Dell this week begins shipping its first all-in-one entertainment computer, the first PC designed by the company's new consumer unit to take on the most elegant work by Apple, Hewlett-Packard, and other hardware rivals.
The XPS One, which starts at $1,499, is the computer maker's answer to the Apple iMac and Gateway's One. The computer would also take on the HP TouchSmart, which has a differentiating touch screen, but falls within the same price range.
While Dell's latest consumer offering doesn't break any new ground in form, it is the first machine developed by the company's global consumer unit formed early this year to focus solely on non-business products. Former Motorola executive Ron Garriques was appointed in February to head the division and he reports directly to chairman and chief executive Michael Dell.
The consumer unit stemmed from Dell's decision to reorganize the company after returning as CEO in January to jumpstart lagging sales. The XPS One reflects Dell's effort to regain from HP the share of the consumer market it lost during months of customer complaints over poor service and support.
In developing the new PC, Dell designers solicited feedback from Japanese customers, who view an all-in-one PC not as a computer, but as a high-definition television. Since entertainment was the direction Dell wanted to go, it made sense to draw feedback from Japan, a person familiar with the process said.
The computer will have an integrated 20-inch widescreen and be powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 dual-core microprocessor.
The base product also will come with a wireless keyboard and mouse, a hybrid analog/digital TV tuner with remote control, and integrated video card and speakers. The machine will also have 2Gbytes of DDR2 SDRAM, a 250Gbyte SATA hard drive, and built-in support for Bluetooth and the latest Wi-Fi spec, 802.11n. The latter is fast enough to support wireless streaming of high-definition video. The computer also has a DVD recorder and player.
In addition, the XPS One will ship with Adobe Elements Studio, which includes photo and video editing software -- PhotoShop and Premiere, respectively -- and Soundbooth for editing audio. The new product also comes with 1 year of in-home service and 24-hour phone support.
Prices range from $1.499 to $2,399. The more expensive models ship with faster processors and graphics card, Microsoft Office, and support for Blu-ray and HD DVD high-definition formats.
Dell returned as CEO in January after chief executive Kevin Rollins quit following an 18-month stretch of slowing sales and profits. The decline led to Dell steadily losing global market share to rival HP, which is the leading computer maker worldwide. Dell remains No. 1 in the United States.