Dell unveils wireless net, new Latitudes

Dell unveils wireless net, new Latitudes

Dell has grown its business product lines as of Monday, announcing its TrueMobile wireless networking package and adding to its Latitude line notebooks that support Intel's SpeedStep-enabled Pentium III processors.

The TrueMobile package consists of a $US199 PC card adapter for Latitude notebooks, and a $999 access point device that connects to an existing local area network. It uses the 11Mbps 802.11B standard and is the first Dell-branded wireless package, said David Graves, a Dell spokesperson.

Last November, Dell began offering a similar wireless package from Aironet as an accessory to Latitude products, Graves said. The company offers yet another package for its consumer notebooks. The difference: when you buy the TrueMobile package with any new Latitude notebook, Dell preinstalls all the drivers and utilities.

"It's ready to go out of the box," Graves said. When Dell preconfigures your new Latitude with TrueMobile, you also get software extras that make it easier to use. For example, Dell bundles diagnostic tools that keep track of signal strength, power management, and encryption. Plus, the TrueMobile hardware is covered by Dell's three-year, next-business-day service.

The company is also announcing that it will use Intel's SpeedStep-based processors and new Mobile Celeron processors in its Latitude lineup. SpeedStep technology is designed to help conserve notebook power by allowing the notebook to operate at top speed on AC power and dropping speed down to 500MHz when the machine is running on battery power.

Latitude notebooks are built to order, but the company describes several sample configurations. The mainstream Latitude CPx J650GT includes Intel's 650MHz Mobile Pentium III, 64MB of memory, a 6GB hard drive, 24x CD-ROM drive, and a 14.1-inch active matrix display, priced at $US2999. It has a three-year, next-business-day onsite service warranty.

A Latitude CPt S500GT, priced at $US1899 and geared towards value-minded users, comes with a 500MHz Mobile Celeron processor, 32MB of memory, a 4.8GB hard drive, 24x CD-ROM drive, 56Kbps modem, and a 14.1-inch active-matrix display. Dell provides a one-year, next-business-day onsite service warranty on this system.

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