The New Dell Latitude E Laptops - Serious Business Indeed

Time For New Latitudes

Time For New Latitudes

It's time for some serious business with Dell as we take a look at their newest and latest Latitude E series of business class notebooks. Chances are good we probably won't see these newer Latitude E models enter the mainstream consumer market, so it's probably a good time to become really good buddies with the IT department in your office.

Jokes aside, Dell's new Latitude E series isn't just the release of new notebook models, it's also a generational shift for the notebook family, moving from the previous D series that has lasted them a good five years since 2003. As can be seen in our pictorial coverage, the newer Latitude Es come all ready to stun with sleeker and stylish designs and come in five colors to choose from.

Looks however, isn't the only thing going for the notebooks - Dell has specifically engineered these new notebooks to satisfy the cravings of their customers by targeting what these customers feel as most important to them: battery life and weight. To further help conserve battery life, these new notebooks will also come with the new Dell Latitude ON, a Linux based OS that runs separately from the default Windows Vista OS.

Similar to the ASUS Express Gate technology, the Latitude ON OS allows the user to access e-mail, calendar, attachments, contacts and surf the Internet without booting into the Windows Vista OS. Dell has also added a low-voltage sub-processor just to run the Latitude ON OS which according to them, will allow for notebooks to run on days without recharging the battery.

Lastly, Dell too has implemented a few new interesting security devices to the newer range of notebooks that will please hardcore security fanatics. This time round the higher end E6400 model will have a Contactless Smart Card Reader that allows you to use the same smart card that gets you around the office to lock and unlock your computer as well. Also these three new models will have HSDPA support and GPS via an optional integrated solution. The GPS also allows for an another interesting security feature that activates when a reported stolen or missing laptop is booted up and allows Dell to remotely wipe the data on your hard disk drive (with your permission, of course) to ensure maximum security.

Dell's E6400 is a 1.95kg notebook that Dell claims will feature 19 hours of battery life via the usage of a 9-cell battery and a 12-cell high capacity battery slice. Without the slice though, Dell has mentioned that the unit will still last for a good solid 9 hours on its own. Specs wise, the unit uses the Intel Centrio 2 platform and supports up to an Intel Core 2 Duo T9600 (2.8GHz) processor, DDR2 RAM, and comes with a NVIDIA Quadro NVS160M1 graphics card for prices that start from just S$1967 for the 14.1-inch model and S$2095 for the 15.4-inch model.

The 12-cell high capacity slice that allows the newer Latitude E models a power boost.

Slightly thicker but still equally hot is the E5400 that's targeted for every day use (hence the cheaper retail price that starts from S$1724 and S$1751 for the 14.1-inch and 15.4-inch models) and features the Intel Centrino 2 platform and while it shares most of the same specifications as the E6400, the E5400 lacks a discrete graphics unit.

And if you're the sort that likes traveling light, Dell too has something in mind for you with the Dell Latitude E4200, an ultraportable that's 0.997 kg.

The unit felt really light in our hands and we could hardly feel the weight at all. Set to launch in September, we'll be sure to feature this light weight wonder.

We couldn't quite get the specs for the E4200 as they didn't really have an official one, so we had to resort to more subtle measures. Note that while Windows XP is seen here, the final retail unit will have Vista installed with the optional XP downgrade via the Microsoft loophole.