The Dell Latitude E5400 - An Everyday Use Review
***Price and Availability***
The Dell Latitude E5400 laptop is a higher end laptop and the price reflects this. It's RRP is Â£599 though you can pick it up cheaper on Ebay. It's main selling area is the Dell website for direct sales (they also have a customer sales line).
This is what my company did - simply purchased a number of these laptops direct from Dell. Of course I'm sure the business cost is lower than the retail.
***What's in the Box?***
1 x Dell Latitude E5400
1 x UK power supply & plug
1 x Instructional Manual
1 x CD pack - drivers, backup CDs (in the retail pack)
***Build & Looks***
The laptop looks very smart in piano black on the outer lid and matt black on the inside. The corners are very sharp and the blue lights look very modern.
The screen is a good size at 14.1" and the keyboard is well made - with strong keys which can take the daily batterings of the busy worker. I've used this laptop for 8 hours a day for the last six months with no problems whatsoever, it's as good as new.
The laptop isn't too heavy at 2.54kg which means it is ideal for taking from site to site.
It's width is 13.31" and it's depth is 9.61". It is what I'd call a standard size laptop - great for general use, doesn't feel too small and has the benefit of being fairly light.
The laptop sits comfortably at the higher end of the scale for business laptops for general use.
The Dell has an IntelÂ® 45 Express Chipset with dual channel DDR2 memory.
It's primary storage is a 160gb hard drive, with the option of a 250gb upgrade via Dell.
The retail version of the laptop features a DVD-ROM, however as I have a business model intended for use in a secure environment, I have a blanking plate here (but really who uses CDs now ;) )
Graphics are handled by a IntelÂ® 4500MHD Graphics Accelerator, which more than handles streaming videos and mp3s, flash animations, image-heavy websites and multi tasking.
As standard the laptop has a 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet port for wired comms, in addition the the Dell Wireless 1397 (802.11g) wi-fi connectivity which is accessed by a manual switch just under the lid clasp.
The laptop also benefits from Bluetooth 2.1 which is great for syncing your blackberry or mobile.
Always important if you don't want to bring your bulky power adapter into a meeting or unwind it on the train - the battery on the Dell lasts a good three hours (and that's spreadsheets, outlook and internet browsing). I would imagine using sound and video would reduce this by a third.
Some people do like to plug a mouse into one of the three USB ports however I find that the touchpad, a 4 by 3" with two sturdy black click buttons and optional scrolling to the side and bottom, is more than capable of a day's work and I find it very comfortable. Again unlike some cheaper made laptops this has not dulled, scuffed and the buttons are as good as new.
This laptop copes well with the rigours of the working day - despite it's fairly light weight it is well made with a sturdy base and strong lid clasp. After 6 months of heavy usage no part has dulled, faded, snapped or cracked, which can happen fairly easily with cheaper, flimsier laptops.
The laptop is very easy to get used to - it ships with Windows 7 though I personally have an install of XP on mine for work purposes and this suits very well, it is responsive and compatible with all my applications.
With the numerous well made features of this laptop I find there is no business use I cannot put it to - it slides easily into the dock (which is sold separately) and I can use it with three screens without any problem.
Yes, I would recommend this laptop for the business user. I think it might be slightly overkill for the casual user given the serious looks and the price; certainly you can pick up a general use laptop for correspondence, photo viewing and internet usage from your local PC retailer or supermarket at half the price which will suit your needs just fine.
As a business laptop (and that is it's primary selling point) I think it is excellent - and is set to last me a good few years. Obviously it is not a gaming laptop or a graphic designer or editor type laptop but that is not it's key selling point. For what it promises, it delivers.
If you are thinking of investing in this for small business use, I would wholeheartedly recommend it as a great all round workhorse.