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Dell punts green gear with 0% interest

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Here's a new twist on an old idea.Dell US announced today that it was extending a zero per cent interest, 36-month financing deal from its high-end EqualLogic disk arrays to laptops and servers suitable for small and medium businesses. But, rather than just providing financing across its whole product line, Dell is only offering the deal on its most energy efficient gear.

Specifically, the financing is only available on Latitude E5500, E6400, and E6500 laptops and PowerEdge 1950 and 2950 Energy Smart servers. The Energy Smart designs use low-power, high-efficiency parts and carry a price premium (usually around 10 per cent), and over time, they more than pay for that premium in electricity bill savings.

The deal Dell is offering is a zero per cent lease deal with a 36 month term and a $1 payout for the gear acquired that comes due to Dell at the end of the lease. Dell is offering quarterly billing for the lease deal instead of monthly (which means less paperwork) and is only running the deal for a relatively short time: until May 1. That's when Dell's first quarter of fiscal 2010 will end, so Dell is trying to pump up the quarter and steer small and medium businesses that might be having trouble getting financing or are hesitant to spend their cash to not only get new gear, but still invest in energy efficient products.

Dell is also offering a fair market value leases of various term lengths with 90 days of no payments to try to get customers to buy gear. This financing deal also runs out on May 1 and has no restrictions on what iron can be leased under it. Dell Business Credit, a revolving line of credit that companies can set up with Dell Financial Services, is also available to customers and has rates as low as 9.99 per cent, according to the company.

Hewlett-Packard, which also sells a lot of iron to SMBs that are now skittish thanks to the economy, announced its own zero per cent financing deal in late January. One HP financing deal - a zero per cent, $1 payout lease with a twelve-month term - is restricted to ProLiant tower, rack, and blade servers and entry and midrange Integrity servers. Customers can spend between $1,500 and $150,000. Only pre-configured PCs and laptops can be financed. A longer 36-month deal has a fair market value payout instead of a $1 payout. ®

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