Personal Computers

Dell Delivers Lighter, Wider Notebooks

Dell has unveiled its latest notebook computers, boasting a lighter, slimmer design that incorporates wider screens and built-in cellular wireless capability that will work with Cingular, Verizon and Vodafone services for mobile connectivity.

The new Dell Latitude D620 and D820, aimed at the business market, also feature Intel Core Duo processors. The ultra-light computers are priced at US$1,149 and $1,289 respectively.

“These new Latitude systems address and exceed business customer needs in robust design, comprehensive security options, integrated mobile broadband and significant reductions from the prior generation products in weight and thickness,” said Dell Senior Vice President Alex Gruzen.

Mobile Business Connection

Weighing in at 4.4 pounds and 5.6 pounds, both have wider-than-average displays of 14.1 or 15.4 inches.

The Latitude 620 ships with a base of 512 MB of DDR2 memory, a 40 GB hard drive, 802.11b and 802.11g wireless capability. The Latitude 820 also has 512 MB of shared DDR2 and a 40 GB hard drive. In addition, this model features upgrade options including Nvidia Quadro business graphics, high-resolution WUXGA display and 120 GB hard drive.

The new notebooks feature HyperConnect technology that allows connectivity in any location and feature high-capacity batteries for longer use, Dell said.

3G Trend Setter

Dell’s latest computers are the strongest set of products to come from the firm on the wireless side to date, Endpoint Technologies Associates Founder and President Roger Kay told TechNewsWorld.

With the new Latitudes, Dell is in front of the move to embed 3G cellular wireless technology in laptops, the analyst added, referring to multiple wireless radio management with one antenna.

“I think that’s going to be huge,” Kay said. “They’re right on the money with that.”

Wider Is Better

With their wider screens, the new notebooks accomplish more than a consumer and DVD-friendly design, Kay said.

He indicated the screens offer more width on spreadsheets, include a regular-sized keyboard, and have a design more conducive to airplane work.

“Even for business buyers, the width aspect is good,” he said.

A Different Dell

Recently Dell demonstrated that it is serious about taking its competitive strategy up a notch. The firm entered somewhat foreign territory last week when it announced plans to acquire high-end gaming PC vendor Alienware.

The acquisition makes sense given Alienware’s growth, Kay said, adding the deal is indicative of struggles with Dell’s own high end XPS machines.

“They’re still going to have to do something with XPS,” he said.

While Alienware may lose some of its counter-culture appeal and audience, other companies such as Voodoo and Falcon Northwest are likely to step up now, according to Kay.

Dell continues to face formidable competition from the well-designed machines of Fujitsu, Toshiba and Hewlett-Packard, among others.

“The competition is fierce,” Kay said.

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