Dell Refreshes Latitude Laptop Line

Dell Latitude E-Family Refresh

Dell this week launched new enhancements to its Latitude line of business notebooks. The PCs include the latest Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors, fast DDR3 memory, HD displays and new colors. Dell also has bolstered data protection, asset monitoring and remote management to complement the new PCs. Pictured at left is the Latitude e6410 in black.

Mobility, Usability, Technology

The E6410 (left), is a 14-inch model. Dell also introduced the E6510 15-inch version and a semi-rugged version of the E6410, built on Dell's All-Terrain Grade (ATG) platform, said Patrick Burns, senior manager of Latitude product marketing at Dell.

"Three things were key as we bring these to market. One is mobile collaboration. Customers continue to require full remote capabilities. They need to work on the go. Second, as technology enhances, they want to improve usability for users of all levels. The third is the interior of the machines, the technology architecture, with a few components being refreshed," he said.

Seeing Red

In addition to black, the E6410 and E6510 are available in blue and red, the first new colors for the Latitude line, said Dell's Burns. "We've added consumer design qualities into commercial. This is our first commercial launch with red, blue and black. That will help the machine stand out cosmetically," Burns said.

Dell expects some customers to begin color-coding their machines for various departments or purposes, Burns said. "For example, a red LCD back is a secure machine and it's not allowed to leave the building," he said.

A red version of the E6410 is pictured at left.

Longer Battery Life

In addition to new colors, Dell continues to revamp the inside of the Latitude. The backlit keyboard, introduced in the last refresh about 18 months ago, remains. The E6510 can handle an Intel quad-core processor, DDR3 memory and power has been extended with a 2.8 amp per hour battery.

"It's a longer life in the same form factor. We also have a [guaranteed] three-year battery for those that want that predictability in performance," Burns said.

In addition, Dell now offers encrypted solid state hard drives and spinning hard drives that have a new Fast Response Free Fall Sensor for more physical protection.

The side view (left), of an E6510 shows a better view of the battery.

Systems Management

In addition to the technology upgrades, Dell has enhanced the systems management capabilites of the Latitude family, such as the E6510 pictured at left.

"We've got new tools to help customers quickly create images and deploy in environments. Dell can house your own customized image and ship it pre-loaded out of the factory. We've got the Dell Management Console provides basic functionality, as customers enter the systems and network management realm."

The Dell Management Console is free and helps streamline desktop to data center infrastructure management, enabling centralization, remote visibility and control and common task automation, according to Dell.

Automation Tools

New automation tools include: Dell Client Systems Deployment CAB, a simplified file directory that includes drivers to reduce the time building a software image; Client Configuration Toolkit, which updates or configures BIOS remotely; OpenManage Client Instrumentation, which provides more insight into the health of the system and helps third-party management consoles communicate with Dell hardware; and Client System Update, which sets parameters for scheduled updates.

The blue version of the Latitude E6510 is pictured at left.

Quick Start

The E6510, pictured at left in red, starts at $1,164, while the E6410 starts at $1,129. The systems include a 3-megapixel camera and optional discrete graphics from Nvidia and Dell's new ON technology which provides near-instant access to e-mail, calendar and contacts without requiring a full boot up. Dell's new ON Flash supports virtual remote desktop control for computing models and features a separate power-on button than the full boot-up mode, Burns said.

"We went to market in the last generation with a subsystem architecture that provides quick access to a Web browser that communicates via WiFi or mobile broadband for Web and e-mail and any corporate information you might need quickly from a portal or Outlook," he said.

Semi-Rugged Life

Dell's E6410 ATG semi-rugged laptop is pictured at left. The 14.1-inch system was engineered and tested to meet the MIL STD 810G for shock, vibration, temperature, humidity and altitude, according to Dell.

Great Outdoors

The ATG model, also pictured at left, is targeted to outdoor use or mobile field service workers, according to Burns.

"Oil and gas is one industry using them to complement in-office machines. They all share the same BIOS, drivers and software which makes it easier for customers to use in deployment," he said.

Not-So-Heavy Metal

Dell said the new laptops maintain similar carrying weights to the previous generation, but pack more punch.

"Typically, a 14-inch is about 4 ½ pounds. One way we achieve the balance with thin/light and durability is our tri-metal construction," Burns said. "The case is magnesium alloy with steel reinforcements and the hings are zinc-reinforced materials," Burns said.