Refining and Defining the new Dell Latitude 9510
Hitech Century speaks to Meghana Patwardhan, Vice President and General Manager, Dell Latitude and Education, Commercial Client Solutions, the driving force behind the creation of the Latitude 9510, the first of a new generation of ultra-premium business notebooks that aim to offer uncompromising premium design and performance for business professionals.
The Latitude 9510 represents a move into the premium business notebook space as well as being the first example of its kind in the newly established Latitude 9000 series notebook category. Why do you feel that now is the right time to do so and what makes the Latitude 9510 unique among competitors in the market?
I’d like to add context to your statement. The new Dell Latitude 9510 represents a step beyond even the premium category as it incorporates technologies, materials and cutting edge design that are truly best-in-class including 5G connectivity and our extremely thin bezel InfinityEdge displays. As the first of a new category of ultra premium notebooks, the Latitude 9510 is intended as the choice of executives and front line personnel who need the most premium materials, cutting edge innovation and uncompromising performance.
In regards to how the Latitude 9510 stands out among competitors in the market, I’d like to share a use case story. Most other 15-inch notebooks in the market weigh at least 4.5 pounds (2kg) and that’s not counting the addition of a hefty power brick and cables which often adds up to 7 pounds (3kg) of weight to lug around. Add in the 30-hour battery life that the Latitude 9510 is capable of and you have a high-performing notebook that has longer endurance than competitors and at a lighter carry weight too.
Another unique differentiator is the inclusion of a built-in intelligent AI that works at the software and device level without the need for cloud integration or online connectivity that can intelligently optimise performance based on a user’s usage patterns. This AI-based optimisation app, dubbed as Dell Optimizer, is able to intelligently manage battery life, audio volume and performance as well as application while taking up minimal system resources.
Can you share more about what Dell Optimizer is and how it is key to the Latitude 9510 experience.
In a nutshell, the Dell Optimizer application manages and optimises settings at both the hardware and software level in a discreet and effective fashion to ensure work remains uninterrupted and that the Latitude 9510 is optimised for maximum performance. Key to this experience is the inclusion of a built-in AI performance booster that works in the background and adjusts the system settings to your needs.
The Dell Optimizer application has four sub-functions under its collective umbrella, all optimised by AI, that aim to positively impact on four key factors that affect notebook performance – ExpressSign-in, ExpressCharge, ExpressResponse and Intelligent Audio.
ExpressSign-in is a PC proximity enabled sensor that automatically wakes your system and logs you in via the IR camera and Windows Hello. It also automatically locks your notebook when you walk away, enhancing security and preserving battery life.
ExpressCharge intelligently enhances charging to enhance speed while retaining battery longevity by intelligently modifying charging speeds.depending on use case scenarios.
Dell’s ExpressResponse uses AI to detect frequently used apps and then enhance their loading times and speed accordingly by prioritising them in memory.
Intelligent Audio on the other hand helps to ensure clear and crisp audio, in particular while conducting video calls for clear and noise-free communication.
These four key areas of performance enhancement and management in the Latitude 9510 were not selected on a whim but were chosen based on extensive feedback from customers. What also makes the new Latitude special is its ease of customisability by the end-user and by IT professionals so that stakeholders can determine what features of Dell Optimizer are enabled or not.
Of particular importance is that Dell Optimizer is able to record resource data for IT professionals, allowing stakeholders to be able to make better purchase decisions for the next generation of hardware down the line. These more informed purchase decisions are able to positively impact not only the bottom line but employee satisfaction as well, which is a key factor in ensuring staff remain at their most productive and satisfied in order to retain key talent.
Is Dell Optimizer currently unique to the Latitude 9510? Will it see service in other Dell notebooks?
As of now, the Latitude 9510 is the first to have Dell Optimizer installed but in future, you will see it, or specific aspects of it implemented in other commercial products down the line later on. As an application, the Dell Optimizer was built from scratch but takes lessons learned from use cases and experiences derived from many of Dell’s customers.
What aspects of design made the inclusion of 5G connectivity possible in the Latitude 9510?
There are several concerns in regards to integrating any kind of mobile connectivity in the chassis of a notebook, whether it’s 4G or in the case of the Latitude 9510 – 5G connectivity. One key concern is that 5G requires even more antennae than 4G which increases the weight. You also have to factor in the types of material used as 5G signals don’t travel well through a chassis made of aluminium. Plastic was considered but that would compromise the mission profile of the Latitude 9510 as an ultra-premium, no-compromise design.
Our design challenge, factoring in these concerns, was how to keep the Latitude 9510 small, slim and light while providing the best 5G experience and maintaining the premium aluminium chassis. Our design teams implemented a unique solution by integrating the speaker grilles as part of the antenna so that 5G connectivity and the Latitude 9510’s design profile are maintained. A lot of innovation has gone into the design of the 9000 series without compromising any of its numerous features so that we have the smallest and lightest possible notebook in its class.
What lessons were learned from the design and creation of the premium XPS 13 series notebooks in the design of the Latitude 9510 and how does their individual use cases differ?
The XPS and Latitude series are each designed for very different needs with the former intended for a premium consumer and the latter for a premium business user. The XPS series is focused on high-end consumers who prize thin, light and premium notebooks with excellent performance but who do not require nor need integrated mission-critical additions such as having the right number and type of ports, smart card readers, the right enterprise grade security, smart card readers and the like.
The Latitude series, in particular the new Latitude 9000-series ultra-premium notebooks are intended to not only be thin and light but to be ideal for a corporate environment with everything that an executive needs to get the job done. To that end, the Latitude 9510 has integrated all of the conceivable ports and connectivity needed in a business environment, is significantly more durable on account of its aluminium chassis in keeping with standard corporate device upgrade cycles and has enterprise grade security options built in as options. Another particular feature is that the Latitude series notebooks all have guaranteed parts availability and managed transitions so that companies won’t get caught out in the cold with a lack of spare parts or service support.
We learned a lot from the XPS portfolio and one of the most important features is the inclusion and need for InfinityEdge displays which enhance productivity by offering more screen real estate while retaining a smaller form factor as well as the premium machined aluminium chassis. These features were melded with the commercial features that are key to the Latitude series to create an aesthetically pleasing, reliable and high-performing notebook.
What are you especially proud of with the new Latitude 9510?
I am especially proud of the fact that we achieved the right balance from an engineering and design perspective to create a light yet high-performing ultra-premium notebook. Another thing that I am proud of is the inclusion of Dell Optimizer which paves the way for an improved customer experience.
For a more in-depth look at the Latitude 9510, check out our CES 2020 feature here.