Dell Latitude 2120 review

A rugged, comfortable netbook with a great screen, but it costs as much as a full-sized laptop

Simon Fisher
18 Feb 2012
4
Price when reviewed 
706

With a large battery that doubles as a stand, the Dell Latitude 2120 is by far the largest netbook on test. It has a rugged feel to it, with textured rubber on the top and bottom of the case, and our sample came with a striking red finish. This Dell feels built to last.

Students commented on how comfortable the Latitude 2120 was to use on the desk, where the battery elevates the keyboard to a more comfortable angle. The keyboard is excellent, and of all the netbooks on test, this feels closest to a full-sized laptop. The keys have good travel and the physical volume controls are welcome. The only disappointment is the trackpad, which feels small.

Our test model featured an Atom N455 single-core processor, but we’d recommend upgrading to a dual-core, particularly as Windows 7 Professional comes preinstalled. Still, the 2GB of RAM allowed for comfortable multitasking and performance isn’t bad. Despite a benchmark score of 0.16, the Latitude 2120 is perfectly adequate for standard classroom tasks.

Dell Latitude 2120

The 10.1in, 1,366 x 768 display has an LED backlight, producing a bright, clear picture and crisply rendered text. Although some staff found the resolution a little tough on the eyes, students seemed comfortable, and it helps when looking at busy websites or large spreadsheets. Battery life is another strength: it easily lasted a school day.

Being part of Dell’s Connected Classroom solution, the Latitude is compatible with Dell’s Mobile Computing Station 2 trolley. This not only charges the netbook, but allows updates to be pushed out while the machine is docked: a real benefit to schools planning to deploy a substantial number. It has three USB 2 ports, a multicard reader, a VGA output, 802.11n Wi-Fi and a Gigabit Ethernet port – so connectivity isn’t an issue.

Schools looking for a cheap or ultraportable solution might avoid it, but its screen and keyboard are among the best on test. The only problem is the price. At over £500, it’s more expensive than many full-sized laptops. Only schools in need of such a compact product need apply.

Warranty

Warranty1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions265 x 187 x 39mm (WDH)
Weight1.310kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Atom N455
RAM capacity2.00GB
Memory typeDDR3

Screen and video

Screen size10.1in
Resolution screen horizontal1,366
Resolution screen vertical768
Resolution1366 x 768
Graphics chipsetIntel GMA 3150
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1

Drives

Capacity250GB
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0

Networking

802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno

Other Features

USB ports (downstream)3
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating1.3mp

Battery and performance tests

Overall Real World Benchmark score0.16

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Professional
OS familyWindows 7

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