In a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not tale, I have a story to tell about my Dell Latitude D400 laptop that survived an extraordinary flight. Two weeks ago, I was flying back from Bangalore after attending an India National Design Policy summit. My Lufthansa flight out of Bangalore was at 3:20AM, yes in the dead of night. I hear that this is typical.
I was flying business class and assumed I would be able to take a roll-on plus a carry-on bag. My carry-on was kind of big but in the past, I never had any trouble. In Bangalore, someone behind the counter said I might have trouble and suggested that I put the roll-on in baggage. OK, it would add half an hour to an hour at the end of my flight but I did it. But it was in the dead of night and I forgot that I had my laptop in the outer pocket of the roll-on. So I put this soft-sided roll-on into baggage with the Dell laptop in the outer pocket. Disaster, right?
Of course, I remember all this once in the air and start thinking about all that I would lose once the laptop crashed or was crushed. I first flew to Frankfurt, where the luggage was transferred to another flight to New York. More chances of disaster.
But in New York, out came my baggage with the laptop. It wasn’t smashed. And it worked! I revved it up in the taxi and, despite my firm belief that all was lost, it sparked right up.
Dell is going through some hard times right now, as it changes its business model from a corporate, low-cost focus to a consumer, high-experience focus. Lots of better design coming. But one thing Dell shouldn’t lose is its ability to make a laptop that can fly in the hold half-way around the world without any protection and rev right up on landing. That’s pretty cool design.
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