Dell's new Latitude business laptops offer 32.7 hours battery life

Latitude E-series laptops sport Intel's Ivy Bridge chips which are said to be more power-efficient

Dell on Thursday announced Latitude business laptops with Intel's latest Core processors that can provide around 33 hours of battery life, but only when combined with attached battery packs.

The new Latitude E-series laptops will come with screens ranging in size from 12.5 to 15.6 inches. The company achieved 32.7 hours of battery life on a Latitude E6430, which is a business laptop with a 14-inch screen and Intel's latest Core processor, code-named Ivy Bridge.

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The long battery life was reached with a nine-cell battery, and batteries that plug into the bay and under the laptop. The battery life was measured based on average usage of the laptop, company officials said during an interview.

Dell is trying to load up as much battery as it can on laptops, officials said. For example, users can remove an optical drive from a bay and replace it with a battery.

Some of the power-saving benefits also may have come from using solid-state drives, which are considered more power-efficient than hard drives that spin. Intel's Ivy Bridge processors also are more power-efficient and help save power through features like the ability to shut down idle cores.

Intel provided more details on the Ivy Bridge processors on Thursday, saying the chips are more power-efficient and faster on applications and graphics than predecessors. The chips will be officially unveiled next week at the Computex trade show in Taipei.

Dell is getting consistent, if not slightly higher, results on battery life as tests continue on other Latitude E-series laptops, said a Dell spokeswoman. Beyond the E6430, the company announced E6230 (12.5-inch screen), E6330 (13.3-inch), and E6530 (15.6-inch) laptops. Pricing on the laptops were not immediately available.

The new laptops also include the thin-and-light E6430S, which is a 14-inch laptop built into a frame typically used for laptops with 13.3-inch screens. The E6430S provides a glimpse of the company's future thin-and-light laptops, which will be highly portable but also have strong security and remote management features.

Dell is also tuning its business laptops for enterprises by adding virtualization and device management capabilities, said David Lord, director of product planning and marketing. The key is to be able to provide the mobile tools capable for a worker to access data at any time, while reducing the cost of servicing the laptop. Some of the new laptops come with Intel's VPro feature, which allows system administrators to remotely manage the laptop.

Dell also announced the ruggedized Latitude E6430 ATG laptop, which can withstand extreme temperatures and environments. The new laptops also have USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth options. Optical drives are also available depending on the model.

The company also introduced the OptiPlex 9010 all-in-one, and refreshed the other OptiPlex desktops with Intel's new processors.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's email address is agam_shah@idg.com.

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