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HolidayBuyer's Guide
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Dell unveils hat trick of products

The PC maker is gearing up for the fall with new printers, TVs and a spiced-up desktop.

Dell has released a trio of devices, kicking off what is expected to be a busy fall for the PC maker.

The Round Rock, Texas, PC maker this week unveiled a low-price desktop computer for consumers, a 26-inch LCD television and a line of color laser printers for businesses.

It's the start of a wave of releases product launches this fall from Dell, which is making a push in printers and vying with rival PC makers to introduce consumer electronics devices designed for the digital home movement, which is expected to get a boost this coming holiday season.

Dell got the ball rolling on Tuesday with the introduction of the Dimension 3000 budget desktop, which can come with Intel's latest Celeron or Pentium 4 processors to give it more oomph.

The PC starts at a slightly higher base price than that of its predecessor, the Dimension 2400. But it does come with better features--for example, it carries a minimum of 256MB of RAM, compared with 128MB in the Dimension 2400. The processor, chipset and memory in the Dimension 3000 also cost slightly more, Dell said.

The Dimension 3000 costs $549 when configured with a 2.4GHz Intel Celeron D 320 processor, 256MB of RAM, a 40GB hard drive, a CD-ROM, Dell brand A215 speakers and a 17-inch CRT monitor. However, Dell often offers free shipping, free component upgrades or rebates to make its consumer PCs more attractive.

Dell also launched a 26-inch LCD television on Tuesday. The wide-screen W2600 set sells for $1,999 and offers features such as a 500-to-1 contrast ratio, a resolution of 1,280-by-768-pixels and a 170-degree viewing angle.

With its electronics push, Dell aims to compete with fellow PC makers such as Gateway and Hewlett-Packard for the dollars of consumers who want to upgrade their home systems with gear that interacts with computers. Dell has already announced plans to offer a plasma screen television and expand its liquid crystal display TV line this fall. It currently sells a 23-inch LCD model for about $1,400 and a 30-inch version for about $2,500.

Last week, HP unveiled a broad consumer electronics line, including its own version of Apple Computer's iPod music player. It also launched PCs designed for digital entertainment and a line of LCD and plasma screen televisions for release this fall at prices ranging from about $2,500 to $5,000.

Although it has scaled back some of its consumer electronics products--for the time being, anyway--Gateway offers a line of LCD televisions ranging in size from 23 inches to 30 inches and in price from about $1,500 to about $2,500. It also offers three large-screen plasma sets that cost between $2,500 and $5,000.

For business buyers, Dell delivered a new line of color laser printers on Wednesday. The models, which all cost less than $1,000, are aimed at different business niches. For example, the $449 Dell Laser Printer 3000CN, which can turn out color pages at up to five pages per minute or deliver 25 monochrome pages per minute, is designed for small or home offices. The Dell Laser Printer 3100CN is similar to the 3000CN but adds features such as higher paper capacity for $549. Both printers are also capable of connecting to computer networks.

The 5100CN printer is targeted at larger businesses. It can deliver up to 25 pages of color print pages per minute and up to 35 pages per minute in black ink, Dell said. The $999 printer also includes networking capability.