Dell Expands Vostro Desktop Line with Sleek All-in-One

Dell first introduced its Vostro line of PCs — with hardware, software and services tailored to the needs of small business buyers — two years ago. In that time the company has expanded the product family to include both desktop and notebook PCs, and now comes the Vostro All-In-One. This space-saving desktop puts all of the computer’s components in a chassis behind the monitor, which frees up valuable desk area and makes setup easier than a traditional PC.

As with other Vostro introductions, Dell claims customer feedback influenced the introduction of the Vostro All-In-One. In an online survey the company conducted, 63 percent of respondents reported that they or their co-workers were suffering from space limitations in the office, and 32 percent reported that those limitations negatively impact productivity.

Aside from the keyboard and mouse, the Vostro All-In-One doesn’t occupy any more desk space than an LCD monitor. For buyers looking to reclaim even more desk real estate, the back of the chassis features a standard VESA mount, so you can use an optional arm and mount the PC above the desk surface. And with the optional wireless keyboard and mouse, there’s only the power cord to connect — eliminating cable clutter and streamlining setup. In fact, Dell claims the Vostro All-In-One goes from box to boot-up in about four minutes.

While the Vostro All-In-One isn’t the first or only integrated PC on the market  — there’s the Apple iMac, HP TouchSmart and eMachines EZ Series, among others — Dell claims it is the only one designed for small business. “Before, most all-in-ones were expensive or catered to consumer users,” said Kirk Schell, director of the Vostro Product Group at Dell. “The cost was not right, or the features were not appropriate, or the service was not there.”

The Dell Vostro All-In-One
The Dell Vostro All-In-One looks sleek, saves space and is easy to set up.
(Click for larger image)

With the Vostro All-In-One, Dell is hoping to bring small business buyers into the fold with an affordable option that delivers all the performance and features they would expect in a desktop PC. As with other Vostro offerings, the new model is meant to appeal to businesses not quite big enough to have an IT person on-staff, meaning many IT chores fall to the business owner or office manager. “They want to spend their primary earning time running the business, not dealing with technology issues,” noted Schell.

To that end, the Vostro All-In-One offers preloaded applications and services to handle typical IT chores. All models come with the Dell Backup and Recovery Manager utility for backing up files to a local or network drive, and Dell offers its DataSafe Online Backup option for secure off-site data storage.

Models equipped with the optional 1.3-megapixel Webcam also contain the Dell Video Chat application for videoconferencing, collaboration and more. Vostro buyers also get specialized support from Dell’s specially trained small-business technicians, who can help troubleshoot problems by phone or via the bundled DellConnect remote-diagnostics utility.

The Vostro All-In-One will be available beginning on August 11 in North America, with prices starting at $629. There will be a 17-inch widescreen version, an 18.5-inch widescreen version and a 19-inch widescreen model.

The configure-to-order machines will offer a range of Intel processors (depending on model) including Celeron, Pentium Dual Core, Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad chips with up to 4GB of RAM. Operating system options include Windows Vista Business, Vista Home Basic, Windows 7 (when available late this year) and even Ubuntu Linux (on select models). For wireless connectivity, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi is an option, while hard drive choices include 80GB, 160GB and 250GB models.

Jamie Bsales is an award-winning technology writer and editor with nearly 14 years of experience covering the latest hardware, software and Internet products and services.

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