Dell touts smart card disk crypto for laptops

Keep others' mitts off your corporate data

Dell yesterday updated its business-oriented notebook family with a smart card-based security sub-system designed to protect corporate data in case of loss or theft.

Dell Latitude D410The three new models in the Latitude D line-up all feature built-in smart-card readers and integrated data encryption chips. Based on the Trusted Platform Module 1.1 specification, the system uses passwords and data on the smart card to decrypt data on the fly. All information stored on the hard drive is encrypted and can be explicitly tied to a given machine to prevent protected information being unlocked on a compromised computer.

The new notebooks are based on the latest generation of Intel's Centrino platform, aka 'Sonoma', and sport Pentium M processors clocked at up to 2.13GHz running over a 533MHz frontside bus. The machines ship with 802.11b/g or 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.0 is offered as an optional extra.

The line up comprises the Latitudes D410, D610 and D810, designed for ultra-portable, thin'n'light and mainstream usage models. They incorporate from 256MB of DDR 2 SDRAM clocked at 400MGHz or 533MHz, depending on configuration. The D410 has a 12.2in 1024 x 768 display, the D610 a 1400 x 1050 14.1in panel, while the D810 offers a 15.4in display offered at 1280 x 800, 1680 x 1050 or 1920 x 1200.

The D810's display is driven by an ATI Mobility Radeon X600 with up to 128MB of video RAM. The D610 uses either Intel's in-built GMA900 graphics engine with up 128MB of shared memory or an ATI Mobility Radeon X300 with 64MB of DDR SDRAM. The D410 offers only the Intel graphics system.

The D410 is priced from $1677/£972, the D610 from $1384/£902 and the D810 from $1549/£1122. ®

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