The new Latitude CPt marks a number of firsts for Dell Computer, including the introduction of Intel's low-cost Celeron processor. The notebook is also the company's first sub-$2,000 corporate notebook, with one configuration priced at $1,899.
Dell follows Hewlett-Packard, which last week introduced its own sub-$2,000 XE2 line. HP rolled out an entry-level model with a 300-MHz Celeron processor and 12.1-inch dual-scan display for an estimated street price of $1,549.
"Our customers aren't specifically asking for Celeron, but they are asking for the lower price points" that the chip enables, said Jay Parker, Latitude product manager. The new Latitude CPt is targeted at educational and government buyers, he said, who are attracted to both lower prices and low upkeep costs.
The $1,899 configuration of the Latitude CPt includes the 333-MHz Celeron processor, 14.1-inch display, 32MB of memory, 4.3GB hard drive, and CD-ROM. The system can be configured with up to a 6.4GB hard drive and over 300MB of memory, along with a DVD-ROM drive. The notebook weighs under six pounds.
Although this is the lowest price in Dell's corporate offerings thus far, the company is emphasizing the low upkeep costs over time. The new Latitude is backwards and forwards compatible with all peripherals used in existing Latitudes, Parker said, which means customers can swap out old drives and other hardware.
In addition, the Latitude offers hardware-saving features like a "bubble zone," which acts as a shock absorber to protect the hard drive, Parker said.