Dell videos showing the merging of the smartphone and business laptop
Bringing an ARM based subsystem into a PC notebook to deliver a hybrid that benefited from the best of both worlds. This week Dell formally (finally) announced the availability of Latitude ON feature as part of their new Latitude Z series business laptop. So why the wait and why now? My guess is that they really wanted to get it right and they wanted to pick the right platform. And boy did they! On both parts!
First take a look at the platform they chose. The Latitude Z series, specifically the Z600 is touted as “the world’s thinnest and lightest 16 inch laptop.” Take a look at the video.
Not only thin and light, it also includes some really state of the art features such as inductive charging and a wireless docking station to a full keyboard, mouse, and HD monitor, a touch pad that supports touch gestures, a touch sensitive side panel for scrolling and it looks like application launching with your finger, then a camera that is also a scanner that can automatically scan business cards and place them in your outlook contacts. Then, of course, there is my favorite – the Latitude ON feature.
Now consider what Dell is trying to do with the Latitude ON features. This is not just an instant on experience with webmail and a browser with a few games that you find in some consumer dual boot PCs. They are actually creating an enterprise class system that has to interact with corporate networks, be upgradable as determined by the IT gurus, and add significant value to the users over what they can do if they just boot the Windows PC portion running on the x86. Lionel Menchaca outlines all of these features in his blog.
Not only do they offer the typical enterprise like access to email, contacts, the corporate internet, along with a Citrix Receiver client to access virtual applications and desktops, but they do it with smartphone like connectivity and battery life. With the ARM based TI OMAP 3430 processor they claim the system can run for 17 hours of active use. When not active it can remain always on and always connected and last for days just like your smartphone. Oh yea you can also boot up a full windows OS if you want to access legacy x86 applications locally (vs virtually over the Citrix Receiver client).
Essentially this Latitude Z600 is a platform that is similar to the flagship Cadillac or BMW. It is demonstrating all of the latest and greatest features and technology which will trickle their way down to all of the other platforms. For example the Latitude ON subsystem incorporates a pretty full feature set that could ultimately meets the needs for a standalone enterprise device. Add some multimedia and maybe some social networking and gaming and you have a great consumer experience. I can’t wait to give it and all of the other cool Latitude Z600 features a try. I’ll be sure to do a user’s perspective once I get a hold of a unit and get it approved by our corporate IT gurus.
Jeff Chu, Segment Marketing Manager, Mobile Computing, ARM, has been on the forefront of ultra mobile computing for over 8 years. From webpads to smart displays to UMPC there has always been the criticism that it's not a real PC. Well, now the computing world is flipping and low power mobile gadgets are becoming the preferred way to consume content and interact with the web. To quote Victor Hugo “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”
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