Dell adjusts its Latitude

Dell Latitude E laptop PC

Dell

Dell today launched its Latitude E family of laptop PCs that feature longer battery life, snappier designs and colors, backlit keyboards and brighter screens.

The line was updated based on interviews with more than 3,900 IT professionals, said Patty Tang, Latitude product marketing manager. 'We listened to find out customer's 'unmet needs,'' Tang added.

The top unmet need was 'all-day computing,' Tang said. 'Battery life is a real pain point for our customers.' The new 14.1-inch E6400 notebook, available today for $1,139, has 19 hours of battery life, according to Dell. Also going on sale today is the 15.4-inch E6500, available for $1,169.

The 12-inch E4200 will be the lightest notebook Dell has ever made, weighing 2.2 pounds including the battery, Tang said.

The new Latitude units also have a new look. 'With Generation Y entering the workforce, a lot of companies don't want a gray or beige look.' The new 12-inch E4200 ultraportable, which Dell says will be available soon, will come in red, blue and pink, as well as black.

'Even though our old systems were made with premium materials, they were painted in such a way that it looked like plastic even though it was metal,' said Anna Hutchinson, a spokeswoman for Dell.

The new laptops will have textured metal and backlit keyboards, as well as a better feel, Tang said. 'We enlarged the surface of each key, with a little dented shape, so the overall typing experience is very comfortable.'

The new Latitude E family also offers a larger fingerprint reader, Tang said. 'It's almost five or six times larger than the little sensor you see on other systems,' she said. 'You have to put your whole finger over it.'

Also included in the launched today are the Latitude E5400, a 14.1-inch notebook that starts at $839, and the E5500, a 15.4-inch notebook available for $869. Available next week is the Latitude E6400 ATG, a semi-rugged laptop that starts at $2,399 and is tested to meet Mil-Std-810F standards for dust, vibration and humidity, the company said.

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About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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