Dell Unveils New Chromebox, Latitude Laptops, and OptiPlex Systems for Business Users

Dell is wrapping up the week with a bang, refreshing both its laptop and desktop lines for businesses. The Latitude refresh spans the business laptop line, from the value-oriented 3000 series to the high-end 7000 series models. Even Dell’s Rugged line is seeing new hardware and features. For those of us chained to our desks, Dell is rolling out new OptiPlex Micro systems. To top it off, Dell released the Dell Chromebox to compete with the mini PCs from Acer and others.

The Latitude 14 3000 series will start out with Intel Core i3 or i5 processors, along with 4GB of memory, integrated graphics, and a 500GB 7200RPM hard drive or a 500GB 5400RPM hybrid drive. Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11 AGN wireless connectivity are on board, as is Bluetooth, but the fingerprint reader is optional. The laptops feature a 14-inch WLED HD (1366 x 768) screen at this time, and versions releasing in January will have touch displays. Available OSes include Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Ubuntu Linux 14.04.

Dell Latitude 14 3000 Series

The Latitude 14 Rugged is meant to take on much tougher environments than the office, but it has many of the same features as a typical Latitude 14. The chassis is designed for hot environments and the touch display is meant to be visible outdoors.

The most interesting Latitude is probably the Latitude 13 7000, which is a 2-in-1 device. When both parts are together, it’s a laptop with a 13-inch IPS touch display (1920 x 1080) and an Intel Core M or Core M vPro processor. The laptop has a backlit keyboard and enough security features to make your IT guy smile. Detach the display, and you have a 13-inch tablet. Given the dual laptop/tablet functionality, it’s not surprising that the only OS options are Windows 8.1 64-bit and Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit.

Dell Latitude 13 7000 Series 2-in-1

The two updated Dell OptiPlex systems are the OptiPlex 3020 and 9020. The OptiPlex 3020 is available in minitower, SFF, and micro form factors and comes with a Celeron, Core i3, or Core i5 processor, depending on the model and size you choose. That doesn’t mean the micro can’t handle a Core i5, though – it can and does. The system has integrated graphics, but discrete AMD graphics are optional. Gigabit networking is standard, while Wi-Fi connectivity is optional. All of these models are pretty small, but the micro comes in at just 7.17 x 1.4 x 6.93 (H x W x D) – not bad for a cramped desk.

Dell OptiPlex 3020 Series

The Dell OptiPlex 9020 is workhorse, with processors ranging from a Pentium Dual Core (for the micro version) to Core i7 quad core CPUS. The systems come with Intel HD Graphics 4600 standard, but discrete graphics are options in the larger models. They support memory up to 32GB and storage of up to 2TB, along with options for hybrid drives, SSDs, and RAID configurations.

Dell OptiPlex 9020 Series

Dell also launched the Dell Chromebox and Chromebox for Meetings. Google has been promoting the idea of using the miniature computers as video conferencing equipment and it’s not a bad plan – especially for small businesses that want to put together a video conference room on the cheap. HP and others have also been working on Chromebox versions, so the competition is starting to heat up.