Dell Latitude E5410 review

27 Aug 2010

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

Price when reviewed: 
1,307(£1,307 inc VAT)
5

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.

Details

Price ex VAT £1,112
Price inc VAT £1,307
Overall rating 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 5
Performance 5

Warranty

Warranty 1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions 338 x 244 x 33mm (WDH)
Weight 2.410kg
Travelling weight 2.8kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i7-620M
Motherboard chipset Intel HM55
Memory type DDR3
SODIMM sockets free 0
SODIMM sockets total 2

Screen and video

Screen size 14.1in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,440
Resolution screen vertical 900
Resolution 1440 x 900
Graphics chipset Intel HD graphics
Graphics card RAM 64MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 0
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Capacity 320GB
Hard disk usable capacity 298GB
Spindle speed 7,200RPM
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Hard disk Seagate ST9320423AS
Optical disc technology DVD writer
Optical drive Tsst TS-L633C
Battery capacity 5,000mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch yes
Wireless key-combination switch yes
Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 1
USB ports (downstream) 4
FireWire ports 1
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 2
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader no
MMC (multimedia card) reader no
Smart Media reader no
Compact Flash reader no
xD-card reader no
Pointing device type Touchpad, trackpoint
Audio chipset Realtek HD Audio
Speaker location Beside keyboard
Hardware volume control? yes
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 2.0mp
TPM yes
Fingerprint reader yes
Smartcard reader no
Carry case no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 4hr 36min
Battery life, heavy use 1hr 25min
Overall application benchmark score 1.79
Office application benchmark score 1.46
2D graphics application benchmark score 1.92
Encoding application benchmark score 1.71
Multitasking application benchmark score 2.06

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 7 Professional 32-bit
OS family Windows 7
Recovery method Windows disc
Software supplied Microsoft Office Starter 2010, Trend Micro Internet Security