Print 11 comment(s) - last by cbf.. on Aug 14 at 1:10 AM

12.1-inch Dell Latitude  (Source: Dell)
New Dell notebooks feature quad-core processors and more

It's common at this time year to see many new notebooks being introduced by different notebook manufacturers for back-to-school. Not all the new notebooks produced this time year are aimed at students, as Dell has demonstrated with its new notebooks announced today.

Dell announced new Precision mobile workstation notebooks supporting new mobile Intel quad-core processors, RAID configurations, and 17-inch screens offering 100% of the Adobe color gamut. Dell is mum on hard-core details of the new Precision notebooks, but does say that the notebook will have support for more than 8GB of memory and will offer video cards with 512MB of dedicated graphics memory.

Dell also announced a new line of Latitude laptops. Dell says for business notebooks thin and light is a barrier of entry and the battery life is critically important. In addition to those factors, connectivity is very important and as well as design of the notebook. The new line of Latitude introduce technologies that haven't been seen in Latitude notebooks before including backlit keyboards, external SATA drive connections, DisplayPort capability, and USB power share.

Dell's USB power share is very similar to technology from Toshiba that allows the USB port to charge devices -- that get power from USB -- even when the computer is turned off. Dell says that some of the new Latitude systems -- when configured properly -- can get up to 19 hours of battery life.

Dell says that most of the new models offer multiple connectivity options including 802.11n, multiple mobile broadband options, ultra-wideband, and Bluetooth 2.1. Some of the new notebooks are even WiMAX ready and can be ordered with GPS according to Dell. To go along with Dell's recent consumer marketing efforts promoting different colors of the same notebook for different users, Dell will also offer multiple colors on the Latitude notebook line.

Dell offers some specifications on its new Latitude models including the 12-inch Latitude E4200, which starts at only 2.2 pounds. The Latitude E4300 starts at 3.4 pounds and is first Latitude to feature a 13.3-inch display. Dell is also introducing Latitude models called the E5400 and the E5500 designed for customers looking for value. The E5400 is a 14.1-inch notebook, with prices starting at $839 and the E5500 is a 15.4-inch notebook with prices starting at $869.

The to the mainstream Latitude notebooks include the 15.4-inch Latitude E6500, which supports stringent Federal Information Processing Standards, a backlit keyboard, and many more features starting from $1,169. Dell also notes that it has unveiled the Latitude E6400 ATG semi-rugged laptop.

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"Slice" batteries interfere with docking?
By ImSpartacus on 8/12/2008 4:43:45 PM , Rating: 2
I read at CNET (hours before DT presented the news...) that some of the laptops will have 12 cell "Slice" batteries that run the length of the underside of the battery.

I want to know how these business laptops are going to dock with a giant chunk of lithium ion battery under it.

My dad's lappy has a second battery that connects to the bottom and lifts the back up, but it doesn't run the length of the laptop and he can still dock (I think...).

Anybody have any pictures? Has this been done before?

RE: "Slice" batteries interfere with docking?
By Aerundel on 8/12/2008 7:01:11 PM , Rating: 2
The large batteries are not standard. They always have a battery available that is flush with the chassis. Take my XPS M1330, for instance: it has a 6-cell standard battery that fits exactly inside the battery cavity, and I've also purchased a 9-cell battery that runs the length of the back of the notebook.

RE: "Slice" batteries interfere with docking?
By retrospooty on 8/12/2008 7:59:54 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly... To sum it up, if you bought a big assed extra battery that mounts on the bottom and you want to use a dock - take the battery off. (Gee, when I hook up this boat trailer to the back of my car, my car can no longer park in my garage)... Damn ford.

By StevoLincolnite on 8/13/2008 3:14:10 AM , Rating: 3
Buy a Holden you wont have that issue anymore. (Aussie Joke).

By afkrotch on 8/12/2008 11:26:30 PM , Rating: 2
There will always be some way to dock it. If the battery fills up the bottom of the laptop, put the dock port at the back. If the battery fills up the back, put the dock port on the bottom. If you can equip it with 2 batteries, one at the back, one at the bottom. Put the dock on the side.

If Dell wants to put a dock, they'll put in a dock.

"Fancy" USB Ports? Not likely.....
By Devo2007 on 8/12/2008 8:36:30 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see how the USB ports on these machines are so special - unless even the lowly EeePC can do the same darn thing. I had my EeePC plugged in (but turned off) and was able to charge my Zune and my cell phone just fine. This also worked on a friend's HP laptop as well.

By afkrotch on 8/12/2008 11:28:55 PM , Rating: 2
It's just something that Dell hasn't done on their Latitude. It's special to them.

Self-Configure, Please
By kelmon on 8/13/2008 5:48:02 AM , Rating: 2
Dell says that some of the new Latitude systems -- when configured properly -- can get up to 19 hours of battery life.

19-Hours of battery life would be very welcome but I worry about what they mean by "when properly configured". I don't mind specifying that I want system power usage to be optimised for either performance or battery life but that's about as far as I want to go in normal usage. The laptop should be able to configure itself for optimal performance rather than require "tweaking" to reach these advertised battery life figures.

RE: Self-Configure, Please
By strikeback03 on 8/13/2008 8:56:57 AM , Rating: 2
I'd imagine the configuration they are talking about is the system configuration - i.e. biggest battery available, lowest-power processor, LCD backlight, SSD, etc.

By jgp on 8/13/2008 8:54:39 AM , Rating: 2
Any chance any of these models are non-widescreen?

I've been obsessively looking for a non-widescreen notebook, and I can't find any. Lenovo discontinued theirs a while back.

I hate widescreen with a passion.

RE: Non-widescreen?
By cbf on 8/14/2008 1:10:07 AM , Rating: 2
If you prefer a 4:3 screen, you can still buy a Dell Latitude D530 but you'd better order one quickly.

It does seem that the major manufacturers are all going to widescreens. However, I find this less annoying on laptop screens (at least it makes them fit on airplane trays better), than LCD computer monitors.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
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