Dell Latitude X1
- Lightweight, good keyboard design
- Cumbersome PDF user manual, poor battery life
Spring for the extra battery (at an extra charge) to add needed life to this otherwise fine and very light travelling companion.
Price$ 2,663.40 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 5 stores)
Aimed at inveterate business travellers, the 1.1-kilogram, silver Dell Latitude X1 is one of the lightest laptops around. Its no-frills ultraportability (there's no integrated optical drive, for example) struck me as seriously insubstantial at first--especially given the price tag--but a closer look revealed a pretty good design.
The generous 12.1" WXGA wide screen lets you do serious work on the go. The keyboard has an extremely short, hard stroke, but the keys' size and layout permitted me to touch-type at a rapid clip. I was pleasantly surprised to find a full set of dedicated arrow, Page Up, and Page Down keys; and my favourite keys, Delete and Ctrl, were conveniently placed in opposite corners. Only the undersize Shift key bothered me at first. My review unit had a slow-to-respond touchpad, but I easily fixed that problem by increasing the tap sensitivity. Interestingly, the touchpad has a coarser feel than most, almost like fine-grade sandpaper. The extra tactile feedback was novel during the short time I used the X1, but I'm not sure how I would adjust to this touchpad after a few weeks. An external mouse would obviate the problem for people who couldn't get used to the touchpad.
Besides offering basic business connections--network and modem jacks, microphone and headphone mini-jacks, and a VGA port--the X1 features a FireWire port and separate SD and CompactFlash card readers. With built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi circuitry, the X1 can handle short and long-range wireless communications with equal aplomb. One of the two USB 2.0 ports is powered, for connecting an external optical drive. Our test unit included a combination DVD-ROM/CD-RW USB optical drive; for extra, you can get a DVD burner. (An optical drive adds a little over half a kilogram to the X1's heft; total carry weight including the 280 gram power adapter is about 1.8 kilograms.)
The X1 is fully upgradeable, even if the process is not documented in the users' manual (a hard-to-search Acrobat document without hyperlinks). One memory slot and the unit's 4200rpm hard drive--60GB in our test machine--are within easy reach under the keyboard. Just remove seven small screws on the bottom of the laptop, pop a couple of keyboard latches and extract a few more screws beneath to free the hard drive and a metal plate over the DIMM slot. An inaccessible base 256MB of RAM comes built in.
Although no speedster, the X1 should have no trouble handling mainstream work. Armed with a 1.1GHz Pentium M Ultra Low Voltage 733 processor and 512MB of RAM, the X1 posted a WorldBench 5 score of 60, which is good for its class. A similarly-configured Sony VAIO VGN-T150P earned a score of 56.
But the X1 suffers from one major drawback: poor battery life. Its standard three-cell battery lasted just 2.6 hours on a charge, dismal for a laptop light enough to take anywhere. A replacement six-cell battery should provide some relief, though we did not test it. The X1's other problem is lack of compatibility with Latitude docking stations--a sticking point for companies standardised on this line. Dell sells several universal USB docking stations.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- ASUS launches world’s first liquid-cooled gaming laptop
- Apple might show off iPhone 5se and iPad Air 3 at March 15 event
- Monster gaming laptop from CybertronPC packs latest desktop hardware
- Apple's Q1: Record $US18.4 billion profit, but iPhone sales are slowing
- Chromebooks are siphoning market share from Windows PCs
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDigital Marketing Specialist | Media BuyerNSW
- CCSenior Project Manager - Cloud / Telecommunications (Melb CBD)VIC
- FTBusiness Intelligence AnalystVIC
- CCOracle Developer - 3 month contractSA
- CCOracle Project OfficerSA
- CCProgrammer/Analyst Programmer (JAVA/Moblie) 160115/AP/P/vhaAsia
- FTSenior Consultant | Project work | National Systems IntegratorNSW
- CCTest ManagerQLD
- CCSAP HR Functional ConsultantNSW
- FTFraud AnalystVIC
- FTSenior Project Manager - SecurityNSW
- FTTeam Lead ITIL- Permanent OpportunityVIC
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCPython Web Developer - DevOPS EnvironmentVIC
- CCWeb Content WriterSA
- FTProgram Test DirectorNSW
- FTPrograme ManagerNSW
- FTProject Manager / Scrum MasterNSW
- CCEnterprise Architect - Network & InfrastructureNSW
- CCDBA (Oracle/SQL)NSW
- FTSenior Front End Developer Required Working World Leading Digital TeamVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst - CanberraNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (MS.Net/Visual Basic) 160129/AP/vtdAsia
- CCOracle CC&B Technical AnalystVIC
- FTWeb Programmer/ DeveloperVIC