Dell Launches First ‘Sandy Bridge’ Desktop


Dell’s new Vostro 460, aimed at SMBs, is the first desktop to run on Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors

Dell has introduced the Vostro 460, a desktop tower for small and mid-size business owners that takes design cues from its recently introduced Vostro V130 laptop. (Dell calls it “the world’s most beautiful small business laptop.” You can decide for yourself.)

But let’s keep our focus on the new guy: It’s Dell’s first SMB desktop PC to offer Intel’s new “Sandy Bridge” quad-core processors, and for still extra kick, Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 is also on board. It comes with up to 16GB of dual-channel DDR3 (double-data rate) SDRAM memory at 1333MHz, and up 3TB of storage capacity. And to make memory expansion easy, the chassis features tool-less entry.

The 460 supports a variety of Genuine Windows 7 operating systems, has a 350W power supply and an up to 150W graphics card.  There are 8 USB 2.0 ports, plus an optional USB 3.0 add-on card for backing up files to an external hard drive. And while the 460 can support business graphics, there’s the option to upgrade to 1GB Nvidia or ATI  HD discrete graphics.

Packed with features

Further supporting small businesses with light or nonexistent IT support, the 460 comes with security features from Trend Micro, as well as the option of 24/7 Dell ProSupport, Dell DataSafe Online Backup technology and Dell Accidental Damage Service, should the tower suffer a surge, drop or a cup of spilled soup.

Finally, should business tasks call for it — or a tiring day demand it — users can pop a movie into the 460’s Blu-ray disc drive, with its support for 7.1HD sound.

Pricing for the Vostro 460, which is now available, starts at $599 (£380).

The enterprise side of Dell’s business helped it, for the second consecutive quarter, to hold its lead over PC competitor Acer during the third quarter of 2010, according to a 7 December report from market research firm iSuppli. During the quarter — boosted by corporate PC sales — Dell sold 11.3 million units, an increase of 7.2 percent over its second-quarter figures.

Hewlett-Packard continued to lead the market but, like third-place Acer, felt the sting of slowed consumer purchasing.

Tapping the SMB market

“Since the second quarter, corporate demand for desktop PCs and entry-level servers has been strong, driven by companies’ efforts to replace systems with newer, faster, more efficient computers,” Matthew Wilkins, an iSuppli principal analyst, said in a statement. “Dell has a higher mix of corporate business to the market than HP and Acer and, therefore, was less exposed to the consumer slowdown.”

Dell has nonetheless been increasing its forays into the consumer space with the development of smartphones and tablets. At the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, the company showed off a larger version of its Streak tablet — the Streak 7 — and a slimmer version of its Venue Pro smartphone. More consumer-focused than its predecessor, the Dell Venue does without a slide-out QWERTY keypad and so enjoys a thinner and lighter physique.

Dell is focusing on helping its customers achieve their personal and professional dreams, Chief Marketing Officer Paul-Henri Ferrand said in a statement. “We’re well on our way,” said Ferrand, “toward achieving that goal.”

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