Dell today revamped its small business line with a refresh of the Vostro 3000 series laptops.
"Whether you are pitching, analyzing, partnering or managing, the new Vostro 3000 series is designed to keep you collaborating with colleagues, partners and clients," said Sam Burd, vice president of Dells consumer and SMB product group. "With the latest Vostro collaboration enhancements, entrepreneurs have a sleek, capable technology tool that helps them impress -- no matter the size of their business or technology budget."
The new Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) small business laptop lineup includes: the 13-inch 3350 SAPP starting at $599, the 14-inch 3450 SAPP starting at $499, the 15-inch 3550 SAPP starting at $499 and the 17-inch 3750 starting at $549.
The new small business laptops all feature the latest Intel 2nd Generation Core i-Series processors and are designed to provide up to 12 hours of battery life depending upon the battery option chosen at purchase. Each features a spill-resistant Chiclet keyboard (with an optional backlit feature), an aluminum finish and a choice of three colors -- Aberdeen Silver, Lucerne Red and Brisbane Bronze.
The Vostro 3000 series small business laptops have Skype pre-installed and can launch any voice over IP (VoIP) or video conferencing application via a customizable dashboard button (the other two dashboard buttons go directly to Dell Support Center and Microsoft Mobility Center, respectively). They also feature numerous ports, including a USB 3.0 port and HDMI output.
"Since we created the Vostro brand four years ago, we have continued to focus on the same customer set: a small business that has no full-time IT staff," said Alison Gardner, marketing director of Dell's consumer, small and medium business group. "What we know about Vostro customers, regardless of where they sit in the world or what vertical they're in, they typically have the same top three concerns."
Those concerns, she said, are: getting the most value out of each dollar spent on technology, protecting their important data with security and being able to reach out for support when technical problems arise. Gardner noted the Vostro series is designed to address those concerns.
"That's what we keep in mind for every generation," she said. It continues to be our focus."
Addressing Small Business Collaboration
One of the main themes in this refresh is collaboration, Gardner said. "We're offering a collaboration solution that is best in its class for small business," she said.
A full HD webcam comes standard with three of the four new Vostro 3000 series laptops, and each features new array microphones. Together with the SRS Premium Voice Pro software also standard on the new models, the array microphone is able to determine who the primary speaker is in its field of audio input at any one time and selectively adjust its output.
"It senses the ambient noise where you're sitting and adjusts your volume accordingly," Gardner said. "You'll have a more seamless and better experience when you're doing video chat."
For now, this technology is exclusive to the new Vostro laptops, Gardner said.
Small Business Laptop Security
The new Vostro line comes standard with finger-print readers and a 30-day free trial of Trend Micro's Worry-Free Business Security Services, a hosted security service designed for small businesses. Gardner noted that while Dell had pledged not to include any trial-ware with its Vostro line, it decided to adjust the policy on a one-time basis to include a security package.
"This is the only adjustment we've made to that policy," she said. "We want to make sure that everyone is 100 percent covered."
Dell has also addressed the need to protect data with backup and storage solutions. The Vostro line includes Dell Backup and Recovery Manager, which allows you to backup to your hard drive or to an external device. The Vostro line also has access to a hosted solution -- Dell DataSafe Online -- which lets you backup important data to the cloud.
To secure physical media, the small business laptops come with Roxio Creator Starter, which allows you to encrypt any CD, DVD or Blu-Ray disc you burn.
For technical support, the small business laptops in the Vostro line come with optional Dell ProSupport services, which provides 24x7 IT support.
The new Vostro 3000 small business laptops will be available starting March 22.
Dell Debuts a Revamped Vostro Small Business Desktop
Concurrently with the refresh to the Vostro 3000 small business laptop line, Dell is also releasing a new all-in-one desktop for small business, the Vostro 330. Gardner said it's a complete redesign of the all-in-one with a sleek design intended to make it an attractive part of the front office. The new small business desktop features a full HD display a touchscreen with an anti-smudge coating is optional. The Vostro 330 also comes with a built-in camera and facial recognition software for added security.
"This product scales nicely," Gardner said. "Also, not only does it create a clutter-free desk, but it's really easy to set up. All you have to do is unbox it and plug it in, and you're ready to go."
Thor Olavsrud is a contributor to SmallBusinessComputing.com and a former senior editor at InternetNews.com. He covers operating systems, standards and security, among other technologies.
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