Dell Excels At CES Again With New And Futuristic Business And Consumer Offerings

By Patrick Moorhead - January 5, 2017
Dell has excelled in the CES award count over the last few years where they’ve announced both new consumer and commercial designs. Their performance has not been limited to CES as they’ve made a run on market share as well, with 15 straight quarters of year over year market share growth. Last quarter alone, Dell gained 160 basis points driven by consumer which improved by 12%. The real question coming into CES was whether they could continue their performance. Dell brought a plethora of new products and some refreshed products to this year’s CES to release this year. Dell Canvas One of the products that has spent the most time in development and is finally starting to see the light of day is the Dell Canvas. Dell has been showing off the Dell Canvas in the whisper-suites under non-disclosure for years and they are officially bringing to market after a ton of research and development. Canvas is 100% aimed at content developers and designers versus having multiple systems and a separate pen system. Dell says that they have app support out of the box for professional apps from Adobe, Autodesk, AVID, Dassault, SolidWorks and Microsoft which is likely where they spent much of their time developing this product. Users can interact with their hands, active pen and a totem dial. Knowing that this was in the works as I saw HP’s Sprout and Microsoft’s Surface Studio, I was hoping they would officially bring it to market soon. Like Sprout, Dell Canvas has two work surfaces and pen support, but unlike it, it uses a real display on its horizontal surface versus a projector and does not include a 3D scanner. I get the sense that Dell worked very closely with Microsoft as to not replace the Windows 10 UI, but rather to work well with it and streamline the user experience. I can’t wait to get my hands on one when they release in March, starting at $1,799. Literally, “no-wires” Dell Latitude 7285 The industry has been talking about ‘no-wires’ for years now and it seems like it has always been right around the corner. The reality is, wireless charging and gigabit wireless Ethernet is really tough and tougher than I think most of the industry expected. It was important to trim down the wireless charging functionality to have WiGig interoperability between vendors. These advances in technology allowed for the Dell Latitude 2-in-1 to be the first fully-wireless laptop from Dell. The Latitude 7285 is a 12” display 2-in-1 device which features WiGig for wireless display and a WiTricity-based wireless solution for charging. Essentially, the user can just place their Latitude 7285 on the charging mat and it automatically starts charging and wirelessly connects to the wireless display. This is the future of computing, available this year with more details coming in May at Dell EMC World. XPS 13 2-in-1 and updated XPS 15 The Dell XPS brand is also getting new products as the company completes its Intel Kaby Lake refresh across its product portfolio. The XPS line has embraced the vision that the better the tools IT provides to their employees and the more consumer-looking and acting they are, the less likely they are to bring their own device to work and invoke BYOD. Dell’s XPS blends consumer sexy with commercial security and manageability. Dell’s XPS 13 is considered by many as the best in the market, and the Dell XPS 15 is also highly regarded as well. In addition to refreshing both of the XPS laptops with Kaby Lake, they’ve actually made a new 2-in-1 model with an infinity edge display which Dell claims to be the world’s smallest. It’s a fanless design, meaning that it can be thinner and silent so it can act better in tablet mode. These new laptops, because they’re Dell XPS support Intel vPro processors and Dell BIOS and manageability software and can be used in the enterprise. Dell calls the XPS 15 the smallest 15.6” laptop on the planet and Dell has upgraded it with the 7th Gen Intel processors as mentioned before but also with the latest NVIDIA GTX 10 series architecture and fingerprint reader. Competition is rising in this space and Dell is still looking good by raising the bar even further for the rest of the players in the space. Both the XPS 13 2-in-1 and the newly upgraded XPS 15 will be available starting January 5th on as well as Best Buy for the 2-in-1. New XPS 27 AiO In addition to their portable PC offerings, Dell is also making pretty big desktop announcements as well. The premium AiO market is heating up big-time with new offerings from Microsoft and HP and even Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has pre-announced a new lineup. I’ve had a chance to see the pre-production version of the XPS 27 all-in-one (AiO) with 4K display with Adobe RGB color gamut, touch capability and Dell’s Infinity Edge display technology and its simply awesome. Dell really leaned into audio as it blasts up to 500 watts over 10 channels of audio tuned with the help of Grammy Award winner Jack Joseph Puig. Its nice to see Dell leveraging the platform for something different. No laptop can do this with audio due to the simple spatial constraints, not a chance. It also features up to 80 watts of CPU power and up to 100 watts of GPU power featuring AMD’s Polaris GPUs. It will also be available in a precision version that allows users to configure for professional applications with Intel Xeon, Radeon Pro graphics and workstation ISV certifications and will be available starting January 5th starting at $1499. 8K Dell UltraSharp display Finally, is Dell’s confirmation of their continued leadership in display technology with their latest big bad monitor. For as long as I can remember Dell has been the leader in providing the biggest and baddest monitors on the market. Dell also sells more displays than any vendor out there, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that they continue to bring out new display technologies typically first. The UltraSharp brand is synonymous with high-end monitors and the new Dell UltraSharp 8K is no different. The Dell UltraSharp 8K is a 32” display that has 1 billion colors and 33 million pixels with 100 percent Adobe RGB and sRGB color depth. The reality is that most users won’t benefit from having a 32” 8K display, however photographers and videographers can finally have a display that will allow them to view their photos in full resolution once and for all. It can technically also allow four different 4K windows to exist on the same display which is pretty mind-boggling when you think about it. Dell have outdone themselves once again with display technology and it will be interesting to see which graphics card vendors release support for it. In order to drive an 8K panel you absolutely need HBR3 signaling over DisplayPort and graphics cards that support HBR3 are going to be the only ones that can drive an 8K monitor. The UltraSharp 8K will be available at the end of March for $4,999 but Dell expects the price of it to come down as demand and volume increase. Wrapping up Overall, this CES has been an interesting one once again for Dell and they’ve shown leadership in a multitude of areas. They’ve once again won countless awards for their newest products and I can’t wait to try some of them out. Dell is really proving that a company can continue to innovate year after year, especially when there’s competition in the market and they know what consumers are going to want and need in the future. Dell’s focus on work, security and enabling professionals also appears to be continuing to pay off and is showing no signs of letting up with many of these new products supporting professional applications and enterprise security.
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Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.