The Dell Latitude E6410 is a true business notebook computer – and an unseemly quick one at that

In a world filling with slim and thin and curvy models, the Dell Latitude E6410 has a square and solid build that wouldn’t have raised a brow ten or more years ago.

But we’re not going to knock the Dell’s utilitarian exterior. Such conservatism goes down well in business circles we’re sure, and despite the rigid construction, it remains quite totable at just under 2.3kg and 31mm thick. And those classic looks do have a certain timeless cachet.

So the Dell Latitude E6410 is far from being the lightest or slimmest laptop on the market, especially when you remember that this is a 14in-screen model, yet one weighing more like a 15-incher. But there are reasons why you must overlook the four-square looks and less than superwaif trim.

In short: build quality, battery life, feature set and sheer performance all rank as highly commendable. Especially the performance.

Where most laptops have taken Apple’s lead and forsaken the manual lid catch, Dell insists on fastening the Dell Latitude E6410’s top down with a firm press-to-release button. Mind, while that lid looks like a serious slice of brushed alloy, be aware that it’s a pretend metal finish formed from painted plastic.

There’s nothing fake about the Dell Latitude E6410's display though, in our sample’s case a 1440x900 LED-backlit with a matt anti-glare finish (1280x800 also available). This is a superb screen, shaming that found on costlier models on rivals with its crisp text definition, high maximum brightness level and good colour spread. 

And crucially – reflection-free and easy on the eyes in all lighting conditions, along with usable off-axis viewing angles.

The Dell Latitude E6410's keyboard isn’t bad either, a traditional rather than Scrabble-tile type, feeling reasonably solid with little in the way of centre flex. It’s backlit too, with only a little white-light bleed from between the tessellated keys.

In the middle sits a trackpoint stick steerer, with accompanying click keys between keyboard and regular trackpad. The latter is small but precise in its sensing, with soft clicking buttons that don’t require too much thumb contortion.

So how does the Dell Latitude E6410 perform? It’s not merely fast – it’s blindlingly fast. But before we dwell on lab benchmarks, it’s worth noting the useful range of ports lined along its four edges.

Like many other Dell machines, the Dell Latitude E6410 forsakes DVI and HDMI digital video outputs, in favour of the comparable DisplayPort connector. VGA is still there of course, for old projectors. Three USB 2.0 ports are joined by a combo eSATA/USB, while FireWire is supported on the right side with a mini 1394a port.

To its right is a DVD±RW drive that can be easily slid from the chassis.

NEXT PAGE: Our benchmark results >>