Dell Latitudes Get Wireless Broadband

Dell Computer today announced its Latitude D620 and D820 notebook computers which feature slimmer and lighter designs than their predecessors, Intel Core Duo processors, and optional wireless broadband capabilities using either Verizon Wireless or Cingular Wireless in the United States, or Vodafone in Europe.

“As mobile computing has become mission critical for businesses of any size, Dell found that customers care about durability, security and constant access to critical business information,” said Alex Gruzen, senior VP of Dell’s product group. “These new Latitude systems address and exceed these customer needs in robust design, comprehensive security options, integrated mobile broadband and significant reductions from the prior generation products in weight and thickness.”

The base configuration of the Latitude 620 offers a Core Duo processor, a 14.1-inch widescreen XGA display, 512 MB of RAM, a 40 GB hard disk, built-in Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) capability, a scant base weight of 4.4 pounds, and a base price of $1,149.

The Latitude D820 seems similar on the surface: an Intel Core Duo processor, a 15.4-inch widescreen display, 512 MB of RAM, 40 GB hard disk, plus built-in Wi-Fi. The D820 weighs 5.6 pounds, and starts at $1,289. But the options for the D820 set it apart: customers can get a 120 GB hard disk, the Nvidia Quadro NVS 120M business graphics solution with 512 MB video memory, a high-resolution WUXGA display (1900 by 1200 pixels crammed into 15.4 inches!), a Core Duo T2600 processor running at 2.16 GHz, and modular options which include an extra battery pack, a 24x CD-ROm, an 8X DVD+/-RW drive, a 24x CDRW/DVD, a floppy drive (really!), or another 80 GB hard drive.

Security-conscious IT managers will appreciate options for a biometric fingerprint reader (don’t, like, cut your finger peeling a potato), and integrated smart card reader, Trusted Platform Module 1.2, Wave Embassy Trust Suite, and embedded support for Computrace theft recovery and asset tracking software. The Latitude systems also feature Dell’s RoadReady designs, with magnesium alloy chassis, spill-resistant keyboards, hard drive protection, and metal-reinforced security slots. And, even better, a new Wi-Fi Catcher helps find wireless connections without even turning on the Latitude. Other available options include optical drives, power adapters, and docking stations.