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Dell outs ultra-thin notebook with wireless charging

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.









By Electronista Staff
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  1. bogmonster

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2007

    0

    Power is optional?

    So both the power plate *and* the AC adapter are optional (extra)? For 2K I think I'd like to have a way to charge the battery included, thank you very much.

    Nice concept, though. I wonder how tender the contacts are on the bottom of the laptop.

  1. kerryb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Will not sell

    This doesn't look like something a "Dell" customer is willing to fork out for. The charging pad seems ridiculous when traveling. Poor beleaguered Dell

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    +1

    remember...

    Macs are more expensive than PCs...

    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.

  1. revco

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    -3

    Designed not to be used

    The first pic...lol

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Sep 1999

    +4

    Credit were credit is due

    I'm sure it comes with a wired charger - Dell wouldn't ship a notebook with no way to power it.

    Actually this is a nice solution, provided the wireless display actually works well. As someone who travels with a MacBook back and forth to work every day, I'd like a solution like this. RIght now I connect 5 cables (power, ethernet, USB, display, audio). I could cut that down with wireless networking and USB audio, but it'd be nice to just put it down and not have to worry about connecting anything.

  1. LouZer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2000

    +1

    Re: Will not sell

    This doesn't look like something a "Dell" customer is willing to fork out for. The charging pad seems ridiculous when traveling. Poor beleaguered Dell

    Um, the charging pad is not for the 'traveler traveling', it's for sitting on the desk where you use the laptop most often. Thus, when you go into the office, you don't have to reach around and plug in the power cord.

    And it comes with a power adapter.

  1. Loren

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2001

    0

    Dull at least brushes his teeth

    My Oral B electric toothbrush has had inductive charging for over a decade. So why not a notebook? It's a decent idea.

    And I like the antiglare hardcoat screen-- I'm assuming the airbrushed artwork does reflect a no-reflection screen?

  1. brainiac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2003

    0

    Is it "green"

    How efficient is the wireless charging?

    How does it know when to stop supplying power (e.g. computer on, off, sleeping, hibernating)?

    Is the elevated stand designed to be awkward so that I will use an external keyboard while it is charging so that my hands don't start to glow after an hour of use because my hands were being inductively charged?

  1. malax

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006

    -1

    Not really "wireless"

    I have to say as a MacBook Air owner, the idea of a "connector-less" (to avoid a misleading term like "wireless") dock is pretty cool. Having one AC adaptor at work and one at home, I've never said "whoa snapping this magnetic power cord into place is a real drag!" but I would prefer not to plug and unplug my headphones and USB devices (would rather leave them plugged into a dock).

    Hopefully a little competition in this area will help push Apple in some good directions (and that doesn't include adding a superfluous touch-sensitive input area to the right of the screen).

  1. DeezNutts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    0

    So they made a "Touch" docking port


    Seems like basically they replaced the docking port on the laptop with a "touch" interface, meaning if the bottom of the laptop is touching the docking station it charges etc.

    Thats pretty slick. I hope they offer a port replicator instead of the entire "C" docking station. I use a port replicator with my dell laptop currently and its great, just come home, set the laptop on the replicator and press down. It clicks into place and then when I fire it up, my dual screens and external mouse/keyboard are ready to control the laptop.

    If I leave for work, I just press a button and the laptop pops off the replicator and I'm out of there.

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