Dell releases NetPC

Dell Computer released two sealed-case computers that adhere to Microsoft's NetPC standard today. The Dell OptiPlex N features a Pentium MMX 166, 32 MB of RAM, a 2.1 GB hard drive, and a 15-inch monitor. The system runs Windows NT Workstation 4.0. A higher-end system, the OptiPlex NX, features the same components but uses a Pentium II CPU.

Both NetPC systems use a sealed-case design with no floppy drive or CD-ROM. They support the Wake-On-LAN standard and other manageability features determined by the NetPC specification.

Dell NetPCs are accompanied by a PowerEdge 2200 server running Windows NT Server 4.0 and Intel's LANDesk remote administration software.

The OptiPlex N will start at $1,390 while the PowerEdge 2200 server starts at $7000. Pricing for the OptiPlex NX, due in December, has yet to be determined.

Given recent price drops in the PC marketplace, the only difference between a NetPC and a low-end PC is the sealed case and built-in management features. NetPCs are designed specifically for remote administration. While IBM has abandoned the NetPC market, Compaq and Hewlett-Packard offer their own competing products.

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