Latitude Z shines among new Dell systems

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Latitude Z shines among new Dell systems

World's thinnest and lightest 16-inch laptop?

Dell has introduced several new business systems, including a novel Latitude laptop with wireless docking and charging, the Precision T1500 workstation and new cost-effective OptiPlex desktops.

The Latitude Z600 is described as the world's thinnest and lightest 16in laptop, measuring between 14.5mm and 20.1mm thick with a starting weight of 2kg.

Available from today in selected countries in Europe, Asia and North America, the Z600 is targeted at "impression makers", which includes entrepreneurs, attorneys, creative professionals and salespeople, according to Dell.

"It's a brand new premium laptop, extremely thin, weighing just 2kg, but still offering four hours' battery life and up to two solid state drives," said Dell's head of commercial laptops, Lionel Bohar.

Dell also claims that the Z600 is the world's first laptop to feature wireless docking and inductive charging, but this requires a separate stand that will not be available until November.

The laptop uses the short-range ultra-wideband wireless technology to connect with the stand, which then plugs into an ordinary keyboard, mouse and display. Inductive coils in the laptop and stand allow for wireless charging.

"You put the Z on the stand and it will charge the battery automatically," said Bohar.

The Latitude Z600 is based on Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz SU9600 or 1.4GHz SU9400 processors, and ships with 2GB or 4GB memory. Prices start at £1,319.

The laptop has a four-cell battery as standard to keep the weight down, and uses Flash drives for storage in 64GB, 128GB or 256GB options.

It comes with software that lets the user scan business cards using the laptop's webcam, and a tool called FaceAware that automatically locks the system if the user steps away from it.

The Latitude Z series also introduces Dell's Latitude ON technology, which lets users access the internet, emails, calendar and contacts without having to boot into Windows.

While similar capabilities are available on other laptops, Latitude ON uniquely uses a separate board with an ARM processor running a version of Linux, which can boot up in just a couple of seconds and draws much less power than the main Intel processor.

"The battery can last for days if you use it like this," said Bohar.

The Latitude ON module also has its own Wi-Fi connection, and can use the system's 3G modem, if present, to connect to the internet for web and email access.

"It's like having a BlackBerry embedded in your computer," Bohar said.

As well as an Outlook-like email client capable of linking to a corporate Exchange server, the Latitude ON module has an embedded Cisco VPN client, Firefox browser and Citrix Receiver client, capable of linking to a server-hosted virtual desktop or thin client session.

"Our customers have been asking for something like this for years," said Bohar.

With a Wi-Fi or HSDPA connection, Latitude ON can securely connect directly to an Exchange email server via a Cisco virtual private network, or can be used to access a virtual desktop or thin client session using the built-in Citrix Receiver client.

Latitude ON is a standard feature on the Latitude Z series, and as an optional upgrade on the Latitude E4200 and E4300 models.

Also announced today is the Dell Precision T1500, which the company said is the first workstation built from the ground-up and ready certified for running AutoCAD.

The Precision T1500 is based on Intel Core i5 and Core i7 quad-core processors with up to 16GB memory and a choice of ATI FirePro and Nvidia Quadro cards.

Dell also introduced the OptiPlex 780 as a cost-effective mainstream desktop platform for business customers.

The OptiPlex 780 offers a breadth of configuration options, from Celeron up to Core 2 Quad processors, up to 8GB memory and a choice of several ATI or Nvidia graphics cards beyond the integrated Intel graphics functions.

All are compatible with Intel's vPro technology for management, and have a 15-month targeted lifecycle and energy-conscious design options, according to Dell.

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