We just received an anonymous tip regarding the two new Dell desktops Wal-Mart will be carrying
starting Sunday. We have no way to verify the claim but the specs -- which were apparently read directly off the packaging -- certainly seem reasonable and are in line with Michael Dell's own admissions on the models. The first system is said to be a $698 Windows Vista Home Premium model E521B-001W sporting a 19-inch "E197FPB" LCD monitor, dual-core Athlon 64 X2 3600+ processor, 2x 512MB (1GB total) DDR2 667MHz memory, 320GB SATA disk, Integrated GeForce 6150LE graphics, a 16x DVD +/-RW optical drive, USB keyboard and mouse, 13-in-1 media card reader, 10/100 Ethernet, integrated 7.1 channel sound, and 56k PCI Data Fax Modem. For comparison sake, that's about $50 cheaper than a Dell Dimension E521
(pictured) configured on-line with the "exact" (you never know with Dell) same components only with a 19-inch widescreen SE198WFP LCD which is faster, brighter, and features a higher contrast ratio than the Wal-Mart E197FPB (which we presume to be the SE197FP listed on Dell's site). The second system is a $498 E521SA-001W offered sans monitor and a 250GB disk -- exactly $1 cheaper than a similarly spec'd E521. So, if the specs are to be believed, then it's a wash in terms of pricing. Really though, what did you expect from the razor thin margins of the home PC market? Again, these are unconfirmed so you'll have to check for yourself on the 10th when Dell's systems find their way into the godless hellscape called Wal-Mart.