Dell's Latitude 9510 is a business laptop with 5G and AI smarts

The company says this is the "smallest, lightest ultra-premium 15-inch business PC."

Dell is expanding its Latitude brand of business laptops by adding a 9000-series, starting with the new Latitude 9510. As with some other recent notebook launches, the company is highlighting a few superlatives here. Dell is calling the Latitude 9510 "world's most intelligent 15-inch PC with built-in AI," the "world's smallest, lightest ultra-premium business 15-inch PC" and the "longest running 15-inch PC." That's a lot to promise, but let's start with one specific detail here. Dell is saying that the 15-inch Latitude 9510 can last up to an impressive 30 hours on a charge.

That number is contingent on you getting the right configuration, of course. Only the 15-inch system with the 88Whr battery offers that runtime, so if you get the 14-inch variant you won't get the same estimates. Still, Dell will try to help prolong your Latitude 9510's battery life, and that's where its claim of "most intelligent PC with built-in AI" comes in.

Most of that intelligence boils down to a program pre-installed in the Latitude 9510 called Dell Optimizer. This system focuses on four areas. First, it'll learn your habits over time and figure out what four apps you use the most. These can be anything you've installed, not just select Microsoft or Dell offerings. Once it knows your favorites, or you've set four apps yourself, it'll prioritize those and direct system resources to those "over and above others," according to a Dell spokesperson. "It will learn how you use those apps and make them snappier," she added.

The Optimizer software will also tweak system settings to stretch battery life when you're running low. If you're running out of juice, the spokesperson said, the computer should know to turn off your keyboard backlighting and dim the screen, for example. It'll also understand over time how much time you have when you've plugged back into an outlet and enable an express charging boost when it knows you have to run off to a meeting soon. Making all these tweaks automatically is the second way the Latitude 9510 thinks on your behalf.

The third is via the express sign in feature that Dell introduced in last year's Latitude 7400. We've seen this in action prior to the 7400 as well, as part of Intel's Technology concept demos. The sign in feature can tell when you're near the laptop via proximity sensors in the top bezel, activate the Windows Hello-enabled webcam and sign you in without delay. When it realizes you're not seated in front of the device for an extended period, it'll log you out and go to sleep.

Finally, the Optimizer software can also finetune audio depending on what you're doing. If you're making a conference call, it will prioritize voices, while movies and gaming will results in different profiles automatically.

Since the Latitude line is for enterprises, it also comes with IT systems tools that enable administrators to decide which of these four areas to enable auto optimization.

Though the Latitude 9510 is a business laptop, it's been designed to look more stylish and attractive, like its mainstream counterparts. Last year's Latitudes took cues from Dell's popular XPS series of mainstream machines. This year, the company focused on shaving pounds and millimeters, leading us to the third superlative claim.

Dell Latitude 9510 hands-on

The Latitude 9510 is available only in 15-inch and in clamshell and 2-in-1 configurations. It weighs 3.2 pounds, which isn't exactly the "lightest" -- the LG Gram 15 weighs a shocking 2.2 pounds. But if you include Dell's qualifiers, the Latitude 9510 does seem to be the "lightest ultra-premium business 15-inch PC." That is, depending on your definition of "ultra-premium" and "business." The 15-inch Surface Laptop 3, for comparison, weighs 3.4 pounds.

But the Latitude 9510 is quite attractive indeed, featuring an aluminum chassis with diamond-cut edges and Dell's Infinity bezel. It also integrates a speakerphone puck to make you sound much better when you take a conference call on the 9510. Since it is a premium business laptop, the newest Latitude also comes with powerful chipsets, up to 6-core tenth-generation Intel Core processors (10th-gen VPro options coming soon).

Another advanced feature here is 5G connectivity. The Latitude 9510 features antenna around the speaker grilles that flank its keyboard to enable sub-6 networking. By the time this laptop is available come March 26th, 5G networks may be more prevalent than they are now. The Latitude 9510 will start at $1,799, but given this is targeted at companies looking to equip their executives, it's not like you need to start saving up if you want one. Our main takeaway here is that Dell and its peers are taking business laptop design more seriously, meaning those of us delegated chunky elephants of company notebooks may be able to get lightweight, attractive upgrades soon.

Update (at 4:30pm ET 1/2/2020): This post was edited to add the Latitude 9510's starting price and to clarify that only one screen size will be available.

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