Dell launched a whole bunch of fairly grey laptops yesterday in the shape of the new Latitude E series of notebooks designed primarily for the business world. To be fair to the world’s biggest flogger of reasonably priced computers, they have started offering the new Latitudes in five colours, although one of them is metal and another black.
The Latitiude Es include the high performance “Mainstream” E6400 and E6500 with 14.1″ and 15.4″ screens at the prices of £709 and £729 respectively; the more cost-effective “Essential” E5400 and E5500, available in the same screen sizes from just £469 and the military grade “Semi-Rugged” Latitude E6400 ATG, with a 14.1″, from £899.
Of far greater interest to us consumers, though, is the ultra-mobile Dell Latitude E4200 that measures up with a 12.1″ screen and weighs just 997g. I’ve even got some footage of one. Step this way…
This is not the Dell E we’ve been teased about for so very long now. From what I could schmooze, that still very much exists but is definitely nothing to do with this lot despite the all too similar name of the series.
There’s no price on the E4200 as yet, which is verging on the scandalous given it’s out within the next few weeks, but I can tell you that it comes with a 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and a gig of RAM unless you wish to dress it up further.
As the nice man in the video says, you get a rather scrummy 128GB solid state drive – pretty impressive if you ask me – but being primarily for serious, po-faced users, there’s about half a USB port and the kind of GPU that’s not worth mentioning.
The entire E series range have magnesium alloy chassis and are designed with Dell’s idea of a “Digital Nomad” in mind, which is a term that clearly sounded good after a few focus groups and mood board sessions but comes across more like “Internet Vagrant” when they press it upon the intended market of business travelers.
However silly it sounds, though, it has meant that Dell has come up with a few interesting features that run across the whole E series. All the models are designed for “all day computing” – which runs up to 19 hours on some models – and each is connectable via Bluetooth, Wi-Max, HSDPA and Wi-Fi. The AC adapters on all the models are 50% smaller than before and work with all other Latitude laptops, old or new. Very Handy.
More interesting though is their “Always On” functionality which allows a second, Linux-based, OS to run even when the computer is “off”, so that as soon as you lift the lid you can use very simple applications, such as e-mail clients and document viewers, without waiting for the whole thing to boot up.
No Blu-ray players or anything exciting in site but you can chose your colour from either pink, red, blue, black or metallic.
Dell’s new ‘tops are certainly something to whet the appetite but no need for us consumers to get too excited just yet. The E4200 makes an interesting mobile computing option but let’s wait to see how that compares when they finally get round to showing us more than that same old picture of the 8.9″ Dell E next to a pencil.
Dell Latitude E Series