Dell reverses an earlier decision to make the Latitude its SMB notebook product in North America, and responds to customer demand with new 14 and 15 inch models.
Dell has announced its next generation of Vostro notebooks, its commercial line specifically tailored for the small business market. The Vostro 14 and 15 3000 Series business notebooks feature the latest Intel processors, and one has the latest discrete graphics from NVIDIA, as an option.
“Vostro hasn’t been actively sold in Canada or the United States the last few years,” said Sylvia Seybel Marketing Director, Content and Campaigns, at Dell. “It was sold only in emerging markets, and has done very well in China and India. The Latitude line was sold in its place in North America. However, we found that the Latitude did not meet the needs of some small businesses on a tight budget. So that’s why we are reintroducing Vostro here.”
Seybel said the Latitude is more expensive because it has more advanced security features than the Vostro.
“These have higher end security that bigger companies demand, but which aren’t needed in smaller businesses, and which add price,” she said. These extra layers of security include a biometric fingerprint reader, a smart card to let a user present electronic credentials, a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) which can be used for disk encryption, and Intel vPro technology, on some of the Latitudes.
Standard features include the latest Intel processors, with both models starting with a Celeron at the low end, and the highest of the four models being an i5. They all have a micro-stripe textured cover which hides scratches that typically occur while carrying the device around. While the Vostros are not in the Ultrabook category for thinness, these models are thinner than previous generations, checking in at under one inch.
This generation of Vostros also benefits mightily from the availability of a Dell innovation which was not available on notebooks the last time Vostros were available here — ProSupport Plus for PCs and Tablets – a support service that in addition to expert support and accidental damage repair, provides proactive and predictive monitoring to warn of issues like hard drive failures before they happen.
Options include built-in discrete graphics from NVIDIA with up to 2GB memory and up to 8GB of high-speed RAM. They are available on a single model only, the 15 inch i5, at a cost of $200 for the dual upgrade – from 4GB to 8GB memory as 4GB is standard on this base model.
“For most commercial users, integrated graphics works very well, but for users who work with video or other high intensity graphics, these NVIDIA cards will meet their needs,” Seybel said.
“We are expecting overall sales to increase to the SMB market, because the Vostro is more tailored to the market,” Seybel stated. “Our customers have clearly told us they valued the Vostro.”
Pricing on the Dell.ca site starts at $CDN 449.00 for the low end Celeron model in both the 14 and 15 inch screen models.