Dell PCs (mostly) cheaper at Wal-Mart than online

  • Bentonville (AR) – More than 3300 Wal-Mart stores will be putting Dell desktop PCs on their shelves this weekend. The computers will be available from $500 – and differ in price from what Dell charges through its website.

    Dell said that more than 3300 Wal-Mart will be offering the computers initially, with “more than 580 Sam’s Club locations” adding to that by mid-June. The retail systems are based on the vendor’s Dimension E521 desktop computers and Inspiron 1501 notebooks, which are targeted at basic applications such as “simple productivity and light use entertainment.”

    Not all locations will carry the same systems and a brief look on Dell’s website reveals that some of the retail versions are actually cheaper that comparable computers that can be ordered through Dell online. Only one Wal-Mart system is more expensive offline than online.

    All 4000 locations will be offering a E521 desktop PC with an AMD Athlon X2 3600+ processor, 1 GB memory, a 320 GB hard drive, a 16x DVD burner and a 19” monitor for $698. Dell charges $729 for the same system on its website.

    Wal-Mart stores will also have a E521 system without the monitor and a 250 GB hard drive for $498, which however can be purchased for $479 (plus shipping) through Dell directly.

    Sam’s Club will begin offering two Dell systems in “mid-June”. For $899.26, there is a AMD Turion TL-50-based Inspiron 1501 notebook with 2 GB of memory, a 120 GB hard drive, an 8X DVD burner and a 15.4” screen. Dell does not offer a TL-50 notebook online, but a comparable 1501 model is available online for $949.

    The chain will also have a Dimension E521 desktop PC in the same configuration as the Wal-Mart $698 system, with the exception of more memory (2 GB) and a 13-in-1 media card reader. This computer will sell for $828.66, which is slightly less than what Dell charges online ($849).