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Dell’s new Latitude laptops let business consumers score Broadwell on the cheap

In addition to updating the Inspiron 5000 and 7000, making the newest XPS 13 unexpectedly thin and affordable, and going full 4K crazy on the XPS 15, Dell has refreshed a number of business-friendly Latitude laptops at CES 2015.

Why are you only hearing about this now? Because the Texas-based PC titan chose to simply list the beefed-up, slimmed down notebooks on its website, without so much as a heads-up. Which is somewhat understandable, given that the Latitude 3000, 5000, and 7000 are no matches for the glamour and muscle of the XPS 13.

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But they’re worth a quick look, boarding the Intel Broadwell bandwagon for extra speed and better battery life. The 7000 Series is perhaps the most appealing of the bunch, a 14-incher with a top configuration containing a fifth-generation Intel Core i5-5300U processor, eight gigabytes of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 1080p display.

Running your choice of Windows 7 Professional or 8.1, the highest-end Latitude 14 7000 costs $1,619, and tips the scales at 3.43 pounds. The cheapest you can find it for is $999 with a Core i3 Broadwell power, four gigabytes of RAM, and a 500GB hybrid HDD, but that particular model doesn’t ship until January 20.

That’s also the ETA for the entry-level and top-of-the-line Latitude 12 7000, the former going for $1,079 with a Core i3 and 128GB SSD inside, and the latter priced at $1,299, packing fifth-gen Core i5 speed. Both weigh in at 2.76 pounds, which is considerably less than their predecessors, thanks to more power-efficient, fanless designs.

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Meanwhile, the 5000 Series has been upgraded in 12-, 14-, and 15-inch variants, each coming with a subset of Broadwell loaded models. The most affordable 12-inch here is $829; 14-inch models start at $749, and the cheapest 15-inch is $682. The larger versions aren’t featherweights, however, focusing on military-grade durability rather than easy transportation and whatnot.

Finally, Dell Latitude 3000 laptops are now part of the happy Intel Broadwell family, offering 14- and 15-inch business-class productivity, and configurations ranging from humble Celerons to fast and furious i5s. Prices? Between $450 and $670. The catch? The specs on the whole are humdrum, including 1,366 x 768 displays, no more than four gigabytes of RAM, and 500GB hard drives.