Dell's profile as a white-box PC maker grows with new industrial desktops

Dell's Embedded Box 3000 and 5000 industrial-grade PCs are designed to work in harsh conditions

You may get a Dell and not even know it.

Dell is expanding its profile as a white-box PC maker with new industrial-grade desktop PCs. Dell will also offer the computers as unbranded PCs on which customer companies can slap their own labels.

The Embedded Box 3000 and 5000 are PCs are loaded with the latest technologies and are designed to work in harsh conditions. Dell is also targeting the Internet of Things market by positioning the new PCs as collectors of sensor data.

Dell will offer the PCs, targeted at some enterprise customers, under its own brand, and the company is also open to cobranding. It's not yet clear if the company will sell the PCs on its website, and Dell declined to provide a starting price. 

Dell is already shipping unbranded servers through its DCS (Data Center Services) division, which serves larger business customers, and the company is selling white-box rugged PCs to some other enterprise customers. Dell is competing with companies like Quanta and Wistron, two Taiwanese white-box PC designers.

Dell claims an advantage over rivals with longer warranty periods and support for up to five years on the desktops. Customers will get their desktop PCs in weeks, not months, Dell says.

The rugged Dell PCs have no fan, are solidly built and can take knocks, with oil rigs and factories possible places to deploy them. The PCs can operate in a temperatures up to 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit).

Similar embedded PCs, with many components soldered to the motherboard, are already being used in factories to interface with other computing systems. For example, embedded PCs can collect sensor data from equipment, which helps track operations in real time and fix any defects.

The Embedded Box PC 5000 supports DDR4 DRAM and runs on Core i3, i5 and i7 chips code-named Skylake. The Embedded Box PC 3000 supports DDR3 DRAM and runs on Atom processors.

The PCs have Gigabit Ethernet, USB ports and a range of storage slots. The display ports include VGA, HDMI and DisplayPort. Dell said the machines will ship in June.

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