The launch of the Dell Latitude "E' notebook line boasts a total of seven new enterprise-class laptops, including ultraportable notebooks and several mainstream business laptops with new features such as 19 hours of battery life. Dell, which is looking to bolster its business lineup to counter HP's enterprise notebooks, also delivered three new Precision mobile workstations.
Dell is looking to broaden the reach of its enterprise notebook portfolio
with the launch of seven new Latitude "E" notebooks for business users and
three Precision mobile workstations.
During several Aug. 12 events, Dell unveiled some its most ambitious
notebook designs to date for the enterprise market, including a 2.2-pound
ultraportable Latitude notebook with a 12.1-inch display and a mainstream
business laptop with up to 19 hours of battery life.
What was notable about this particular notebook launch was how Dell
incorporated a number of consumer features, from Web cameras to an array of
color choices, into an enterprise market that has grown used to laptops with
"It's obviously a broad announcement with lots of notebooks with lots of new
features, but the real story is the consumer influence on the enterprise
product line," said Richard Shim, an analyst with IDC.
"Dell has made improvements with the battery life, and they talked about
security and manageability, but what I thought was interesting was the fact that
they were using Webcams, different colors and just from a segmentation
standpoint they had 10 new products there, and that's really broad for a
colors and cameras, Dell is including a number of IT-specific features,
including a suite of security and management features
that it introduced
earlier this year called Dell ProSupport Mobility Services. Dell also
incorporated a number of other security features, such as smart card readers.
Dell launch also updates the PC vendor's lineup with Intel's Centrino 2 mobile
, which debuted in July. While nearly every other major OEM-from
Hewlett-Packard to Lenovo to Toshiba
-rushed notebooks into the market to
coincide with Intel's announcement, Dell held back until this week.
One reason for the delay could be that Dell wanted its own moment in the
launched its Centrino-based notebooks in June, which was a full month before
the official announcement.
Shim believes that Dell is looking to compete
with HP in the enterprise space, since HP has also emphasized the consumer
aspects of its business notebooks. Lenovo, the other large enterprise notebook
player, has remained more traditional with its laptop designs.
"Every commercial user is also a consumer," said Steve Phelps, vice
president of engineering for Dell. "Delivering silver or black boxes is just
not the right answer today, so we're trying to figure out how commercial
customers use their machines not only from a business perspective but from a
While all the major OEMs have been emphasizing notebooks over desktops in
the last few years, Dell has made a concerted effort to raise its profile when
it comes to notebooks. CEO
Michael Dell told analysts earlier this year that notebooks would be one of
five key areas
that the company would improve during the next year.