Apparently it's been raining in Britain. Well I wouldn't know as I'm in Spain. But beyond the occasional blast of hot air I'm not entirely sure how the weather's doing here in Marbella. No, I've spent the day looking at Dell's new consumer PCs.

See: Dell Inspiron 1720 review - click here

Dell launches 1TB desktop PCs

Dell announces 'world's thinnest 13in laptop'

Eight colours in Dell's new laptop range

And there's a lot to see. Dell has today launched a swathe of media-centric laptops, a tiny ultramobile PC and a couple of desktops. With a wide-screen LCD flat-panel thrown in for good measure. It's actually pretty compelling stuff too - although not always in the way Dell would hope.

Clearly there's some rebranding and repositioning going on here. Dell has had a ropey couple of years, and seen its number one PC retailer crown slip slip on to HP's head. And with Apple cornering the market in desirable IT kit, Dell clearly thinks something must be done.

The response is, at least initially, impressive. Although it can safely be stored under the 'form ahead of substance' category. Which is not to say that Dell's new hardware is in any way inferior, but it isn't revolutionary. The new Inspiron desktop PCs in particular are a reboxing and upgrading of already pretty decent (and well-priced) technology.

You could make the same argument about releasing a set of notebooks in eight different colours. But Dell may be on to something. Increasingly people want a flash toy they can show off to their friends when they purchase a new PC. And Dell must have grown frustrated with customers buying the best-looking products over its - dare I say it - better priced kit. Yes, I'm thinking of Apple.

But there's a danger that Dell could be seen to be copying the likes of Apple and HP, and this PC bohemoth may simply be too old to try to look cool.

Either way it'll be interesting to see how popular Dell's new consumer kit proves. And I can't help but feel it deserves to succeed - and not only because it's buying me dinner in the sun. If I get out there in time...

Dell Inspiron colour range

Dell Inspiron colour range