Keyboard and touchpad view view large image Despite the fact that the D is a Showing no signs of flex and providing solid travel with minimal noise, the D has proven to have the best keyboard I have ever had the pleasure of using. Also worth mentioning is the fact that the Ctrl key is appropriately placed on the far left with the Fn key to its right, avoiding the relearning required by models that oddly choose to reverse the standard order. Two sets of mouse buttons are also included for added convenience when using each respective device.

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With so many questions and details to cover about ultraportable notebooks, continue reading this full review! Reasons for Buying About two months after trading my After several weeks of carrying around my 17" notebook with all my books and notes, I was more than ready to consider getting a smaller notebook.

The p is still one of the lightest 17" notebooks out there, but I needed something drastically lighter to travel inside of my well-stuffed bookbag. After looking into the lower cost solutions available, I finally decided that if I wanted a really small, really portable computer with my budget I was going to have to get a gently used one.

In to the Dell Outlet, and out with the D Additionally, the single-core D is only available in the Large Business section at www. The Small Business section where consumers can purchase from too! I got the single core version because I needed a lower cost machine, and this was the lowest I could get. Not bad for almost 50 percent off!

Build and Design Business notebooks are supposed to be the top-of-the-line laptops, with the highest build quality and top notch support. My last two notebooks were both high-quality business notebooks, and I have come to expect the best in my notebooks.

With ultraportable machines, there is an even higher emphasis and these laptops must be built as solid as possible. They get carried around more, used more, knocked around more, and have to be built for road warriors. Does the D deliver? The D may possibly be the most solid notebook I have ever held in my hands despite its feather-light weight. Other parts of the notebook, like the base of the chassis or the inside frame of the LCD screen are solid metal alloy. The notebook chassis is extremely well built and cannot be twisted or pushed around at all.

The palm rests are the only part of the base that flexes, but I believe that is because only the battery is found underneath that location. When closed, the laptop seems virtually indestructible. As with most laptop screens, the display can be twisted a little bit … but not nearly as much as other laptops I have encountered. The bezel has one small weak spot at the inside vertical edges, and when pushing in on the LCD screen from up top I can produce some ripples on the screen.

Is either a lot? Would it possibly be enough to damage the screen? No on both counts, but as with any notebook do not act out any of your dreams of dropping bricks directly onto the notebook.

When in my backpack or another tight spot, I have not needed to worry about the screen protection. I have included a video illustrating the squeeze effect, but I am pressing VERY hard to produce the ripples.

This is the only weak spot in the bezel. Other parts of the notebook are sturdy as well. Coming in at a meager 12" in size, the D is definitely a feather-of-a-notebook. When placed in my backpack, I really do not notice the extra weight and it is no trouble to take with me every day.

The only bad thing about such a light laptop is that if you leave it behind somewhere, you are not going to notice a huge weight lifted off your shoulders. Another feature that needs mentioning is the DVD drive, or lack thereof. For users that do not need an optical drive very often, this will be perfectly fine. I myself do not find it annoying to be missing a drive whatsoever, as I rarely need to use an optical drive during normal usage.

I love having the option to shed some backpack weight and leave the DVD drive at home, but some may not. Appropriately so, the D features a mostly black and gun-metal gray visual design. When compared to the design of the HP Compaq business notebooks, I would say that 1 the exterior of the Latitudes does not look as sharp but 2 the interior sections of the D look more professional and sharper.

But an update would be nicer. The interior of the D is really what looks nice and professional. The lines are sharper and the overall appearance is more visually appealing than what I have been using for the last year and a half. When closed, the D reminds you of a thin workbook or textbook. In fact, the dimensions of the D are fairly close to standard 8. For a college student, this is really nice as you can move around with all of that in your hands and not have a problem with any of it.

Widescreen has pretty much become the standard for all notebooks, and I do have to say that it is nice to have this much horizontal real-estate. The screen resolution itself is just right for a 12" notebook display, as for me all text and graphics easily readable. If you want to see a 12" screen for yourself, head to a local store that carries notebooks and try to find any 12" notebook there. The screen itself is manufactured by Samsung SEC , which is a Many readers will wonder how a Having a small, portable machine allows you to work virtually anywhere, which is better than having a larger screen in my eyes.

However, I do acknowledge that a smaller screen does require some multitasking sacrifices. Most programs do need to be maximized in order to really have an effective layout of the GUI, and exceptions are few and far between. Word, Outlook, Firefox, etc. Multitasking is going to require tabbing through all the windows or using your mouse to navigate. Personally, I find this mode of working acceptable given the tasks that are typically going to run on the D Head on, the screen itself is very high quality.

Text and graphics are very sharp, and the backlighting seems to be very even for all levels of brightness. Not too shabby I might say… view large image Speaking of levels of brightness, the D is quite impressive in this regard. At a minimum setting, the screen does get fairly dark but it is still easy to work with under most office lighting conditions or classroom lighting conditions.

When more luminosity is required, the screen can certainly deliver. At the brightest level, you can easily read the screen from any non-outdoor environment. Outside, one may have to struggle a little bit to see the screen depending on the weather and the sun. Pictures comparing the D to an HP p are shown below. My camera loves to correct for illumination problems, so the darkest left and brightest right pictures actually look about the same.

But, notice that the brightness levels between the p and D are about the same. Darkest settings view large image Brightest settings view large image The HP p up against the D in a screen contest. Darkest to the left, brightest to the right.

Finally, the screen does have a built-in ambient light sensor that can automatically adjust the brightness of the screen. When using that feature, I have found that the sensor does accurately determine how bright the screen should be for me to work effectively.

This is a welcome improvement on the HP ambient light sensor, which has consistently set the screen to too dim of a setting for me to work effectively for the past year and a half. I might actually leave the sensor enabled on the D instead of disabling it like I did with the HP machines. Viewing angles are a bit of a mixed story.

Vertical viewing angles are below average, but with such a small screen I have a hard time imagining that users would be looking in from those directions. Horizontal viewing angles are average, though the graphics on the screen tend to white out just a little bit when viewing from the side.

If and when you are sharing a screen view with a co-worker or buddy, both of you should enjoy a relatively decent view. Pictures are worth much more than words, so see the graphic below for an illustration.

While it does function well enough to emit the occasional "You have mail" sound clip or make the "Windows prompt" beep, that is all it is good for. The speaker volume levels are fine for the laptop, but the speaker has an extraordinarily tinny aura to it. And there is no bass whatsoever. I would expect even an average speaker to be able to sound out a little bit of the baser notes in music, but this one fails utterly. Every time I listen to a music track or movie the sound has no depth and it feels and sounds like something is missing.

To try and get around this, I tried using the headphone jack on the D with a pair of Creative earphones that are known to work well enough to my satisfaction on other machines. It is the lack of a better-than-low-quality integrated sound card.

Furthermore, if a user hooked this laptop up to an external speaker set for a presentation, that user better not plan on using complex sounds and music clips. I just do not think this audio system would cut it. The only interesting gripe I have is that the driver for the audio system seems to occasionally self-destruct.

I have had to reinstall the drivers five times since I started using the laptop, and all I ever did was reboot occasionally and evaluate the computer. Fortunately, the drivers always seem to install automatically on the next reboot. But this activity is annoying. A friend recently suggested I install different audio codecs, so it is possible that the drivers are sensitive to your codec packages. Any user with the Realtek C-Major Audio system may want to keep that in mind.

Dell, fix the speaker before you release an update to the D And fix the driver. Even more interesting is the ULV series is one of the few Intel processors that still offer single-core processors that consume even less power.

More powerful processor means less battery life and more heat, and these two reasons are exactly why I choose the U over the U when purchasing this notebook. One does not need a lot of power for the general office tasks, which is what the D is marketed for.

Single-core processor? Is that not a pretty old and almost obsolete technology? For mainstream notebooks, yes.


Dell Latitude D420 Review (pics, specs)

The Dell D is one of the smallest and most mobile notebooks of the current Dell product lines. In the contrary to its competitors, Dell equipped the D with a WXGA display, which clearly contributes to the overview on the 12 inch display. The U Core Duo processors combines good performance and low energy demand. Case The D with the recognizable decent form and color design is representative for the Dell Inspiron business line. However, the word color is not really appropriate, you should rather call it gray levels. The purpose of this simple and durable design is to avoid too much diversity in companies in order to deliver new notebooks without stirring up enviousness. Unlike the bigger Latitude notebooks, this design does not let the clearly smaller D appear to be that heavy and bulky.


Latitude D420 vs. Latitude D430

The Dell Latitude D proves to be an exemplary companion in our review. The up to now smallest notebook of the Latitude series is quiet, compact, light, and its workmanship is good. The runtime of the small 42 Wh battery is due to special energy-saving components up to 6 hours. Despite being equipped with low-energy components, the frugal Core 2 Duo processor with 1.

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