Dell improves deployment services, notebook lineup

Dell has unveiled new deployment services for its customers alongside new notebooks that take advantage of Intel's Sonoma technology and a new workstation designed to be friendly to both IT managers and environmentalists.

Dell's Weekend Notebook Exchange and ComputraceComplete Recovery Guarantee services will be added to the portfolio of offerings available through Dell Managed Services. The company's managed services are designed to help IT managers with time-consuming tasks such as setting up new PCs.

The Weekend Notebook Exchange would allow customers to ship old notebooks to Dell on a Friday, and have the company take the software images and data from those systems and transfer it to new systems that should be available on Monday, Dell said.

The company is not promising a two-day turnaround, but is setting that as the goal. Customers will also receive a credit for the value of their old systems when they are returned, and Dell will make sure the systems are properly disposed.

Absolute Software's ComputraceComplete software allows IT department to track lost or missing notebooks, and the company promises to recover any missing PCs or provide up to $US1000 to replace those systems.

Dell would now load the software onto notebooks at the customer's discretion, it said.

The company has also developed a new chassis design for OptiPlex workstations. It follows the Balanced Technology Extended (BTX) specification for new desktop motherboard designs that rearranges the placement of hot components like the processor and graphics card in order to more efficiently cool the system.

The new chassis is compliant with specifications developed by the European Union to reduce chemical compounds in computer cases.

The Reduction of Hazardous Substances directive will apply to all products shipped after July 2006, but Dell's OptiPlex systems were compliant with that directive as of Tuesday, it said.

Dell will also roll out three new Latitude notebooks and two new mobile workstations with Intel's Sonoma mobile technology introduced earlier this month. Sonoma is the latest version of Intel's Centrino technology, which includes the Pentium M processor, a mobile chipset, and an Intel Pro/Wireless chip.

The new 915 chipset within Sonoma supports the PCI Express interconnect technology and DDR2 (double data rate 2) memory, and increases the speed of the front-side bus that connects the processor to the memory. The new Latitude notebooks, as well as the Dell Precision mobile workstations, all include the new Intel technology.

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