US computer market leader Dell, whose success has been built on a stack it high, sell it cheap strategy, is moving upmarket.

The Texas-headquartered firm has unveiled a new 'luxury' brand, XPS. It will sell at $2,700 (€2250; £1500) for a laptop and $1,100 for three entry-priced desktop models.

The new range will continue to be sold via phone and the internet, as are Dell's cheaper brands, but will have a dedicated sales and customer services team.

The firm says it is niche marketing in a similar way to Japanese automaker Toyota when it built its upscale Lexus marque.

The computer firm tested the market early last year with a machine for gamers called the Inspiron XPS. Its success persuaded Dell to market the brand to image-conscious, moneyed customers who might also buy, for example, a Tag Heuer watch or a Dyson vacuum cleaner.

Says Dell senior manager Will Townsend: "This will be our Lexus."

Data sourced from International Herald Tribune Online; additional content by WARC staff