Dell Latitude E6420 ATG review

Seriously tough 14in business notebook... with a price to match
Photo of Dell Latitude E6420 ATG
£949 ex. VAT

There are laptops and there are rugged laptops. And somewhere in between are ‘business rugged’ laptops. These are tough and solid, with some extra protective features – but not up to being taken into warzones. That’s the category into which Dell’s Latitude E6420 ATG slots. It has a non-rugged cousin, the plain old Latitude E6420.

Is that a handle?
One of the features of the Dell Latitude E6420 ATG is an optional carrying handle. It might sound unnecessary, but in fact the notebook’s very tough outer shell makes it look a bit like a briefcase, and it weighs over 2kg. The handle could come in quite useful.

There are also non-optional rubber protectors for the two back corners of the notebook, under whose hinged covers lie most of the machine’s ports and connectors. These protectors extend round to the back of the chassis, providing some strong insulation against knocks and bumps, as well as helping to prevent dust and water getting into the laptop’s innards. 

Spill resistant
The keyboard is spill resistant, and around the screen there is a bumper which you can’t see but which provides additional protection against liquids and general knocking about. The Dell Latitude E6420 ATG has a magnesium alloy base, and all in all it’s one tough cookie.

Inside the chassis, the 14in screen has a resolution of 1366×768 panel and can be optionally configured as touch sensitive (at extra cost) if you require. The keyboard has a pointing stick as well as a trackpad, and the keyboard itself is comfortable to use at speed.

Quad-core optional
You can opt for various processor configurations racking right up to a quad-core Intel i7 2720QM 2.2GHz processor with 8GB RAM, which should provide plenty of oomph. You can also choose between discrete or integrated graphics, with NVIDIA’s NVS 4200 chipset catering for the former. Storage-wise, the system comes with the option of an SSD or hard drives up to 500GB.

Of course, the more top-level specifications you add in, the further you move away from the Dell Latitude E6420 ATG’s base configuration price – and while you’ll never lose sight of that very solid chassis, you can end up adding substantially to its already high starting price.

The standard six-cell battery managed to keep a DVD video going for nearly four and a half hours. If that’s not enough for you, there’s a nine-cell battery option, and a smaller additional three-cell battery that sits in the optical drive bay, in place of the standard DVD writer.

Company: Dell

Website: http://www.dell.co.uk/

Contact: Dell on 0844 444 4155

Positives
  • Very tough chassis and optional carry handle.
Negative
  • You'll add to the cost by upgrading base-level components.

Verdict

There's no doubting that the Dell Latitude E6420 ATG is a tough customer. However, if you want to up the specifications, you're going to need to up the financial outlay. As ever when this is the case, you could move away from that base pricepoint rather quickly.