Dell is still one of the world’s largest sellers of PCs, and the firm arrived for CES 2016 in Las Vegas with a simple message: Sorry, naysayers, but the PC market is alive and well. And it has some new business PCs to announce to help make that case.
“Don’t pay attention to any of that stuff you read,” Dell vice chairman Jeff Clarke said during a press event this week, noting that the PC market is “far from dead.”
Perhaps. But the PC market is also shrinking, and has been for at least three years. And Dell has of course had its own issues during this time. Once the world’s biggest maker, Dell is now third behind Lenovo and HP, and a heated battle to privatize the firm a few years back has taken its toll.
But Dell is shaking off complaints that it has focused too much on enterprise server sales recently. And it is following up last year’s well-regarded (but deeply flawed) XPS 13 laptop with a number of similar designs in 2016. (Dell shipped an XPS 15 model in late 2015, but that laptop is hampered by the same design flaws as the XPS 13, most notably the “up your nose” position of the front web cam under the screen.)
Key among them is a new lineup of business PCs. And as you might expect, these new PCs borrow heavily from the XPS design. (In the good old days, COMDEX would have been the appropriate place for this kind of introduction, but that show is as dead as WordPerfect and Lotus 123.) Here’s a quick rundown of the new models, each of which ship with Windows 10 Pro.
Dell Latitude 13 7000 Series Ultrabook
Weighing in at 2.48 pounds, the Latitude 13 7000 Series Ultrabook is billed as the “world’s smallest 13-inch business-class Ultrabook.” As a business-class device, it achieves toughness via the use of carbon fiber, and is just 14.32 mm thin. The big news here, of course, is the XPS 13-like InfinityEdge display, which provides just the smallest of bezels around the screen. The device provides USB-C for power, docking, video, audio and data, Thunderbolt 3, and USB 3.0, and supports dual 4K displays. The Latitude 13 7000 Ultrabook will start at $1,299 when it goes on sale March 8, Dell says.
Dell Latitude 12 7000 Series 2-in-1
Like the nearly identical XPS 12 2-in-1, the Dell Latitude 12 7000 Series 2-in-1 provides a unique take on the Surface-style detachable tablet, using magnets to connect with a keyboard base. (There are two options, the Dell Latitude 12 Slim Keyboard and the Dell Latitude 12 Premium Keyboard.) The screen is 12.5 inches, has a 4K UHD option, and is hardened with Corning Gorilla Glass NBT. The Latitude 12 7000 Series 2-in-1 ships in early February and will start at $1,049.
Dell Latitude 11 5000 Series 2-in-1
Essentially a 10.8-inch version of the 7000 Series 2-in-1, the Dell Latitude 11 5000 Series 2-in-1 weighs just 1.56 pounds and is powered by an Intel Core-m mobile processor. It features a Full HD screen, and a more traditional latch-based design with a hardware keyboard base. The device will be available in early February and will start at $749.