Dell Rolls Out Storage System, New Desktops

Angling to serve alternately the enterprise and consumers market segment, Dell unleashes a business array system and 2 new Dimension desktops for broadband converts.
Dell Monday unveiled a storage device and two new desktops from its Dimension family, addressing both the enterprise and consumers, respectively.

On the corporate side of the fence, Austin, Texas' Dell rolled out a new network storage system geared for business continuance, the goal of which is to help technology systems to maintain operations through power outages, technology failures, human error and natural disasters.

The Dell EMC CX400, a 2Gbps Fibre Channel array storage device featuring data protection features, is being touted as an "ideal platform" for multimedia and video streaming, Microsoft Exchange clustering, medium-sized Oracle and SQL databases, for storage area network (SAN) and direct-attach storage environments. The system supports data transfer rates of 680MB per second, and up to 4.4 terabytes of data.

The array system, built under the aegis of Dell's major partnership with storage giant EMC, offers hot spare disk drives, multi-path failover, data snapshots and cloning, and local or remote data mirroring. Available immediately and priced at $60,000, the package includes installation and 3 years of service.

On the consumer side of the fence, Dell chipped in two new desktop PCs targeting video editors and 3D gaming enthusiasts. The Dimension 4550 and 8250 systems feature integrated Ethernet connectivity and wireless networking options to serve the consumers moving up from dial-up to broadband, or those installing home networks.

The Dimension 4550 and 8250 use the same expandable minitower chassis, which provides for up to two 3.5-inch external drives, up to two 5.25-inch external optical drives, and up to two internal hard drives. In the tradition of trying to lure consumers with PCS under $1,000, the Dimension 4550 is priced at $869 and features two front-accessible USB 2.0 ports for connecting MP3 players or digital cameras and four USB 2.0 ports in the back. Other specs for the 4550 include a 2.4GHz Intel Pentium4 processor, 128MB DDR-333 SDRAM memory, a 20GB hard drive, a CD ROM, a 15-inch monitor and Windows XP Home.

The higher-end Dimension 8250, with a price tag of $1,379, features eight USB 2.0 ports a 2.66GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor, 256MB PC1066 RDRAM, a 40GB hard drive, a 16x DVD, a 17-inch monitor and Windows XP Home.

With this announcement primed for holiday shoppers, Dell is also hyping peripherals for 3D gamers, including the ATI Radeon 9700 PRO graphics card as an option on both the 4550 and the 8250. As for home networking hobbyists Dell offers its new TrueMobile 1184 wireless router and wireless USB adapter. Both 802.11b-certified, the devices work seamlessly with Dell's wireless-enabled notebooks. Fitted with 4 Ethernet ports, the TrueMobile 1184 router, sells for $129; USB adapters are $69 each.

Dell's strategy with its new Dimension desktops seems to be a toned-down version of Microsoft Windows XP Media Center; with the emphasis on high-end gaming and wireless home networking fans, the systems maker is demonstrating its belief that more and more consumers are interested in PCs for digital entertainment. HP is also offering a Media Center PC soon.

"Our customers are increasingly using their desktop systems as the center of their digital lifestyle. Whether customers use them to manage digital music or photo libraries, create digital videos or play the latest 3D games, these new systems bring a higher level of performance," said Tim Mattox, vice president of marketing for Dell's Client Product Group.

Both the Dimension 4550 and 8250 come with standard 1-year limited warranties plus 1-year at-home service.






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