Dell Latitude E-Series: Latitude E6320 review

PREVIEW: Allow your thoughts to drift into the world of business laptops, and your mind is unlikely to be filled with technicolour potential. With dumpy desktop replacements and dull black portables almost always the order of the day, business all too often means boring. That, however, is a cliché some brands seem keen to dispel – none more so than Dell, with its new Latitude range.

The major surprise is just how much has changed. While the likes of Lenovo’s ThinkPads have retained their classic (some might say dated) all-black design, the Latitude has evolved.

Set against the boxy, jet-black physique of last year’s range, the new models mark a sea-change in Dell’s mobile division. Anodised aluminium lids abound, while those stark, polygonal edges have softened into gentle, classy curves. The premium 6-series models are distinguished from their 5-series counterparts by a subtle orange trim circling the keyboard.

Dell Latitude E6320 - front

The real standout of the group, however, is the 13.3in Latitude E6320, an early pre-production sample of which we were given for this preview. Were it not for the Latitude logo subtly etched into the keyboard’s silver surround, you’d imagine this might be the first glimpse of Dell’s new XPS. For a business laptop, it’s still just the right side of striking – the muted palette of grey and silver stops short of all-out ostentatiousness and retains a serious, workmanlike air.

It’s the transformation in build quality that truly stuns. Previous Latitudes never felt insubstantial, but they wilt next to the new generation. Dell’s redesign has seen the new Latitude emerge with a reinforced magnesium alloy chassis, strengthened further by a ring of alloy running around the circumference of each laptop. With spill-proof keyboards and MIL-STD-810G accreditation across the range, Dell is taking on not only the ThinkPads, but also Panasonic’s Toughbooks at their own game.

If the E6320 is anything to go by, the new design feels indestructible. Despite weighing in at just 1.89kg, the chassis is rock solid and without a hint of flex to be found anywhere; the lid and reinforced metal hinges were taut enough to resist our most aggressive twisting motions. Prod viciously against the display’s rear, meanwhile, and there’s no sign of any show-through on the display itself. It’s clear this laptop will take transatlantic flights and the perils of boisterous baggage-handlers in its stride.

Physical specifications

Dimensions335 x 224 x 30mm (WDH)
Travelling weight2.3kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core i5-2410M
Motherboard chipsetIntel QM67 Express
RAM capacity2.00GB
Memory typeDDR3
SODIMM sockets free1
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal1,366
Resolution screen vertical768
Resolution1366 x 768
Graphics chipsetIntel HD Graphics 2000
Graphics card RAM772MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0


Hard disk usable capacity233GB
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Hard diskWestern Digital WD2500BEVT-75A23T0
Optical disc technologyDVD writer
Optical driveTSSTcorp TS-U633J
Battery capacity2,200mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a supportyes
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno
Bluetooth supportno

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchyes
Wireless key-combination switchno
ExpressCard34 slots1
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)2
FireWire ports0
eSATA ports1
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks1
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readerno
MMC (multimedia card) readerno
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readerno
Pointing device typeTouchpad, trackpoint
Speaker locationFront edge
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating1.3mp
Fingerprint readerno
Smartcard readeryes
Carry caseno

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Professional 32-bit
OS familyWindows 7
Recovery methodRecovery partition
Software suppliedDell ControlPoint

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