Dell's newest Latitude launches

Michael Dell promised it more than a month ago, and now Dell has finally delivered the new Latitude D420.

The tech world has been chomping at the bit to see the most recent addition to Dell's Latitude notebook series ever since Dell's CEO "spilled the beans" about it at the Future in Review conference in May.

Latitude D420
Credit: Dell

"For Latitude, we focus on the corporate or commercial space," said Allison Gardner, senior product marketer for Dell. "420 users are highly mobile, traveling, even if just traveling within their office, so we prioritize weight and battery life."

Gardner describes the notebook as a convergence of the earlier Latitude X1 and D410.

As we reported in May, the D420 is the newest and lightest member of the Latitude D-family. The ultraportable notebook weighs in at just under 3 pounds, promises seven hours of battery life and has a Smart Card reader and an optional biometric fingerprint reader for better security.

Despite its small size, the D420 comes with a 12-inch display and full-sized keyboard. Dell says customers have a choice of Wi-Fi 802.11g or 802.11a/g, and that it's 802.11n-ready.

The Latitude D420 is configured with integrated mobile broadband connections from Cingular and Verizon Wireless in the U.S. and Vodafone in France, Germany and the U.K. It also packs a handy Wi-Fi Catcher switch, which can sniff out wireless connections or shut all wireless devices off without booting up.

Pricing starts at $1,379, and for now, the machines have an Intel Core Solo processor. The dual-core version is set to debut later this summer.

CNET intern Nicole Girard contributed to this blog.

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