Dell dives into entertainment market with mini-desktop

Mini desktop PC is 80 percent smaller than the average desktop minitower and uses 70 percent less energy.

Dell is going small - really small.

The computer maker today unveiled a mini desktop PC that is 80 percent smaller than the average desktop minitower and uses 70 percent less energy. The Dell Studio Hybrid runs Intel's Core 2 Duo processor and Microsoft's Windows Vista.

"Our goal was to design a desktop that fits in the office or in the living room, or anywhere space is at a premium," said Michael Scheschuk, a Dell spokesman, in a statement. "We've created a desktop PC category that combines style, performance and a high degree of energy efficiency."

Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell announced in April that the company was working on a mini desktop system. Speaking at the Fortune Brainstorm conference in Pasadena, Calif., as part of Earth Day observances, Dell said that the new machine will be the "company's smallest and most environmentally responsible consumer desktop PC."

That April announcement came just weeks after the PC maker announced that it would increase its laptop portfolio by 50 percent this year. Dell, the number two computer maker, has been chasing rival Hewlett-Packard in the PC battle -- both desktops and laptops -- for months now.

And while this new mini PC is small in design and not huge on power, Dan Olds, principal analyst with the Gabriel Consulting Group, called Dell's move an interesting one.

"This isn't a speed demon by any means, but it is certainly powerful enough to do the basics, plus drive things like DVDs and Web audio and video," said Olds. "It seems like Dell has done something pretty unique for them. They've built a highly stylized product that's also highly functional and is at a great price."

The Studio PC starts at US$499.

Olds noted that the new desktop system puts Dell squarely into the family entertainment market, which has been dominated mostly by the likes of HP and Sony. And he added that Dell's move is a shot across the bow at Apple's Mac Mini since the new machine has a cheaper standard configuration, bigger hard drive and more memory.

"With this box, Dell brings solid price, performance and interesting styling that isn't out of place in a living room or family room," said Olds. "For most people, this won't be their only computer, but it may become the most used computer since it is really designed to become an entertainment hub."

Also on Tuesday, Dell launched two new Inspiron PCs, including the Inspiron 13, a US$800 13-inch laptop that will be available next week. The third release is the Inspiron 518 desktop, which is geared toward family multi-media functions.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?