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Dell makes a Latitude adjustment

Dell Computer launches a new Latitude notebook, aimed at offering performance in a smaller package.

Dell Computer on Monday launched a new Latitude notebook, aimed at offering performance in a smaller package.

The Latitude D400 weighs 3.7 pounds, measures 1 inch thick and incorporates a 12-inch display, wireless networking and Intel's Pentium M--the processor behind its Centrino chip family for wireless notebooks.

The notebook is the thinnest and lightest model in the Latitude D line, according to Dell.

The D400 will initially come only with 1.3GHz or 1.4GHz versions of the Pentium M. Other Latitude D models can be ordered with a 1.6GHz Pentium M. But Dell plans to offer faster versions of the chip in the D400 in the near future, a company representative said.

Dell's representative declined to say which Pentium M clock speeds will be offered, but Intel is expected to deliver a 1.7GHz Pentium M soon, making that chip a good bet for inclusion in the D400.

While the D400's main claim to fame will be performance in a small package, the notebook also shares common components, such as drives and docking stations, with other models in the Latitude D family. The D400 itself does not include bays for optical or floppy drives, but it offers a special external-drive bay to house and connect to them.

Prices on the D400 will start at $1,499 and include a 1.3GHz Pentium M, 128MB of RAM, a 20GB hard drive and Intel's 802.11b wireless module. The notebook also incorporates a smart-card reader.

Since March, Dell has introduced three other new Latitude models: the D500, D600 and D800. It is expected to add one more new model, an even smaller Latitude X300 mini-notebook model, later in the year.