Dell updates commercial PC lineup, launches enterprise 2-in-1

Dell cribs design cues from its XPS line to bring a 13-inch 2-in-1 to market. Will enterprises bite?
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Dell on Thursday launched a new suite of commercial PCs that are designed to bring 2-in-1 devices into the enterprise and cover a range of sizes and use cases.

Like other PC makers, Dell is looking to ride the corporate upgrade cycle, bring style to enterprise devices and utilize mini form factors that can be tucked behind monitors and displays.

"We're thinking commercial first," said Kirk Schell, general manager of Dell's end user computing group. "Everything we sell you should have a sameness to it so you can buy and deploy the same way."

Schell's continuum for end user computing ranges from tablets to laptops to desktops. The general idea is that Dell's commercial line should be able to dock and be easily managed.

The headliner from Dell is the Latitude 13 7000, an ultrabook with a 13-inch detachable tablet. Schell said that the Latitude 13 7000 takes design cues from its XPS line and has accessories that are made to get you through airports quickly with few devices. In many respects, the Latitude 13 7000 is a Microsoft Surface rival. One key diffference is that the 7000 is "lappable" and can actually rest in your lap unlike the Surface, said Schell. 

Dell Latitude 13 7000

In many ways, the Latitude 13 7000 is the enterprise version of the XPS 2-in-1 ultrabook.

"This product is born out of the XPS design language. We've learned from the XPS and Venue Pro product line," explained Schell.

What's notable about Dell's 2-in-1 is how it will be deployed. Schell acknowledged that most corporate PCs being deployed are Windows 7, but there are pilots increasing with Windows 8. "It's still early but we are seeing Windows 8 pilots, but they come with application modernization projects," said Schell. Given Windows 8's touch interface, corporate apps have to be updated for it.

To go with the Latitude 13 7000, Dell is also refreshing its midline 5000 series and entry level 3000.

Among the other commercial additions from Dell:

  • A Google Chromebox and Chromebox for Meetings. The Chromebox for Meetings comes with video conferencing gear from Dell. Schell said that Chromeboxes and Chromebooks are gaining traction in the enterprise in verticals such as education.
  • Latitude 14 Rugged, which is for use in law enforcement, military and other verticals in the elements regularly. The Latitude Rugged can take drops up to 3 feet and come with outdoor readable displays as well as a dust and water resistance.
  • The OptiPlex 3020 and OptiPlex 9020. The common theme among the OptiPlex line is a small footprint for mounting. The OptiPlex also has a version for Dell's Wyse thin clients.
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