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Dell Latitude E5410 review

Verdict

Not outstanding in any area, but it’s a solid and highly configurable business laptop

Review Date: 27 Aug 2010

Reviewed By: Darien Graham-Smith

Price when reviewed: £1,112 (£1,307 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

Thanks to the host of configuration options on offer, configuring a Dell system can be both challenging and rewarding. That’s especially so in the business-friendly Latitude range: the ordering process for the E5410 walks you through no fewer than 33 decisions as you pick your components and tack on – or reject – accessories and services.

What doesn’t change is the exterior. However you spec it, the Latitude E5410 is a 14.1in notebook in a tough grey and black chassis. Its size strikes an appealing balance, with a screen that’s big enough to work from all day, set into a frame that will fit comfortably in a satchel. And you don’t need to be too anxious about carrying it about, as the hard disk heads will automatically park if the unit detects it’s been dropped. At 2.4kg, though, it’s a tad too heavy to cart around comfortably all day.

Aesthetically, the E5410 errs on the side of understatement. The keyboard has a pleasingly chunky feel, but sags in the middle when you type: you quickly get used to it, but the rock-solid Sony VAIO S11 is streets ahead. As usual, you get both a trackpad and a trackpoint controller, and there’s a fingerprint reader at the right-hand side. The speakers are loud and clear enough to project a presentation around an office, though they lack bass.

Dell Latitude E5410

In terms of look and feel, the E5410’s trump card is its screen. You can choose a regular 1,366 x 768 display, which is a comfortable resolution for a laptop of this size, but we moved up to the matte 1,440 x 900 panel, which gives text and icons extra sharpness. Brightness and colour vibrancy are impressive too, and though the contrast naturally can’t match that of a glossy panel, the pay-off is a glare-free display that should remain easy on the eye in any environment. As an added bonus, there’s a two-megapixel camera set into the bezel.

When it comes to connectivity, the Latitude E5410 looks slightly bare: on all models, the only video output is an analogue VGA port, and for external peripherals you’re limited to four USB 2 sockets and a mini-FireWire connector. There’s no PS/2, parallel or serial ports for legacy hardware, nor the more modern luxuries of USB 3, eSATA or ExpressCard (the slot at the side is an old-school PCMCIA card slot, which can be optionally swapped for a SmartCard reader). If you need more connections you’ll need to buy one of the various types of dock Dell offers.

Networking options are more generous: Gigabit Ethernet is included as standard, and you can optionally add Bluetooth 3.0 and a range of 802.11 options, all the way up to Intel’s dual-band Ultimate-N 6300 adapter, which supports triple 802.11n streams for a theoretical bandwidth of up to 450Mb/sec. Dell’s website refers to an internal wireless broadband adaptor too, though this doesn’t appear to be available to order right now.

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User comments

2 pages of comments and not much insight. first page confirms it is a standard laptop. 2nd page seems to justify an extortionate high price by add on services that are not included as standard but you pay an arm and a leg for. I did not read anything that justifies the ratings given.

By Manuel on 1 Sep 2010

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