Why do companies give gadgets confusing names?

Dell is awful for this.

I don’t care what you say.

I consider myself to be a fairly knowledgeable female geek (not an uber geek by any means), but I know how to read the specs of a laptop, and I know what RAM means (random access memory) and what it does for the computer (helps it multi-task easier because there’s more memory to allocate to all the programs you open and use at once).

But Dell, gives me an ulcer just looking at their site.

Let’s just go over the basic laptops they have: Dell Inspiron, Studio and XPS Laptops.

Within the Inspiron you have the 15″, 14″ and 13″ screens, so a Inspiron 13 is a 13″, Inspiron Machine.

Then you get to this and you’re thrown for a loop, again.

Now, they’re showing you 4 Dell Inspiron 15″, AT DIFFERENT PRICES!!!!

Of course, this all means that you have to read the specifications very carefully to see which one is faster in processing speed, or has more RAM, or has more ports, whatever.

But for the common laptop buying pleb, you get confused. How can the same Inspiron 15 (1525) have 4 different versions? Why can’t you just pick the Dell Inspiron 15 and then customize it based on processing speed or whatever, and then they charge you surcharges for what you change?

Not only that, as you go through picking the Inspiron 15 (1525) for $799 or the one for $499, you can continue to customize the already customized systems even further.

Big fat f*cking headache, is what it is.

Apple is one of the only companies that names their products clearly. No numbers or weird letters inside. It’s simply the Macbook, Macbook Pro or Macbook Air.

That’s it.

See? Super Easy.

I can also name almost the entire line (not just the notebooks) right off the top of my head because the names are simple, they make sense and there aren’t 15 versions of the same damn thing, called names that don’t make sense like “DC118” or “XP8274”..

I wonder if that’s why Apple is starting to do better. Naturally, the debut of the iPod really helped bring more of the limelight back to the company, but I think the simple way they display what they offer is what appeals to me.

Have I confessed that I always visit the Apple store even if I’m just walking by?

And what I like is every time Apple comes out with a new version of the Macbook for example, they get rid of the old line, and that’s the “new” Macbook. There isn’t anything like “Macbook 82741”, being sold beside “Macbook 23525”, and “Macbook 2A-FX8375” is coming out with small upgrades to each version.

Macbooks just have their set categories: Low end, High end, Thin, and when they do their yearly upgrade, they drop the old line and just refresh the specs but keeping them with the same price points.

So what brought on this rant?

My slow research into handheld camcorders (yes maybe a video log would be in line.. I’m even thinking about podcasting) brought me the Sanyo’s Xacti Range.

They look cool, interesting, and handheld. Maybe not as slim as the MinoHD, but close enough for me to be interested in it.

Then I read the blurb:

Sanyo has recently introduced five more models of its Xacti camcorders in Japan that will see several firsts, including the world’s first to shoot progressive, full HD 1,920 x 1,080 video at 60fps (models DMX-HD2000 and FH11), as well as the first waterproof HD cameras (DMX-CA9 and DMX-WH1 with 30x optical zoom) in the world. The impressive list of high achievers don’t end there though, as Sanyo will also be the name behind the world’s first HD camera to shoot 10 megapixel still images in the form of the DMX-CG10.


The DMX-HD2000, FH11, DMX-CA9, DMX-WH1, DMX-CG10.

Do those names tell you something about what each one does? I am sure there is a rhyme and a reason internally in the company, but why couldn’t it be something like: “Xacti Progressive”, “Xacti Waterproof”, “Xacti Still Camera”.

Something, anything. Or “Xacti Blue”, “Xacti Red”… whatever!!!!


About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.