Personal Computers

Dell Targets Creative Types With Color, Customization

Dell on Thursday introduced a new, colorful laptop line aimed at artistic and creative consumers.

Combining aesthetics and technology, the new Studio line launched with two distinctively styled laptops: the Dell Studio 15 and Dell Studio 17. Both offer sleek designs, striking visual color elements and personalization options with features such as standard built-in webcam, capacitive touch media control buttons, slot load drives, optional mercury-free LED displays and built-in mobile broadband.

The new laptops are both available now from Dell starting at US$799 for the Studio 15 and $999 for the Studio 17. They will also be available at Best Buy and Staples stores in the next few days, Dell said.

Between Inspiron and XPS

The new Studio products inherit design elements from Dell’s XPS M1330 and M1530 laptops, including a sleek, wedge-shaped profile and an iconic drop hinge design.

Borrowing a page from the Inspiron portfolio, meanwhile, Studio laptops also offer several personalization options that allow customers to color-customize them. Dell will offer optional color-coordinated accessories and peripherals like backpacks, slip covers, mice and ear buds as well, much as it has for the Inspiron line.

High-definition displays are available in 15- or 17-inch sizes, and customers may pick from among six optional color choices — including new Plum Purple and Tangerine Orange — as well as Flamingo Pink, Midnight Blue, Ruby Red, Spring Green or standard Jet Black.

For a more subtly personalized laptop, Dell has added an optional high-gloss Graphite Grey choice that can be customized with contrasting black, blue, pink or red edge trim.

Application Organizer

Optional features in the Studio line include Blu-ray Disc drives and built-in mobile broadband connectivity through wireless carriers like Verizon Wireless and Sprint. An optional fingerprint reader lets users simplify password management.

The Dell Dock, meanwhile, is a task-based application organizer that places the most frequently accessed programs front and center. It automatically sorts installed software applications on the PC into user-friendly categories that can be accessed by a simple taskbar, leaving the desktop free of clutter. The result is that users can locate programs by task, like “e-mail and chat,” rather than by application name.

Dell Video Chat, finally, is a video and voice communication program that offers four-way calling, among other features.

‘Sweet Spot’

“I think that Apple has opened up an interesting can of worms for the rest of the industry, and that’s the degree to which a computing-focused product succeeds on its technical merits versus on its design,” Charles King, president and principal analyst with Pund-IT, told TechNewsWorld.

“Mac aficionados love to talk about the technical superiority of the Mac and its GUI (graphical user interface), but the fact is there are a lot of people who love iPods and the iPhone and other Apple products because they’re extremely stylish products,” King added. “I think there’s room for aesthetic improvement in the quality of most Windows-based laptops and desktops.”

Overall, then, “it seems to me that Dell is looking for a sweet spot that mixes high technical qualities with aesthetics at a very compelling price point,” King concluded. “And that’s something Dell is extremely good at.”

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