With Latitude Z laptop, Dell makes aggressive play for business executives

On Friday comes news that Dell is taking the "Z" marque to its business-targeted Latitude line in an attempt to garner attention from the customers it needs most: executives.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

Everywhere you look, Dell is on the rebound.

From the company's design-heavy Adamo (and Adamo XPS) thin-and-light laptop to the revitalization of its Inspiron notebook line with thinner "Z" models, the company's not taking its market position sitting down.

On Friday comes news from Forbesthat Dell's taking the "Z" marque to its business-targeted Latitude line in an attempt to garner more attention from the customers it needs most.


The contender: a notebook computer called the Latitude Z, which Dell will display publicly in a few weeks. A carefully controlled peek reveals a sleek gray machine with a 16-inch screen, an Intel ( INTC - news - people ) processor inside and, most likely, advanced wireless capabilities, perhaps even wireless charging.

The Latitude Z will cost a great deal more than the typical $1,100 business laptop and is aimed at business executives, lawyers and the like for whom appearances count. Dell doesn't have to sell a lot of this product to succeed with it--just as General Motors can win with an oversexed sports car if it merely draws shoppers to the showrooms.

The laptop "tells you that design is important, and we recognize that, and that even more important than design is functionality, and this is a good packaging of the two," says Stephen F. Schuckenbrock, president of Dell's large enterprises division.

The play is an aggressive one, and Dell's clearly betting that the recession has ended and, by extension, corporate IT budgets are loosening some.

While laptops are increasingly replacing desktops in the workplace, the Dell Latitude Z will not be for the cubicle-bound. Like the MacBook Air when it first arrived to market, it will be a coveted status machine for roving executives.

Unlike the Adamo, though, this one is expected to have serious horsepower.

(Pictured: Closeup of Dell's Studio 14z laptop)

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