Class action lawsuit filed against Dell for false advertising over Alienware laptop’s upgradeability
In a class action lawsuit filed in Northern California District Court, an Alienware Area 51M R1 gaming laptop owner alleges that Dell knowingly misled him by advertising the laptop’s “unprecedented upgradeability”.
The 20-page complaint alleges that Alienware “incorrectly misrepresented properties and characteristics of the Area 51M that it knew did not exist,” alleging breaches of contract and warranties, false advertising, and unlawful California business practices To claim civil code.
The essence of the complaint filed by plaintiff Robert Felter is that Alienware’s advertising created the impression that owners of a 2019 Area 51M R1 laptop would rely on future Intel CPUs and Nvidia GPUs such as the then-coming Intel 10th generation and Nvidia RTX GPUs could upgrade very well.
Neither was possible with the Area 51M R1. Since the Intel 10th generation CPUs moved to a new socket, they were not compatible with the Z390 motherboard of the Alienware Area 51M R1. Dell later sold GPU upgrade kits for the R1, but they were at full capacity with the RTX 2080 rather than the faster “super” models – meaning anyone who had already bought the laptop with an RTX 2080 would not Had the opportunity to upgrade him.
The next iteration of the laptop, the Area 51M R2, supported upgrade kits for the super GPUs as well as Intel’s 10th generation CPUs.
(Image credit: Dell, via Toms Hardware)
Felter’s lawsuit alleges that when Dell made its promise of “unprecedented upgradeability” it knew that the 51M’s upgradeability would be limited by factors such as the Z390 motherboard and that it was a marketing ploy to help sell the 51M before newer hardware showed up. “Dell knew it had to address consumer reluctance to purchase the Area 51M R1 just before its core components became obsolete,” the complaint read.
A plaintiff’s attorney told Tom’s Hardware that “Dell’s public advertisement does not impose any restrictions on the laptop’s upgradeability” and that Dell “has never disclosed that those with the highest CPU and / or GPU specs would not be upgradeable . “
We contacted Dell; the company did not comment on legal matters. You can find a copy of the complaint here.