Dell Optimizes New Commercial PCs for Conferencing

Dell Optimizer uses AI to filter background noise and improve performance.

Jeffrey Schwartz

January 5, 2021

3 Min Read
Dell Latitude 9420

Dell Technologies on Tuesday kicked off 2021 with new commercial PCs and displays optimized for conferencing. The refresh consists of new Latitudes, OptiPlex desktops and Precision workstations, and enhancements to the recently introduced Dell Optimizer software.

The launch comes ahead of next week’s Consumer Electronics (CES) show, which will take place virtually this year. Dell rivals HP, Lenovo and others are all expected to introduce new commercial PCs during the next week. Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic and the sudden shift in work has set the agenda for this year’s lineups.

In a briefing with media and analysts, Dell led off with the Latitude 9420, the latest in Dell’s 9000 Series. That’s the company’s new high-end Latitude line it launched last year. The inaugural 9000 Series included the 14-inch Latitude 9410 and 15-inch Latitude 9510. The latter, which was delayed, arrived this past fall, and is Dell’s first 5G-capable laptop. Dell’s upgraded 15-inch Latitude 9520 and the 14-inch Latitude 9420 will also be 5G-capable, using the same Qualcomm X55 modems.

Given the delayed rollout of 5G networks last year, Dell is emphasizing the Latitude 9420’s new conferencing capabilities.


Dell’s Rahul Tikoo

“I’m really excited about this product,” said Rahul Tikoo, SVP of Dell’s client product group. “One of the key experiences that we’ve built into this product is our PC as-a-conferencing device experience.”

The Latitude 9420 has built-in speakerphone capabilities with dual top-firing and two bottom-firing speakers, designed to enable surround sound. Dell built four noise-canceling microphones into the device to optimize audio presentation. Tikhoo emphasized the enhanced MIPI IR camera, which he said offers temporal noise reduction, low-light capabilities and an integrated processing unit “that can give you really, really sharp conferencing images.” It also has a mechanical shutter that users can control from their keyboards.

Dell Extends New Optimizer to Latitudes

The Latitudes will also support the new Dell Optimizer software, previewed at last year’s CES with the company’s Precision workstations. Dell Optimizer, which started rolling out last year, detects how a user works, and optimizes specific settings to improve performance. It is the outgrowth of a significant internal development effort, according to Brooke Huling, VP of product management in Dell’s modern compute solutions group.


Dell’s Brooke Huling

“Dell Optimizer is an AI-driven, machine learning-based software application that is really focused on alleviating so many pain points for our customers,” Huling said.

Among those: filtering out background noise during video conferences.

“We’ve got barking dogs, COVID-19 puppies in many cases, loud kids on their Zoom class calls and roommates,” she said.

Besides filtering background noise, Dell Optimizer uses the company’s ExpressConnect to adjust bandwidth based on applications a user is running.

“We have several more releases coming out over the next couple of months as we go into the spring,” Huling said.

Look for the Latitude 9420 to ship this spring at a starting price of $1,949. Dell hasn’t disclosed the starting price of the 15-inch 9520, which should also arrive this spring.

Commercial PCs and Displays

Dell also announced the following new commercial PCs and displays, set to arrive in the coming weeks:

  • Latitude 7520, with a starting price of $1,649, ships next week.

  • Latitude 5420, also available next week, comes at an entry price of $1,049.

  • OptiPlex 3090 Ultra and OptiPlex 7090 Ultra desktops will ship Jan. 28, starting at $659 and $769, respectively.

  • Precision 3560 workstation, starting at $1,189, will be available next week.

  • Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved WUHD Monitor (U4021QW), starts at $2,099 and ships Jan. 28.

  • Dell says the 24-inch video conferencing monitor (C2422HE, $519), 27-inch video conferencing monitor (C2722DE, $719) and 34-inch curved video conferencing monitor (C3422WE, $1,149) will ship Feb. 16.

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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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