Dell targets 19-hour laptop at 'digital nomads'

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR -- Dell launched new lines of Latitude and Precision laptops, some targeted -- like this blog -- specifically at "digital nomads." One of the systems boasts a whopping 19 hours of battery life. The company also announced a new dedicated chip and second OS that enables near-instant access to e-mail, calendar and Web without booting Windows, as well as a new "Digital Nomads" Web site.

The new laptops include the "mainstream" Dell Latitude E6400 and E6500; "ultraportable" Dell Latitude E4200 and E4300; inexpensive (starts at $839) Latitude E5400; and "semi-rugged" E6400 ATG. Go here for speeds, feeds and other details.

Some of the new systems offer a choice of colors, including "brushed metal," blue, red, black and -- wait for it -- pink.

The "mainstream" Dell Latitude E6400 offers "breakthrough" battery life of up to 19 hours, according to the company.

Dell also emphasized new features for some models, including:

  • full-frame magnesium alloy construction and all-metal hinges;
  • backlit keyboard that automatically adjusts to ambient light levels;
  • ControlVault: "intelligent security sub-processors with embedded non-volatile storage that centralizes and helps protect user credentials and security keys in a single hardened security “vault” away from the systems main drive"

One of the most compelling features announced includes Dell Latitude ON, which uses a dedicated low-voltage sub-processor and OS that can enable multi-day battery life and which provides "near-instant access to e-mail, calendar, attachments, contacts and the Web without booting into the system’s main operating system (OS)." (Oh, man, I like the sound of that.)

Dell is, to the best of my knowledge, the largest company to use the phrase "digital nomads" to describe customer targets, and in fact uses the phrase four times in its press release, including in a quote by CEO Michael Dell, who claims his company has gained "real insight into the needs of the digital nomad." The company also announced a new Web site called "Digital Nomads."

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