Dell shows early signs of some design chops

Summary:When Michael Dell took the reins of his namesake company back better product designs were high on his to-do list. Now there are a few are early signs that Dell is making progress.

When Michael Dell took the reins of his namesake company back better

dell420a.png
product designs were high on his to-do list. Now there are a few are early signs that Dell is making progress.

First the caveat: Dell isn't Apple. Its PCs aren't a work of art. But there is improvement that could result in market share momentum.

Today Dell officially announced the XPS 420 (Dell blog, press release), a multimedia PC that starts at $1,499 carries some interesting features. Among them:

  • A small LCD screen on the top of the XPS that shows Microsoft's SideShow and other third party gadgets. Think a stock ticker or RSS feed on top of your PC.

dell4201.png

  • The XPS 420 also has top panels that mesh well with home theatre systems. And there's also storage for cables and places to dock your various gadgets.
  • On the software side of the equation, the XPS comes bundled with Adobe Elements Studio for better video and photo editing.

The XPS 420, which is evidence that the XPS line is moving away from being a gaming brand to a premium PC brand, is just the latest data point that Dell gets this design thing--at least a little (it even announced a new LCD with built-in Web cam).

But when you couple the XPS 420 with its colorful laptops (we'll overlook the previous shipment issues for now) you get some early data points that Dell can be a contender. Is Dell going to suddenly transform into Apple? No. But it has more of a design clue than the company did a year ago. For now, that counts as progress.

Topics: Dell, Hardware

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.