Gadgets

Dell unveils new series of Latitude touchscreen laptops for business users

Above: Dell Latitude 3000 series

Image Credit: Dell

Dell is introducing a series of new laptops today aimed at making business computing into a more pleasant, reliable, and secure experience.

Dell Latitude 7000 series

Above: Dell Latitude 7000 series

Image Credit: Dell

Dell may be busy taking itself private, but it isn’t stopping with its new product launches. In fact, the PC maker realizes that it has to introduce seductive and sleek new computers — even in the corporate PC and small business markets — because the boring PC just doesn’t cut it anymore in the age of smartphones and tablets.

The new products in the Latitude series of laptops include the 3000, 5000, and 7000 series notebooks. The computers are touchscreen Ultrabooks that include Intel’s latest Haswell-based chips and Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system. Like other PC makes, Dell believes that users want touchscreens to simplify their computing experiences. It is also doing anything it can to blunt the growth of tablets and smartphones, while it tries to come up with its own winning products on the mobile front.

Kirk Schell, vice president of the commercial computing group and Dell, said at a press event in San Francisco that the company is putting more emphasis on better security for the laptops through technologies such as biometric fingerprint identification and built-in antivirus.

He also said Dell has also taking the consumer-friendly industrial design of the high-end XPS consumer laptops and brought them into its basic corporate machines.

“Customers have been asking why they couldn’t have all of the sleek designs of the consumer laptops in the corporate machines without giving up any of the enterprise features,” said Schell.

The company says the Latitude 12 and Latitude 14 7000 series computers are among the world’s most secure Ultrabooks, with Dell Data Protection plans and encryption on a file level. The machines use Intel’s vPro extensions to make it easy for IT managers to configure the systems for corporate needs. Managers are able to automate the process of deploying a whole fleet of computers to employees.

The Latitude machines use brushed aluminum, reinforced magnesium alloy, strong steel hinges, woven carbon fiber, durable powder-coated underside, spill-resistant keyboards, and LCD seals. All of those features contribute to better reliability. They also have Corning Gorilla Glass NBT touchscreens, with up to 10 times better scratch resistance compared to the usual soda lime glass used in laptops. The laptops also come armed with StrikeZone shock absorbers, Fast Response Free-Fall sensors and rubber hard drive isolation.

The 12-inch model of the 7000 series is just 20 millimeters thick and weight 2.99 pounds. The 5000 and 3000 series come with different size screens such as 14.1-inch or 15.6-inch touchscreens. The machines use Intel’s newest Core i7 ultra low-voltage processors for extended battery life. They have options for discrete graphics and SSD hybrid drive options.

The Latitude 14 and 15 3000 Series laptops offer fourth generation Intel Core processors with Turbo model for fast data processing. They range in thickness from 21 millimeters to 25 millimeters and weigh 4.3 pounds.

The Dell Latitude 7000 Series starts at $1,050 and is available worldwide today, with touch-enabled versions available Sept. 12. The Latitude 3000 Series begins at $599 and is available on Sept. 12. The Latitude 5000 Series will be available in October 2013 at a undetermined price. Battery life is expected to be around eight or nine hours.

The 7000 series laptops have a resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels or 1,920 x 1,080 on their touch displays.


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