ROUND ROCK, Texas - Dell Inc., the world's largest personal computer maker, on Thursday announced two environmentally friendlier desktop computer systems for business users.

Dell said lead-reduced versions of its OptiPlex GX520 and GX620 corporate desktop computers were available immediately worldwide.

The new models eliminate lead from the power supply, motherboard and chassis, company officials said. However, Dell said lead still may be present in certain other components as it continues to work with parts suppliers to eliminate the material.

The move comes ahead of the European Union's July 2006 deadline requiring electronics shipped in the EU to be completely lead-free. Dell, which already bars the use of other hazardous chemicals such as cadmium and mercury, said it would meet the EU requirements before the deadline.

Prices will start at $549 for the GX520 and $579 for the GX620. The models will be available in seven configurations, including mini-tower and desktop form factors, and will include Intel Pentium 4 and Celeron D processors running up to 3.8 gigahertz.

At a news conference Thursday in Monte Carlo, Monaco, Dell also touted its environmental initiatives, saying it recycled more than 24 million pounds of used computer parts last year in the United States, a 234 percent increase over the previous year.

Shares of the Round Rock, Texas-based company rose 30 cents to close at $40.60 in Thursday trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, where they have traded in a 52-week range of $32.71 to $42.57.

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