Dell Offers Blu-ray Burner with XPS M1710

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Computer maker Dell announced today that it is now offering dual-layer Blu-ray DVD burners as an option in its product line, starting with the high-end XPS M1710 notebook computer. The systems will offer all the standard features of Blu-ray drives—1080p video, up to 7.1 surround audio, backward compatibility with standard CD and DVD discs, etc.—the units enable big-time data crunchers or video makers to burn up to 50 GB to a single, dual-layer Blu-ray disc.

“Blu-ray optical drive technology has gained broad industry support and we believe it will become the optical drive standard of the future,” said Alex Gruzen, senior vice president, Dell Product Group, in a release. “We continue to see PCs—both desktops and notebooks—functioning as the entertainment and productivity hub in the home and on the road with their versatility, power, connectivity, and vibrant high-definition displays. We believe high-definition video powered by Blu-ray Disc technology will be a significant part of that entertainment experience.”

(In case anyone wonders if this means Dell is taking sides in the Blu-ray/HD DVD format war, Dell was a founding member of the Blu-ray Disk Association.)

The Blu-ray equipped Dell XPS M1710 systems are also the first Blu-ray Dissc system to meed the logo requirements for Nvidia PureVideo technology for providing the “ultimate” HD experience on a PC. The systems also sport an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, an Nvidia GeForce Go 7950 GTX graphic controller with 512 MB of video RAM, support for up to 4 GB of RAM, and hard drives offering up to 160 GB of storage. But the Blu-ray equipeed systems won’t be cheap: the XPS M1710s with the Blu-ray burners start at $3,699—but they should be available “this holiday season.”

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