Dell Unveils The Latitude Chromebook Enterprise: 5 Things To Know

Dell's launch of two new notebooks brings Chrome OS for the first time to its business-friendly Latitude portfolio.

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Dell Technologies is bringing together two previously separate notebook ecosystems with the launch of the Latitude Chromebook Enterprise. With two laptops to start--one clamshell and one convertible--Dell is merging the best of its Latitude line of powerful and durable business notebooks with a simplified Chromebook approach, the company said. The result is the debut of what are being called the first-ever Chromebook Enterprise devices. The notebooks run Chrome OS but are "built explicitly with an enterprise mindset," said Brett Hansen, vice president and general manager of client software and security solutions at Dell.

The two devices launching now are the Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise clamshell and the Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise. Round Rock, Texas-based Dell is unveiling the notebooks in connection with VMworld 2019 in San Francisco.

What follows are five key things to know about Dell's Latitude Chromebook Enterprise devices.

Design And Display

A chief feature of Dell's Latitude line that carries over to the Latitude Chromebook Enterprise devices is the black carbon-fiber body, which offers both an appealing look as well as business-ready durability. Dell says the Latitude Chromebook Enterprise notebooks meet 17 military-standard measures for durability, and offer features including a spill-resistant keyboard. The devices also maintain portability, with the 5300 2-in-1 starting at 3 pounds and measuring 0.76 of an inch thick, and the 5400 starting at 3.24 pounds and measuring 0.77 of an inch thick.

For the display, the Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise comes with a 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080 resolution) touch screen, with minimal bezels for an "edge-to-edge" design. The anti-glare display also features durable Gorilla Glass and a carbon-fiber reinforced polymer LCD back, and goes up to 255 nits of brightness.

For the 14-inch display on the Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise, there are a few options to choose from. Those are an HD (1,366 x 768 resolution) non-touch display; FHD non-touch display; and FHD touch screen. All three of the options feature 220 nits of brightness, anti-glare and the carbon-fiber reinforced polymer LCD back.

Performance And Storage

Both the Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise and Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise offer configurations for enabling strong performance, with processor and RAM options that go well beyond the typical Chromebook fare.

Processor choices for the laptops go up to a quad-core, eighth-gen Intel Core i7—the i7-8665U, with a clock speed of up to 4.8 GHz. The notebooks can also be configured with a Core i5-8365U processor (quad core) or, at the entry level, the Intel Celeron 4305U (dual core).

The memory options are particularly notable, with both of the laptops supporting up to 32 GB of DDR4 2666 MHz RAM in two slots. (That is higher than the RAM capacity available in many Windows 10 notebooks.)

Likewise, on storage, both of the Latitude Chromebook Enterprise laptops will offer an impressive 1 TB of PCIe NVMe SSD capacity.

Ultimately, this makes the laptops the first Chromebooks to offer up to 1 TB of PCIe NVMe storage and up to 32 GB of DDR4 memory, according to Chrome OS developer Google.

Security, Deployment And Serviceability

The Latitude Chromebook Enterprise laptops also stand out by offering a number of capabilities aimed at simplified deployment and IT management within businesses. Chrome Enterprise comes with multi-layered security, support and an enhanced Google Admin console for Chrome OS—which enables managing Chromebook deployments from a centralized location. Meanwhile, the Latitude Chromebook Enterprise devices are geared toward use with the Dell Technologies Unified Workspace, as well. The offering integrates VMware Workspace ONE device management with solutions and services from Dell Technologies and Secureworks. Unified Workspace provides improved capabilities for everything from device selection to deployment to security and management, according to Dell.

Additionally, the Latitude Chromebook Enterprise laptops offer a high level of serviceability. The devices feature the ability to upgrade and service four key components—storage, RAM, battery and processor.

Battery Life, Connectivity And Ports

On battery life, the Latitude Chromebook Enterprise clamshell model offers up to 20 hours of usage on a charge while the convertible offers up to 14 hours, Hansen said. The laptops come with a range of battery options, topping out at a four-cell 68 WHr battery on the 5300 2-in-1 model and a four-cell 60 WHr battery on the 5400 clamshell.

Both of the Latitude Chromebook Enterprise laptops will offer optional mobile broadband connectivity. That connectivity is enabled by the Intel XMM 7360 Global LTE-Advanced modem, Dell said.

For ports, the Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise will come with one USB-C port, two USB-A ports, an HDMI connector and a memory card reader. The Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise will have a few additional connectors—with three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, Ethernet, HDMI and a memory card reader.

Price And Availability

Dell disclosed that the starting price for the Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise clamshell is $699. The convertible model is priced higher, with the Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise having a starting price of $819.

Pricing will depend on the specs configuration, with multiple options available when it comes to choice of processor, RAM, storage, display, connectivity and battery capacity.

Both the clamshell and convertible models of the Latitude Chromebook Enterprise will be available tomorrow, Aug. 27, Dell said.