New Dell Latitude business laptops have touchscreen, Haswell CPU and boring design

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Dell makes boring laptops aimed at the ashen-faced businessman who’s dead inside. Today though, Dell’s unveiled thinner and lighter models that are part of the Latitude series of mainly “work first” laptops. Enter the new Latitude 3000, 5000 and 7000 series and the prices start at a fairly palatable US$599. Dell also continues the tradition of making bland but solid laptops, if the pictures of the 3000, 5000 and 7000 series are anything to go by.

Dell’s 3000 series is “reliable, affordable essential business computing” while the 5000 range of laptops is for “organizations of all sizes best-in-class security and manageability.” It’s the 7000 range of Ultrabooks that impresses though and are aimed at the “elite mobility”. Is that aimed at any of us? At a starting price of US$1049 (R10 499) for the least expensive 7000 series, it’d put most of us out-of-pocket. Let’s stick to the 3000 series for now.

Dell’s 3000 series has been extensively tested and come with a choice of either 14 or 15.4-inch touch-enabled displays. While the 3000 series aren’t aimed at gamers, a 2GB GPU will deliver slick graphics for most low-end games. There’s even a “turbo” mode for “faster data processing” which means nothing in this day and age. Either be always fast or always slow. Don’t tempt us with a placebo. When Dell said thinner and lighter, it wasn’t just aping Apple. No sir, the 3000 series of laptops start at a weight of 1.5kg and 21mm of thinness.

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Things heat up with the 5000 series: Dell’s almost-flagship laptops are outfitted with Gorilla Glass and the option of a hybrid SSD drive. The 5000 series are designed to meet “most workforce needs” and if that need includes pairing up with a Dell docking station, then consider our desires met. There’s also an option of having an i7 CPU, part of the new “ultra low voltage” processors which are said to extend battery life. Dell hasn’t dropped any pricing for the 5000 series yet, but it will before it launches in October.

Onto the big boy, namely the 7000 series, which starts at US$1049. These are the lightest Ultrabooks Dell’s ever made and start at 1.3kg light and 20mm thin. Sure it’s reliable and secure, but it’s also the first Dell to connect wirelessly to an external display, care of WiGig wireless docking. We suppose that if you can afford to drop a few thousand dollars for the 7000, then US$249 (R2500) for a wireless dock won’t set you back too much. Read the full press release here, care of Engadget.



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