Latitude ON Arrives

Topics in this article

Latitude ON Button Latitude ON is a concept we’ve mentioned during the introduction of our Latitude E family of business laptops last year. You may have seen posts from sites like Engadget that discussed it in more detail. We figured the introduction of the Latitude Z was a good reason to start shipping the full hardware plus software version of Latitude ON.

Latitude ON is basically a system on a system. It’s based on a dedicated low-voltage ARM processor (Texas Instrument’s OMAP 3430 processor) that runs a slimmed-down version of a Linux OS. It allows a user to boot into the contained OS environment to give you always-on access to an Firefox-based Internet browser (without Flash support) and critical business information while using a fraction of the battery power your laptop uses when it’s running a full OS. Essentially, you can quickly access all the information you’re used to accessing on a smartphone using the larger screen and keyboard that your laptop provides.

To see what I mean by quick access, take a look at this boot comparison video:

Here’s a more detailed look at the features:

  • Instant access (about  2 seconds) to business information

    (E-mail, calendar, contacts, Internet browser & Citrix Receiver client)

  • MS Exchange integration or POP e-mail Access

  • Always on/connected – the module continues to run regardless of the state of the main OS

  • Ability to view MS Office and .pdf document attachments

  • Long battery life (about 17 hours on a 6-cell battery)

  • Designed for the future with upgradable infrastructure (flash-based software updates)

Here’s another StudioDell video which features a good overview about how the full version of Latitude ON works:

Latitude ON allows you to connect via Wi-Fi or embedded mobile broadband. I say embedded because in Latitude ON mode, the external ports aren’t active. We’ve been shipping Latitude ON-ready Latitude E4200 and E4300 systems for a while now. Essentially, that means they can run the Latitude ON Reader software. In contrast to the full version, the Reader software resides on the main partition of the hard drive and provides access to e-mail, calendar and contacts from the last synched version of your Outlook data.

We will offer the hardware upgrade option to existing Latitude E4200 and E4300 customers via a customer kit for purchase. I’ll update this post with more details about the kit when I have them. All Latitude Z systems will feature the full version of Latitude ON, complete with the processor hardware.

Learn more about the latest business laptops from Dell.

About the Author: Lionel Menchaca

Topics in this article