Dell is out with a new lineup of business-targeted Ultrabooks and laptops. The Latitude 7000 Series Ultrabooks, Latitude 5000 and 3000 Series laptops offer a variety of IT-friendly options, as well as touchscreens to accommodate the touch-oriented interface in Windows 8.
Kirk Schell, vice president of the commercial computing group at Dell, said in a statement that the additions to the Latitude line "provide our commercial customers what they've been asking for by bringing touch capability to the workspace at desirable price points." He added that the new 7000 series "builds on the success of the award-winning XPS and Latitude 6430u to redefine the corporate laptop."
The company cited the 7000 Series as "the Ultrabook to be loved by IT professionals and end-user alike." Two models are being offered, one with a 12-inch screen and the other with a 14-inch. The 7000 series, Dell said, is the only corporate Ultrabook designed for backward compatibility with existing Latitude E-family docks, and they are the first that are available with WiGig wireless docking.
5000 and 3000 Series
The 5000 Series features one model with a 14.1-inch display, and one with a 15.6-inch. They also offer up Core i7 ultra low voltage processors to help out with battery life, solid state drive or hybrid drive options, and a discrete graphics option. The 3000 Series are the newest entry-level laptops for small- and mid-size business and educational customers, and they offer business-class discrete graphics with up to 2 gigabytes video memory, as well as fourth-gen Intel Core processors with Turbo Mode and choices of 14- and 15.6-inch displays.
The company is appealing to IT departments with features designed to offer better IT management, such as an automated plug-in to the Microsoft System Center, remote BIOS management, and Dell's KACE management service, as well as FIPS 140-2 (level 3) system disk encryption.
The Ultrabooks and laptops are built for durability, with brushed aluminum, reinforced magnesium alloy, steel hinges, woven carbon fiber, spill-resistant keyboards and LCD seals. The touch displays in all three series feature Corning Gorilla Glass NBT, which the company said offers as much as 10 times higher scratch resistance compared with the more frequently used soda lime glass. All the laptops also have StrikeZone shock absorbers, Fast Response Free-Fall sensors and rubber hard-drive isolation.
Prices start at $1,049 for the 7000 series and $599 for the 3000. Both series are available in mid-September. The 5000 will become available in October, and pricing has not yet been announced.
Dell needs a refresh to its lineup, given that its declining market share every quarter is beginning to threaten its third-place position among computer makers.
In July, for instance, industry research firm Gartner found Dell to have an 11.8 percent market share for PC shipments in the second quarter. Although this was slightly higher than the 11.0 percent in the same quarter last year, the overall PC market dropped in the interim, and Dell's 11.8 percent was actually a 3.9 percent drop in number of units shipped over those 12 months.