Hardware maker unveils two enterprise-class Latitude Chrome OS systems at VMworld
Dell Technologies is teaming up with Google to take on Microsoft and Windows in the enterprise PC space by rolling out enterprise-class Latitude Chromebooks that will be part of Dell’s Unified Workplace lineup.
The Lowdown: Google’s Chrome OS has caught on among smaller businesses and in a variety of verticals, particularly education and consumer. However, the enterprise has long been the domain of Windows PCs, though some businesses also adopt MacBooks from Apple. With partnerships like the one with Dell, Google is hoping to move Chrome up the ladder and into the enterprise.
The Details: Dell is starting off with two Chromebook Enterprise systems, the Latitude 5400 device and the 5300 2-in-1. Both the 14-inch 5400 and 13-inch 2-in-1 come with a choice of 8th Generation Core i5 or i7 Core processors from Intel, up to 32GB of memory, 1TB of storage, and both broadband and Wi-Fi capabilities. The systems, introduced at the VMworld 2019 show in San Francisco, use Intel’s UHD graphics, come with ExpressCharge support – enabling the Chromebooks to be almost completely charged within an hour – and have multiple ports. They’re made of post-industrial carbon fiber and come with narrow border screens.
They are both available beginning Aug. 27, starting at $891 for the 5300 2-in-1 and $699 for the 5400 Chromebook Enterprise. They will be available in 50 countries with 10 localized language keyboards. Memory, storage, and batteries can be upgraded, and the devices are covered by the same support as other Latitude systems. Through Dell ProSupport Suite, users also have access to SupportAssist technology, which finds issues before they hurt productivity.
The Impact: The global PC market has been relatively stagnant for years following the launch of first smartphones and then tablets, but PCs still remain top productivity tools in the enterprise. However, how employees are accessing applications is changing, including getting them from the cloud and through software-as-a-service (SaaS) models, and workers – particularly younger ones – are looking for devices that make that as easy as possible.
Both Dell and Google are putting the Latitude Chromebook Enterprise devices within their enterprise business units, and partners will now have another option to offer businesses that are looking for modern tools for their workers.
Background: Dell already offers a range of Chromebooks for consumers, small businesses, and the education market, but it’s not the first vendor to aim for the enterprise with its devices. In April, Acer unveiled the 714 and 715 Chromebooks, which are packed with business features.
The Buzz: “IT administrators want to give users choice when it comes to OS, device, and when and where work gets done, but they struggle with the growing number of unmanaged devices in their environments,” said Jay Parker, president of Dell’s Client Product Group. “By adding Chrome to Dell Technologies Unified Workspace, we’re giving IT the power to offer a consistent and secure experience for everyone, no matter the OS they choose. And best of all, users get the flexibility to choose the devices and use cases that fit their needs.”
“Chromebook Enterprise is a game-changer for businesses looking for a modern OS that provides end users with speed and productivity, while offering IT the comprehensive security they need,” said John Solomon, vice president of Chrome OS at Google. “As a longtime global leader in the enterprise, Dell Technologies has a deep understanding of end-user and IT needs and is a natural fit to bring powerful devices with the benefits of Chrome Enterprise to businesses worldwide.”