back to article Dell thinks young and colorful with business notebook refresh

It's been a couple years since Dell last had a major refresh of its Latitude business notebooks. Lo and behold, there's all these young, sleek rivals on the scene these days. Rather than buy a toupee and flashy car, Dell is re-imagining its Latitude line by mixing some sex appeal from consumer notebooks with a business- …


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  1. Richard Tobin
    Thumb Down

    Where's the EEE competitor?

    Everyone (including El Reg) was predicting a 9" EEE-like notebook, and all we've got is a vapourware MacBook-Air-alike. Is the cheap, small version coming in a separate announcement?

    (And while we're at it, where's the Linux EEE 901? Despite Asus's claims, there have still only been a handful available, while the Windows version is in stock in toyshops.)

  2. Marc Lawrence
    Gates Horns

    Where Linux 901?

    Come on... where else is Micro$hite getting rid of its Vista licences....

  3. Steve Evans


    ...the E4200 will be EEE killer for £200.

    Nah, okay, I won't be holding my breath!

    Would be nice though... 12.1" display, 64Gig flash, core 2 cpu... Hmmmm...

    Mines the one with the reality warping field generator accidentally left on in the pocket.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Where's the EEE competitor


    from your post this morning i was looking for notes on an small, cheap, solid state hard drive and linux pc, does Al Reg need more coffee in the morning or do i need to pay more attention.

  5. caddymac
    Thumb Up

    How about a docking connector?

    New E-series looks great! Typing on my D410 right now - I've had great luck with the Latitude line.

    I tried looking for any information on the new docks, but haven't turned up anything yet. I absolutely love the docking station on the Latitudes; I hope that didn't ruin a good thing.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not touching them because of the GPU

    Most are on Nvidea's GPUs. Would you trust an Nvidea chipset at the moment?

  7. Corrine

    @EEE competitor?

    Dell already announced an EEE competitor.

  8. Mark Fenton

    +1 on the docking connector

    I've got a D820 (after having a D800) and because the lappy is for use outside of the office only (or in the garden!) - I have 3 docking stations situated around the office and house - wired up to big screens and proper keyboards etc.

    If Dell don't use the existing docking connector on the new series, then I'll be looking to buy somewhere else.

    I'm gonna wait to upgrade though, till I can get a quad core lappy with the Latitude docking connector.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Marc Lawrence

    EEE runs Windows XP Home...

    No Vista licences being offloaded there, AFAIK the XP home licence supplied by Asus is not one that entitles you to upgrade to Vista.

  10. G Walker

    64 bit OS

    All this memory capability - even more with the future quad core notebooks - means 64-bit vista (and XP?) will be an option, yes?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Avoid current laptops with Nvidia graphics

    As they have recognised chip overheating problems.

    If you need fast graphics, get an ATI based laptop, if you don't, then Intel.

    Paris, because she's hot, like Nvidia ;-)

  12. Anonymous Coward

    New docks?

    Dell's US website lists these new models as having "E port" docks. Current models use the "D-port" and have done so for several years. They also mention an "E-legacy" extender. Wonder if that allows new machines to use the old docks?

  13. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Screen aspect ratio

    Can someone please explain why the computer industry is so keen on widescreen laptops. The only real reason I can see is to watch DVD's, but as the horizontal resolution of DVD's is a maximum of 720 pixels, I can cope with only using the middle two thirds of my existing 4x3 screen to watch them.

    I cannot for the life of me see why you would want either a bulkier laptop, fewer vertical pixels, or smaller pixels for a business laptop that you carry with you all the time.

    If anything, I would like *more* vertical pixels. Please, someone, enlighten me, because I'm mightly pissed off every time I wander anywhere that is selling laptops now.

  14. John
    Thumb Up

    RE: Screen aspect ratio

    I love my wide MacBook and since work is too stingy to get me more than one display I have to make do with a single wide 22". Loses 150 pixels vertically from the old trinitron 21", but the width means I can fit more things side-by-side.

  15. Chris

    RE: Screen aspect ratio

    Because laptops fold closed and keyboards are kinda wider than they are tall I guess... saves on odd shaped keyboards and/or "wasted" space? *shrug*

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Peter Gathercole

    You can have more vertical pixels on your dell if you press [ctrl]+[alt]+[Left]

    You'll have to spend a while familierising yourself with your new vertical keyboard though.

  17. Mike Kamermans


    Can't speak for others, but I bought my widescreen laptop specifically for programming. Anything that prevents me from having to linewrap a few thousand lines of code is a good thing(tm) in my book. If the res is a readable 1440x900 or higher, I don't really care about those missing vertical pixels - I read left to right first, then top to bottom, not the other way around.

  18. Joe
    Paris Hilton

    latitude docks

    I've just been looking at the e-series docks and unfortunately it looks like the d-series connectors won't work with the new kit, nor will the e-series work with the old d-series docks. That said, the e-series dock options are a lot cooler with a TFT mount bracket stand that doesn't enclose the laptop like the current d-series monitor stand, and the e/port plus supporting dual DVI or displayport as well as both the standard and plus e/ports supporting more (and better positioned) USB ports and an eSata connector.

    The common connectors across the d-series range are great and have lasted for 6 years well, and phasing them out will be a bit of a nightmare but I can see why they're doing it (other than the revenue through enforced obsolesence strategy of course). Presumably we'll get another 6 years of e-series commonality.

    Paris, because she's a universal dock.

  19. Chris
    Thumb Up

    Re: Screen aspect ratio

    Couldn't agree more Peter...

    On a computer you need more height in order read documents, spreadsheets, web pages or do coding without scrolling as often. Width is not so useful (!).

    On my set-up I'd like to have my 4:3 screens in portrait mode, but it's not possible with two screens :(

  20. Mark Niebur
    Paris Hilton


    Apparently, those nifty wide screens com because it is much cheaper to manufacture, which those companies love, so they ram them down the throats of all the PC makers.

    Paris, because she knows what it's like to get something rammed down her throat.

  21. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Thanks Mike and Chris

    I think I can understand programming having learned to program on 80x25 ASCII terminals. After this anything seems like a luxury.

    On the keyboard front, as I look at my Thinkpad T30 (probably one of the best laptop keyboards around), which admittidly does not have a numeric pad, the 15.1" diagonal 4x3 screen allows sufficient width for most of the keys to be full-sized, and I'm used to the way that IBM place the cursor and other extra keys (which is actually reasonably close to a fullsize keyboard). This results in a laptop which is only marginally larger than an A4 pad.

    Most of my time is spent writing documentation, and I like to see a whole A4 page at a time. This is why vertical size is important to me. I also use multiple terminal sessions for sysadmin, and can choose various font sizes to get 2 or 4 windows on a 4x3 screen at a res of 1024x760 without having to resort to a magnifying glass. I'm sure I could cope with a 1440x900 (more vertical space than my 1024x768), but I would prefer a 1440x1050 (a real Thinkpad resolution) with the screen filling the lid. Even more pixels!

    Still not convinced.

    Of course, maybe the extra horizontal space is actually required for the extra bumph Microsoft have put in Aero!

  22. John Bourke
    Jobs Halo

    D-Series docks

    I think it's perfectly reasonable that the D and E series docks aren't interchangable...

    I mean really, Dell has said that things are compatible across the D series (and c before that) which has stayed stable for six years and god knows how many models so one that you bought six years ago for a 15" workhorse will work for a D420 bought today (same with drives too). This kind of stability in accessories is partly why people buy Lattitudes and the like.

    Given this longevity and compatibility that is way over and above what a lot of companies in the industry do I think it's reasonable that every 6 years or so they get to make some changes.

    Steve with a sombrero.

  23. Parax
    Thumb Up

    @ Chris

    'On my set-up I'd like to have my 4:3 screens in portrait mode, but it's not possible with two screens :('

    As Anon said above, If your running two screens from a dell lappy eg D610 Like I have in front of me, you can run them both in any orientation... click on selected screen, press [ctrl]+[alt]+[ArrowKey] hey presto..

    (Other laptops/graphics chipsets may not support this. But at least it is Possible!)

    additionally as I use two screens, when I dedock I like a wide screen on the lappy it gives my desktop a similar ratio, also widescreen is good for DVD's while traveling/Hoteling

  24. Parax


    Above should be D630..not that it matters lol..

  25. Steve Evans

    @Peter Gathercole

    /me types away on his Thinkpad R52 enjoying 1400x1050 of glorious pixels.

    I find widescreens are like working whilst looking through a letter box. Give me vertical resolution! If I wanted to waste space on the sides I'd use vista and turn the sidebar on!

    I used to have an A30 with the same size screen, there's no going back, using anything less just feels like I'm using a cheap laptop with only 800x600.

    It does kind of restrict the choice on new laptops though.

  26. David Gosnell


    Trying to find any device (of any reasonable size) with a screen that isn't widescreen is becoming an increasingly fruitless task, especially if shopping at the major (DSG-type) retailers.

    Widescreen photo-frames are stupid, given that practically no cameras take widescreen images. But try getting anything else at a half-way fair price.

    Widescreen desktop monitors that will never go anywhere near video? Going from 5:4 to widescreen will be particularly painful for many. Long may my SyncMaster 191T live on, blotchy display or not.

    Widescreen satnav? Specially made for zillion lane superhighways?

    Widescreen mp3 player? Like who cares when the picture's still --> <-- so big.

    Sure, it's economies of manufacture behind it all, but where's the choice for those who are prepared to pay a little more for the common sense everyday solution?

  27. Keith Smith

    80x25 Anyone?

    Sorry @peter && Chris, but if you worked for me . . .

    I had a standing rule in my shop. If the code extends beyond column 80, then you need to break the line., or re-code the expression for clarity. With the exception of a large case statement, any logical block of code that exceeds a single screen of 25 lines should be broken up into smaller functions/sub-routines. This is simply good programming practice for writing maintainable code.

    I'm a boolean algebra guru. If I *ever* see an if with an expression that is 256 columns wide, or if I have to think more than 2 seconds on what it says then some programming type is about to get a new *ssh*le.

    While one may *read* left to write, one will follow steps top to bottom. Programs are STEPS of instructions, top to start bottom to finish, and each thought should be concise and to the point one step down at a time. The problem is all you kids graduate from college where you've been writing code in a vacuum, and you've never had to actually go back and read some of the sh*t some other PFY wrote 2 years ago and fix something. I can assure you you will not have any trouble following *any* of my code.

    And I'm probably going to slug the next little pr*ck that writes something like:

    if ( 6 < day_of_week && 20 < hour || 8 > hour and 1 > day_of_week)

    again. . .

    Very cute, but you made me STOP and THINK about what you were trying to say. If *I* had to stop and think, some other poor slob is going to get lost and mis-interpet the expression

    Widescreen is wonderful for accountants with spreadsheets, but if you are writing code off the right hand edge of the screen then you are inately writing code that is extremely difficult to follow. Quit writing essays, and start writing code.

    My .02 (tupence?)

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    looks ordinary

    Young and sleek and fresh... They look new but the same. Nothing special about their appearance.

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