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3/16/2011
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Dell Upgrades OptiPlex Desktops, Latitude Laptops

To lower the total cost of ownership, the computers include security and management options that leverage Intel's new vPro technology for businesses.

OptiPlex 990 desktop
(click image for larger view)
OptiPlex 990 desktop
Dell has released its latest addition to the OptiPlex family of PCs, which is available with a variety of options that the company says will lower the total cost of ownership.

The OptiPlex 990 desktop, released Tuesday along with several business-class Latitude laptops, is available as a mini-desktop, mini-tower, standard desktop, or tower. The systems are power by Intel's latest Core i7 processor and support up to four simultaneous video displays.

To help in lower TCO, Dell offers security and management options that leverage Intel's new vPro technology for businesses. Security options include data encryption and one-touch preset compliance policy templates. Dell's Kace system management appliances are compatible with the desktops for providing remote system management and maintenance.

The OptiPlex 990 comes with two PCI-express slots and supports desktop virtualization ranging from remote desktop control to desktop streaming or client-hosted virtualization.

The OptiPlex family of business desktops has been a staple of Dell's PC portfolio for 18 years. Today, Dell is moving beyond just being a computer maker to also provide IT systems and services. The transition is well on its way, starting with the acquisitions of services provider Perot Systems and storage vendor EqualLogic. Market researcher Technology Business Research said in a recent analyst commentary that more acquisitions are likely, which will make competition "swell among Dell Services, HP (Hewlett-Packard) Services, and IBM Global Services, as their respective solutions increasingly overlap."

Along with the new OptiPlex, Dell also released the Latitude E6520, E6420, E5520 and E5420. The laptops include the ability for IT staff to remotely delete data from lost or stolen systems. All the laptops fit the same dock and use the same AC adapter and internal bay modules to make it easier for companies replace the parts. The E6520 and E6420 are available with Intel's latest quad-core Core processors.

In February, Dell announced that the Latitudes and OptiPlex PC would be available later in the year with the latest Intel processors. The biggest design change was in the Latitudes, which got a new brush aluminum back and metal inserts behind the LCD screen to make the PCs 69% more rugged.

Starting prices for the new Latitudes range from $889 to $1,090. The OptiPlex 990 starts at $804.

Dell last month reported that net income more than doubled in the fourth quarter of 2010, due in part by much higher spending by businesses on PCs. Sales to large companies rose 12% year over year to $4.7 billion, while sales to small and medium-sized businesses increased 12% to $3.7 billion.

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