Heat and Noise
The E6420 has one heat exhaust vent on the left side and two exhaust openings on the bottom center. We ran a graphics benchmark to find out how hot the notebook gets when it's being exerted, and found that the notebook controls its heat very well. The hottest it got during the test was 96 Fahrenheit (taken on the bottom-middle), and the lowest temperature we measured was 81 F. If the notebook is being pushed, it does make a noticeable humming noise; but only if you're really sensitive to fan noise will it be too much.
Our Dell Latitude review unit has an "extended battery," meaning it's of a higher capacity than most notebook batteries and will last longer while you're away from a power outlet. Our unit has a 9-cell 97Wh extended battery. During our battery life test, we select the Windows 7 "Balanced" power profile, turn the screen brightness down to 70%, turn wireless on, and refresh a text-heavy web page every 60 seconds. The Dell Latitude E6420 lasted 8 hours and 45 minutes, which is a good result for a notebook of its class.
Battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):
The Dell Latitude E6420 is a great choice for business professionals. The notebook's build features a durable "business rugged" design with MIL-STD 810G-tested "Tri-Metal" casing. This basically means it'll withstand the everyday scratches and bumps, as well as the occasional drop (as long as it's a drop and not a fall). The notebook performs well, and we found that even with the Intel HD graphics, it can play 1080p HD video and multitask very well. It also has excellent audio performance that is without distortion, even at its maximum level - external speakers will not be required.
The E6420 is available with an array of options. It can be configured with a discrete-class graphics, a backlit keyboard for use in darkly lit areas, a multitouch display, a quad-core i7 CPU, and a 256GB SSD. All of these options, however, bump the price up a lot. All in all, we found that there wasn't much wrong with the Latitude E6420. If Dell had included a higher-res display and brought the price down by a few hundred, it would have gotten five stars from us.
Software & Support
* Ratings averaged to produce final score
more than 100 focused websites providing quick access to a deep store of
news, advice and analysis about the technologies, products and processes crucial
to the jobs of IT pros.
All Rights Reserved, Copyright 2000 - 2013, TechTarget | Read our Privacy Statement