Dell continues to dominate the computer market, of course. Here’s what some of the other players are doing.

Sony just announced its summer lineup, loaded with multimedia components (DVD rewritable drives, digital video recorder software, and the like), at the higher end of the price spectrum.

Gateway desperately needs to return to profitability, although it still doesn’t have a clearly defined place in the market that would cause you to turn to them instead of Dell. Its latest business plan positions it as more than just a computer manufacturer – it is a “branded integrator,” making and selling a broad range of products including computers, PDAs (personal digital assistants), networking gear and services, home-theater equipment–and even furniture.

Gateway will make sure it has a high profile this summer – lots of advertising, and product placement in movies (look for a Gateway in Jim Carrey’s movie Bruce Almighty). Gateway recently announced that you’ll be able to reach a technical support person within thirty seconds – if you buy a premium support package. Ordinary folks will still be on hold.

If you’re a gamer, Alienware is making a name for itself as the place to go for high end gaming machines – lovingly built with the best available technology, in stylish cases. Prices are higher than the conventional manufacturers, but they’re fair considering what’s inside the box – and they’re undeniably cool systems. There are other small manufacturers in the same market with even more extravagant cases – look in the back pages of PC Gamer magazine.

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