Dell shows off new chassis for desktop, mobile PCs

Dell also announced plans to refresh its Latitude notebook PC line with the same sleek, midnight-gray SD chassis material, which will be the new look for its C600 and C800 model Latitudes, according to officials.

Available next month, the new SD PC chassis design sports convenient front-side USB and audio ports, AGP (accelerated graphics port) slot support, and a nondetachable cover that requires less work space when servicing the unit, while eliminating the possibility of reattaching the wrong cover in a busy IS environment, according to Kurt Holman, the manager of platform product marketing at Dell. Color-coded internal connectors and tool-less internal hardware component removal also are intended to make it easier to maintain the SD chassis.

Both new Latitude notebooks incorporate a built-in antenna connecting to a MiniPCI bay for integrating 802.11b wireless LAN capabilities when the optional radio component becomes available from Dell.

Although two more versions of the OptiPlex PC line with the SD chassis are expected to arrive later this year, Holman said that the direction Dell is taking is to reduce the number of different chassis offerings while increasing the number of different available software configurations shipping inside those chassis.

Perhaps most importantly, Holman added that the new SD chassis could be produced in a Dell factory in nearly half the time it took to produce previous OptiPlex chassis.

Dell's move follows a recent trend in computer makers consolidating their PC product lines or transitioning to newer, more efficient designs.

Last September, Compaq consolidated its entire Prosignia PC line into its Deskpro and Armada PC group. Ten days later, IBM introduced a redesign of its NetVista PC line, following a road map set late last year calling for an overall revamp of the company's PC products, known as the EON (Edge Of Network) initiative.

"There is a clear industry trend toward the consolidation around a single PC chassis, and I think that it is actually more beneficial for the vendors than end-users. [Vendors] are more efficient from having a single chassis and a single motherboard," said Kevin Knox, an analyst at industry research firm Gartner.

"I think you will see this from all the other vendors, as they are each trying to get as efficient as they can on the manufacturing process," Knox said.

Although Knox regards the new SD chassis as a "phenomenal design," he feels that last August's Image Management Services announcement from Dell, a commitment by the company to offer and maintain almost any system image a customer desires, was a significant precursor to Dell's gradual consolidation of form factor and more beneficial to an IS department.

"System image and stability in the platform is really what's important, what's on the outside; aesthetics are always going to be nice. But I think the focus is shifting away from megahertz and megabytes to months, and months being a measure of stability in a platform," Knox said.

Knox believes that most of the ease of maintenance features offered inside the SD chassis yield more savings for Dell, the manufacturer, than for the end-user, who is increasingly more concerned with a consistent system image, particularly in large enterprises made up of hundred of PC deployments.

"That's really where the saving comes in [with SD], at the vendor level rather than at the IS level, who rarely open boxes looking to replace stuff anymore. Today serviceability is more a vendor benefit than a end-user benefit," Knox said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Neel

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?