updated 12:50 pm EDT, Tue August 12, 2008
Dell Latitude 2008
Dell today launched the new Latitude line, ushering in a significant refresh of its business systems. The new models have a new streamlined design with the choice of multiple shell colors and take cues both from recent PC designs like the Studio as well as the MacBook Pro; the new systems now have backlit keyboards, a magnesium shell designed to be strong, and an extra-thin design. The mainstream models are the thinnest ever in the mid-size class, the Texas-based company claims, while its ultraportable E4200 model weighs as little as 2.2 pounds.
The company also claims to have set a record for battery performance using a combination of proprietary software as well as Intel's Centrino 2 platform. The mid-grade Latitude E6400 with an extended 12-cell battery can last up to 19 hours on a single charge, according to Dell. A standard nine-cell battery also manages 10 hours. The company also promises a revamped power brick that can recover as much as 80 percent of the charge in one hour, and USB ports that will charge phones and other devices even when the system is completely turned off.
A new instant-boot feature gives quick access to mail and other simple data without having to boot Windows.
Wide-area wireless and security are also billed as essentials with 3G, GPS, and WiMAX as options for getting online while a contact-free Smart Card reader and a fingerprint scanner are common.
The E4200 is Dell's most compact system in the range with a 12-inch screen, the 2.2-pound weight, an ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo processor, between 1GB and 5GB of memory, and solid-state storage either at 64GB or 128GB at the expense of no optical drive. This and a 13.3-inch E4300 with conventional processors and storage have yet to receive prices or launch dates but should arrive when Intel begins shipping new low-power processors.
Three mid-range Latitudes ship sooner; the 19-hour, 14-inch E6400 and the 15.4-inch E6500 use minimum 2.26GHz Core 2 Duos, between 1GB and 8GB of memory, and the choice of a Quadro NVS 160M for faster 3D. These start at prices of $1,139 and $1,169 respectively. A rugged, military-spec E6400 ATG is coming soon.
Two entry-level Essential systems, the 14-inch E5400 and 15-inch E5500, start out with slower 2GHz Core 2 Duo processors and a simpler case design that helps push the price down to $839 for the E5400 and $869 for the E5500.
Dell has also confirmed the launch of its new Precision line, which is built both for mobile workstation use as well as style-conscious users. The company positions the M4400 as its mid-range model with a 15.4-inch display, a 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo, up to 8GB of RAM and a Quadro FX 770M for graphics; the M2400 is the lightest Precision yet at just under 4.8 pounds with a 14-inch display and has similar specifications save for a Quadro FX 370M. These should be available soon at costs of $1,569 and $1,449 respectively; a 17-inch flagship with up to 16GB of memory, an LED-lit display with 100% Adobe color space, and dual drive bays for up to 1TB of storage should be available sometime after.
Latitude E6400 ATG