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Paint problems continue to vex Dell

In a post on its corporate blog, Dell blamed delays in shipping Inspiron laptops on problems with the paint.

Anything other than black or white may delay your Inspiron ship date.

Just weeks after blaming paint issues for delays in shipping some models of the XPS m1330, Dell has acknowledged that the same problems have affected the much-hyped multihued Inspiron line as well. Apparently the fancy colors that are the centerpiece of Dell's marketing are the very colors causing delay; the black and white Inspirons are shipping more or less on schedule. As with the XPS m1330, Dell is characterizing the issue as a problem of scale--they're struggling to produce a consistently high-quality finish as they manufacture larger numbers of the machines. "We'll continue to work directly with suppliers to ultimately increase our production on color notebooks," writes Digital Media Manager Lionel Menchaca on the company's Direct2Dell blog. He went on to say that unexpected parts shortages also contributed to the delays. Notably absent from his post was any estimate of how long it will take to work through the order backlog.

Meanwhile, customers who've been waiting a month (or more) for their shiny new laptop have expressed every emotion from frustration to anger to resignation in comments on the Direct2Dell post. "I got a bonus from work in July, and was buying myself a pink laptop with that money," writes commenter Fay Nehring, "but now it looks like it could be a Christmas present to myself."