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Dell Puts Cutting-Edge Intel CPU, CAMM Memory in Precision Laptops

The models incorporate Intel's top (but still unannounced) 55-watt mobile H-series vPro CPU and debut Dell's ultrathin DDR5 mount design.

The new "collaboration touchpad" on the Latitude 9330 has controls for mic muting, video on/off, screen sharing and Zoom chat.
The new "collaboration touchpad" on the Latitude 9330 has controls for mic muting, video on/off, screen sharing and Zoom chat.
Dell

Following the announcements Dell made earlier this month, the company expands the Precision mobile workstation and Latitude business laptop lines with additional models incorporating notable new technologies: a "collaboration touchpad," Intel's rumored 55-watt H series mobile processor and the company's semi-proprietary CAMM, which stands for compression attached memory module, as an alternative to SODIMM. They all come with the updated version of Dell Optimizer previously announced.

The Latitude 9330 is a 13-inch version of the 9430 launched in early April, but it also tosses in a twist. Its "collaboration touchpad" -- and I put it in quotation marks because the moniker makes it sound like a bigger deal than it is -- shrinks the touchable area and tosses up virtual buttons for mic mute, video toggling, screen sharing and chat in Zoom meetings. They disappear and release the space for touchpad use when the meeting ends.

By ditching the industry-standard SODIMM slots, Dell can fit the same 128GB RAM into a single module that's 57% thinner.

By ditching the industry-standard SODIMM slots in favor of its Compression Attached Memory Module, Dell can fit the same 128GB RAM into a single module that's 57% thinner.

Dell

The 16-inch Precision 7670 and 17-inch 7770 will be configurable with up to Intel's 12th-gen Core i9, the rumored Alder Lake HX CPU with a boosted power draw of 55 watts over the H-series i9's 45w. The extra power probably goes to the extra performance cores: It will likely have eight cores compared to the HK version of the processor's six (plus the same eight efficient cores, for a total of 24 threads), similar to the desktop version of the chip. 

Both offer Dell's new CAMM (Compression Attached Memory Module), which replaces the pairs of slotted SODIMM DDR5 modules with a single flat board. The CAMM models will ship first, but Dell will subsequently offer models with plain old SODIMMs. And if you want ECC memory, you're still having to use the SODIMMs. 

The company says CAMM's more accessible for repairs and upgrades, but as far as I can tell, if it fails you have to swap in a complete module rather than a pair of SODIMMs. In other words, if you have 128GB RAM and a single chip fails, you have to replace the entire thing rather than just 64GB, which is likely a lot cheaper. That's not an unusual issue with new memory types and capacities, though. 

And while Dell plans to push CAMM as an industry standard, at the moment it sounds like Dell's the only source for replacement modules and it's not clear how the prices will compare. Plus, it's not a given that CAMM will be accepted as a standard. (Hence my calling it "semi-proprietary.") That may make it a little too bleeding edge for some corporate customers or risk-averse creatives. 

On the other hand, the company's launching the Dell Lifecycle Hub, to relieve some of the burden on whomever in your company (or home office) administers and repairs your owned or leased Dell commercial products.

Dell plans to offer two versions of the 7670, thin and performance, depending upon your GPU choice: Thin comes with up to an Nvidia RTX A1000, while performance goes up to an RTX A5500 or RTX 3080 Ti. "Thin" shaves 0.1 inch (2.8mm) and 2.4 ounces (700g) off the higher end configurations.

There's no pricing yet for the new products. The Latitude 9330 ships in June, while the others are slated to ship by the end of July.