The XPS 420: Multimedia & Video Enthusiasts Unite

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The XPS 420: Multimedia & Video Enthusiasts Unite

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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
Duration:

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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:

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/features/details/sideshow.mspx 

  • 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:
    http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/winlogo/VistaLogofaq.mspx
     
    "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.