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Dell Latitude ATG D620 - Semi-Rugged Notebook - Dell Latitude ATG D620
The screen in the ATG is different from the standard D620 in more ways than just resolution though, Dell has also done its best to make the screen both safe and usable when used outside. First up, the screen is shock mounted, so it should be able to survive the odd knock or drop - but this isn't a fully rugged notebook so don't expect to be able to drop it from a metre high like you can with a fully rugged ToughBook. The other big difference is the screen brightness, with this ATG sporting a screen brightness of 500cd/m2. It has to be said that this screen is very bright and I definitely found it usable even in bright sunlight. Of course you don't want 500cd/m2 of brightness searing through your retina while you're working indoors, so it's good to see that the ambient light sensor seen in the standard D620 is still present - simply activate the sensor and the screen brightness will drop to a level that's perfect for your current lighting conditions.
The screen has a high contrast glossy coating, which also helps viewing in bright sunlight, although this can be a hindrance when a mixture of ambient light sources are present. That said, I like this type of screen and especially the vivid and vibrant colours that they produce. However, one thing that I do like to see in a rugged notebook is a touch screen, since if you're working out in the field and it's cold, it's far easier to stab at icons on the screen then try to use a touchpad or trackpoint. Unfortunately the ATG doesn't come with a touch screen option.
The seven row keyboard is again identical standard D620 and again this is no bad thing. Although the keyboard isn't up to the standards of say, a ThinkPad, it's definitely not a bad example. The Tab, Shift, Caps Lock, Ctrl, Return and Backspace keys are all large and easy to strike. The cursor keys are dropped away from the main keyboard for easy access and commendably, Dell has placed the Ctrl key at the bottom left corner of the keyboard where it should be. There's a decent amount of travel in the keys and a solid enough break, but there does appear to be slightly more flex than there was in the original D620. As a result the keyboard rattles when you're typing at high speed.
Dell has taken a leaf out of Lenovo's book and mounted lights above the screen which illuminate the keyboard. Two red LED's do a very good job of lighting up the whole screen with a subtle glow, allowing you to see all the keys even in a darkened room.