updated 08:45 am EDT, Tue September 29, 2009
Dell Latitude Z official
Dell today unveiled a new flagship business notebook that should mark a number of firsts not just for itself but for the industry. The Latitude Z is the thinnest and lightest mid-size notebook to date at just 0.57 inches deep and 4.4 pounds despite its 16-inch display, courtesy of its use of ULV Core 2 Duo processors. However, it's also one of the first that can charge wirelessly: an inductive charging plate in the notebook bottom can power the system as quickly through contact with an optional charging stand as quickly as the optional AC adapter, Dell claims.
To reinforce the wireless angle, owners can also buy a ultra-wideband wireless docking station and mini-card ($350 combined) that give it wireless access not only to added USB peripherals but also an external display. The webcam can also autofocus and, as such, can be repurposed out of the box for scanning documents to save the need for yet another peripheral. Unlike some systems in its class, an Ethernet connection is built in and is tucked in to the unique angled back.
Besides a high-end, soft finish, the Z also has added unique extras like a touch-sensitive area on the right side of the LCD bezel, which gives users quick access to shortcuts, as well as a secondary, ARM-based processor dedicated just to Latitude-On mode. Switching to the lesser chip both speeds up access to the pre-boot environment and should extended battery life versus having to use the main system.
The new Latitude starts at $1,999 (currently on sale for $1,799) with just a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of fixed-in-place RAM and integrated Intel video; however, it also brings a 64GB solid-state drive and an external DVD burner as stock. A bundle with the wireless charging stand normally costs $2,397 (for now $2,159), while upgrades can take the system to a 1.6GHz processor with 4GB of RAM, up to two 256GB SSDs and an external Blu-ray combo drive.
The Latitude is Dell's second attempt to compete in the ultra-thin notebook space following the Adamo 13 and this time avoids directly competing against the MacBook Air, whose faster processor and lower price have kept it immune from direct competition.