updated 10:40 am EDT, Sat March 22, 2008
Dell Latitude E5K and E6K
Dell will lead off the introduction of its completely overhauled Latitude E-series with mainstream models that promise both a better image and new wireless features, according to details reported today by Engadget. Besides the visual redesign, the 14-inch E6400 and 15.4-inch E6500 will be the first Latitudes in their class to bring LED-backlit displays that offer better color and light; both receive the option with a 1440x900 panel, while the larger E6500 will also have the option of a 1920x1200 screen. The systems will have the option of 256MB dedicated NVIDIA graphics (likely Quadro chipsets) to drive their sharper displays.
These and the budget E5400 and E5500 models will also have a wider range of wireless features, Dell explains in its documents. All will have the option of a GPS receiver for navigation but will also have new support for ultra-wideband for short-range wireless peripherals. Bluetooth 2.1 and "next-generation" wide-area wireless Internet will also be options, though whether this will include WiMAX or simply HSPA and EVDO Revision A is unknown.
The entire lineup will be faster. Every notebook will be based on Intel's Centrino 2 platform and will see a dramatic improvement in performance, including memory and battery life: each system will have the option of up to 8GB of RAM and a new, 84 watt/hour extended battery for the E6400 that should allow it to run several hours on a charge.
All four systems are being readied to launch in June along with Centrino 2 and may see additional specification leaks closer to their release date.