Dell introduces new compact desktop PC

Dell updated its line of slim consumer Dimension desktop PCs Tuesday with a multiformat expansion card reader, the first time such a feature has appeared in a Dell PC, a company spokesman said.

The new Dimension 4700C is the first Dell PC to come with an optional media card reader that supports eight different expansion card formats. Other PC vendors, such as Gateway Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co., have offered such an option for some time.

Dell's 8-in-1 memory card reader allows users to move pictures stored on Compact Flash expansion cards in digital cameras or files on a personal digital assistant's Secure Digital cards to their PCs. This can be an easier way to swap files between devices without having to connect cables or set up wireless connections.

The 4700C is a small form factor PC that measures only 13 inches (33 cm) high by 4 inches (10.2 cm) wide by 14 inches (35.6 cm) deep. Dell's other Dimension PCs are a little taller and deeper, but are almost twice as wide. The 4700C replaces the 4600C, Dell's first small form factor desktop.

Small form factor PCs have generated interest among desktop buyers who want something smaller and quieter than the traditional heavy desktop chassis. Apple Computer's newest iMac design integrates the PC chassis into the display for an extremely compact system, and other vendors have released models that integrate the motherboard into the base of a system's display. Many vendors have released systems similar to the phone-book sized specifications of the Dimension 4700C.

Dell's new system comes with Intel's Pentium 4 520 processor at 2.8GHz, 512M-bytes of DDR2 (double data rate 2) memory, a 40G-byte hard drive, a DVD-ROM drive, and a 17-inch CRT (cathode ray tube) monitor for US$999. The system costs US$1,059 with the 8-in-1 media card reader feature.

Four of Dell's five Dimension PCs now come with Intel's latest chipsets, now that the 4700C is available. The 4700C uses the Intel 915G chipset, which includes integrated graphics along with support for the PCI Express interconnect technology as well as DDR2 memory and advanced audio capabilities.

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