More and more organizations are going virtual and in the next 10 years, Gen-Y will make up more than 48% of the workforce. This group is tech savvy, information hungry and they know what they want. Before we started planning the new Latitude E-series, announced today, we hosted focus groups including Gen-Y customers, IT managers and other business segment customers (over 2,000 in total) over 18 months to get feedback about what they wanted in a business laptop. We heard a number of helpful things including the need for enhanced durability with more end user, consumer appeal. And that as the lines between work and family are becoming blurred, our customers need to utilize technology to balance home and work life together. I've outlined some of the key themes in the customer feedback below along with how we incorporate it into the new E-series models.
Durability is something that the industry demands in corporate notebooks, and most of our large business customers want to make a hardware purchase that will last them at least 3-5 years. To ensure our products meet these expectations, we have to use materials that are built to withstand the rigors of everyday use, especially as customers move from office to office, to home and even travel around the world. There were more than 100 durability-focused design improvements across our E-family products, including a solid metal frame that increases stiffness and strength, a screen seal that helps cushion the panel, and tighter keycaps. While all of our premier-class products undergo rigorous Mil-spec testing, the new E6420 ATG Premier business-rugged laptops are designed for the most demanding conditions, with hard-wearing MIL-STD tested Tri-Metal casing and highly durable displays. The materials used in the new 6-series laptops include a magnesium alloy base, panels and sides and solid metal-plating around the hinges which is necessary when you’re always on the go, opening and closing you laptop all the time. If you accidentally bang a corner, your laptop will be protected. The latches are zinc-alloy, one handed and have an improved mechanical fastening system.
“I want to carry products that reflect my personal style and convey my high level of responsibility.”
Design-wise we focused on enhancing the look and feel of the E-series to not only reflect the durability improvements, but to retain the stylish appeal customers have come to expect. The new E-series products are available in a number of sizes, from the lightweight 12” E6220 to the mainstream 13” E6320 and 14” E5420/E6420, up to the 15” E5520/E6520. For those who like touchscreens, we'll have the XT3, our new convertible tablet, as well as touchscreen panel options on the E6420 and E6520. Other slick features that we carried over from previous Latitude models include things like backlit keyboards to help when working on a plane or in a dimly lit conference room, high-definition cameras for video conferencing, and a variety of battery options including a snap-on battery slice for extra-long run-time.
"I need to connect with my colleagues around the world anytime, anywhere.”
The new E-series provide multiple, easy to connect wireless options with improved antennae support and mobile broadband support through a variety of carriers. Customers can enjoy go-anywhere productivity with ExpressCharge battery options and swappable media module options – including optical drives, hard drive and USB 3.0 media modules that help you maximize productivity when on-the-go.
“Make it as easy to troubleshoot and service as possible."
We know with these new models that IT departments will be able to install and manage these systems with ease. ImageDirect enables you to focus on management of a single image that works across multiple platforms and departments. And once your image is in ImageDirect, it is available to work with future Dell hardware platforms, greatly reducing the time and cost for product transitions. Finally, the new models include greatly enhanced security with Dell Data Protection, contactless and standard smart card readers, an optional fingerprint reader and encrypted hard drive options.
The Dell Latitude E5 and E6 series will be available this Spring. Feel free to add any comments or questions below.