Dell’s new Latitude laptops feature an automatic webcam shutter.

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Perfect for the era of constant videoconferencing

In brief: The PC industry sold more than 300 million units in 2020, so Dell is eager to reveal the latest refresh for its Latitude family of laptops. These will not only come with the latest internals, but also some much-needed privacy guards.

Dell today revealed its latest iteration of Latitude laptops ahead of the upcoming CES 2021, with a number of improvements meant to help those of you working or studying from home. This includes upgrades to the Latitude 9000, 7000, and 5000 series, which are accompanied by a refresh of the Precision 3560 with Intel’s Tiger Lake-U processors.

The first is the Latitude 9420, which will come in either a clamshell or a 2-in-1 configuration and features 11th gen Intel Core i7 vPro CPUs paired with up to 32 GB of LPDDR4x-4266 RAM. It’s worth noting that’s not upgradeable as it’s soldered to the motherboard, so you’ll have to make a wise choice at the time of purchase. On the other hand, you get an M.2 NVME SSD (up to 1 TB) that can be upgraded later on if needed.

Both Latitude 9420 variants sport a 14-inch display with a 16:10 ratio, full sRGB coverage, and up to 500 nits of brightness. The main differences are that the clamshell version is a FHD+ panel while the 2-in-1 has a QHD+ panel with Gorilla Glass 6 DX protection and support for an active stylus.

One of the more interesting upgrades this year focuses on privacy protections, by virtue of dedicated buttons to turn off the webcam and microphone. The Latitude 9420 also features an automatic webcam shutter that closes itself unless you’re using a videoconferencing app. Other great features include 4G and 5G connectivity for the 2-in-1 version, as well as an eSIM option.

The second laptop announced today is the Latitude 7520, which sports a 15-inch 4K display. Unlike with a MacBook, you get the option of a 1080p webcam, which is a welcome upgrade from the mediocre 720p and 480p cameras found on many high end laptops. And since Dell wants to have half of its products use recycled materials by the end of this decade, the Latitude 7520, Latitude 5420 and the Precision 3560 all use 21 percent bioplastic in the chassis construction.

As for when they might be available, the Latitude 9420 will be available in spring at a starting price of $1,949. The Latitude 7520, Latitude 5420, and Precision 3560 will become available on January 12, 2021, starting at $1,649 and $1,049, respectively.

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