Dell redesigns Latitude using feedback from 4000 IT pros

Dell today announced the release of its new range of Latitude notebooks, which have been designed with input from nearly 4000 IT professionals and end users.

Dell today announced the release of its new range of Latitude notebooks, which have been designed with input from nearly 4000 IT professionals and end users.

Dell today announced the release of its new range of Latitude notebooks, which have been designed with input from nearly 4000 IT professionals and end users.

Dell today announced the release of its new range of Latitude notebooks, which have been designed with input from nearly 4000 IT professionals and end users.

The E-series Latitude models have been designed from the ground up for business users and are available in 12in and 13.3in ultraportable sizes (the E4200 and E4300, respectively), as well as more mainstream 14.1in and 15.4in sizes (the E6400, E6500 and E5400, respectively). Prices start from $1783 for the 14.1in models and $1871 for the 15.4in models. Pricing for the 12.1in and 13.3in models hasn't been disclosed yet.

A key new feature of the E-Series is Dell's Instant On. If this option is installed, it will allow the laptop to boot into an embedded operating system (pre-Windows) to quickly access calendar and e-mail functions. In a live demo at Dell's office, Instant On, which can be invoked by pressing a button next to the power button, took around 20sec to boot.

Other features to look forward to are USB ports that can charge devices even when the laptop is switched off, illuminating keyboards that make it easier to type in the dark, DisplayPort, for driving huge monitor resolutions, and Dell ControlPoint software, which offers a central point for controlling all of the laptop's devices and managing your power profiles.

The 12in model will ship with a 128GB solid-state device (SSD) instead of a conventional hard drive, while an SSD option will be available across the entire Latitude range. Dell is emphasising its green credentials with this new line-up, and in addition running an SSD, which consumes less power than a conventional hard drive, the series uses LED-based screens, which also use less power and have less hazardous material than fluorescent-based screens.

Like the D-series, the E-series will have a host of common options across the entire range which will be interchangeable between models. This includes docking stations and battery slices. The latter is an extra battery that can be hot-plugged into the base of the laptop to provide a vast improvement in endurance while away from an outlet.

The Latitude range will also offer unprecedented personalisation for a corporate laptop, with users able to select from blue and red models as well as black.

Other products released today include a semi-rugged Latitude, the E6400 ATG, which is a 14.1in laptop that's designed for dusty, humid and vibration-prone environments, as well as two new Precision models (the 15.4in M4400 from $2418.90 and the 14.1in M4200 from $2305.60) for users who require a mobile workstation.

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Elias Plastiras
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