Dell Latitude Z: Putting the ‘sexy’ into 'SMB'

Dell unveils world’s slimmest 16in notebook with wireless docking

Dell Latitude Z: Putting the ‘sexy’ into 'SMB'

Dell Latitude Z: Putting the ‘sexy’ into 'SMB'

Dell today announced the release of its latest SMB notebook, the Latitude Z. Billed as the world's "slimmest and lightest 16-inch laptop" the Dell Latitude Z notebook has been designed for SMB workers who require something smart, portable and ultra-stylish (i.e. — think creative professionals with an aversion to Apple).

The Dell Latitude Z measures just 125 millimetres (less than an inch) at its thickest point and weighs 2.5kg, which makes it the thinnest and lightest 16in notebook on the market. The Dell Latitude Z is also the world’s first laptop with wireless docking and inductive charging.

The base edition of the Dell Latitude Z will retail for $2799 and comes with the following specifications:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo Processor SU9400
  • 16.0 Wide Screen WXGA HDF display
  • Genuine Windows Vista Business, with Genuine Windows XP Professional Pre-installed (Windows 7 will also be offered)
  • 2GB memory
  • 64GB SSD Drive (with the option for a second SSD Drive)
  • External optical drive DVD + /-RW
  • 4 cell battery
  • Latitude ON
  • Intel WiFi Link 5300 MiniCard
  • 3 years Next Business Day onsite Service

As these specs attest, the Dell Latitude Z is definitely not a case of all style and no substance — something we couldn't say about its fashionable mainstream stablemate, the Dell Adamo. This is a fully-fledged business machine that just so happens to look sleek and sexy.

The Dell Latitude Z also ushers in Latitude ON, a useful tool that offers instant access to your e-mail and calendar as well as the Web. The inbuilt module utilises its own CPU (central processing unit), operating system and wireless card, meaning users can access emails and documents without powering up their machine. Latitude ON also greatly extends battery life: Dell is promising 17 hours of use from a 6-cell battery.

Dell is hoping the Latitude Z will appeal to a wide range of users, ranging from swanky entrepreneurs to well-to-do students. We were lucky enough to get some hands-on time with the Dell Latitude Z and we have to say we were pretty impressed. The ultra-slim body has a surprising amount of heft, though we could definitely see ourselves lugging it from train to office without any hassle.

The chiclet keyboard and multi-touch trackpad are both suitably expansive, with plenty of room on the palm rest for lazy typists. Also impressive was the 1600x900 widescreen LED display, which appeared sharp and exhibited good viewing angles during our fleeting preview.

We also played around with Dell’s EdgeTouch tool: this allows users to interact with commonly used applications via a touch interface on the LED bezel. It seemed a teensy bit erratic to us, but that may have had something to do with our sweaty digits (it was unseasonably hot, y'see).

While connectivity on the notebook is surprisingly sparse (there are only two USB ports, for example), the docking station will come with a full suite of connections. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see one in the flesh, so we'll hold off judgment until we get a review unit.

We'll reserve full judgement until we put the Dell Latitude Z through our benchmarks, but we can safely vouch this much: the Dell Latitude Z is one of the best looking SMB notebooks we've ever laid eyes on. Stay tuned for an in-depth review coming soon.

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Chris Jager

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