The Dell Latitude E7440 Touch ($1,949 list) is part of Dell’s Latitude 14 7000 series of business ultrabooks. It has a good mix of premium features, good performance, excellent battery life, and compatibility with other E-series Latitude laptops in Dell’s stable. With its MIL-SPEC ruggedization, it’s prepared to survive the day-to-day grind with your mobile workforce. This carbon-fiber clad laptop comes highly recommended, and is our latest Editors’ Choice for business ultrabooks.
Design and Features
The Latitude E7440 Touch follows the design features we saw earlier in the 12-inch Dell Latitude E7240 Touch, which is essentially a shrunk down version of the Latitude E7440 Touch. Both systems use visible painted metal and carbon fiber construction to show strength. In contrast, the Lenovo ThinkPad T440s paints over its carbon fiber and metal construction so the system resembles older Lenovo ThinkPad laptops. The ultrabook measures about 0.8 by 13.2 by 9.1 inches, similar to the Lenovo T440s, and weighs an imperceptibly heavier 3.85 pounds. It’s notable that the Lenovo T440s has a smaller 13-inch screen than the 14-inch display on the Latitude E7440 Touch.
The IPS display is brilliant and clear, with a 1,920-by-1,080 full HD resolution. The screen is quick to register touches, taps, and swipes, which means that you can fully utilize Windows 8 Pro on this system. The system has Windows 7 Professional downgrade rights, but we tested it under Windows 8. There’s a bit of gloss one our review unit’s screen, but you can opt for an anti-glare non-touch screen for the Latitude E7440 if you downgrade to a non-touch 1,366-by-768-resolution display.
The Latitude E7440 Touch’s has a traditional keyboard, rather than the chiclet-style keyboard found on other systems like the Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch (2013). The keyboard has four levels of brightness, and is comfortable to use right off the bat. Thanks to the system’s MIL-SPEC ruggedization, you can use the Latitude E7440 Touch in environments that are hot, cold, rainy, or even in wind blown dust. The keyboard is protected against spillage, so the Latitude E7440 Touch is ready for just about anything your users dish out, short of active combat duty.
The keyboard has a pointing stick, multi-touch trackpad, and separate mouse buttons, so it will be easier for veteran users to transition into compared with the Lenovo T440s, which has a one-piece trackpad with integrated buttons for the pointing stick. There are physical volume controls near the hinge, and a switch for the wireless radios on the right side of the chassis. Ports include three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, mini-DisplayPort, Ethernet, and a SD card reader. SmartCard is an option that wasn’t included on our system, but can be added for higher security configurations. HDMI and mini-DisplayPort give the Latitude E7440 Touch multi-monitor capabilities.
The system can be configured with 4G LTE WWAN, though our review unit came with the Intel vPro-certified 802.11ac Wi-Fi card with Bluetooth 4.0. The ultrabook works with the same wired dock as other recent E-series Latitude systems, but can also work with Dell’s Wireless Dock D5000 (WiGig) ($269.99), so you have a variety of ways to connect external peripherals and displays.
Since it’s a corporate business system, the Latitude E7440 Touch can be configured according to your company’s needs and wishes. Our review unit only came with Windows 8, and trial software for Microsoft Office and McAfee Central. It has a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD), with 185GB free out of the box. This is a boon, since there is a lot of space for your files and programs. The system comes with a three-year standard warranty with limited onsite service.
The Latitude E7440 Touch we tested comes with an Intel Core i5-4300U processor with integrated Intel HD 4400 graphics, 4GB of DDR3 memory, and that 256GB SSD. This configuration is almost identical to the Dell E7240 Touch, so it’s no surprise that both systems performed similarly on our benchmark tests. The Latitude E7440 Touch was faster than the Lenovo T440s on some tests, but not all. On our benchmark test, the Latitude E7440 Touch had very similar performance to our former business ultrabook Editors’ Choice, the Dell Latitude 6430u. This means that these systems are perfectly fine for the kind of tasks performed in a corporate business setting. If you need more specialized multimedia and 3D performance, the HP ZBook 14 (our top pick for mobile workstations) and Apple Macbook Pro 15-inch (our desktop-replacement winner) are similarly priced rivals. Note that the HP Zbook 14 and MacBook Pro both require specialized IT support, while the Latitude E7440 Touch is a general corporate system with disk image and vPro support.
The Latitude E7440 Touch scored 7 hours 44 minutes on our battery rundown test, which outpaced the Latitude 6430u (7:40) by just a few minutes, giving both all-day work capabilities. This is squarely in the sweet spot between the power-hungry HP Zbook 14 (6:28) and the long-lasting MacBook Pro 15-inch (8:52). A removable battery and extended battery options are a major plus for the Latitude E7440 Touch.
The Dell Latitude E7440 Touch is somewhat pricey at just under $2,000, but we are talking about a premier business ultrabook with staying power, full IT capabilities, and a premium exterior finish as well. With its touch screen and full ultrabook specs, the Latitude E7440 Touch outpaces the Dell Latitude 6430u. It also has more business-friendly features than the Lenovo T440s, including wireless dock support, exposed carbon fiber for a more distinct appearance, traditional mouse buttons, HDMI, and more storage. All this earns the Latitude E7440 Touch our Editors’ Choice for business ultrabooks.
|Processor Name||Intel Core i5-4300U|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8 Professional|
|Graphics Card||Intel HD Graphics 4400|
|Networking Options||802.11n (2.4+5 GHz Dualband)|
|Processor Speed||1.9 GHz|
|Type||Business, Small Business, Ultrabook|
|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||256 GB|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc