Dell All-in-One PC Takes Aim at the Family Hub

With a touchscreen, sleek model takes a middle path toward being the kitchen PC

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The kitchen is becoming a popular target for PC makers, as Dell joins the hunt with an all-in-one aimed at being the new family hub. Dell's offering falls between a high-end model from HP and budget counter-top PCs from netbook makers like Asus.

The Dell Studio One 19 adds some style with a widescreen monitor surrounded by a colored frame. Playing to Dell's strength, the PC offers a range of options including processor, memory, and graphics. Other choices include wireless networking, webcam and Blu-ray Disk player.

At a starting price of $700, the Studio One 19 appears nearly as cheap as the Eee Top. But that Dell price doesn't include a touchscreen monitor, which seems crucial for countertop computing.

A touchscreen model will start somewhere south of $900. Either way, the widescreen makes for a low profile that should squeeze the 18.5-inch monitor under the cabinets.

A non-touch screen might be fine in a den or family room setting where there's more room for a keyboard and mouse. And the Dell all-in-one can work in those settings, unlike the underpowered Eee Top, which is essentially a netbook turned on its side with a touchscreen.

Even in the kitchen, the PC packs enough power to be a family's primary computer, says Josh Duncan, a Dell product manager. "We don't want you to have to run to the office if you want to do some real computing."

The Studio One 19 (wasn't one number enough?) goes on sale here in late April. It first launches this month in Japan.