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Dell Latitude E7240 review

Verdict

A compact business Ultrabook with oodles of power and connectivity – only the low-resolution display disappoints

Review Date: 28 Nov 2013

Reviewed By: Sasha Muller

Price when reviewed: £1,259 (£1,511 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
3 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

Dell recently announced a newly formed pair of Latitude 7000 Series Ultrabooks, and the Latitude E7240 is the first to land in the PC Pro Labs. Following in the business-friendly footsteps of its predecessors, Dell has packed the Latitude E7240’s sturdy, 12.5in chassis with the latest Haswell technology and a range of office-friendly features.

Where other Ultrabooks tout eye-catching designs, the Latitude E7240 is tastefully reserved. The stiff-feeling lid is clad in brushed metal, while the keyboard and screen bezels are comprised of smooth, tough black plastics. There is a little flex in the base, but nothing worrying, and the metal skeleton running around the keyboard’s circumference gives some reassuring protection against accidental knocks or drops. It’s no lightweight as a result, though – the whole package weighs 1.44kg.

Dell Latitude E7240

On the inside, the Latitude E7240 pairs Intel’s Haswell CPUs with solid-state storage. The basic £799 exc VAT model has a Core i5-4200U CPU, 4GB of DDR3L RAM and a 128GB SSD. However, our review model is the range-topping £1,259 exc VAT model, which has a top-flight Core i7-4600U CPU with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.

Not surprisingly, performance soars as a result, and the Dell achieved a lightning-quick 0.73 in our Real World Benchmarks. The Lite-On SSD definitely plays its part here: its sequential read and write speeds reached 476MB/sec and 323MB/sec respectively; scores we’ve only seen bettered by the PCI Express SSD in Apple's MacBook Air 13in.

Our review unit came with the larger of the two removable battery options, and the Dell’s 42Wh battery lasted an excellent 10hrs 28mins in our light-use battery test. If cost or weight savings are more crucial than stamina, however, Dell also makes a lighter, 31Wh battery. Bought separately, the 31Wh retails at £75 exc VAT, and the 45Wh retails at £95 exc VAT.

Dell Latitude E7240

Most Ultrabooks provide scant connectivity, but not the Latitude E7240; it’s stuffed with an abundance of ports and features. There are three USB 3 ports, mini-DisplayPort, HDMI and a Gigabit Ethernet socket dotted around its edges, and Dell has also added a fingerprint and smart card reader. You can cut costs by specifying Dell-branded single-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, but our range-topping review unit came equipped with an Intel dual-band 802.11ac chipset, Bluetooth 4, NFC and 3G.

The Latitude's stereo speakers are superb, with audio quality that's as good as any laptop we’ve reviewed, and light years better than most business models.

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User comments

14" Model

we are using the 14" version, with FullHD display, as our standard laptop now.

It is very nice. You didn't mention the dock option. AFAIK it should fit the same dock as the 14" version. Can you confirm that?

By big_D on 28 Nov 2013

Resolution

Is it really an advantage to have a higher resolution? I had 12" one with same resolution as this laptop but the texts were far too small to read from a comfortable distance. Windows 8's DPI settings doesn't work quite as well as using a native resolution, especially with some applications.

By barnettgs on 28 Nov 2013

3 x USB2 and no USB3?

"There are three USB 2 ports..."

Is there really no USB3 on a 2013 Haswell Ultrabook costing this much? What were Dell thinking?

By Cantabrian on 28 Nov 2013

According to Dell Germany...

it has 3 x USB3.

I also looked at the other ports, it also has the dock slot for the Latitude docks.

The DisplayPort is of the mini variets.
It also has the option of LTE and the option of finger print and smart card readers.

By big_D on 28 Nov 2013

Agree. With the first comment - been using the E7440 for 2 months. With HD screen and 256 meg SSD (extremely fast liteon) it is the best business laptop I've used.

I waited to upgrade as Dell has been insisting on using terrible screens for business laptops for the last few years ...

Definitely need the mini port/VGA adaptor for presentations - and for me if I undock/dock the USB ports don't work on the docking station until a reboot?

Even better as I'm in Hong Kong the price was several hundred pounds less (equivalent) - or is that Dell ripping of the UK?

Excellent upgrade from my creaking 5 year old Latitude E6000 series - with 1400x900 screen (I keep checking it is in my bag as so light in comparison).

By CampoX on 2 Dec 2013

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