Dell Inc. is taking a page from auto maker Toyota Motor Co.s playbook and recasting its XPS Media Center PC line with a series of new models and services.
Dell and Toyota have studied each other in the past. Now Dell is borrowing from car makers luxury branding approach to elevate its Dell XPS line of PCs to Lexus-like status, by offering extra features and services that cant be found on more pedestrian Dell boxes, and charging accordingly.
With the move, the PC maker is attempting to make more headway in the market for high-end desktops and notebooks used by gamers and other PC enthusiasts. The market, which is populated by smaller brands such as Alienware and Voodoo PC, is smaller and its customers are choosier than in the wider PC space. However, the hardware—some of the new XPS machines will cost upward of $4,000—brings higher prices and thus higher profits.
The Round Rock, Texas, PC maker is scheduled to roll out the new XPS line and to discuss new televisions, including a 50-inch high-definition plasma screen set its Web site says is coming soon, on Wednesday afternoon at an event in New York. However, it posted details about the new systems and the services that go with them on its new XPS Web page on Wednesday morning.
Among the new PC models, which will join the XPS 600 desktop, launched in August, are two additional XPS-brand desktops and a new XPS notebook. The machines, which come with Intel Corp. processors and a new silver and black design, will be offered along with Microsofts Windows XP Media Center Edition operating system, which features a special user interface for accessing multimedia and custom XPS services. Those services include a standard one-year warranty; anti-virus software; and priority sales, service and tech support served by XPS-trained representatives, the company said on its Web site.