Dell is known for their expertise when it comes to notebooks, laptops, and computers. The Latitude range has been one of their biggest yet delivering the goods to both home and office users. We’re here to review the Dell Latitude E6420 to see what features and specs it can bring to your setup and see if it’s worth the investment.
Dell is one of the leaders in computers, and their range of notebooks is usually a cut above the rest.
If you’re in the market for a new laptop, it’s sometimes better to look back a few years and find one that’s been delivering rave reviews, opting for the refurbished version.
One such case is the Dell Latitude E6420, originally released in 2011, but still measuring up to today’s standards. For those looking for a computer that can take them from the home to office without a fuss, this model from Dell can certainly tick most of the boxes.
An Overview Of The Dell Latitude E6420
When Dell released the E6420 in 2011, it was intended to be so much more than what else was on the market at that time. Not content with being just another basic work computer or something that could do the simple tasks you needed to at home, it was built to perform and do so without a fuss.
All of their Latitude branded laptops are made with business in mind, but not just small business, large enterprises. Although it is a 14-inch laptop, it packs a punch, so it could be ideal for gaming but probably not your best option available.
These computers have managed to keep their popularity even after all these years and the market for refurbished ones is flourishing. They revamped the design from the previous model of the Latitude so it looks as modern as you can hope for, and it performs out of sight, so read on to see just what it can offer you.
Features And Specifications
The best way to know if a laptop is the one for you is to match up the specs to your needs. By seeing what the computer is capable of you’ll know if it’s going to be able to provide everything you need, so here’s what the Dell Latitude E6420 has to offer in its base model.
- Multitouch screen and 14.0-inch LED glossy 720p display;
- Intel Core i5-2540M dual-core processor;
- Windows 7 Professional 64-bit system;
- Intel HD graphics and Intel QM67 chipset;
- Bluetooth 3.0;
- Integrated webcam;
- 4.0GB memory with 8GB max memory supported;
- 320GB Western Digital hard drive;
- 4.5lbs pounds including battery;
- 3-year basic hardware service;
- Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 wireless network adapter;
When first released, the starting price for this model was around $1,300 and that was at its most basic. Today, you can get a quality refurbished E6420 for around $150 which is pretty good value when you buy from a reputable seller. For something small and compact for gaming needs, it could be just what you’ve been looking for.
Who Should Buy This Computer?
When Dell released the E6420 they had one customer in mind: business folk. This was the notebook that would serve as your one stop shop for anything you needed, whether it was at the home or office.
However, they weren’t satisfied making just a basic laptop, as this one had enough to perform at all levels of business. Even large enterprises would find it had enough power to suit them, and so that’s how it transcended over into being a great computer for home, even for those who liked to game.
Although it can be useful for gamers, it’s not going to be suitable for current generation games due to the lack of compatibility. However, if you’re after something for last gen games or those that you played in your youth, it does a surprisingly good job of handling them. For such a cheap refurbished price it makes a great investment, especially if you need something for all aspects of life.
Design And Strength
Dell seemed to have high performance in mind when they created the E6420 and not just in terms of the insides. The design of the laptop makes it seriously tough and durable, made from magnesium alloy and coated with a brushed aluminum finish that makes it trendy and strong at the same time.
Not only satisfied with making their devices look tough, Dell wanted to be sure they could act the part as well. This notebook went through a number of rigorous tests on behalf of the tech giant so they could stand behind the claims of its strength. The E6420 can withstand drops from tall heights, extreme weather conditions, vibrations, and spills, among many other challenges.
Screen And Display
You can type away in documents or send emails with virtually any screen, but those interested in gaming probably want to know how it performs in these settings. Although the 14-inch screen offers just enough space to play your favorite titles, it might not be huge enough for a permanent gaming solution.
The basic model comes with a 1336 x 769 resolution but there are upgrades available for a little extra. With the addition of a matte screen, they also ensure you keep the glare down which means gaming in all conditions. However, the colors aren’t as rich as what you can find on other comparably priced models of the era.
The keyboard has pretty standard and traditional keys and they’re larger than usual, so you don’t feel uncomfortable like you would on some other devices this size. With both a pointing stick and touchpad you have options for how to use it, but it seems the pointing stick was a little too rigid to be used for gameplay. This is where your mousepad would be the best option, thanks to its smoothness.
Performance Of The Machine
There’s no need mentioning any of the other parts if we can’t get down to its performance, so how exactly does the E6420 stack up? The most basic model comes with a 2.67 GHz Intel Core i5-2540M processor and uses Sandy Bridge architecture in its design. If you want it, you can get the Core i7 option which gives you a dual-core approach.
When compared to other devices, it took home the prize in terms of performance. The Lenovo T410 and HP 8740w which were both comparable in price and other functions didn’t come near in terms of speed and processing. Other apps like Adobe Photoshop also showed off its strength in speed and performance, as well as older generation games.
Unlike other compact business laptops, gaming is very possible and enjoyable with this one. Thanks to Sandy Bridge, the processors have a much better graphics system and there’s no need to upgrade to get it. It comes with an Intel HD Graphics 3000 chipset and you can even upgrade for a small fee to the Nvidia NVS 4200 M if you need. These types of upgrades just aren’t possible with other similar laptops that only offer integrated graphics.
Other Notable Features
In addition to its performances, there are plenty of other features worth noting that were covered off in the specifications. The 9-cell battery is probably the most obvious benefit, and although it adds some weight to the overall device, it does help it perform longer. Tests found the average running time was around 8 hours which smashes the competition, so keep this in mind if you’re regularly playing without power.
There’s nothing spectacularly new in terms of features, especially now that the device is seven years old, but they’ve covered off every basic need you have. There are four USB ports, and features like a VGA, SmartCard, and ExpressCard slot. However, if you’re looking for somewhere to plug your USB 3.0 device into you’ll be disappointed. A HDMI port and Gigabit Ethernet port are also available, adding even more to its versatility.
You’ll also find a DVD drive to watch movies or game, but no burner included. It comes with an integrated webcam that’s standard and the quality isn’t that great, but for basic business and friendly calls, it will get the job done.
When Dell released the E6420 it came with a lot of fanfare, and that fanfare still stands up today an incredible amount even seven years later. The E6420 is robust, and to give one look at it you’ll see what we mean. With a brushed metal face and sturdy body, even for a 14-inch device, it seems tough.
In addition to this toughness, Dell ensures that the entire laptop is spill resistant. If you’re someone who likes a coffee or soda while they’re enjoying their gaming or office work, there’s no need to fear about any spills doing serious damage. However, just by looking at the cover, it seems not much can penetrate it anyway.
In terms of performance, this is great for what was meant to be a business laptop. Every user will find what they’re looking for here whether it’s the Intel Sandy Bridge processors or the number of business features to use. With integrated graphics and serious Intel Core processors, it really has everything you need for business and pleasure.
When it came out, the E6420 was considered pricey, at around $1,300 in 2011. By today’s standards, that’s worth over $2,000 and you might not pay that today. However, getting one of these in a refurbished condition with just as much quality as it once had will cost you a little over $100 today, so it’s exceptional value for money.
When you think of a 14-inch laptop you’re immediately drawn to it because it’s compact and lightweight, right? Wrong. One huge downfall with the Dell Latitude E6420 is that it’s extremely heavy for something of this size. So much so that we’d say if you’re planning on doing a lot of traveling with it, you might want to continue looking.
Depending on what model you get, you may not have the luxury of a backlit keyboard so this could affect gaming. If you do happen to get one without a backlit keyboard, you’d probably need to spend extra buying a specified gaming keyboard, so keep that in mind when looking at your budget.
One final area where this machine doesn’t stack up is the interior. Although the outside seems robust and sturdy, when you open it up it seems as if things could break at any minute. If you’re using it for gaming and usually like to give your devices a fair thrashing, you could be hesitant when playing with the E6420.
Final Thoughts On The Dell Latitude E6420
There’s no denying that this is a seriously stacked laptop, even if it was made back in 2011. Dell has managed to create something more powerful and high performing than others on the market at its time, as long as you can put up with carrying around the extra weight.
This laptop will do you well for pretty much every aspect of life. It was predominantly made to be a business device and that’s obviously where it does its best work, but for someone looking for an affordable but reliable refurbished laptop that can do it all, the Dell Latitude E6420 does a good job.
For those interested in gaming specifically on this device, it really depends on what you’re looking for. It’s got enough graphics in it to support previous generation games and will do a fine job, but for modern ones, you need to upgrade significantly. Depending on your gaming style and what titles you’re looking to enjoy, this could be the one for you or a huge miss.
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