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Letter to the Editor
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From: Bruce_Buckman@idg.co.nz
To: Aardvark
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 09:40:54 +1200
Subject: Dell editors' choice in PC Mag

Thought you might like to know (if you don't already) that the Dell Dimension XPS M200s which gets the editors choice in the April issue of NZ PC Mag is under-priced by $1082 ex GST. The review text lists several peripherals (modem, AWE32 sound card, Office Professional and a Zip drive) which are not included for the $4100 ex GST price listed. The machine in fact comes with a generic 16-bit sound card (or on-board chip set, I'm not 100% certain which), Office for Small Business and no Zip drive or modem. A call to Dell's sales line can verify this. The salesman I talked to was most embarrassed.

This begs the question: If the pricing/bundle were correct, would the Dell still win the editors choice? What exactly is the score allocation for NZ PC Mag's comparisons? I heard a rumour that it was 75% performance, 25% the rest. Of course, one shouldn't place too much stock in rumours.

There is a double page ad from Dell in the same issue promoting a prize give-away in conjunction with PC Mag of the very same PC, (the ad even has the editors' choice logo). If I was one to believe in conspiracy theories I'd start formulating one now, but since I'm not, I conclude that PC Mag made a simple, if significant mistake. It happens, I've made plenty myself. I do hope they will correct this mistake in the next issue.

Bruce Buckman, NZ PC World

PS: It is worth noting that the MMX comparison was taken from the US and featured only the US-manufactured brands. Vikki Bland's contribution was to localise the text.

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