optiplex 790, but notes that the picture is for demonstrative purposes only. However, whether unintentional or not, the graphic is clearly misleading. If my sister, for example, were to look at this page, she would assume that everything, from desktop to web-browsing, would look awful if she were to choose the cheaper option. In reality, my sister, a person who uses her computer for mostly casual activities, would have no need for the pricier graphics solution.
Dell responded to PC Pro's article apologising for the confusion and insisting that it was never its intention to mislead customers. The company went on to say that the image had been removed from its global sites, however, the Verge reported that it was still available Monday morning and had been all weekend. At time of writing, we were unable to access the image, but Dell hasn't yet explained why it took three days for the image to be removed, even after it issued a statement to say it was already gone.