- Business-rugged build quality
- Good overall performance
- Lots of options, including multitouch display
- Impressive audio performance
- Stays cool
- Price is high as configured
- USB 3.0 not included
- Lackluster display
The Dell Latitude E6420 offers an impressive array of options from discrete graphics and backlit keyboard to multitouch display and a 256GB SSD. Just be prepared to pay for all of the best options if you want a real powerhouse.
The Dell Latitude E6420 is a good-performing 14-inch business notebook with stellar build quality and a lot of neat options. Users can configure the notebook to have a multitouch display, a fast Intel quad-core processor, discrete-class (higher-end) graphics, up to 4GB of memory, and a 256GB capacity solid state drive.
Build and Design
The Dell Latitude E6420 is encased in Dell’s business-rugged, MIL-STD 810G-tested Tri-Metal casing just like the E6420’s little sister, the Latitude E6320. The “tri-metal” comes from a anodized aluminum display lid, reinforced steel in the hinges, and magnesium alloy in the chassis and frame. The notebook also has a zinc alloy latch, a spill resistant keyboard, and an LCD seal to help prevent scratches and bumps.
All of that extra metal and thought the designers put into its construction indeed makes it very durable. When we pressed down on the chassis and around the palm rest, it didn’t budge. When we bent the lid of the display around the thick screen bezel, it did budge just a bit – but it was barely noticeable, and wasn’t noticeable enough to create any ripples across the display. The reinforced steel hinges are also very sturdy; we don’t suppose they’ll give users any problems whatsoever. The Dell Latitude E6420 is very durable for its class.
The notebook is a looker, too – it appears very professional and stylish. It has smooth matte surfaces brushed with what Dell calls a “360 bumper” for extra protection against scratches. When we tried to scratch the surface, it chipped away a little bit, but no scratch marks showed up. The lid looks pretty neat, too; with Dell’s signature logo across the middle.
The E6420 can be upgraded slightly. After removing seven screws, you can remove the base cover and gain access to the hard drive, memory, Bluetooth card, and network cards. It can be upgraded with up to 8GB of memory. We mentioned in our Latitude E6320 review that the screws were particularly hard to remove; they weren’t as difficult to remove in the E6420.
Ports and Features
The Latitude E6420 has a good port selection, and is really only notably lacking a USB 3.0 port on our unit. There is a USB 3.0 module option, but you’d have to pay a little extra to include it. Other than that, the notebook comes equipped with HDMI and VGA connectors, 5-in-1 card reader, a total of four USB 2.0 ports, ExpressCard, and a SmartCard Reader (optional). The notebook is equipped with an 8X DVD optical drive at no extra cost, but the 8X DVD+/-RW costs $50 more. There’s also a dock connector at the bottom so users can have access to even more ports and features if they purchase a dock.
Front: 5-in-1 memory card reader
Back: HDMI, lock slot, battery, AC power, Ethernet connector (RJ-45)
Left: USB 2.0, VGA, headphone jack, SmartCard reader, exhaust vent
Right: 54 mm ExpressCard, Wi-Fi on/off switch, DVD-ROM optical drive, USB 2.0 x2, USB 2.0/eSATA combo