The Desktop Computer You Don't Expect

The Story

Disrupting desktop computing with an innovative solution that’s hidden in plain sight.

Dell partnered with M3 on a project to reinvent the commercial desktop computing space. The Dell Experience Design team had identified some key business growth opportunities for their Optiplex portfolio and engaged M3 to help them on their quest of designing and executing a ground breaking product. Through close collaboration with Dell’s Experience Design and Engineering teams, the Dell OptiPlex 7070 Ultra was born. The innovation is a super compact, highly modular and upgradable compute module that slides into the back of a purpose designed Dell monitor stand making it invisible to the user. The design provides additional security and reduces visual clutter with its fully integrated cable management solution. It also enables customers to freely select and replace their monitor without affecting the compute module, creating a solution that surpasses today’s all-in-one computers.

"Thirty-five years ago, Dell disrupted the way PCs were made and delivered to the world. With the OptiPlex 7070 Ultra, we are changing the category again, with an innovative desktop solution that’s hidden in plain sight." Dave Lincoln Vice President of Fixed Computing
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The Details

The Compute Module

A key to the product’s success was designing and engineering a highly efficient and streamlined form factor for the compute module that would allow it to be located invisibly inside a custom designed Dell monitor riser. Dell and M3’s design and engineering teams went through endless architecture iterations, thermal analysis investigations, component layout strategies, and stakeholder and customer feedback loops to optimize the design. Dell’s comprehensive experience in computer technology and user requirements helped inform the final form factor and architecture layout to ensure a highly successful implementation.

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The Details

The System

The long, slender compute module slides into the back of the custom designed monitor stand, creating the first all-in-one that’s modular and upgradable. Its design de-clutters open-office work spaces and provides great security advantages enabling the compute module to be securely locked in the riser and mitigate the ability to disconnect accessories from the concealed ports. Customers also have freedom to select the monitor of their choice, unlike typical all-in-one solutions.

The Process Steps

Of the many steps involved in creating an industry breakthrough product, some of the most important are the frequent discussions and reviews that help define the end solution. Having regular brainstorms and reviews with Dell’s multi-disciplinary team helped guide the process and ensure critical decisions were made in an informed and timely manner.

Configuration Definition

Outlining a platform strategy that would enable the compute module to not only reside in a riser, but also be versatile enough to power further products in alternative configurations.


Reviewing concepts with Dell engineers

Close Multi-Disciplined Team Collaboration

Working closely both Dell stakeholders across design, engineering and marketing disciplines proved pivotal in bringing innovative thinking to life.


Attention to Detail

Dell and M3 design team’s scrutinized every last detail throughout the process. This attention to detail ensured the design was never compromised.


The new OptiPlex 7070 Ultra is no ordinary business computer, nor is it like any mini PC we've seen before. It could be the future of all-in-one PCs.


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