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LARGEST SINGLE PRODUCT LAUNCH IN DELL'S HISTORY; NEWLY DESIGNED i486 PCs ESTABLISH NEW PRICE/VALUE STANDARD; NEW 'SNAP TOGETHER' CHASSIS

 AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 1 ~PRNewswire~ -- Dell Computer Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: DELL) today made a leap forward in the industry contest for value leadership with its introduction of 18 new i486-based performance series systems, the largest single product introduction in the company's history. The new systems replace Dell's existing line of award-winning i486 desktops and are priced less than their predecessors while offering from two to five times faster graphics performance, up to 51 percent higher system performance and a host of Dell-designed features including integrated local bus video, upgradeability to Intel Pentium technology, and embedded system diagnostics.
 As the industry price wars cool, Dell believes customers are looking for greater value at similar price points, and today's announcement is representative of the company's response to this trend. The boost in processing and graphics performance and the extremely aggressive prices of the products announced today are expected to greatly increase competitive pressure on other leading PC vendors as they vie with Dell for marketshare.
 Available for shipment immediately, the new PCs are based on Intel486 SX, DX and DX2 microprocessors running at 25-, 33-, 50- and 66- megahertz (MHz). The systems are separated into four different product families:
 -- 486~L, comprised of five low-profile PCs based on the Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) bus with prices beginning at $1,200;
 -- 486~M, a family of five mid-size ISA systems priced starting at $1,450;
 -- 486~ME, a mid-size group of five Extended Industry Standard Architecture (EISA)-based PCs with prices starting at $1,750; and,
 -- 486~T, a new class of Dell performance series products, comprised of three ISA-based floorstanding systems, beginning with a 33MHz i486DX- based system, priced starting at $1,950.
 Prices quoted above include the base system unit with 4-megabytes (MB) of random access memory (RAM), an 80MB hard disk drive, and one 5.25- or 3.5-inch diskette drive. A variety of monitors are available through Dell at prices beginning at $249 for a VGA Color display.
 "We've re-invented our entire mainstream i486 product line, and these are our most innovative systems yet," said G. Glenn Henry, senior vice president of Dell's product group. "We have built in more performance and more user-focused features than ever before. Dell has been developing industry-leading products for many years, and we feel these new systems will continue that tradition." Worldwide, Dell systems have garnered more than 50 independent industry awards in the last year for product quality, reliability and value.
 SYSTEM FEATURES
 The four system families announced today share a number of innovative features that increase their performance and ease-of-use, including an integrated local bus video subsystem that accelerates video performance in popular graphical environments such as MS-Windows. Using the popular Winbench Version 2.5 benchmark, designed to approximate a "real-world" Windows environment, Dell benchmarking experts tested the company's new 66MHz ISA systems against comparably configured 486P~66 systems, all with the standard 512-kilobytes (K) of installed video DRAM. In 1024 x 768~16 color mode, the new systems were more than five times faster than their predecessors.
 Dell's new systems also feature increased system performance through use of faster chipsets, improved memory architecture and an optional 128K external cache, which is newly available for Dell i486 ISA systems. When tested on the BAPCo SysMark '92 benchmark against similarly configured Dell 486~P and D systems, 66MHz 486~L, M and T systems outperformed their predecessors by 27 percent, and with the optional 128K cache installed, the new systems achieved performance scores that were 51 percent faster than their existing counterparts.
 In addition to video and system performance increases, the systems introduced today also offer customers extensive upgradeability. Each of the 18 PCs are upgradeable to higher speed Intel486 processors and to Intel's Pentium microprocessor technology when it becomes available. Other features shared by each of the new systems include:
 -- an updated chassis with built-in usability features such as a front reset button and a "power-on" LED;
 -- buffered serial ports to prevent data loss during communications under Windows;
 -- FLASH memory for BIOS storage, allowing users to easily perform BIOS updates via a diskette;
 -- an enhanced setup program that offers improved password security to aid users in safeguarding systems against unauthorized use, and the ability for users to select the "bootable" diskette drive; and
 -- support for new high-capacity 2.88MB diskette drives, which fit a standard bay and can utilize 1.44MB media.
 "We're delighted to be able to offer customers even greater performance and features for these prices, which are even lower than those of our previous systems," said Joel Kocher, senior vice president of Dell USA. "Our R&D teams have outdone themselves. Today not only marks the largest single introduction of products in Dell history, but also marks the day we crossed a new threshold in offering value to customers. Our price~value index has always been extremely competitive, but today, I think it went off the charts."
 ADVANCED EMBEDDED DIAGNOSTICS
 Each of the ISA systems introduced today employs an advanced set of embedded diagnostic programs, stored in FLASH memory. These Dell- designed programs give users the ability to diagnose a range of system problems more easily than before. The new diagnostics have the ability to detect a diverse range of failures, down to the component level, and because the programs are stored in FLASH memory, Dell's diagnostics are able to pinpoint problems even in conditions where the computer system will not "boot" its operating system. A non-booting system will stop a diskette-based diagnostic program dead in its tracks. The new embedded diagnostics complement Dell's existing diskette-based system diagnostics to provide a comprehensive solution.
 SERVICE
 The new systems come with Dell's widely acclaimed, comprehensive service and support program for its performance series systems, which includes unlimited lifetime toll-free technical support with guaranteed response and guaranteed next-business day, on-site service through Dell's alliance with BancTec Service Corporation.
 Dell believes the outstanding performance, features and prices of its new i486 PCs, together with its widely-acclaimed service and support programs, give the four system families a price~value index that is unparalleled in the industry.
 DISTINGUISHING FEATURES--486~L FAMILY
 The value equation of the 486~L family is one of the most compelling facets of today's announcement. This is the lowest-priced group of systems introduced today, yet beyond the performance characteristics and features discussed above, the 486~Ls were designed with a number of brand new, user-focused features that deliver unprecedented serviceability and ease of use. The new features include an innovative "snap-together" system design and a patent-pending Dell invention, the Expansion Card Cage. Dell believes that its 486~L systems "raise the bar" for its competitors and will become the standard against which all other entry-level 486-based systems are judged.
 SNAP-TOGETHER DESIGN REDUCES UPGRADE & MAINTENANCE TIME BY UP TO
 65 PERCENT
 The 486~L PCs employ a creative design that literally "snaps" together, with minimal screws used for system assembly. Some of the most frequently serviced components in the system -- diskette drives and motherboard -- literally snap into place with flexible quick-release devices. Any externally accessible devices, such as diskette or tape drives, use similar quick-release devices to snap in and out of the front of the chassis. Also designed for quick and painless removal, the hard drive and expansion board subassembly are held into place with only one screw apiece, and the system cover is fastened with large, easy-to- turn thumbscrews, further simplifying service and upgrades to all internal components.
 The Expansion Card Cage replaces traditional expansion slots in the 486~L family, holding up to three full-length 16-bit expansion boards, and can be removed with the cards and cables still attached, by simply removing one screw and lifting it out. Previously, users performing common upgrades and service had to remove all expansion boards individually before gaining access to the necessary components; eliminating these steps will speed user service and upgrades significantly. The card cage also streamlines the process of diagnosing hardware problems. A system that returns to normal after quick removal of the card cage demonstrates that the faulty component is most likely an expansion board. Likewise, expansion boards can be quickly dismissed as the source of a failure if the problem remains once the card cage is removed.
 Dell service experts estimate that the 486~L family's snap-together design will reduce upgrade and maintenance time for the average user by up to 65 percent. For example, a user replacing the motherboard in a current competitive low-profile PC would have to remove approximately 10 screws--or more if the user has any installed expansion boards. The same operation on a 486~L can be accomplished in minutes by removing just one screw each on the Expansion CardCage and hard drive, and snapping the component out of its bay.
 Dell Computer Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, markets,services and supports a complete line of personal computers compatible with industry standards. Dell pioneered the direct marketing of personal computers in 1984 and was the first company in the PC industry to offer manufacturer-direct, technical support. Information on the company and its products can be obtained through its toll-free number: 1-800-BUY DELL (1-800-289-3355).
 NOTE: Dell and Dell System are registered trademarks of Dell Computer Corporation. Microsoft and MS are registered trademarks and Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
 Intel is a registered trademark and Intel486, i486 and Pentium and trademarks of Intel Corporation.
 Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.
 -0- 12~1~92
 ~CONTACT: Jill Shanks or Dean Kline (media), 512-794-4100, or Don Collis (investor), 512-338-8671, all of Dell Computer Corporation~
 (DELL)


CO: Dell Computer Corp. ST: Texas IN: CPR SU: PDT

SH -- NY024 -- 2312 12~01~92 10:05 EST
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Nov 24, 1992
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