launched its answer to the workstation PC of the
future with the OptiPlex SX260, a book-sized machine that sacrifices some
of the flexibility of standalone machines for more room at the cubicle.
Weighing in at eight pounds, the SX260 is Dell’s answer to the slew of
mini-PCs hitting the market today. Aimed at the business customer rather
than consumers, it features many of the space-saving benefits found in the
latest Gateway and Apple products, but isn’t an all-in-one package like the
Profile or iMac.
“The OptiPlex SX260 is the result of direct customer feedback,” said
Michael Dell, Dell chairman and CEO. “(It’s) ideally suited for
Priced at $599, the SX260 sports a Pentium 4 2.0 GHz processor, 256 MB of
DDR-flavored RAM, a 20 GB hard drive, network port, and a removable CD-ROM
hard drive. It also comes pre-installed with Windows XP
Professional. Customers are still expected to buy their own monitor, mouse
and keyboard; with a flat-screen 15″ monitor and peripherals, Dell’s Web
site shows a fully loaded system jumps to nearly $2,000.
To cram all the features of a “normal” PC into a dictionary-sized package
resulted in the loss of some flexibility. For instance, the SX260 doesn’t
feature any PCI or AGP slots for upgradeable video, sound or communication
ports. Offsetting that are the six USB ports, so users can add external
devices, like scanners, zip drives and the like.
The mini-PC meets a growing demand in the business place for products that
save on space, without sacrificing processing power to run multimedia
applications like videoconferencing or Windows Office applications.
Thomas Ashcraft, an IS manager and design engineer for manufacturer
Production Equipment Design Company (PEDCO), said Dell’s Opti systems have
always performed well in a business setting and expects the mini-PC to do well.
“Desktop space is a must,” he said. “With the economy down, businesses are
not willing to buy furniture, we scrap for stuff (around) here. As far as
processing power, I had one of the (Dell OptiPlex) GX-1’s here about two
years ago and it outperformed my custom system; I expect the SX260 runs
just as well.”