May 31, 2006 8:56 AM PDT

Is Dell's luggable lovable?

Dell on Wednesday unveiled a so-called luggable computer that's either a blast from the past or a leap into the future.

The 20-pound XPS M2010, which starts at $3,500, incorporates a large-screen monitor with a small, flat PC. The computer, part of Dell's XPS luxury line, includes two hard drives with up to 120GB capacity each, a Core Duo processor and 4GB of dual-channel (667MHz) memory.

'Desknotes' from Dell

Attached to the flat horizontal PC, which remains on the desk, is a 20.1-inch wide-screen monitor. It folds down to meet the computer and keyboard as on a laptop. The monitor's support bar, when open, becomes a briefcase handle when the device is closed.

The handle itself is covered in leather, while the bottom and top of the device has a leather feel reminiscent of a briefcase, according to Alex Gruzen, senior vice president of the Dell product group.

Gruzen, together with Rosendo G. Parra, senior vice president of Dell Americas, presented the company's new products at a press conference in Los Angeles.

"You can watch a DVD on a beautiful 20-inch screen, but then take that device to the office to do a presentation. You can play the latest video game, while recording TV and streaming live video. You can chat with friends while using video while riding the train," Parra said. "The PC is now the personal entertainment engine."

Dell unveiled a concept version of the M2010 at the Computer Electronics Show this past January. However, Dell has been exploring the desknote idea since at least 2003. Its Inspiron 5100 incorporated a large screen with desktop computing strength and laptop form.

In addition to executing expected computer functions, the XPS M2010 is designed to be a multimedia device. It sports a combination DVD+RW drive that pops up from the base, a built-in video camera and digital microphone, and a 256MB video card for DVDs, 2D gaming and most high-end 3D gaming. There are eight speakers and a subwoofer build in to the base of the unit, and 7.1 and 5.1 audio-out ports for hookup to a home entertainment system. (Click here to read CNET.com's take on the XPS M2010.)

A Dell Premium Remote Control allows consumers to control the Windows XP Media Center Edition software, which comes with the M2010, from up to 30 feet away.

The M2010 also includes four USB 2.0 ports, a 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi option and a 13-in-2 memory card reader, as well as the usual XPS headphone, microphone and line-in ports.

Dell also released the XPS 700, a bright red game PC tower that starts at $2,310.

"The design was inspired by jet engines, allowing for airflow cooling so that hard drives stay quiet and components stay cool," Gruzen said.

Dell has created a new section completely dedicating to gaming on its Web site. It allows gamers to build their own systems by mixing and matching components. Gamers can start with a base model and add to it, or buy components individually over time. The system is fully compatible with industry standards, according to Gruzen. The Dell gaming site also includes subsections for those building systems to go with their Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, GameCube or portable game devices.

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"Gamers make significant investments and in many cases want to be able to move components from system to system," Gruzen said.

Parra was careful to emphasize that service would be a large part of the product line, and that those on the other end of the phone line would be tenured, trained gamers who understand the needs of other gamers.

The third XPS product addition is the XPS M1210, a compact 4-pound notebook that starts at $1,300. According to Gruzen, the notebook comes ready for gaming and Windows Vista graphics, and has an "all-day battery life." Dell has upgraded the usual Dell notebook casing to something Gruzen described as "a robust magnesium design that will take any punishment."

The M1210 has a 12.1-inch screen with a built-in Webcam, and it can be bundled with Skype for video conferencing. There is an on/off switch for controlling the notebook's Wi-Fi receiver, and Dell's Wi-Fi Catcher alerts the user to hot spots even when the computer is off. There is also an optional mobile-broadband card for wireless Internet access via cellular service.

Listen up

Evolution of the XPS line During a product launch event on Wednesday, Dell's Alex Gruzen talks about how the company came to develop the XPS M2010.

Download mp3 (1.23MB)

"The PC has evolved from a productivity platform into a digital entertainment platform, said Gruzen. "These products epitomize that space. Dell intends to be on the cutting edge here, now and into the future."

The XPS M2010 and M1210 are available globally for immediate order, but may take a few weeks to actually be delivered, according to Gruzen. The Dell Web site lists the earliest ship date as July 21 for the XPS M2010 and June 22 for the M1210. The customizable XPS 700 is also immediately available to order, but takes approximately 18 days for customization build, making it available no earlier than June 27.

See more CNET content tagged:
Dell, senior vice president, Microsoft Windows XP Media Center, Intel Core Duo, gamer

13 comments

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It's far too overpriced
Drop it by $1000 before I'll even consider it.
Posted by mjm01010101 (126 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Don't go to a apple store then...
Apple is the king of overpriced hardware
Posted by mcepat (118 comments )
Link Flag
whoa.
say it with me now -- "lan party!"

m3mnoch.
Posted by m3mnoch (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What were they thinking
I am a big fan of dell PCs and Servers. But This?!

It reminds me of green screen PS2 "Transportables" of back in the day.

I mean what is this 1986?

Dell, should spend their RD money on Faster / Cheaper price point Notebooks, and not on these hybrids. I mean really....who is the market, Business folks....Um no (they are going to smaller laptops and blackberrys...home users...maybe but then why do they need to move it around)... college kids....again maybe...but why would I want this when I could buy a 20 inch LCD screen and a 17 inch laptop for ALOT less?
Posted by LarryLo (164 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Way too expensive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I like the computer,but it's way too expensive. I mean that computer costs like over 3,000 dollars! That computer is nice & all, but you got to be Bill Gates or win the lottery to buy that computer
Posted by homeboy9.0 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I take you don't own any apple products then?
Apple is the king of overpriced hardware
Posted by mcepat (118 comments )
Link Flag
Where's the damn tablet????
I can't believe these guys are clueless...hell I would have given them my Kaypro 10 if they wanted to lug something around.
Posted by sheltongrn (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Dude, forget this
I can get a fully tricked out core duo 20 in iMac for hundreds less
than the base price of this weight watchers dropout .

It's a much better multimedia machine (and only weighs 20 oz
more.)
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Expensive? Or more like Apple?
MacPro High end laptop starts at $2700

Wow wee, that expensive!
Posted by mcepat (118 comments )
Reply Link Flag
another dell rip-off!!
dell is at it AGAIN. they will charge a premium price for junk and then wont provide service on the junk. STAY AWAY!
Posted by (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Same ole Dell
I remember the last time 2yrs ago when I shopped for a decent computer. I was looking for a 3.4ghz p4 w/hyper extreme ed. (best out BACK then for comsumers) Anyway I compared HP, Gateway, Dell and a few other smaller brands. I was shocked at how expensive Dell was compared to the rest. They charged a fell $1000 more than HP for their most similar configuration, and Dell came with a smaller hard drive, less ram as I recall. To upgrade that would have added a few more hundred. Only Gateway charged more. This was at the height of the successful "Dude get a Dell" campaign. I tried to tell people don't buy a Dell, get a more powerful HP for a grand less and no one would believe me. Apparently people have had enough of their own personal experience paying premium for less, and now Dell isn't getting away with this crap like they used to. The price differences are still similar today. Yet because HP must have a really sucky marketing Dept. few people are aware that for these types of machines HP is a steal.
Posted by johnnyincentx (7 comments )
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