Dell Latitude E7440 review
A sturdily built 14in business Ultrabook that offers great performance and a surprising amount of upgradability
The Dell Latitude E7440 is the larger of Dell’s recently announced duo of Latitude 7000 Series business-oriented Ultrabooks, the other being the 12.5in Latitude E7240. Boasting a higher-resolution screen than the E7240, a Haswell CPU and plenty of upgradability, the Latitude E7440 makes an aggressive play for the business laptop crown. See also: what's the best laptop you can buy in 2014?
It’s certainly an attractively crafted machine. It measures 21mm thick at the bulkier, battery-housing end of the chassis, and weighs 1.63kg – which is admittedly rather portly by ultrabook standards.
The design is tasteful, though, if rather plain and understated, and there isn’t a sharp edge to be found; every corner of the E7440’s chassis is carefully rounded off. The aluminium lid is honed to a brushed, matte finish, and the rest of the chassis is supported and strengthened by a metal skeleton and reinforced steel hinges, lending the Latitude E7440 a pleasingly sturdy-feeling exterior.
For the most part, the ergonomics are sound. The backlit keyboard’s chunky, well-spaced keys are concave and grip your fingers, giving way to each keystroke with a satisfying, tactile click. There’s a wide shift key and dedicated page up and page down keys, and the responsive trackpoint is married to a pair of large, dedicated buttons beneath the space bar. The touchpad has an ever-so-slightly textured matte finish and discrete left and right buttons that feel substantial and responsive. Our only criticism is that there’s a little flex in the centre of the keyboard, but this is barely noticeable in normal usage.
The E7440’s Full HD screen is impressive. It’s easily as good as the ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s 1600 x 900 display: its maximum brightness of 342cd/m² is almost identical to that of the X1 Carbon, and its colour accuracy is the same (both scored an average Delta E of 4). However, its contrast ratio of 1038:1 blows the X1 Carbon’s score of 647:1 out of the water. Image quality is excellent, boasting saturated colours and pin-sharp images. The only niggle is that the panel crushes the darkest greys into black to give images an artificially bold, stark look.
Inside, the Latitude boasts an attractive array of components. The base model is well equipped for its price of £839 inc VAT, with a 1.9GHz Core i5-4300U CPU, 4GB of DDR3L RAM and a 500GB SATA HDD. Our review unit, which sat at the top end of the range at £1,269, had a 2.1GHz Core i7-4600U, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB Toshiba SSD.
|Warranty||3 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||337 x 231.5 x 21mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i7-4600U|
|SODIMM sockets free||1|
|SODIMM sockets total||2|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,920|
|Resolution screen vertical||1,080|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Graphics chipset||Intel HD Graphics 4400|
|Hard disk||mSATA SSD|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||yes|
|3.5mm audio jacks||1|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Hardware volume control?||yes|
|Camera megapixel rating||0.9mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||9hr 3min|
|Battery life, heavy use||2hr 12min|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||45fps|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.71|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 7 Professional|
|OS family||Windows 7|
|Recovery method||Recovery partition|