Dell Latitude XT2 Review

by Kevin O'Brien Reads (145,865)

Overview

  • Pros

    • Excellent build quality
    • Thin chassis
    • Very easy to upgrade
  • Cons

    • Slow hard drive
    • High price
    • Low capacity battery

by Kevin O’Brien

The Dell Latitude XT2 is a business-grade convertible notebook, offering multi-touch finger and digitized pen controls. With a slim and boxy chassis it might not look as cool as some consumer tablets, but it ends up being easier to carry and smaller to travel with. With a starting price of $1,929 it is easily one of the more expensive tablets on the market, but it does include some not-so-common features. Is the Dell Latitude XT2 worth the high price tag? Read our full review to find out.

Our Dell Latitude XT2 Specifications:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400 1.4GHz (800MHz FSB, 3MB L2 Cache)
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Business (32-bit)
  • 12.1″ Premium WXGA (1280 x 800) LED-Backlight Display with Multi-touch
  • Intel X4500MHD Integrated Graphics
  • 3GB DDR3 1066MHz RAM (2GB + 1GB)
  • 120GB Toshiba 1.8″ 5400RPM HDD
  • 8X CD / DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive) through docking station
  • Intel 5100AGN WiFi, Bluetooth, and 1Gb Ethernet
  • 6-Cell 42WHr Battery
  • Limited 3-year standard parts and labor warranty with on-site service
  • Dimensions: 11.7 x 8.7 x 1.1″
  • Weight: 3lbs 13.6oz
  • Price as configured: $2,253

Build and Design
The Dell Latitude XT2 has a very professional, business-like appearance with sharp lines and edges, all dark-grey design, and even exposed screws. This notebook is definitely not targeted towards those looking for the next designer notebook. Instead, it is aimed squarely at those who just want to get down to business. The brushed metal surfaces are actually specially painted covers that give the look of metal but with the ease of maintenance that paint gives. The finish resists smudges and is much easier to wipe clean than most brushed metal exteriors. If it was painted matte black and had a Lenovo logo printed on it, you would swear it was a ThinkPad.

I personally love the side profile of the Latitude XT2, which is almost perfectly square at all corners. It has no sloped surfaces, no rounded sides, and sits very low to the desk surface. If you are carrying the tablet around in one arm it takes up such a small amount of space that you really don’t mind holding.

Build quality is excellent, and probably the best construction I have ever seen on a Dell notebook. Panels feel solid with very little creaking or squeaking plastic, and fit and finish is impeccable. Surfaces meet with clean lines and nothing feels out of place. Paint quality is great on every part of the body, with no specs of dust, unpainted edges, or really any type of imperfection. The screen hinge is durable and rugged, giving you the sense that it should hold up well over time. The chassis feels very rugged with barely a hint of flex if you squeeze the palmrest or put heavy pressure on the keyboard. The screen lid has some minor wiggle, but doesn’t show any signs of color distortion unless you really try to twist the panel

Access to user-serviceable components is easy through two areas. The hard drive is located underneath the battery, with four screws and a frame holding it in place. The RAM, WiFi-card, and WWAN-card are located under a single access panel held in with two screws. For most upgrade needs it should take no more than five minutes to swap out any component. One interesting component that Dell puts front and center under the access panel is a user removable BIOS chip (with a handy pull tab). This lets companies replace it in the event of a failed BIOS update, instead of sending the entire machine in for repair.


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