Dell Latitude Z: incorporates wireless charging.
You've seen ultra-thin notebooks and you've seen large-screen notebooks but never have you seen an ultra-thin large-screen notebook. Well, now you have.
Tonight, Dell is launching the world's thinnest and lightest notebook with a 16-inch display. What's more, it's the world's first notebook to incorporate wireless charging. The Latitude Z is aimed at business users and will focus on security and usability rather than outright performance.
At about 1.25 centimetres thick and weighing 2 kilograms, the svelte-looking laptop achieves its thin profile by eschewing the DVD burner altogether; it's an external module that plugs in via a USB cable. Another way Dell has managed to shed size and weight is by using solid-state drives (SSDs). The SSDs are available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities and, for the ultra paranoid, you can even have two of them in case the first one fails.
The Latitude Z's external shell is finished in a matte "soft-touch" coating, available in a single colour called Black Cherry.
The stand-out feature, however, is its use of wireless induction charging. Instead of a cord, the Latitude Z can sit on a purpose-built stand designed to charge up its batteries without a physical connection. You'll pay for the privilege though; it will take 30 to 40 minutes longer to fully charge the battery and it's an optional extra that will set you back $395.
The Latitude Z can also recognise your face using a FaceAware feature via the built-in webcam, which locks out the notebook to other users when you step away. The 2-megapixel webcam focuses automatically and can recognise contact details on a business card. A fingerprint scanner is a given but there's also a no-contact smartcard sensor next to the touchpad that can be configured to work with certain office security passes.
The bezel surrounding the 16-inch widescreen display has a touch-sensitive strip along the right edge that has shortcuts and media controls built in. Another Dell feature the Latitude Z is introducing to the world is a module called Latitude ON. It's basically a second low-power computer within a computer, or, as Dell calls it, a "spare tyre operating system".
Latitude ON boots up in an instant and has built-in software that lets you read common document formats, such as DOC, XLS, PPF and PDF.
The Latitude Z will be available from tomorrow, starting at $2799 for the entry-level model equipped with a 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of memory and 64GB SSD drive.