(click on any photo for larger size)
How this came about is, I’ve been waiting for the new Intel i7 CPU update for the Dell Latitude to come out for months now.
My old Latitude is literally wearing out, so I’m limping to the finish line with it. Every day brings another prayer, another incantation and another stuttering trip through a day’s productivity, ever uncertain that I’ll reach tomorrow with a functioning computer.
Consequently, I’ve been monitoring the tech blogs and Dell’s site closely for signs of the updated Latutude’s arrival and spotted the 6510 and 6410 on Dell’s web site the first morning they were available in the U.S.
In the previous days I saw the new model numbers start to appear on the Dell site’s laptop accessories listings, so I knew the new laptops themselves were imminent. Sometime between 11:30 PM 30 March when I checked before bed and 6:30 AM on 31 March when I got up, the new models went live on the Dell U.S. site.
I ordered my 6510 while I drank my first cup of coffee that morning.
I do not know if mine was the first consumer order or not, but I doubt it. There was probably some guy in his pajamas sitting up all night, every night, waiting for them. That wasn’t me since I was, officially, sleeping every night. And besides, prior to their consumer launch the 6510 and 6410 were available to enterprise customers and large institutions for pre-order, so there wasn’t going to be any iPad level hype surrounding being first in line.
Engadget, a tech blog, monitored the updated Latitudes through their design and regulatory approval process, as well as their intro in foreign markets such as the U.K. After I ordered mine, I emailed the Engadget reporter who wrote the U.K. story for Engadget and used their “Tip Us” feature to give them the news. It took them more than a day to get it posted. Note that, yes, I waited until my order was in the queue before unleashing the masses straining to buy new Latitudes who might have delayed mine. Mea Culpa.
The Dell Latitude series laptops are built and optimized for IT deployment in large organizations. The Latitude line has design requirements of five years of design and utilization stability for accessories, such as power supplies and docking stations, and 18 months for the design model (the laptop models themselves). This aids people responsible for purchasing, configuring and deploying large fleets of laptops in their organizations to buy products that will stay viable for lengthy time-cycles in their organizations. In addition, they are designed and built to withstand the rigors of delployment into the hands of a typical corporate workforce. That means getting coffee spilled on the keyboards, being dropped off of conference tables and desks, being plugged into outlets all over the world, getting punched when bad news comes in, etc.
After years of loyalty to Thinkpads, which I used for our entire field force in my last company, I bought our original D620 Latitudes on the recommendation of my brother, Jeff, whose company, Emerson, had excellent experiences with large deployments of Latitudes.
At the time, I needed two identical laptops, one each for Steph and I, that could survive going overseas for a few years.
I took my Latitude D620 out of the box, plugged it in, loaded some software and ran it non-stop for a few weeks at 100% CPU load rendering video files for a massive family history project.
Between then and now my D620 traveled all over the world, from the world’s driest desert,
to the 100% humidity of the Amazon basin rain forest.
It spent a lot of time in the salt air of the beach at sea level,
and at very high altitudes for weeks at a time, such as on this road at over 16,000 feet (4,877 meters) elevation.
While in some very unlikely places, such as next to this glacier,
I used my D620 to write thousands of emails, scores of blog posts, dozens of essays, a few white papers and two books.
As well as editing, processing and posting tens of thousands of photos.
(click photo for full size collage)
Including a few from some very special places,
and a few from places where we had absolutely no idea where we were.
So, now, after several hard drive and memory capacity upgrades, after thousands of hours of 100% load usage, after literally wearing through the keys, and after zero failures, it’s finally time to retire the trusty Latitude D620.
The King is dead. Long live the King.