RealTime IT News

Dell, Printers, And The Gamer Influence

NEW YORK -- Computing enthusiasts like to say that the computer gaming crowd is what really helped get 64-bit computing and multi-core processors into the business world at a faster rate.

AMD, for example, pushed onward with its 64-bit and dual-core chipset products for desktops and laptops to answer the gamers' demands for more processing power behind the graphics-intensive games.

It only made sense for the company to launch similar approaches with its server-side chips, such as the Opteron lines.

Dell executives showing off their wares at the DigitalLife technology showcase in New York would agree.

The company announced a smattering of new products for small business users, such as projection screens and flat-panel, 30-inch computer monitors for under $300.

But executives here say it's the gaming PCs that point the way for what future business computers may hold.

First, the Photo All-in-One (AIO) 966 and 926 printers both offer wireless printing from wireless-enabled laptops and other devices.

printer
The all-in-one gem.
Source: Dell

It also features and Ink Management System that automatically monitors printer usage and alerts when ink levels are low.

Other productivity features include: optional duplex, standalone copy, mono and color fax capabilities; 2.4-inch color LCD ; photo printing without a computer connection via PictBridge and memory card slots; fast print speeds of up to 32 pages per minute (ppm) black and 23 ppm color (actual print speeds will vary with use).

The 966 retails for $199 and hits stores on Oct. 17.

For photo nuts, Dell is also rolling out the Dell Photo AIO 926, and aimed at schools or small business users. It scans documents directly to e-mail or use standalone features such as color photocopying and photo printing via PictBridge and memory card slots. It retails for $99.

You get a few enhancing and editing features built in to the device, and it offers some templates, such as a Photo Album builder and a trial version of photo editing software Paint Shop Pro. It retails for $99.

But Dell's souped-up mobile gaming system is where computing's edge can be found.

The XPS M1710 Gaming Notebook with XPS LightFX features new lights, sure. But the major update is that it enables Dell enthusiasts to tune, or overclock, the system's Intel Core 2 Duo T7600G mobile processor.

The gamers pushed Dell to upgrade its power train: graphics and processing power, said Matt Jorgensen, product manager for Dell's Extreme Notebooks division.

"The real enthusiasts, they just want to get in and tinker. We don't recommend that people overclock their processors, but gamers are saying 'hey, we know we can overclock, but you're not letting us do it.'

"We've tested the processor up to 3.16 Ghz . The standard is 2.33 so it's almost a full gigahertz higher on the process."

Not for everybody, and certainly not for the business user, but as Jorgensen said, the computing demands of gamers helped push the new speeds.

"That's why we jumped into gaming with both feet. We think it'll trickle down into other systems."