Dell Launches Vostro PC Lineup For SMB

The Round Rock, Texas-based company also said the Vostro 1400, 1500 and 1700 notebooks, with prices ranging from $549 to $799, will be built with Intel Core2 Duo chips, up to 4 Gbytes of memory and mobile broadband compatibility with any of three different wireless carriers.

The launch marks Dell's most aggressive push into the SMB space in years, and is now key to the company's effort to win back both lost market share and pick up customer segments in which it had previously performed poorly, the company said. The announcement was made on Tuesday ahead of a small business roundtable with Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell and leaders of several small and mid-sized companies.

Dell is touting Vostro, which it says comes from the Latin word "yours," as the small business part of its lineup and on par with other Dell brands including the OptiPlex and Inspiron.

In addition to the Vostro notebooks, Dell on Tuesday launched the Vostro 200 minitower PC at a street price of $319; new color laser printers including the Dell 1320c with a starting street price of $299 and the Dell 1125 Mono Laser at a street price of $249; and the E198WFP 19-inch monitor priced at $229.

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Dell said it was making a series of auto-support tools available for the product lineup, including Dell Automated PC Tune-Up; Dell Network Assistant for set-up, monitoring and break-fix services; and online backup tools.

The SMB segment has traditionally been among the most fragmented in IT, creating headaches for large vendors seeking to expand their footprint in the space. Other large vendors in the past 18 months, including PC maker Lenovo, Raleigh, N.C., and document solutions company Xerox, Stamford, Conn., among others, have invested in new products and channel relationships to build momentum in sales to small and mid-sized businesses.

Dell is now entering the race, too, and executives have said North American channel partners will play an increasing role for the one-time, direct-only computer maker in reaching small and mid-sized accounts.

Michael Dell and other company executives were expected to provide additional details on their strategy and product lineups during the New York City launch Tuesday.