The Dell Latitude E6320 is a 13.3-inch business laptop featuring a dual-core Sandy Bridge Core i7 CPU. Dell boasts that the combination of lightweight design, premium build quality and sterling battery life makes the E6320 an excellent choice for mobile professionals.
The chassis is built according to Dell’s Tri-Metal design brief, which means it complies with MIL-STD 810G military durability standards. Anodized aluminum in the screen, hard powder-coated base, reinforced steel hinges, reinforced magnesium alloy on the corners – you get the picture. Then there’s a spill-proof keyboard and a ’360-degree bumper’ protective LCD seal around the display. Dell claims the notebook is also protected against extremes of temperature, vibration, dust and high altitude. So it should be rugged enough for extreme business use, and it’ll survive the odd knock along the way. Nevertheless the design isn’t plain – the dark gray and orange trim throughout won’t disgrace any office. It even tapers slightly, measuring 13.2 x 8.8 x 1~1.2 inches. Even with all that ruggedness it still weighs only 4 pounds.
The selection of ports is a bit meagre; Most noticeable is the lack of USB-3 functionality, made worse by there only being two USB-2 ports on the notebook. And there is nothing more than a mini-HDMI socket for syncing with an HDTV. Elsewhere there are a SmartCard reader, VGA port, 34mm ExpressCard slot, and an SDcard slot. And audio sockets of course. The 13.3-inch 1366 x 768 matt display offers only poor contrast at 148:1, a poor show for this price (the test unit costs $1499, though the entry-level E6320 is just $979. Viewing angles are similarly sub-standard. But the Dell E6320 is primarily a business notebook rather than multimedia centre. Even so IDT high-def audio is supplied via the two speakers on the front of the laptop, and sound is loud with good representation of the high and low ranges; above average for a business machine.
The keyboard is a sort of hybrid of adjacent-key and isolated-chiclet styles – the keys are contoured and slightly separated – and as a result the typing experience is one of the best in category. Key travel is perfect and feedback very good. And it’s spill-resistant for those hectic office moments. For an extra $49 an electric blue backlit keyboard can be configured.
A TrackPoint pointing stick sits stupidly in the middle of the keyboard – perhaps it’s part of that military standard, like mousepad control for frostbitten/gloved fingers as soldiers jump online for a spot of YouTube whilst navigating across Siberia in World War 3. Or something. Either way we’re not keen on trackpoints, they seems a bit too clumsy. The matte surface of the Alps Electric touchpad provides responsive fine-grained control and importantly still works fine with moist fingers. Multi-touch gestures can also be enabled. The mousepad buttons are also acceptable – firm with a good pressure point.
WiFi-n and Bluetooth 3 are provided, as is a 1.3MP webcam, good enough for Skyping.
Internally the E6320 wields a 2.7GHz Intel i7-2620M CPU, supported by 4GB RAM (expandable to 8GB). The rapid 7200rpm 320GB Seagate Momentus hard drive keeps the Windows 7 Professional OS quick and slick. Even large office programs launch in a second or two and multi-tasking doesn’t faze the E6320 in any way – several biggish programs can be run simultaneously without any slowdown in performance. An extra 4GB RAM will noticeably improve even this capability, and 1080p videos or presentations run smoothly. Gaming or video editing are generally not possible due to the lack of a dedicated graphics card, but that had to be sacrificed for battery life and weight reasons…
On the subject of batteries, with reasonably conservative brightness and power settings, and refreshing a heavy text webpage every minute the notebook lasted 6 hrs 33 mins with WiFi enabled.
The E6320 multitasks well and battery life is good. The screen is a slight weak point from an entertainment perspective, but only really compared to multimedia alternatives, and the ultra-durable construction is a plus. The only sticking point is the price…but we think that’ll be much nearer $1000 within a couple of months. Then the Dell Latitude E6320 will be an excellent purchase.
Check out some of these Dell Latitude E6320 pics:
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