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Dell Joins the League of Win-8 PCs

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The announcement of Dell Inc.’s (DELL) new range of PCs came as no surprise since archrival Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) unveiled a series of PC models earlier this month. The world’s third largest PC-maker followed H-P’s footprints and is all set to enhance consumer experience with three new PCs (an enterprise-class Ultrabook, a touch-optimized tablet and an All-in-One PC) in the coming month. However, pricing details have not yet been disclosed.

All the three models, targeting different user segments, will run on the yet-to-be-released Windows 8 operating system from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).

Dell’s 14-inch Ultrabook, Latitude 6430u is much lighter and thinner than the XPS series of Ultrabooks. The laptop mainly targets the defense sector with its extreme resilience. It is perfectly suitable for use in harsh environments such as war. As promised by Intel Corp. (INTC), battery life of this Ultrabook too allows the user remain productive throughout the day on a single charge.

Dell asserts that its Latitude 10 tablet is fit to serve the needs of enterprises across all industrial sectors. The model is loaded with added security features which allow utmost data protection and encryption. The tablet also flaunts features such as fingerprint reader and smart card reader to foster user authentication.

Last, but not the least, Dell’s OptiPlex 9010 All-in-One comes with a flexible stand, multi-touch screen and an adjustable camera.

As offerings from H-P have already been announced and are expected to release by the coming month, the technology sector is going to see another round of competition to regain market share. According to industry experts, customers have withheld purchases ahead of the Win 8 launch and hence believe that the launch could charge up the gloomy PC market. However, it will be hard to predict any clear winner as all the key players appear to be playing their cards right.

The ongoing uncertainty in the PC market has led H-P and Dell to shift their focus toward the high-margin enterprise solutions market. Concurrent with the three new PCs, Dell introduced the PowerEdge C8000 series of servers to support high-performance computing and big data applications. The servers will facilitate space saving, reduce costs by saving energy and improve data center performance at a high temperature.

Despite its upcoming product momentum, we prefer to be on the sidelines on overall PC market health, declining fundamentals and a high debt burden.

Currently, Dell has a Zacks #4 Rank, implying a short-term Sell rating, while H-P has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating.

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