Dell has unveiled a new laptop based on Google's Chrome OS platform, styling it as the first premium professional Chromebook for business users, coming with manageability and security features plus the performance of 5th Generation Intel Core processors.
The Dell Chromebook 13 will go on sale from 17 September in the US and Canada at a price of $399, with availability from 1 October in the UK, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. UK pricing has not been confirmed.
As its name suggests, the Chromebook 13 sports a 13.3in Full HD display, available in touch and anti-glare non-touch versions, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. It also features what Dell calls an ultra-sleek design, with premium chassis materials including a carbon-fibre weave cover, magnesium alloy palm rest and aluminium base to make it light but sturdy.
Inside, the Chromebook 13 features Intel Celeron Core i3 or Core i5 processors with up to 8GB of memory, while Dell claims a battery life of up to 12 hours, allowing for all-day business productivity.
Dell said that the Chromebook 13 joins Dell's existing Chrome portfolio and further showcases the commitment Dell and Google have made to developing innovative and flexible solutions to meet the evolving needs of the mobile workforce.
"Our latest Chromebook offering is designed for the mobile professional, and provides customers with an unrivalled Chrome experience which mixes the cost and simplicity benefits of Google's Chrome portfolio with Dell's commitment to design," said Kirk Schell, vice president for Dell's commercial client solutions.
Google and Dell are also pushing the Chromebook's ability to fit into existing corporate infrastructures. Chrome OS is designed as a platform for running web apps, but it is backed by software clients for VMware Horizon and Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp, offering secure access to applications hosted in the data centre.
Dell also added support for Chromebooks into its Dell Kace management appliances earlier this year, enabling these to be managed alongside endpoints such as Windows PCs and Macs. Additionally, the Dell SonicWall Mobile Connect VPN, in combination with a Dell Secure Mobile Access appliance or next-generation firewall, provides secure access to company resources.
Finally, Dell said it is extending its ProSupport Plus service to Chromebook 13 customers. This combines priority access to expert support on a 24x7 basis, repairs, and a technical account manager for customers with more than 1,000 entitled systems.
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