Yesterday, Dell launched a full frontal attack on the consumer-electronics efforts of PC competitors such as Apple Computer, Gateway, HP, and Sony, announcing a line of consumer-oriented devices that Dell hopes will propel it into new market successes. Characteristically late to the consumer-electronics party, Dell nonetheless intends to jump ahead of the pack with a line of digital-entertainment products that the company will phase in during the next several weeks. Predictably, Dell will sell these products at the lowest-possible price--a Dell hallmark. The company also announced a redesign of its Web site.
   "We want our customers to enjoy music, movies, home films, and personal communications--when, where, and how they want," Dell CEO and founder Michael Dell said. "We are expanding our product offerings and enhancing Dell.com, and doing it in time for the holiday-buying period so important to consumers ... By introducing high-performing consumer-electronics products that closely integrate with the computer, we are delivering what is most important to consumers--content and experience--at a better value than they're currently getting."
   The new Dell products include the Dell Digital Jukebox (DJ), a portable audio player; the Dell Music Store, an online music service that's similar to Apple's music store; the Dell W1700, a multifunction wide-screen LCD TV and computer display; the Dell 2200MP Projector, a home-entertainment projector; and the Dell Axim X3, a new thin and light wireless-equipped PDA. In addition, Dell will soon begin offering a free multimedia application called the Dell Media Experience, which the company will provide for free with all its PCs. Essentially a software front end that runs on top of Windows, the Dell Media Experience software will let users enjoy digital music, video, DVDs, and photos without needing to deal with the complexities of the underlying system.
   Dell, the world's largest PC maker, will ship its new products and services during the next several weeks, and the company says that it will announce prices as they become available. The new Web site will debut in October.