Dell announced on Monday its latest flagship business-focused ultrabooks, the Latitude 7000 Series.
While on the face of it, the notebooks may offer little in terms of aesthetic excitement, they host a bevy of features that may raise an eyebrow with chief information officers worldwide.
The Latitude 7000 notebooks arrive at a time where Dell's performance in market share rankings is beginning to dwindle — albeit not at a rate which would panic the company dramatically, but enough to spark at least some concern. Latest stats from IDC and Gartner peg the computing giant in at third place in worldwide rankings, but losing share each quarter.
While Dell has two 7000 Series models, the company is throwing its weight behind its flagship 12-inch display ultrabook over its larger 14-inch display series' sibling. The 12-inch display model is 20 millimeters in thickness and 2.99 pounds.
It is, however, thicker all round the base and slightly heavier than the 13-inch display MacBook Air by comparison.
That said, Dell is touting above all else the business features in these notebooks, with easy IT management, thanks to its automated plug-in to Microsoft System Center and Dell's KACE management service. It also includes FIPS 140-2 (level 3) certification for system disk encryption.
Overall, the design is rugged and designed to be reliable over time. It includes a tri-metal chassis and comes with Corning Gorilla Glass NBT. Dell said it comes with a swappable battery, but did not say how long the device will last on a single charge.
The 7000 Series notebooks are also — perhaps the greatest feature for those with desktop and hotdesking environments — backwards compatibility with existing E-family Latitude docks, as well as WiGig wireless docking.
Also included in the announcement were two other notebooks, in efforts to cater to as many corporate tastes as possible: the Latitude 5000 Series and Latitude 3000 Series notebooks.
The Latitude 5000 Series notebook are designed with most medium-sized enterprises in mind. The 14.1-inch or 15.6-inch touch-screen display devices come with low-voltage Intel Core i7 processors, and solid-state or hybrid solid-state drives..
Meanwhile, the Latitude 3000 Series entry-level notebooks are targeted at education and small business customers. In the same display size range as the Latitude 5000 Series, the notebooks come with Intel Core (4th generation) processors. Dell claims they will last the test of time — particularly in schools — having undergone "highly accelerated life testing," despite being only 25 millimeters in thickness and 4.3lbs in weight.
Dell's Latitude 7000 Series notebook begins at $1,049 for the 14-inch model, and $1,169 for the 12-inch model. Both are available from Monday. Touch-enabled notebooks will be available mid-September, as will the Latitude 3000 notebooks.
But those looking for the Latitude 5000 Series notebooks will have to wait a little longer, as they launch in October.