Dell launches new ultraportable

— 2:06 AM on June 21, 2006

Dell has taken its time refreshing its Latitude business notebook lineup, but the company has now completed the transition to Intel's latest and greatest with the Latitude D420 ultraportable. The D420 weighs in at 3 lbs and is a bit bigger than its predecessor, the 2.5-pound Latitude X1. It retains a similar 12.1" 1280x800 display, but trades the X1's 1.1 GHz Intel Pentium M ULV 733 for a 1.06 GHz Core Solo U1300 (Core Duo flavors are due out "later this summer"), and swaps the 3-cell battery for a beefier 4-cell model. The new battery boosts the D420's rated battery life to a whopping five hours, up from 3.1 hours on the X1.

In addition to the battery boost, Dell sells the D420 with optional wireless mini-cards for Cingular and Verizon wireless networks in the United States and Vodafone networks in Europe. The product overview page also says it "offers dual-band Wi-Fi that's ready to accommodate upcoming 802.11n networks," although hitting 802.11n's 540 Mbps transfer speeds will presumably require an upgrade to a new Wi-Fi card.

Despite the enhancements, the Latitude D420 starts at $1,149, a tad less than the Latitude X1, which sells for $1,178 and up. Dell's press release claims the D420 is "available immediately," but the component selection page lists a preliminary ship date of "Unavailable."

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