The Next Perfect Laptop?


The new Dell Latitude Z laptop may be a contender. I have not seen one of these in person yet, but the specs are compelling enough for me to take a closer look and express an opinion on the device. They just hit the streets, so time will tell how well they perform in the real world. At first glance it looks like this will be a winner and start a trend for new system features for other machines.

Why is this the perfect laptop?
For me, the most important aspects of a “perfect” laptop are a lightweight machine with a good to great battery life, a big bright screen, and good performance. The new Dell Z fits those specs nicely. It is a little over 4 pounds, has a 16″ widescreen display, and only a little over ½ inch thin. That is a lot of machine in a light package. These specs in itself might make it a compelling choice, but below is what really puts the laptop in a class of its own.

Over the top features

  • Multi day battery life – Using their Latitude “On” functionality, you can access a built-in sub system to do regular tasks like accessing email without needing to boot up the entire machine.
  • Scan in business cards using the built-in webcam. It will even PDF documents using the webcam.
  • Wireless recharging – Just drop the laptop on the charging pad and it will recharge the battery. No cables needed.
  • Wireless docking station -“ Drop it on the pad and your laptop will not only recharge, but it will also be connected to your external monitor, mouse, and keyboard!
  • Backlit keyboard for easy low light usage.
  • Gesture enabled touch pad – more than just simply moving the mouse pointer
  • Face aware security – enable the webcam to lock your machine if you walk away from it for an extended period of time.
  • Edge touch – Slide your finger along the right edge of the screen bezel and icons will pop up for instant access to things like email.

What about Netbooks?
The small, light, and cheap Netbooks are all the rage today. I’ve used several models and really like them. The upside is that they are cheap and light. The downside is that they have a small screen and tend to be under powered. Depending on your needs, a Netbook may be the right choice. But if you are looking for a desktop type replacement laptop, than a Netbook is probably not going to fit the bill.

So what’s the downside?

  • Price – starting at $1,800 for the hardware, it is not cheap. Once you add the cool features like the wireless docking station, the price continues to climb.
  • Hard drive capacity – The system only uses solid state drives which are great for power consumption and performance, but they are not nearly as large capacity wise as the “normal” hard drives. The drive is definitely large enough to handle what you need, but do not plan on dumping your iTunes and video collection on your laptop.

Once you add it all up, the features far outweigh the downsides of the unit, so if you can afford one, run out and pick one up and let me know what you think.








John Ahlberg
CEO, Waident

CIO in the corporate world and now for Waident clients. John injects order and technology into business process to keep employees productive, enterprises running, and data safe.

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