Dell's commercial notebooks understand users better, here's how4 min read . Updated: 09 Sep 2020, 04:53 PM IST
- An inside look into Latitude design stories.
Every year, a refreshed Dell Latitude is released, packed with innovative features for a wide range of business users. Since 1994, the Latitude notebook continues to deliver portability, efficiency, comfort and security.
Over the past 20 years, the way people work has changed dramatically: from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to the increasingly popular remote working environment. The Latitude consistently has evolved to address the changing nature of office needs – adding new features and refined functional enhancements to deliver the best possible commercial client experience. To effectively deliver for user needs, the Dell design team works with top scientists and partners around the globe to deliver innovative technology that is highly aligned with customer needs.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at Dell designers’ thorough efforts to create and enhance the Latitude notebook.
Customers prefer compact size with a larger display
A commercial notebook is, first and foremost, a productivity tool that needs to balance both portability and performance rather than focus only on an ultra-thin design. For daily workplace scenarios, users require a notebook that is portable and equipped with diversified interfaces to connect to other devices. Vendors differ in their approach to delivering a better user experience within limited product dimensions. The solution Dell offers with Latitude is greater compactness. Rather than thinness, users are more concerned with compactness: can I readily slip my notebook into my bag or place it on the airplane tray table? With size in mind, Dell’s design team created the Latitude 9510, which is so small, users can grab it with one hand.
The key to a powerful compact notebook lies in a higher screen-to-body ratio, which determines compactness. It is also one of the key indicators of notebook product iteration. In addition to the screen itself, there are intricate wiring arrangements and cameras in places we cannot see. Many notebook products on the market set cameras in different locations to try and achieve narrower screen bezels.
However, users prefer cameras located in a position that flatters their appearance, rather than those located at the bottom of the screen or other unconventional spots. Dell’s R&D team made the camera smaller and bezels narrower. Leveraging several patented technologies, including hinge technology, Dell successfully kept the camera in the top center of the notebook while providing users with a more compact yet larger display.
User experience is consistently emphasized from appearance to texture to touch
Dell’s new ultra-high-end Latitude 9000 series features a CNC machined one-piece aluminum chassis with diamond-cut edges and a hairline brushed finish, processed through 27 sophisticated steps, which enriches the product with a high-quality level of consistency and a unique charm. The unibody structure also makes the product sturdier and more durable.
For office workers, the notebook’s keyboard and touchpad arguably receive the most activity each day. To ensure users have an optimal experience, Dell Latitude designers interview, research and test concepts with business PC users of all ages, industries, positions and geographic locations. Given that today’s workplace encompasses employees of five generations spanning the 1960s to the 2000s, it was a tough challenge to create a PC well-loved by everyone, but Dell did just this.
Emphasizing its usability, Dell Latitude designers update the keyboard design every two years. The latest Latitude series features a cleaner keyboard with larger keycaps, redesigned keyboard font, and a more evenly distributed backlight, which provides better visibility and eye comfort at night.
Many first-time Latitude users are amazed by its keyboard: “The keyboard has a superior key bounce so that you don’t feel any finger fatigue even after a whole day of typing."
In fact, the effect of this kind of precise keyboard rebound depends on the feedback given by the key travel and the bottom structure of the keys. Compared to other notebooks, which also reduce key travel in the pursuit of a thin form factor and lightweight design, the Dell Latitude offers key travel of more than 1.6mm, allowing users to work without feeling finger fatigue or distracted by typing discomfort.
Latitude users most often praise the touchpad’s “responsive keys, good feel and suitable friction," which allow the user to move the cursor smoothly anywhere, anytime.
Besides continuously improving appearance and user experience, Dell designers also consider the various accidents that affect commercial notebooks. Latitude notebooks are designed to be more resilient to daily minor accident scenarios, passing multiple U.S. MIL-STD-810G military testing standards for drops, high and low temperatures, and spills.
AI-powered Latitude understands users better
Today’s commercial PC is no longer a simple electronic tool, but a combination of powerful hardware and software that delivers real productivity to office workers. All of the new Latitude series notebooks come pre-installed with Dell’s intelligent optimization software, Dell Optimizer. Its AI function learns users’ habits and makes optimizations according to users’ needs. For example, it can automatically match the networking configuration best suited to your needs; customize an optimal power-management plan and enable fast charging; automate background noise cancellation for remote meetings, and automatically sense user arrival and departure, waking up or sleeping accordingly. AI turns these seemingly magical functions into a reality.
Most importantly, unlike traditional PCs, which tend to slow down over time, with the AI-powered Latitude, the more it’s used, the better it understands you, and the faster your critical applications run.
In every Latitude notebook, users will experience the innovation Dell’s design and R&D teams have injected into every detail – all with careful consideration of workplace user scenarios based on user feedback.
This article is written by Vivekanand Manjeri, Brand Director, Client Solutions Group, Dell Technologies, India