Computer manufacturers group their product lines with various family name, a letter and numbers which at first glance may seem random.
They are not random.
They all follow a certain naming scheme, well most of the time. This helps consumers, when you read the model you can tell what kind of computer or laptop you are buying.
The same applies for Dell desktop computers and laptops. These are the product lines for the desktop computer.
Dell computer product lines
Dell computers fall into these product lines
- Alien ware
- Studio XPS
and not forgetting the lesser know Adamo and nseries computers.
These are further divided into two categories the Dell Home office or consumer class family and the Business or corporate class line of computers
Home office product lines
These computers are targeted at the general population. They are often designed to be aesthetically pleasing.They sport glossy displays, not to say corporate computers are ugly but generally consumer laptops are sport prettier looks.
The dell consumer computers are the
Dell XPS, meaning eXtreme Performance System. These are high end performance desktop and laptops.
Studio XPS, also extreme Performance System with added multimedia capabilities
Alienware, gaming computers. These are high performance gaming systems packed with high end hardware and are very pricey.
Adamo This was high end luxury note, it was discontinued almost a decade ago.
Dell Inspiron This the cheaper product line. A quick note being affordable comes at a price. I have had a fare share of my inspiron headaches, not turning on, lines on screen after a year of usage etc. If you want a long term computer look to the other product lines.
Corporate / Business product lines
These are built with performance in mind. New ones also come with great designs. While there are exceptions, here are general differences between the product lines
Latitude laptops targeted for general businesses. They come in all sort of specs. With the new sleek ones sporting SSDs 10th gen processors, 4k screens etc.
Precision, Workstations, not just your general workstations but high performance. Most are able to handle the likes of Autocad, Adobe Photoshop premiere pro etc.
Optiplex These are general workstations targeted at businesses
Vostro a mixture of laptops and desktops targeted at small to medium enterprise
What do the model numbers mean?
The first digit usually is the range or series with the 3 for entry level computers, 5 for medium range and 7 for premium computers. This is true for most of the models and of course there are exceptions with dell changing the naming scheme in some computers like the XPS models.
This difference in quality is easily visible with the Inspiron product line of computers popularly called the inspiron 3000s 5000s and 7000s
The second digit is the screen size, 2 for about 12 inch, 3 for 13 inch and so on. Meaning the Latitude E 7470 is a premium 14 inch laptop, the number 7 for the series and 4 for the screen size.
The third number is mostly the generation of the processor, our example laptop Latitude E 7470 is a 7th gen laptop. There have been a lot of these recently with the Intel Skylake chipsets and Kabylake processors.
The last digit varies in some models denoting processor type intel or AMD, while on some the type of device.
Letter meaning in Models
Some models have letters in their naming scheme for example on the precision models the M means its a mobile workstation. Other notable models are the Rugged laptops. There are two types, the semi rugged and the fully rugged. The semi rugged denoted by ATG and XFR meaning full rugged.
We will continue updating this article as we do further research on more models
Great learning resource
What about servers; e.g. PowerEdge?