Dell is charged with hardly upgradeable notebooks

The Alienware Area 51-m should offer an upgrade of the processor and graphics unit. According to some customers, this is a broken promise. After Dell announced the Area 51-m R1 as one of the first Alienware notebooks with upgradeable hardware at CES 2019, the anticipation of some interested parties was great. After all, the CPU and GPU in mobile devices could never actually be swapped. 

Dell later released various graphics units for the R1, but they belonged to the same generation. Instead of Nvidia’s RTX Super GPUs of the Turing generation, there was a maximum of one Geforce RTX 2080. With the successor Area 51-m R2 it became clear that the promise of upgradeability was forgotten after just one year. 

A customer based in the US state of California has therefore now filed a lawsuit against Dell. The company has misled the buyers through false advertising, it is said. The document is available from the IT magazine Toms Hardware.

“CPU upgrades can be done using standard desktop CPUs, while GPU upgrades are available with upgrade kits on or with the Alienware Graphics Amplifier,” said a promotional copy for the Alienware Area 51 m R1.

CPU socket different

With the release of the R2, however, Alienware had already clarified the limitations of the modular system. CPU upgrades will only be possible within the same generation as was the case with the R1. In addition, the GPU upgrades were limited to Nvidia’s Turing as well.

A CPU upgrade from Intel’s Coffee Lake to Comet Lake is already problematic due to the hardware alone, as they use different sockets – LGA1151 and LGA1200. Accordingly, with a generation change, the mainboard would also have to be replaced, which in notebooks is often associated with the expansion of other components such as WLAN module, mass storage and RAM.

The plaintiff now wants to enforce damages for himself and other victims in the USA. These include buyers from states such as Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

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