LAS VEGAS -- Dell ( DELL), aiming to rope in consumers who are looking to make PCs the center of their entertainment universe, hopped aboard the digital-home bandwagon with its launch of the digital home entertainment suite and a 27-inch flat-panel monitor. Dell's home media suite, called the XPS 410, will have a Core 2 Duo processor, be loaded with Windows Vista, and include the Dell 966 all-in-one printer, Linksys router and a digital high-definition TV cable tuner. "Consumers 40 years and under say the PC is the home's most important device, ahead of their cell phones and television," said Chairman Michael Dell, in a keynote address Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show here. Dell also announced a data backup service to help customers migrate easily to the company's hardware, and it offered new products for gamers. Shares of Dell were up 45 cents, or 1.7%, to $26.62 in afternoon trading. Dell also expanded its XPS enthusiast PC line with new cooling technology that will support "overclocking" of PCs, or forcing a computer component to run at a higher clock rate than originally designed for -- something that should appeal to hard-core gamers. Called H2C, the patent-pending cooling system should find fans in those drawn to Dell's Alienware products, also targeted at gamers.
Virtual gaming's The World of Warcraft "has shown there are 12.5 million gamers out there who want serious graphics and a system that can handle it," said Dell. "This should appeal to those gamers," he added. Dell's backup system will be available to consumers in the U.S. later this year. The moves are an attempt by Dell to regain its No. 1 position among consumers and ambush market leader Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ). Earlier at the show, H-P showcased its own set of innovative products, launching among them a touch-screen PC based on Windows Vista. The new HP TouchSmart PC has a 19-inch HD widescreen with adjustable touch-screen display, and a personal video recorder with HD and SD TV programming. H-P's other introductions included a touch-screen consumer tablet PC based on Microsoft Windows Vista, a home media server, nine new high-definition TVs and a Blu-ray disc writer. Dell's announcements paled compared with H-P's blitz, but Dell is counting on the appeal of its products to a more targeted and sophisticated audience. The Round Rock, Texas, company's
acquisition of gaming PC specialist Alienware in March last year has delivered a new set of users, and Dell plans to launch a new line of 17-inch gaming notebooks later this year.