Dell has announced revisions and additions to its Latitude commercial PC lineup. They include a new Ultrabook line, the Latitude 7000 series, and refreshes of two other lines, the Latitude 5000 and Latitude 3000 series.
The Dell Latitude 7000 Series Ultrabooks come in 12 and 14 inch models, and weigh 1.3 kilograms (2.99 pounds).
“This is our absolute best,” said Chris Cartwright, End User Computing Brand Manager, Dell Canada. “I love this product. It’s made for the road warrior and professional market.
Cartwright said the 7000 series is designed for military-grade durability. It’s crafted with premium materials such as aluminum, a Tri-metal chassis and Corning Gorilla Glass NBT for scratch and damage resistance and optimal brightness.
It also has the expected integrated management and security capabilities. The management ones include Dell-specific Intel vPro extensions and automated tools that plug into Microsoft System Center and Dell KACE. The security ones include comprehensive encryption, advanced authentication and leading-edge malware protection from a single source, and feature the highest level of FIPS 140-2 (level 3) certification for system disk encryption.
Cartwright said one unique feature is backwards compatibility with existing Latitude docks.
“Nothing has changed on docking, so someone moving up doesn’t have to buy new adapters and docking solutions, because they are the same.”
While the newness of the commercial Ultrabook market combined with the price premium has led some analysts to question the extent of market demand for these products, Cartwright said demand is good, and not just from people in corner offices.
“We are seeing demand for thin and light from road warriors, execs, field sales, because of its 4G LTE support, even inside sales people, in part because of the multiple form factors,” he said. “The demand did start out as executive, but now we are seeing it come from every aspect of the business.”
The refreshed Latitude 5000 line features 14.1 and 15.6 inch models.
“The 5000′s market is the business user that still wants more durability, and docking, but doesn’t need the thin and light of the Ultrabooks,” Cartwright said.
The new 5000 benefits over its predecessor from the new Haswell chip’s longer battery life and is slightly thinner and a little lighter, although not so much so to be really noticeable. The units are highly customizable, with touch screen, SSD and Performance Solid State Hybrid Drive options. Cartwright said the “the customization of the 5000′s vPro support is better than anyone else out there.”
A discrete graphics option is also now available for added power.
“We never had a dedicated graphics option before in the 5000 series, and that’s now been added as an option,” Cartwright said.
The Latitude 3000 Series is an updating and rebranding of the small business-focused Dell Vostro, and like it is aimed at the education and small business markets. It also comes in 14 and 15 models, with Haswell processors.
The Dell Latitude 7000 Series is available now, with touch-enabled systems available September 12, 2013. The Latitude 5000 Series will be available in October 2013. The Latitude 3000 Series will also be available on September 12, 2013. The 7000 starts at $USD1,049 ($1099 CAD), and the 3000 begins at $USD and CAD 599. Pricing for the 5000 series has not been set.