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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dell XPS 420

Dell XPS 420  Pictures
Making a desktop PC stand out among the masses is no small task. Yet Dell's new XPS 420 has a new look and design that caught my attention. The newly announced chassis is featured in what Dell refers to as its "premium" desktop PC.

The glossy piano-black finish and design complement this system's power appeal. Notice the LCD screen at the top of the unit: This is the first desktop display to support Microsoft's SideShow technology. That alone is notable: SideShow carried a lot of buzz leading up to Microsoft's launch of its Vista operating system (Vista enables SideShow), but then the buzz fizzled when the anticipated flood of products tapping the technology failed to materialize. Sell says you can use the Windows SideShow display to access media, some system functions, and Windows SideShow "gadgets" (such as date and time, audio playback, photo slideshow, video playback)--all without using your keyboard and mouse.

Dell also integrates a dock at the top of the unit to make it easier to charge portable devices and manage the cables for those devices.

The XPS 420 carries a starting price of $1499; the system will be configurable to include multi-core Intel processors and ATI or NVidia graphics cards. Dell offers its Xcelerator option for preparing video for sharing and uploading. In keeping with the multimedia focus of this system, Dell says that Xcelerator can prep recorded video--be it transcoding, transrating, or transcaling images from one format or resolution to another--for portable devices up to 25 percent faster.

Speaking of one time in the distant past, desktop PC vendors would bundle software with a system to make it a "multimedia system" or a "digital imaging system." Dell revists that approach for the XPS 420 by bundling Adobe Elements Studio--a Dell "exclusive" which encompasses Adobe Photoshop Elements 6, Premier Elements 4, and Soundbooth CS3.

Along with the XPS 420, Dell also announced its 20-inch SP2008WFP dispaly with built-in Web cam (price: $280). And, Dell adds to all-in-one printer line with the Dell 948, a $149 multifunction ink jet printer with fax, scan, copy, and print (photos and text) capabilities. The 948 has built-in wireless, PictBridge, memory card slots, and an optional Bluetooth adapter.

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