Dell took the wraps off a new all-in-one desktop machine on Wednesday that can also double as a secondary home-entertainment center. Sporting a 23-inch display offering a high-definition viewing experience replete with immersive SRS audio, the Inspiron One 2320 gives users the ability to stream full HD movies and video at 1920x1080p, or interface with a gaming console over the machine's built-in HDMI port.
"Families today are looking at PCs as the hub for everything: entertainment, education, household organization -- and they want it to look good at the same time," said Dell Vice President Sam Burd.
With the Inspiron One 2320, Dell hopes to recapture some of the attention that U.S. consumers have devoted lately to all the hype around tablets such as Apple's iPad 2 and Amazon's Kindle Fire. In the second quarter of this year, Dell had a tough time in both consumer and professional segments of the U.S. PC market.
"Overall, the U.S. consumer market was weak anyways and Dell did not have the strengths to get traction," said Mika Kitagawa, a principal analyst at Gartner. "In the [U.S.] professional market, Dell was weak as they could not be aggressive on pricing, while their competitors were quite aggressive."
Currently available from Dell online at a starting price of $949.99, the Inspiron 2320 integrates an Intel Core i5 processor, multi-touch HD display and 6GB of DDR3 Memory. The new desktop machine also integrates an HD Webcam, USB mouse and keyboard, 8:1 media card reader, DVD+/-RW optical drive and 1-terabyte SATA hard drive.
Buyers also can customize their purchases by choosing an Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce graphic chip and 8 GB of DDR3 Memory. Other available options include a wireless mouse and keyboard, a Blu-ray Combo BD-RE disc player and a 2 TB SATA hard drive.
The slender profile of the new machine's screen, which is just 68 mm thick, saves valuable space, and the display can even be mounted on a wall using an optional VESA mount sold separately. Also on tap is an optional TV tuner and wireless remote control.
On the software side, the Inspiron 2320 ships with Dell Stage -- an intuitive user interface that places tiles on the desktop that serve as shortcuts to documents, music, photos, videos, and frequently used web pages. Dell's new all-in-one desktop also can synchronize content across other supported devices connected to the home's wireless network as well as to 2GB of free personal cloud storage provided by Dell.
Growing Markets Overseas
Dell said Wednesday that its new Inspiron One 2320 will be available in select retail locations across the United States. The big question is whether a significant number of consumers will be buying desktop PCs this holiday shopping season.
Earlier this year, retailers were very conservative in placing orders for PCs and securing space for media tablets instead, Kitagawa said.
"Some PC vendors had to lower their inventory through promotions, while others slimmed down their product lines at retailers," she said.
Despite its U.S. market weakness in this year's second quarter, Dell shipped 10.6 million PCs on a global basis, which was good enough for a second-place finish in the worldwide PC market. However, Dell's growth overall was just 3.3 percent in comparison with that same quarter last year.
Dell did well in the Asia/Pacific market, where it has invested heavily lately -- especially in China and India, where Dell's growth well exceeded the country average, Kitagawa said in an email Wednesday.
"Dell has set China and India as strategic countries and invested into these markets," Kitagawa said. "I think the investments have brought positive results so far."