Dell's technical specifications are worthless
I spent a long time procrastinating over buying an Alienware M17x-R3, for use both as a development machine for work and as a gaming machine. I carefully read all the specifications for the machine, including those in revision A00 of the user manual. So, I knew I could easily upgrade to 32GB RAM and would be able to make the most of 6Gbps SATA III hard drives (handy for database and other development work).
It was all great for a few months, especially with a Crucial M4 SSD installed, but then I was aware things were running more slowly than usual. I couldn't pin it down and didn't have the time, so ignored the issue. Then I started getting bad sector errors from the SSD, so got it replaced. A few months later, the replacement failed in similar circumstances, so I bought an Intel 520 instead. Over the next two weeks I started getting long hangs and blue screens in Windows.
By the time I got to three blue screens in a row, I though a quick call to technical support would be in order - in case something was wrong with the laptop (of course, I was not really expecting support for the 3rd party SSD). Didn't get very far, but I did get told that support for SATA III 6Gbps had been dropped and the laptop was now limited to 3Gbps SATA speeds.
Technical support and customer service are one and the same thing for Alienware, but to paraphrase their response was "tough luck". Their escalation management team have been no better. As far as they are concerned the technical specifications "can be changed without notice" and "you purchased the computer with a SATA II hard drive, so there's no problem". If I had chosen to upgrade to an SSD through Dell (paying a 200 quid over the odds in the process), they would have told me at that point that the laptop had problems with 6Gbps SATA III connection - so they'd simply removed support for it.
In fact, revision of A01 of the manual (helpfully published months after I purchased) now no longer makes any reference to SATA III 6Gbps support and simply says only SATA II 3Gbps are supported.
Throughout dealing with their escalation team, I have the impression they were annoyed at me. Only once did I get the genuine impression they were having a discussion with me about the issue - which changed pretty quick once they had acknowledged there were issues with SATA III connectivity.
They refuse to acknowledge that I have a valid complaint, although they will acknowledge that SATA III support is faulty. The laptop does work, but not how I expected, which leaves me pissed off and no real options for getting the problem resolved.
In short, their technical specifications for hardware are worthless - they might as well not bother publishing them.