Well, Engadget has once again turned up some PowerPoint presentations, with a much more defined roadmap for where the Latitude E series is headed and when we can expect to start seeing them become available.
Availability looks to be in September of 2008, with three colors for each: Regatta Blue, Royal Red, Quartz Pink. The Dell Latitude D430 (which is being replaced by the E4200 and E4300) will continue to be available until January of 2009, so there will be some overlap – about five months.
A side note: the Dell Latitude XT2 convertible Tablet PC, the sequel to the 12.1-inch Dell Latitude XT, is listed as being available in January or February of 2009.
While much of the information was already known, there are some interesting new highlights:
– Smaller motherboards for an overall thinner laptop
– “Inverted” motherboard for better thermal management
– Docking solutions offer PCI-Express slot (think different wireless cards, SSD for backup, etc.)
– WiMAX Ready
– Better internal antenna design
– Custom-fit privacy screens
– Much better power management software (Dell ControlPoint)
– Full-disk hardware-based encryption
– E-Port Plus: Optimized for dual-monitors (VGA, 2x DVI, or 2x DisplayPort with HDMI support through an adapter), 6x USB 2.0 ports, 1x eSATA port, Serial, Parallel, and PS/2 ports, supports 2x displays up to 2560×1600 through Display Port
– E-Port: – 1x VGA, 1x DVI, 1x Display Port, Legacy-free – 6x USB 2.0, and 1x eSATA
As we learn more, it’s quite clear that if only half of what has been seen was added to the existing Latitude D series, Dell would have a formidable upgrade (and challenger) in the ultraportable business-oriented laptop market.