Dell Latitude 13, Precision M6500 Offer Enterprise-Class Computing

 
 
By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2010-02-02
 
 
 

Dell introduced two new PCs on Feb. 2, which it's referring to as "the beauty" and "the beast." The looker of the two is the Latitude 13, a thin-and-light laptop for the enterprise, and the more muscular - the world's most powerful mobile workstation, according to Dell - is the Precision M6500 dual-core mobile workstation.
 
David Ruth, Dell's Latitude product manager, said the Texas computer maker generated a lot of interest with the netbook it introduced last year, but the feedback it's received from enterprises was for greater usability, a larger screen and a larger keyboard.
 
"We set out to meet those needs, and with a really good cost profile and a compelling industrial design," Ruth told eWEEK. "We took the Latitude 13 in the direction of supporting everything IT needs, from systems management to enterprise-grade services."
 
The Latitude 13 features a 13.3-inch screen, a weight of just 3.36 pounds, Intel ultra-low voltage processors and a choice of Microsoft's Windows 7 or XP. While more svelte, its industrial aesthetic follows from the Dell Vostro V13, introduced on Dec. 8.
 
Customized security options include solid-state drives, full-disk encryption, Trusted Platform Module control and Computrace software. There's systems management support for Broadcom TruManage technology and Dell ImageDirect service, and the virtualization-ready design enables IT to deliver a full PC experience to workers in environments such as regional offices or call centers.
 
WWAN mobile broadband, Bluetooth and 802.11 g/n connectivity are all optional, as is a Blu-ray Disc drive and a Webcam and microphone.
 
Efficient enterprises understand the need for specialization, Ruth said, and Dell's focused on such customizing. Solutions, not just hardware, are its new priority. "Today it's, -I have a call center, I need this cost profile, what can you make for me?'" Ruth said.
 
The same goes for the Dell Precision M6500 dual-core, which follows from Dell's Dec. 1 introduction of the M6500. Since then, however, Intel released new product, Dell received lots of feedback, and the result is this update.
 
"Right now there are two internal storage bays. We're going to increase the option and give them a third storage option," Mano Gialusis, Dell's senior product manager, told eWEEK. "We're also going to release a [64GB SSD] MiniCard, which will go in a slot near the door for the Wi-Fi card."
 
The system can be purchased with the card pre-installed or add it later. Systems with up to two additional HDDs in RAID 0 or 1 can be configured for a maximum just over 1TB.
 
There's also a Qualcomm Gobi 2 card for worldwide connectivity - "You can connect on any carrier, from anywhere in the world," said Gialusis - USB 3.0 ports and a bump in the camera quality from 2 megapixels to 3.2, which Gialusis says expands its capabilities beyond video conferencing.
 
Other features include an optional Intel Core i7-920XM Quad Core Extreme Edition processor linked with 1,066MHz, 1,333MH and 1,600MHz of memory, support for 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows 7, Vista and XP, as well as 64-bit Red Hat Linux 5.3.
 
Both systems will be available in the following weeks, with starting prices still to be announced. According to Ruth, however, the Latitude 13 won't jump the $1,000 mark, and while the initial M6500 quad-core starts at $2,749, pricing for the dual-core is still being finalized.  

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