June 2, 2005 3:07 PM PDT

Dell to launch 'Lexus lineup' of PCs

SAN FRANCISCO--Dell will launch a new premium brand targeted at high-end home customers, the company announced on Thursday.

The No. 1 PC maker said the as-of-yet unnamed brand, which is slated to debut this fall, would include both desktop and notebooks priced between $1,200 and $3,500 and positioned just above the company's Dimension and Inspiron product families.

"Consider this the Lexus of our lineup," Mike George, vice president of Dell's U.S. consumer business, said during a press briefing here. "Defining the high-end is no longer the gearheads who focus on feeds and speeds. These are folks who get the possibilities of what the PC can do."

George said the initial machines would have a similar look and feel to Dell's current XPS designs such as its 9100 series PCs, and then evolve as next-generation hardware features are introduced. Dell said the premium line will include new form factors as well as the traditional multimedia consoles, towers, mini-towers, desktops and laptops.

The company said it would also launch a massive advertising campaign highlighting the premium brand to coincide with its other latest consumer focus: LCD and plasma TVs, all-in-one printers and its digital-music players.

"What you will see is a heightened campaign on this brand-focused identity and its compliment of products of TVs and printer," said Tim Peters, vice president of printing and imaging with Dell.

Dell said the lion's share of its PC business continues to be its entertainment-based models, typically for customers willing to spend between $600 and $1,200 to play games, music and store digital photos. Dell also heavily supports and develops its budget PC business, whose offerings range in price from $400 to $700. George noted that the company's budget customers also include its big-ticket consumers who are buying a second or third PC for a student in the house.

Despite robust sales in its high-end Dimension and Inspiron products, George said Dell is recognizing that an increasing number of customers are asking for more advanced systems with faster processors and memory, higher-capacity storage and additional software bundles.

"I don't think those customers have a specific place to go," he said. "There is not a clear identity to go in that high-end direction. We are competing for those customers along with companies like HP, Sony, Apple, Alienware and those customers that basically build their own systems."

The premium systems will also come with a premium service package, which Dell calls its "white glove" treatment. The service packages will include expanded online and in-home support. Dell is currently conducting extensive test programs on its online support.

The service builds on the company's current Dell Support 3.0 client and allows a customer to authorize a Dell service representative to take control of a PC. George said customers could choose different levels of authorization.

"We have one that is similar to those found on those football replay shows where they circle the action on the screen," George said. "Our service centers in the U.S. and India can show you where to go and fix the problem yourself or you can have them do the work for you."

24 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
You can put lipstick on a PIG, but....
it's still a Dell, Dude.
Posted by (57 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A fool and their money...
Maybe it's just me but somebody who wants high end performance, increased speed, highly technical components is more than likely not going to need any tech support as they already know how to trouble shoot. Plus, my guess is if they want to overclock or anything, Dell won't support it.

My guess is this is for people who think that the more you spend the better and the majority of the cost will go to profit margin...
Posted by brothe (22 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Tech Support
The old phrase 'More money than sense' applies here. There are a lot of people who have money to burn and they will buy high end equipment.

The XBOX and PS2 people who want a richer experience, but know nothing about configuring and fixing computer problems will need the extra support.

I spoke to somebody recently who bought a high end system with big screen and all the peripherals, only to have a problem getting the steering wheel to work and so they just abandoned it. More money than sense...
Posted by ahickey (177 comments )
Link Flag
wrong
Read the article:
"Defining the high-end is no longer the gearheads who focus on feeds and speeds. These are folks who get the possibilities of what the PC can do."

These PCs are for people who want to use the computer for something useful, but who dont care about technical details of what's inside it.
Posted by cturkin (59 comments )
Link Flag
testbed
Good for them. These high end models will be a good testbed for advanced features (such as new displays for laptops) which will "trickle down" to everyone's standard models in a year or two.

The tech support features, if executed properly could also become standard practice in the industry but only if it catches on with the expensive models.

Afterall, a feature of yesterday's top of the line machine becomes today's standard model. This will just accelerate the process.
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why bother?
Do they really think they can compete with the like of Falcon, Voodoo and other high end PC makers?

If somoene wants to spend $2000+ on a system, they are better off going with anyone but Dell. Besides, you can buy a overclocked PC with top notch parts from the high end companies that are still under a solid warranty, and they have good support and an excellent upgrade policy.

A Dell is Dell no matter what. And that means it is a low quality, piece of crap.

If you want a luxury car, do you shop at Mercedes or Lexus, or do you buy a KIA or Hyundai?
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Reply Link Flag
hhmmmm...
In the electronics industry you get what you pay for and with a Dell computer you get 24 hours a day tech support, along with award winning trust and service. loyal Dell cust are loyal for a reason. They have the knowledge base to be a Dell customer. There has to be a reason that the US Gov uses Dell computers, along with N.A.S.A.
and 85% of all major universities in the USA... This is because they get a Great Experience, a Great Product, and an EVEN BETTER PRICE.. cut out the middle man marketing is the way to go.
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
Lexus huh?
Ya know, underneath all the leather trim and pearlescent paint it's still a Toyota.

If Dell is still anything like they were 3 years ago when I was purchasing a PC for college there will be a suspicious rattle when you remove it from the box only to find the sound card drop out of the Mobo when you open the case. The wrong soung sound card among many other wrong parts at that.

Build your own PC. Saves you a little cash and hey, you might learn something.
Posted by Bob_Barker (167 comments )
Reply Link Flag
C|Net, allow us to edit our posts!
Didn't notice the "soung". >< I hate typos.
Posted by Bob_Barker (167 comments )
Link Flag
Know that I think about it...
Is the "white glove" tech support simply not routing your call to India?

"Thank you for calling Dell, I can only read responses from a pre-written script in broken english, is there anything I can not help you with today?"

"Please come again."
Posted by Bob_Barker (167 comments )
Link Flag
Yeah, and where's the Athlon64? Lexus my A$$!
The only people that will be stupid enough to buy a high-end system from Dell are people that don't know what they are buying and/or people that have money to throw away.
This is a niche market and I hope that Dell sucks wind on it.
Posted by fred dunn (793 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dude, It's Still a DELL
This makes me laugh. I am trying to compare it to something, and this is the best I can come up with:

Dell has said they will make the Lexus of PC's for demanding high end users. Are there any car buffs here? Remember when a Jaguar XJS (sp?) was a nice car, produced by Jaguar and costing big $$$. When you bought one, you knew you were getting your moneys worth because the cars were fairly unique and had top-notch performance. Fast forward, now FORD own the rights to Jaguars. Every time I see a "recent" Jaguar model, I know I'm looking at a Ford Taurus frame with some leather and a Jaguar logo. Totally cheapens the Jaguar name.

Basically, Dell's Lexus of a PC is still a Dell. It might have a kick-ass looking case, just like Alienware, but when you look past the shiny new case and into the guts of that $3000 dollar PC, you realize that you just spent three large on a souped up Ford Taurus.

LMAO.....Have a builder set you up a PC, for half of what Dells charges with twice the performance. Otherwise, don't brag about your new $3000 Dell, your friends will be laughing.

P4 3.8 GHz $500
Asus SLI Mobo $175
1Gb DDR2 $200
Dual 6800 Ultras $850
2x 74Gb Raptors $300
Badass Case $150
Power Supply $150
Watercooling setup $200
DVD Burner $50

Total Cost $2575

For that price, try getting Dell to match those specs. Would easily cost $4000-$5000 and be made with inferior components.
Posted by bweir13 (20 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I think this is a great move...
Because Apple will show that Dell's PC's suck, and now will suck even more for the prices. I could see if they threw in an Athalon processor, but most likely will not.

*sigh* When will their CEO learn?
Posted by (461 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Didja hear the one where Dell Claims to be Lexus?
This is about the funniest article I have read. Dell = Lexus! Dell is more like a bottom line Daewoo.
Posted by (274 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I'm buying a Lenovo! LOL
To support the reds ;)
China is going to kick Dell in the 'nards - soon.
Posted by dirk128 (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dell Sucks, (NBD) Never Buy Dell
How can a company like DELL think that they can compete with companies like VooDoo, Alienware, and other high performance pc companies, with the crap that they put into there computers. This is also true in the fact that they don't have any computers with an AMD processor. I first wouldn't buy a DELL, and I really wouldn't buy a DELL with a P4 or any other Intel processor. My sister's boyfriend bought an over priced Dell laptop for $2300 and I bought an HP one about the same time for only $1300. The only difference mine had a AMD processor. Within the year his processor fan went, and now his touch pad doesn't work on it. There slogan should be Dude you got Screwed. I don't know how Dell CEO can think that he can play in the major league when they can't even play in the minors.
Posted by (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
All computers suck...
None live up to our expectations. Dell, Hp/Compaq, Gateway, Lenovo, Apple, they all suck. As for HP, my sister has purchased 2 HP notebooks and in both the keypads are flawed. You can automatically move your mouse over an object and it automatically clicks on it's own. I myself have a Compaq. It too is flawed, mainly the video card. My point, no computer is perfect, so no matter which one you get you're going to be screwed over somehow.
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
Link Flag
Dell is the world series champs.
dell has quarter over quarter been more successful at selling and servicing their line up of computers that all of the other so called major manufactures. our Notebook line up has been on top of the heap for 29 straight quarters. The proof is in the pudding my friend
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
Dude I got screwed
yea man I used to like Dell like 8 years ago. We had a Dell comp and the monitor went out on it. they replaced the 15" crt with a 19" and delivered it for free and took teh old one. no carge becasue we had the extended whatever ( thought they where all just a scam). However, that was before now. like you said they try to play in the big leage, but they got crap. I ordered a lens for my camera over 2 months ago and it's been delayed 4 times already. I called Hell (Dell) several time and I can't even get anyone on the phone that can speak english. I mean the commercials they have are the exact opposite of reality. they have also sole out the America by moving most of there stuff to India (probably why nobody and speak comprehendable English). Then they left a message on my phone. it was so long that they message machine cut them off. All I got was somethijg about how they were sorry and that they would give me a coupon for the inconvinience. Well several days later I called and they pulled up my file and asked it I wanted to cancel. I said I just wanted what I ordered. and they said it was backordered. (eventhough it was not notified when I placed the order.) so i still don't have anything and probably wont get it this year anyway. From people I know that work for them most of them hate Hell too. Well anyway Dude I got screwed, adn dude I'm pissed, but really Dell's doing a good job. I'll give them the one finger salute.
Posted by jetwhoop18 (1 comment )
Link Flag
cant you guys wait
for them to atleast realease something before you start bashing it.

B/W i have been using compaq notebook from last 3 years no probs yet, only normal expected wear and tear.
Posted by nonstopdoc1 (29 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Its a great way to get more money!!
I checked out the Dell 9100 which is the first product under their "Lexus" line and it DOESN'T offer anything new. They will now have memory card readers (which HP, Gateway, EMachine already have), Firewire ports on front(which Gateway, HP and etc have already), BTX technology (Gateway has had this for 6+ months now), and a new design which resembles an Apple.

So in reality its a great way to charge you more for what other companies already offer on their systems. Dell is AWESOME at marketing! They are a marketing machine. They love to sell you old technology, mark it up, throw on multiple promotions and make it look like you are getting cutting edge technology.
Posted by Genghis288 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Don't buy Alienware no more!!
Don't buy Alienware no more!!
It's been on the down low But Dell baught Alienware an are gonna keep tha name so that they can releaase computers w/ AMD chips in them withou voiding the contract with intel....
-Ne0rEz
Posted by kitt050383 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.