As a part of a new project of mine (called “Pimp-my-pc”) I have gotten hold of a classic business laptop called Dell Latitude D620! I have been seeing this around at work and by other firms and organizations for a long time, and I’m really glad to be able to test one of these here for you now!
Here it is!
Hardware summary :
- Screen: 14.1-inch 1440×900px WXGA+
- Processor: 2.166GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7400 (4MB L2 Cache, 667MHz FSB)
- Hard Drive: 80GB hard drive 7200RPM Seagate Momentus 7200.1 2,5″
- Memory: 2×1024 DDR2-SDRAM, 2GB Total (4 GB MAX according to Dell)
- Optical Drive: DVD+-R Double layer / DVD+-RW Drive
- External Ports and Slots: 4xUSB 2.0, one PCMCIA slot, VGA, headphone / line-out, microphone-in, modem, 1Gb Ethernet.
- Wireless: WiFi (Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG), Bluetooth 2.0 w/ EDR, EVDO (Verizon Wireless US)
- Graphics: Dedicated nVidia NVS 110M (64MB)
- Operating System: Windows XP Pro
- Primary 6-cell/56 WHr
- Dimensions: (WxDxH): 32mm/1.26″x 337/13.27″x 238mm/9.37″
- Weight: Approx 2,3 kg.
Pro/cons with the following hardware is :
Screen : It is above average resolution for a 14.1″ screen, alternatively resolution for this laptop is WXGA (1280 x 800 resolution). The positive effects is that a high resolution makes it possible to have a lot of windows and applications at the desktop at the same time. The negative side to this is that by default the text will be small and perhaps hard to read. The brightness of the screen is good. It will not light up the room, but is very nice and clear for everyday use!
Processor : It is dualcore, fast and reliable. No negative sides to this CPU.
Hard drive : This is a relatively small harddrive nowadays, but is spinning with 7200 RPM. This should make the computer overall faster then a 5400 RPM solution, but of course it will limit the amount of data you can bring along. 80 GB should cover a large amount of documents though.
Ports : Four USB ports should be enough. VGA is today still the business standard for easy connection to projectors, monitors and such. At home a HDMI port would possible be a better choice for connection to your new LCD TV. Other than this it has ports for most standard external devices.
Graphics : A dedicated nVidia NVS 110M is more powerful then a integrated solution and could be a better choice if you are going to run games (on very low settings) or heavy graphical applications like Photoshop or CAD. The downside to running a dedicated solution is that it generates more heat, more noise and it draws more power (less battery life).
6-cell battery : 6 cells is a balanced choice for laptops. It will give you 3-4 hours of battery-life and will not make the computer noticeable larger or heavier like a 9-cell.
PCwizard – Global Performance :
Processor Global Performance : 136380.30 Marks
Cache and Memory Global Performance : 93223.00 Marks
Memory Global Performance : 8652.81 Marks
Video Global Performance : 288.00 Marks
Hard Disk Global Performance : 74.00 Marks
HDTack – HDD Performance
Driver support from vendor :
The build :
The build of this computer is robust but stylish! I really like the professional look and feel that Dell is using when producing the Latitude computers. Inside the computer it has a magnesium-alloy case which keeps the weight down but still makes the computer robust. This computer is about 3 years old, but inside (keyboard, screen and touchpad) looks like it is fresh from the production line. The top of the computer has some scratches, but if this is because of the material or heavy usage i don’t know. The keyboard is great to use and it makes no sound (tap-tap or click-click). The touchpad is a bit larger then on the Thinkpad T61 which is always nice. The computer is cool and quite noiseless. The fan is more in use then the Lenovo Thinkpad T61 I reviewed earlier, but I think that the fan-sound is not worth mentioning, and your computer will not stand out in the office as a source of noise. The screen hinges is well build and the screen is in a firm grip.
Just to show the difference in size between the 14.1″ D620 and the 15.6″ T61.
And then just a small comparison of the keyboards – showing the main difference between D620 and T61 – First off is the D620 – [CTRL + FN]
… and then T61 [FN + CTRL] … Not sure why they choose to flip these two keys, most likely to screw with the users i guess
Boot times :
This computer really boots fast. About 23 sec from bios to logon-screen and about 10-15 sec from boot screen to desktop (ready to use). This is mainly because of very little bloatware and Dell-loaded services at boot time. This is in my opinion a very big KUDOS to Dell!
Popular software in use :
Both Office/Open Office and Photoshop/Gimp starts without a hitch. If I’m to upgrade something on this computer it would probably be the RAM from 2GB to perhaps 4GB and perhaps the harddrive to a SSD-solution. The RAM upgrade is only because it uses DDR2 RAM and if not upgraded now, it could be more expensive in the near future when DDR3 is standard. The computer today is snappy and would fit in any organization for typical business everyday use. Students could also use this computer in the library and in class without having to think about noise/battery (keep a power cord in the bag though – the battery will not make it through the day).
8 out of 10 in-use review points!
I must admit I really like this computer! It is quite fast, robust and looks great at the same time! The support from Dell is unique! You can download service manuals from the web and do some upgrading/repairs yourself! If I’m going to be very picky I have to say that it is a bit more noisy (fan noise) than the Lenovo earlier tested and the Lenovo seems to tackle scratches on the lid a little better. At the same time (for a “upgrader” like myself) it would be great if the computer was equipped with a expresscard-slot and not the older PCMCIA slot. A SD/Memory card reader would also be great (you can of course use a USB version though). But this is me being picky. I really really like this computer!