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Some Little Conveniences in New Laptops

Techstination feature for Monday, April 17, 2006

Some little conveniences in new laptops. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. They're the latest Latitude models from Dell….the D620 and 820 notebooks are both designed with wide screens…..and feature the new Centrino Duo processors from Intel. What may win fans are some little touches Dell is building in that can save time and aggravation. Neeraj Srivastava, director of marketing for the Latitude line…says one of those additions is the battery health meter…

"We've always had a battery status meter that tells you how much charge you have, how many minutes of computing. But customers have asked us… it would be nice to know how much life I have in my battery. Most lithium polymer batteries can do somewhere between 300 and 400 charges before they lose the capacity to keep a charge. Now close is my battery to where I need to get my IT department to replace it. So we've added a battery health meter that can tell you here's what we project the usable life of your battery to be."

Another convenience… the ability to tell if a WiFi network is available without having to turn the computer on…

"We have added a feature called WiFi Catcher. It's on the left side of the notebook. It's a little switch and an LED. What you do is you turn on the switch and what we do is we turn on the radio but not the computer. And what the radio does is look for a WiFi signal. If it detects a WiFi signal, it will light up green and let you know that you can connect."

Dell is also offering built in wide area network connections through a choice of Cingular or Verizon Wireless. Pricing for the D620 starts at about eleven hundred fifty dollars. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.