Dell has launched a major refresh of the venerable OptiPlex desktop PC line for business professionals that the company first launched in 1995.
Among other things, Dell's OptiPlex rollout includes desktops that embrace advanced Intel technologies for remotely managing and servicing enterprise-class machines -- even when they are located beyond the corporate firewall, noted Darrel Ward, director of the Dell Product Group. Even better, the new OptiPlex machines deliver cutting-edge processors and graphics cards to enable end users to do more.
"Whether you need multicore processing power with Intel Core 2 quad processors or support for up to four independent displays, these new OptiPlex systems will scale to meet your needs," Ward said.
Dell's 10 new OptiPlex systems promise to supply enterprises with the flexibility they need to deploy solutions that fall outside traditional computing models. Diskless versions of the OptiPlex 760 and 960 are available for on-demand desktop streaming, and a thin client called the FX160 offers support for "both virtual remote desktop and on-demand desktop streaming scenarios," Ward said.
Dell's OptiPlex portfolio refresh is also more environmentally friendly than any other comparable desktops, Ward boasted.
"We've engineered our new desktops to reduce power consumption up to 43 percent with our OptiPlex 960 when compared to previous-generation OptiPlex products," he said. "That's a significant yearly savings that can add up over time."
Select OptiPlex models also offer Dell's exclusive "quiet" option, which Ward says can deliver a 60 percent reduction in acoustic noise versus comparable systems from HP and Lenovo.
"Studies have shown that a reduction in workplace noise leads to an increase in employee productivity," Ward said. "This might seem like a small innovation, but it reaps a significant benefit for desktop users around the world."
Security is another area in which Dell has introduced major improvements. "The new OptiPlex 960 and 760, for example, feature optional hardware-encrypted hard drives that help ensure that critical data stays secure," Ward observed.
Security settings on the computing system also have been made easier through the Dell ControlPoint software that OptiPlex desktops share with Dell's newest Latitude laptops. "This unique software enables the end user to easily manage multifactor authentication devices, including smartcard keyboards and biosensors, making the OptiPlex 760 and 960 our most secure desktops ever," Ward said.
The PC maker is also ready to deliver new OptiPlex systems to customers with all manner of applications and system software installed, said Raj Kushwaha, vice president of Dell Global Services.
"This can save customers up to 87 percent of their system administrators' time and eliminate driver or application issues," Kushwaha said. "Dell can also remotely manage customers' desktop systems, and we've found that we can resolve more than 90 percent of our customer's desktop-management issues through the cloud with our Managed Desktop Solution."
The OptiPlex refresh comes at an important time for Dell, which saw its U.S. PC sales weaken in the third quarter as business professionals and consumers alike "tightened their IT spending due to economic concerns," noted Mika Kitagawa, a principal analyst at Gartner.
Dell still grew its PC sales above the U.S. average in the third quarter, but the company's overall growth slowed compared to the double-digit growth it saw in the three previous quarters.
"In the third quarter of 2007, the U.S. professional market grew five percent," Kitagawa noted. In comparison, Dell's growth in this year's third quarter "most likely declined by a single digit," she said.