Under pressure from Acer Dell has announced that they are set to launch a “Formula Red” notebook which just happens to be the same colour as the highly succesful Acer Ferrari line of notebooks. The imatation to will go on sale in mid April.

After taking a restrained attitude toward the growing gamer notebook market for some time, Dell Australia has decided to go in hard, marketing the company’s latest highly-specced notebook – its fastest ever. The move pits Dell against Alienware, the specialist gaming and multimedia PC maker which Dell is in the process of acquiring, as well as Acer with its Ferrari line.

From April 24, Dell will offer the XPS M1710 Special Edition Formula Red notebook to Australian buyers. Decked out in blazing red livery (echoing Acer’s Ferrari), and fitted with an Intel Core Duo processor, 17in. screen, ruggedised chassis and Nvidia Geforce 7900 graphics, it will also feature an illuminated touchpad and user-customisable 16-colour “perimeter lighting”.

Pricing will start at $4299 – plus delivery at $99.

Paul McKeon, Dell Australia’s communications manager, said the local outfit sold limited numbers of an XPS desktop last year, but had not previously marketed a notebook XPS model. Arrival of the new XPS M1710 Special Edition Formula Red – just announced in the US this week – gave the chance to pursue the mobile gamer and multimedia enthusiast market with a premium product.

Dell will be looking for different ways to market the new machine in order to reach the specialised market sector, he said. A Dell statement promises would-be buyers “personalised XPS service with dedicated sales, specially trained technicians and designated phone queue”.

McKeon does not believe Dell will be competing with itself in the wake of the proposed Alienware acquisition. “We see the products as complimentary, and Dell has said Alienware will continue to operate as a standalone unit,”he said.

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