As laptop prices continue their steady decline, Dell has come up with a new feature to tempt business buyers into paying top whack – integrated GPS (global positioning system).
According to Dell scoop site Engadget , Dell has pencilled in June as the launch data for its long-rumoured E-series laptops, which will feature the technology among a host of high-end accoutrements.
The top-of-the-range E6500 model will also include UWB (ultra-wideband) wireless thanks to the inclusion of Intel’s ‘Montevina’ chip, LED backlighting on a 15.4 inch screen, a DisplayPort (a rival to HDMI) for high-definition interconnect, an “all-day” battery system, and hard disk options including conventional hard drives, SSD flash drives, or – and this is imaginative – hybrid SSD drives.
Dell has added another interesting feature on the storage theme, namely a port for an external eSATA drive. These have been slow to take off but promise much fast backup throughput in comparison with the ubiquitous USB 2.0 and FireWire drives that are the road warrior’s current staple.
Encouragingly, Dell has realised that security is now a standard feature for business laptops, and has fully encrypted hard disks on the option list. Details have not been confirmed, but given the mention of Wave Embassy’s Trust Suite, used by admins to manage automatic boot encryption/decryption, we assume the hardware will be Seagate’s Momentus FDE.2 drives .
Support will also be included for smartcard/contactless smartcard readers, fingerprint readers, and TPM (trusted platform module) 1.2 at motherboard level.
It was probably inevitable that GPS technology would turn up on a mainstream laptop having found a home in at least one laptop from rival Asus, and, of course, a range of handheld computers. Exactly what laptop users will do with the technology, beyond providing a sort of SatNav-on-the-go, is harder to fathom. There is one security feature that might appeal however – letting security staff locate stolen laptops.
There will also be a more portable 14.1 inch model, the E6400. Prices have not been announced, but expect to pay a hefty premium for this laptop full of tricks.