Technology

Dell Delves Deeper into Home Entertainment

Dell pushed further into the home-entertainment market Thursday, floating a raft of products to entice holiday shoppers with lower prices on top-shelf items such as plasma TVs. Dell has dubbed the concept behind its products “the digital living room.”

The company announced new photo printers and digital music players as well.

Roger Kay, vice president of client computer at IDC, told TechNewsWorld that Dell’s plasma TV offerings firmly establish the category as a mass market. “Dell is slow to adopt new product markets,” he said. “Dell waits, then comes in, takes half the margins, and gets a huge market share.”

Lower Prices, Mass Market

The 42-inch, high-definition plasma screen TV will retail for $3,499, which Dell says is about half the price of HDTVs on the market now. The company also announced a 42-inch “enhanced definition” screen for $2,299. Both will be available in November.

“Gateway was doing well in the [plasma screen] market and that attracted Dell’s attention,” Kay said.

He said he believes there is a mass market for TVs in his price range. “Don’t forget, not long ago people were spending $2,000 for a PC, and that was when $2,000 was worth more,” Kay said. “There are a lot of people who have disposable income, who aren’t necessarily rich, who buy things in this price range.”

Dell’s new printers, the Photo Printer 540 and Photo All-in-One Printer, will be manufactured by Lexmark and branded with the Dell name. Dell says the 540, which will cost $189, can make photo-shop quality prints without a PC. The 942, starting at $149, is an all-in-one machine for homes and small offices.

Dell, Archos Join Mini Market

As anticipated, Dell also announced its competitor to the Apple iPod Mini, the 5 gigabyte Pocket DJ, selling for $199. The company’s revamped 20 GB digital player, now weighing 4.4 ounces, will cost $249. Both will be out in November.

Dell is not the only company taking a run at the iPod Mini. Archos today announced a digital music player it says is the world’s smallest 20 GB hard-drive-based player.

The Gmini XS200 will be in stores by the end of the month and will cost $250, Archos said. Battery life is 10 hours, two hours longer than the Mini.

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