Dell launches new range of OptiPlex desktops, cloud computing services and first thin client model

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Dell released four new OptiPlex desktops today in the form of the OptiPlex 360, 760, 960 and FX160.  Ranging in starting price from $399 to $863, these computers are aimed at commercial desktop installations.  The FX160 is Dell’s first foray into the thin client segment, aimed at taking advantage of the recent uptick in virtualization technologies.

The OptiPlex 360 is Dell’s new budget commercial desktop and starts at $476.  The 360 is available in both minitower and desktop footprints.

The next step up in the line is the OptiPlex 760.  Dell is aiming this model at mainstream commercial desktop installations and claims that it takes signficantly less time to service than comparable models from its competitors.  It calls out HP and Lenovo, saying that the new 760 requires 22 percent and 38 percent less time to service, respectively.  Starting at $593, the 760 sits comfortably in the middle of the road.

From l-r: The new OptiPlex 960 series commerical unit is available in small form factor, minitower and desktop models.

Dell brings out the big guns in the form of the OptiPlex 960.  The 960 offers up 43 percent less electricity consumption than previous OptiPlex desktop models.  Each unit ships in 89 percent recyclable packing materials.  The small form factor model is comprised of 10 percent post-consumer recycled plastics.  Dell claims that the 960 is 23 percent quicker to service than a similar system from HP and 43 percent faster than one from Lenovo.  The 960 is also available with an add-on technology called QuietKit that reduces machine noise by up to sixty percent.  Starting price for this flagship commercial model is $863.

The more exciting of the announcements comes in the form of the new OptiPlex FX160.  Dell’s first thin client model is released to coincide with the availability of their newly expanded cloud computing platform known as Flexibloe Computing Solutions. 

The FX160 supports both embedded operating systems (such as Microsoft Windows XP embedded) or streaming desktops hosted in virtualized instances on local or distant servers.  The FX160 starts at just $399.

Conveniently enough, Dell also announced its new desktop streaming and virtual remote desktop offerings for the U.S. commercial markets.  With these two services, enterprises can buy into Dell’s thin client models and instead of bothering with embedded operating systems, host the desktop environment directly on Dell’s servers.  Even though the enterprise isn’t hosting the server, they still maintain control over data and application management.  Dell offers three different options should buyers want to take advantage of such a service:

  • On-demand desktop streaming hosts data on a partitioned server in a large data center, while processing occurs on the thin-client device (or regular computer)
  • Virtual remote desktops where both data and processing are hosted by virtualized environments in the data center
  • Dedicated remote workstations offer users the practicality of a thin client solution while using PC-over-IP to connect to a dedicated Precision R5400 rack-mount workstation.  This solution offers higher performance for end users without having to worry about access to machines in secure or harsh surroundings.




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