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Dell Launches Studio Brand

Round Rock, Texas — Dell is launching a brand of consumer notebooks and desktops called Studio, which it is positioning between its existing Inspiron and XPS lines as the “better” component of its evolving “good, better, best” approach to consumer computing.

Dell is kicking off the line with the introduction today of two laptop models, the Studio 15 and the Studio 17, which respectively have 15.4-inch and 17-inch screens. The 15 will be available with either an AMD or Intel processor while the 17 will only be available with an Intel processor.

The models will feature standard slot-loading DVD drives and integrated cameras and microphones. A biometric fingerprint reader will be available as an optional security feature.

In the tradition Dell began one year ago with the relaunch of its Inspiron line, Studio laptops will be offered in seven different colors. Consumers will also have the opportunity to further personalize the look and feel of their Studio device by selecting an optional textured chassis that is complemented a choice of four trim colors.

John New, Dell’s global product marketing senior manager, explained to TWICE that it was finding mainstream customers desired some of the style elements found in the company’s higher-end XPS line and that the company responded to that desire when it designed the Studio line. As a result, the Studio laptops feature a “wedge-shaped” profile, drop hinge and a back-lit keyboard — all features the company originally introduced through the XPS brand.

The Studio 15 and 17 models begin rolling out today online through Dell and also through select retailers. Pricing will begin at $799 for the Studio 15 and at $999 for the Studio 17. The starting prices are said to reflect basic black models; personalized color or texture selections will cost an extra $25.

Also available today will be a line of Designed for Dell accessories, many of which will be offered in all of the Studio colors. The accessories initiative is being made possible through a series of manufacturing partners that include Built N.Y., Belkin, Swiss Gear, Targus, Iomega, Logitech and creative labs. The accessory collection will feature portable mice, portable hard drives, a variety of cases and bags designed specifically to coordinate with and complement Dell’s computers.

As of today, the accessories will only be available online through Dell. A company spokesperson said the line will officially be announced and widely available July 10.

In other news, the company is also today announcing its new video conferencing service called Dell Video Chat powered by Sightspeed. The free application will come standard with all Studio computers. The included version allows the user to simultaneously chat with up to four people; however a pared-down version will also be freely available for download by interested users with any Webcam enabled PC.

Finally, Dell is also announcing its new Dell Dock software for Vista users which is designed to provide users with an uncluttered desktop experience. It features a customizable module where users can drag and drop the icons for their most-used applications for easy access.

If you have a computer technology news tip please emailColleen Bohen.