NEW DELL WIDESCREEN NOTEBOOKS

Dell will roll out new business notebooks today, the Latitude D620 and D820, with two interesting features. Here’s an article about the rollout.

First, they will have built-in support for Internet connections through Verizon or Cingular cellular networks. Up to now, a reference to “wireless” referred only to 802.11g networks – the 100 foot cloud created by a wireless access point somewhere on the ground. The cell phone networks cover the entire country (with the exception of a small area just west of Sebastopol), making it far easier to travel and count on a persistent connection.

Second, the displays are evidence that the industry is moving to the “widescreen” format for computers as well as for televisions. The screen aspect ratio (the relationship between the screen’s width and height) was 4:3 on traditional TV screens and monitors – almost square. The new notebooks will have the same shape that you see on all the high definition TVs inside the door of Costco, a 16:9 ratio – roughly the shape of the screen at a theater. Here’s a discussion of what that means.