Dell Latitude E7240 review
A compact business Ultrabook with oodles of power and connectivity – only the low-resolution display disappoints
Dell recently announced a newly formed pair of Latitude 7000 Series Ultrabooks, and the Latitude E7240 is the first to land in the PC Pro Labs. Following in the business-friendly footsteps of its predecessors, Dell has packed the Latitude E7240’s sturdy, 12.5in chassis with the latest Haswell technology and a range of office-friendly features.
Where other Ultrabooks tout eye-catching designs, the Latitude E7240 is tastefully reserved. The stiff-feeling lid is clad in brushed metal, while the keyboard and screen bezels are comprised of smooth, tough black plastics. There is a little flex in the base, but nothing worrying, and the metal skeleton running around the keyboard’s circumference gives some reassuring protection against accidental knocks or drops. It’s no lightweight as a result, though – the whole package weighs 1.44kg.
On the inside, the Latitude E7240 pairs Intel’s Haswell CPUs with solid-state storage. The basic £799 exc VAT model has a Core i5-4200U CPU, 4GB of DDR3L RAM and a 128GB SSD. However, our review model is the range-topping £1,259 exc VAT model, which has a top-flight Core i7-4600U CPU with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.
Not surprisingly, performance soars as a result, and the Dell achieved a lightning-quick 0.73 in our Real World Benchmarks. The Lite-On SSD definitely plays its part here: its sequential read and write speeds reached 476MB/sec and 323MB/sec respectively; scores we’ve only seen bettered by the PCI Express SSD in Apple's MacBook Air 13in.
Our review unit came with the larger of the two removable battery options, and the Dell’s 42Wh battery lasted an excellent 10hrs 28mins in our light-use battery test. If cost or weight savings are more crucial than stamina, however, Dell also makes a lighter, 31Wh battery. Bought separately, the 31Wh retails at £75 exc VAT, and the 45Wh retails at £95 exc VAT.
Most Ultrabooks provide scant connectivity, but not the Latitude E7240; it’s stuffed with an abundance of ports and features. There are three USB 3 ports, mini-DisplayPort, HDMI and a Gigabit Ethernet socket dotted around its edges, and Dell has also added a fingerprint and smart card reader. You can cut costs by specifying Dell-branded single-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, but our range-topping review unit came equipped with an Intel dual-band 802.11ac chipset, Bluetooth 4, NFC and 3G.
The Latitude's stereo speakers are superb, with audio quality that's as good as any laptop we’ve reviewed, and light years better than most business models.
|Dimensions||309 x 211 x 22mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i7-4600U|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,366|
|Resolution screen vertical||768|
|Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Graphics chipset||Intel HD Graphics 4400|
|Hard disk||LiteOn SSD|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|3.5mm audio jacks||1|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad/Touchscreen|
|Hardware volume control?||yes|
|Camera megapixel rating||0.9mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||10hr 28min|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||40fps|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.73|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||windows 7 Professional 64-bit|
|OS family||Windows 7|