Dell Latitude Laptop Portfolio Grows by 3

 
 
By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2010-04-08
 
 
 

Dell introduced three new additions to its Latitude E family of laptops on April 8.
 
One semirugged and two professional, the laptops are the result of a year's worth of design tinkering and taking to heart to client feedback, and Dell no doubt hopes they'll encourage enterprises made timid by the global recession to finally refresh older machines.
 
The Dell Latitude E6410, with a 14.1-inch display, the E6510, with a 15.6-inch display, and the semi-rugged E6410 ATG, also with a 14.1-inch display, offer Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, 1,066 or 1,333MHz DDR3 (double data rate 3) memory, a choice of Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows Vista operating systems, and a long list of features and options that includes a Fast Response Free Fall Sensor to prevent a drop from resulting in data loss.
 
Patrick Burns, a senior product manager with Dell, told eWEEK that Dell had three main areas of focus in designing these latest models. The first, he said, was, "How can we drive the mobile collaboration forward even more? How do we optimize a thin-and-light design to include all that customers demand?"
 
The result is slim designs made to last, with tri-metal construction, steel reinforcements inside the case and zinc-reinforced hinges. The Webcam was upgraded to 3 megapixels, and the speakers and digital-array microphones were likewise improved for a high-end conferencing experience. There are also a slew of connectivity options, and the glass displays are impact-resistant.
 
"These laptops are for road warriors who are in and out of airports or shuttling between buildings," Burns said. He added that Dell is launching a 90-watt adapter for plugging a laptop into an airplane seat jack. Whereas previously the laptop plug went into a converter that then went into the seat, Dell is getting rid of the middle component.
 
"That's just one example of how we're trying to reduce the total weight for customers," Burns said.
 
The second major focus was compatibility, and making the laptops as appealing to users as possible. Burns offered examples such as rounding the edges on the laptops, giving more color options and continuing the option of LED lights that shine up through the key caps, Burns said, "offering better usability on overnight flights or when taking notes in a darkened conference room."
 
The final focus was on security and improving the chipset architecture, making the devices faster while drawing less energy. Each of the new laptops offers Dell's Latitude ON technology, giving quick access to e-mail, calendar and contacts without booting up the machine. They're also Energy Star- and EPEAT-certified, offer energy-efficient LED displays and backlighting, and feature Energy Smart power management settings and an inverted motherboard for "improved thermals," Dell said.
 
With all three models, Dell customers can choose imaging and asset management options for deploying, managing and recovering assets. Dell also offers an assortment of automation tools-for automating, deploying and managing tasks such as system updates or configuring BIOS without a deskside visit-as well as deployment, management and hardware customization services.
 
The E6410 and E6510, which additionally offer discrete graphics from Nvidia, start at $1,129 and $1,164, respectively.
 
The semirugged E6410 ATG is military-spec 810G-tested to withstand shock, vibration, and temperature and humidity extremes. Customers also have the option of a three-year battery warranty. The notebook can share a docking station with the other two models, as well as a number of earlier Dell laptops, regardless of size. The starting price for the ATG is $2,114.
 
According to research company IDC, the PC industry can expect to see a 27 percent growth in commercial laptops over the next three years, as organizations begin to feel the impact of continuing to use aging machines.

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