Dell expands "XPS" enthusiast notebook series

Round Rock (TX) - Dell is the midst of streamlining its consumer PC business with systems that focus on basic, multimedia or performance computing. Following this strategy, the company today released the M140 multimedia notebook with an XPS sport package as well as the Dimension E310 desktop that fills the role of an entry-level multimedia PC.

Building prestigeous brands with premium services and prices is a common cross-industry strategy that often works well for attracting new customers and keeping existing customers happy. Dell has begun pursuing this approach more aggressively lately with an expansion of its XPS brand, which typically can be found on the firm's fastest and most expensive consumer computers.

Rather than limiting the access to XPS devices consumer who intend to spend at least $3000 on a new computer, Dell tries to leverage the brand in lower priced products. Think of it as a sport package with racing stripes for the common computer. The new XPS M140 that resembles the design, but starts at roughly on third of the price. The system is Dell's first 14.1" widescreen notebook and can be equipped with all necessary features to run multimedia applications.

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Dell XPS M140

The basic machine lists for $1000 and comes with a 1.73 GHz Pentium M 740 processor, 512 MByte memory, a 40 GByte harddrive, and CD-burner. Upgrading to a 2.13 GHz chip, a brighter display, 1 GByte of memory, a 100 GByte harddrive, a DVD burner and an 802.11g capable Wi-Fi chipset, however, will escalate the price above $2000 and deep into traditional XPS territory.

The most recent back-to-school season experienced a significant increase in interest for Windows Media Center desktop PCs, which dropped to an average price of less than $600. Dell's new Dimension E310 desktop fits exactly into this category. The new model replaces the Dimension 240 and 3000 models - which were not tailored to multimedia needs - will fill the role of the entry-level multimedia PC and join the midrange E510 model. For $600, the buyer will get a system with Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center operating system, a Pentium 4 521 processor, a 80 GByte harddrive, 256 MByte memory a 16x CD burner and a 17" CRT monitor.

Dell will also begin to offer an automated backup solution, called DataSafe. Available from $100, DataSafe combines RAID1, Intel's Storage Matrix technology and Norton Ghost and comes preinstalled on E310 and E510 and XPS 400 desktop computers.

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