Lies, damn lies and laptop dimensions

I spotted Dell’s claim on a piece of junk mail that came through our letterbox the other day but thought that life is too short to go checking ads. Fortunately, the eagle-eyed chaps at the Guardian checked out the small print.

Noted in passing: advert for the Dell XPS-15, containing the phrase

“Finally, the power you crave in the thinnest 15″ PC on the planet*.”

Wow, the thinnest? But wait, what’s the asterisk?

Small print time: “Based on Dell internal analysis as at February 2011. Based on a thickness comparison (front and rear measurements) of other 15″ laptop PCs manufactured by HP, Acer, Toshiba, Asus, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, MSI. No comparison made with Apple or other manufacturers not listed.”

From Engadget’s review of the XPS-15: “it’s actually a few hairs thicker than a 15-inch MacBook Pro, wider, and at 5.54 pounds, it weighs practically the same.”

So that would make the XPS-15 the world’s thinnest… apart from any thinner 15-inch laptops it wasn’t compared against. This seems an interesting way to proceed with future advertising: the most powerful in the world* (apart from others that are more powerful). And so on.

Well spotted, guys.