The XPS 420: Multimedia & Video Enthusiasts Unite

The XPS 420: Multimedia & Video Enthusiasts Unite


The Official Dell Corporate Blog

The XPS 420: Multimedia & Video Enthusiasts Unite

In case you haven't seen it on Engadget (or even if you have), today's the day you can order an XPS 420.

It's built for performance and expandability. If you spend your time creating video, this thing can make short work of any kind of video content—whether you make short clips that you upload to YouTube or you produce video in high definition.  

Besides video creation, this thing makes a great multimedia server that can store and serve all you digital music, photos, videos and recorded TV content in one place.

Hardwire-wise, this thing rocks: X38 chipset, processor support up to Intel's QX6850, video card options like ATI's 2400 PRO and NVIDIA's 8800GTX, and up to 3TB of storage. If you want to record or watch over-the-air high definition (or standard definition) TV, we offer the ATI 650 PRO combo TV tuner card as an option.

Note: 10/25—Direct2Dell reader Weeva correctly made the point that our current high-def TV tuner card only supports over-the-air HD, not Digital Cable or satellite high definition. LM

Update: 12/9—I just published a follow-on blog post that explains that we started offering the digital cable TV tuner on Friday last week. LM

Beyond that, it's our first product to feature the XPS MiniView screen, which is a small LCD screen (about 2 x 3in) integrated on the top of the chassis.  The display supports a 320 x 240 resolution, and can be used to display calendar information, system details, and navigate through photos and digital music. MiniView is compatible with Microsoft's SideShow and supported third-party Gadgets, so users can customize the display for other information like RSS feeds, news, stock tickers and more.

If you are a person who likes to capture video and take it with you, the Dell Xcelerator is a cool option. It can be used to transcode recorded video from the original format to another so it can be played on a portable device. Beyond that, since it does the processing work on its own, the Xcelerator takes much of the burden off the processor, and makes the process faster than with just the CPU alone.

We're also introducing the SP2008WFP 20" widescreen display. It features a maximum resolution of 1680x1050, a 2ms response time, and HDCP through its DVI input. It's also our first flat panel to feature an integrated 2-megapixel webcam that can capture resolution up to 1600 x 1200.

In terms of software, the XPS 420 comes with Adobe Elements Studio, which is full versions of these three Adobe applications:

In this video, Michael Fahy from the XPS Product team covers a lot of ground. He touches on our design approach, SideShow, the Bluetooth media card reader, the Dell Xcelerator option, the Adobe software suite, the new display with the integrated webcam, and more.

Format: flv


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  • Is Dell rolling out any Linux drivers for new hadware bits such as the XPS MiniView screen and the Dell Xcelertator? I'm excited to see those innovations, but wonder how long they will be available only for Windows users.
  • Ryan Prior: Thanks for your comment, and sorry for not responding until now. Unfirtunately, since the XPS MiniView is based on Microsoft's SideShow functionality, it is not compatible with Linux.

    Not sure on the Xcelerator.. I'll check that out and get back to you.

  • BTW, the link to the associated SideShow gadgets is wrong, as it points to the SideBar gadgets.  The link should be: 

  • T Man: Thanks for your comment.. I left the link as is because the gadgets that work in the Sidebar are the same ones that can customize the XPS MiniView.

    Not all gadgets are compatible with SideShow.

  • Does the "Dell Xcelerator" come on all XPS 420 systems? Most of the Dell advertising says that the "Dell Xcelerator" is available as an option to be added to certain XPS 420 systems. However, I do not see any way to add any such option to any 420 configuration. In fact, when configuring a 420 for purchase on the Dell website, there is no mention whatsoever of the "Dell Xcelerator". Can anyone clarify whether the "Dell Xcelerator" comes on all XPS 420 systems, or whether it is available as an option on some or all XPS 420 systems?

  • guest: The Dell Xcelerator is an option... it does not come standard on the XPS 420.

    You can add it from the TV Tuner and Video Accelerator section of the configurator.

  • The 420 looks like a wonderful machine. Although you often cannot have everything, I wonder whether the 420 (or some configuration of it) comes with an HDMI output. It seems as though this could be a nice feature, especially since Dell is selling the system with Blue-ray drives as an option. Of course, the Dell monitors should be great for watching HD movies, but not all Dell monitor are HD capable and many 420 customers might want to use their Dell HD drive with their HD capable television.

     So, could anyone confirm whether or not the 420 has an HDMI output?

  • Shane: Let me do some digging to find out what's going on... I'm on the road, but will try to get some details soon, Will let you know.
  • How many internal case fans are there? Just the CPU shroud fan?
  • Great, now if only Dell would stop violating the Vista Logo program we might actually have a decent PC.

    I'm reposting what I posted in the Dell Forums.  Yes I realize I sound upset in this post, and I am.

    "I have a quote directly from the Microsoft Guidelines for Logo Certification.
    These guidelines can be found here:
    "Q. Does the logo program include x64 requirements?
    A. Yes, there are requirements specific to x64 and IHVs submitting drivers for the logo program must submit an x64 version when they submit any 32-bit versions. OEMs using x64 implementations must have signed drivers available to end users if shipping a 32-bit version of Windows Vista on the system."
    The important part is that last sentence.
    Any system that is x64 capable sold by any OEM MUST have signed drivers available to end users.
    Not should. MUST.
    So if you're shipping systems with the Vista logo and you do not provide x64 support to those end users Dell is violating their legal requirements for the logo.
    Now I'm not a lawyer, but I do believe that right now Dell is in violation of their agreement with Microsoft to be a logo'ed vendor.
    I'd suggest Dell get that support back up and running right now or be prepared to offer me a good reason why I shouldn't request an immediate refund for my PC's that all use x64 versions of Windows Vista since Dell is not keeping up their end on the support."

    So why should I want to upgrade to this latest marvel?  I have an XPS410 that I had trouble getting support for as it was when it was running 32-bit Vista and my wifes E520.  So you're telling users to get this great grand new PC when you don't intend to fully support it?

    Also note that I'm not threatening Dell legally.  However I am posting this so someone from Dell knows just how much trouble they could get in with Microsoft over this.

  • Beautiful!

    But, I don't see it available with XP? No XP, no purchase.

  • Good Show Dell..Keep it up

    Photography is derived from a Greek term meaning "The Art of Writing with Light" 

    Now with the Dell XPS 420, Dell has taken a mile-step forward to help people create a beautiful art of writing with light....

    This is indeed a good achievement. The XPS product team needs to be shelled with appreciation.

    Happy achievements


  • Andrew Hill: At this point, we don't offer the ATI Digital Cable tuner on the XPS 420.

    In terms of the next-generation DVD format, Dell has been a member of the Blu-ray disc association for some time now..

  • Are you selling the ATI TV Wonder™ Digital Cable Tuner with the XPS420?  I don't see it as an option during configuration.

    What is Dell’s position on HD-DVD?

  • Drew: You are correct... the high-def tuner we currently offer only works with over-the-air high definition signals.

    I'll go ahead and update the blog post to call out that it is for over-the-air HD. 

  • This box is not certified by cable labs and as such cannot record High definition TV which is captured via cable or satellite connections, you can only view/record Hi-Def content which is captured over the air. (this blog post is totally erroneous). I wish you guys would stop misrepresenting the abilities of your machines.



  • Shane, MS has separate qualification/logo tests for X32 and X64 so the verbiage you quote above is only applicable if an IHV is submitting for logo certification on for X64.  These requirements don't apply for x32 only certifcations - think of all the PCs that preceded x64 technology that are Vista logo'd

    The only other thing that I would add is that Microsoft doesn't dictate the law and unlike FTC requirements, WHQL is not a legal requirement - heaven forbid if it ever became one :)

  • My second comment didn't get in, but I was also wondering about the availability of the SideShow device on the 420 being available as a separate accessory.  I just bought a pretty decently loaded 410 earlier this year, so I'm not interested (actually I'm interested but don't have the funds) in upgrading to the 420, but would love the SideShow module.  Personally I'm very excited about SideShow, and would love to find a device that is compatible with it, but the availability of such devices is near non-existent.
  • Lionel, I imagine you don't edit your own posts, but the following needs a bit of editorial oversight, IMHO: "and HDCP through it's DVI input. It's also is our first flat panel to feature..."

    That should read, " and HDCP through its DVI input. It's also is our first flat panel to feature..."

    By the way, on the Customer Service topic, while I am grateful to Dell for issuing a replacement without undue hassle, I was greatly inconvenienced when a Dell rep (who clearly did not understand/speak English like a native) changed the address on the wrong laptop after Dell used the wrong address on it in the first place. This was despite repeatedly confirming the service tag and model of the machine whose address was to be changed, so there was really no room for error on the Dell rep's part, other than the language barrier was probably impossibly high, which is Dell's fault.

    I spent over ten hours with Dell, DHL and others, on the phone, trying to correct the damage and having to deal with an irate client that her laptop got sent to me where I was on vacation, instead of to her, after she had already called Dell to ensure the laptop would be sent to her.

    I'd appreciate an email, Lionel, as my client got compensation for her troubles; I got a stressful vacation and playing telephone over a week and an irritated client who says she will not do business with Dell again, not personal nor her $75,000 PC work budget (sorry).
  • Samuel: Of course I edit my own posts... thanks for keeping me honest on the grammatical errors. :)

    On the issue with your customer, I'm sorry to hear that it worked out the way you describe. I'm not sure what can be done at this point, but I will ask someone from our Customer Care team to follow up with you.

  • There seems to be a lot less configuration options on the Dell UK site.There is no option for Blu-ray drives or aditional tv tuners other than the combined Xcelerator and Avio card. Do you know when these further options will be available to UK customers.
  • Four questions while I happily prepare to order my super 420:

     1) Any rough idea when customers can order an XPS 420 with -N- wireless support/card in one form or another?

     2) Does the XPS 420 have an HDMI output so we customers can use the 420 Blu-ray drive to watch movies on their HD televisions? Dell certainly makes excellent monitors, but some users might want to use their HD tv's with the 420. So, could you please just confirm whether or not there is an HDMI output on the 420?

     3) I would like to order an XPS 420 along with the best 24 inch monitor that Dell sells - I think it is the 2407WFP-HC. However, it seems difficult to configure an XPS 420 with that monitor. Of the three base 420 models, only the first one allows you to configure a 420 with the 2407. Why can't customers configure other 420 base models with the 2407 monitor? Could someone maybe adjust the Dell website so that customers can order the 2407 with any 420?

    4) In choosing a monitor to go with my 420, I am having trouble determining the differences between the 2407WFP-HC and the newer E248WFP 24. I see that the 2407 may come with more USB ports/connectors and that it possibly has more tilting/angle capability. However, is there any difference in the picture quality between these two monitors? If anything, the cheaper E248WFP seems to have slightly better picture quality specs. If possible, could you please inform/speculate about the differences between these two monitors? If not, could you please see about allowing customers to configure all 420 basel models with the 2407, or at least explain why Dell is not allowing customers to make such configurations?

    Thanks! I plan to order my 420 soon.

  • David: Thanks for the interest. I can provide some answers, will need to check on others.

    Not sure when (or if) we'll offer internal 802.11n. I'll check. I can tell you though that we have a few different options from in Electronics & Accessories.

    Regarding HDMI... the ATI 2400 graphics card definitely supports HDMI out. Not sure why it's not an option in the configuarator—that's something else I need to check on.

    The 2407WFP-HC is definitely the best 24" monitor we offer. We don't have a lower-priced 24-inch panel. We do have lower-priced 20 and 22" flat panels, but not 24". I'll have to check on availability in the configurator.

  •    The XPS 420 specifications say that a 425 (525?) watt power-supply is optional, but I have found no way to select such an option.

      Also I would like see an option to select *NO* internet backup service as I would have no intention of ever using such a service.  Setting up a one year option for me to use such a service would be a complete waste of time and resuorces.


  • MLBar: I'm not sure about either question. I'll check with some folks and let you know what I find out.