Dell Latitude E-Series: Latitude E6320 review
Dell’s ground-up redesign of the Latitude series is destined for the boardroom
Review Date: 9 Feb 2011
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: Free
PREVIEW: Allow your thoughts to drift into the world of business laptops, and your mind is unlikely to be filled with technicolour potential. With dumpy desktop replacements and dull black portables almost always the order of the day, business all too often means boring. That, however, is a cliché some brands seem keen to dispel – none more so than Dell, with its new Latitude range.
The major surprise is just how much has changed. While the likes of Lenovo’s ThinkPads have retained their classic (some might say dated) all-black design, the Latitude has evolved.
Set against the boxy, jet-black physique of last year’s range, the new models mark a sea-change in Dell’s mobile division. Anodised aluminium lids abound, while those stark, polygonal edges have softened into gentle, classy curves. The premium 6-series models are distinguished from their 5-series counterparts by a subtle orange trim circling the keyboard.
The real standout of the group, however, is the 13.3in Latitude E6320, an early pre-production sample of which we were given for this preview. Were it not for the Latitude logo subtly etched into the keyboard’s silver surround, you’d imagine this might be the first glimpse of Dell’s new XPS. For a business laptop, it’s still just the right side of striking – the muted palette of grey and silver stops short of all-out ostentatiousness and retains a serious, workmanlike air.
It’s the transformation in build quality that truly stuns. Previous Latitudes never felt insubstantial, but they wilt next to the new generation. Dell’s redesign has seen the new Latitude emerge with a reinforced magnesium alloy chassis, strengthened further by a ring of alloy running around the circumference of each laptop. With spill-proof keyboards and MIL-STD-810G accreditation across the range, Dell is taking on not only the ThinkPads, but also Panasonic’s Toughbooks at their own game.
If the E6320 is anything to go by, the new design feels indestructible. Despite weighing in at just 1.89kg, the chassis is rock solid and without a hint of flex to be found anywhere; the lid and reinforced metal hinges were taut enough to resist our most aggressive twisting motions. Prod viciously against the display’s rear, meanwhile, and there’s no sign of any show-through on the display itself. It’s clear this laptop will take transatlantic flights and the perils of boisterous baggage-handlers in its stride.
Price when reviewed: Free
Can you provide a link? Sounds like a great deal!
By big_D on 10 Feb 2011
Yeah I'll have 3 or 4 if they have some in stock :)
By TimoGunt on 10 Feb 2011
Sign me up for a container load. I'll find a place to stash them.
By AndyChips on 10 Feb 2011
I've always been an IBM/Lenovo fan but with this having a trackpoint I have to say I'm very interested! As long as it's a matte scree, of course.
The rest of it looks bang on from the design to the specs.
By jordanrussell on 20 Feb 2011
- Hyperoptic extends 1Gbit/sec broadband beyond London
- PC Pro Enhanced: an update
- Samsung racks up ten million Galaxy S4 shipments
- Lenovo defies PC slump to post 90% profit increase
- The iPad's only good for playing Chopsticks, claims Microsoft
- Twitter finally introduces two-factor authentication
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Schools warm up to BYOD for tablets
- HTC staff should "just quit"
- Xbox One: what it means for Windows PCs
- Flickr redesign: is it enough to tempt photographers back?
- Hands on with the new Google Maps
- Nokia Lumia 925 review: first look
- Why I won't subscribe to Creative Cloud
- GoPro camera strapped to a remote-control helicopter: the ultimate boy's toy
- Acer Iconia A1 review: first look
- Acer Aspire P3 review: first look
- Acer Aspire R7 review: first look
- How we produce the PC Pro podcast
- Google Now draining iPhone battery
- Dropbox: everything you need to know
- Best smartphones for 2013
- The best broadband speed tests
- iPhone apps for business travel
- How to get a job as a mobile games developer
- 25 best Windows 8 apps
- Introducing Arduino - a simple Raspberry Pi alternative
- The tweeting spaceman
- Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One
- 30 best web apps
- The ICO's shame-faced u-turn on cookies
- Start8 and ModernMix: making Windows 8 work on a desktop
- How to boost your mobile reception
- How to fix Facebook: Social Fixer
- Taking the stress out of WordPress updates
- Where to download free web fonts
- Turn your tablet into a Sky+ remote control
- How to measure the success of a new IT system
- Three years on: the state of the tablet market
- Windows 8: what works and what doesn't
There are dozens of exciting prizes up for grabs on PC Pro Competitions. All our competitions are free to enter. Try your luck.ENTER NOW