Home / Computing / Laptop / Dell Latitude D410

Dell Latitude D410 review

By

Reviewed:

1 of 3

Dell Latitude D410
  • Dell Latitude D410
  • Dell Latitude D410
  • Dell Latitude D410

Summary

Our Score:

8

While we've looked at several notebooks from Dell, the Latitude D410 is the first from its range of business laptops. While the Inspiron brand caters for the consumer, the Latitudes are more corporate minded products. Rather than being frequently refreshed with the latest and greatest technologies, the Latitude range offers the valuable commodity of consistency, with Dell guaranteeing that the products and related parts will be available for a given period of time. This is very important to corporate customers who want to be able to settle on a particular model, roll it out to its employees and be sure it will receive support further down the line.

That said, the D410 is actually based on Intel's latest mobile Centrino platform, codenamed Sonoma. This offers a number of benefits over the first iteration of Centrino, such as support for PCI Express, SATA hard disks, DDR2 memory, and the new Express card format. However, the D410 employs only two of these - PCI Express and DDR2. There's also a D400 available, based on the older 855 chipset, but going for the latest technology will keep the machine current for longer.

The processor is a Pentium M 750, running at 1.86GHz - pretty high for a small notebook and as we'll see, the D410 turned in some pretty impressive scores. This CPU is backed with 512MB of memory and as it’s two pieces of 256MBs, it's running in dual-channel configuration.

But it's not just technology that the D410 has going for it. It's also very compact, with its 278 x 238 x 31.9mm dimensions and 1.72Kg weight placing it into the sub-notebook category, though it's some way off from the ultra portability of something like a Sony X505, Samsung Q30 or even Dell's own Latitude X1. Even so, if you need to carry around a notebook all day, every day, this is at the very least the sort of weight you should be looking at. My Apple iBook is fairly compact but at 2.2Kg I frequantly wish I had something even more lightweight. Inevitably, compromises have had to be made to reach this level of portabilty, but with an sub-notebook, this is inevitable.

First of these is the relatively modest screen size of 12.1 inches offering XGA resolution. Personally, I've found that the 1,024 x 768 resolution on my Apple iBook has become quite restrictive, so corporate clients should take into account what sort of tasks this notebook will be used for. If multiple documents need to be viewed at the same time, an ultra-portable with a small display is probably not the best way to go. But for presentation work, and just text work it will suffice. The screen is a conventional 4:3 ratio and lacks the high contrast reflective coating that is all the rage these days on many consumer notebooks, but again, this isn't the market this notebook is aimed at. It is however, a rather dull display, even on full brightness, but this is merely uninspiring rather than disappointing. This does rather suggest a pun on it not being an Inspiron, but perhaps that's something best avoided. Contrast is pretty good though and the viewing angles are reasonable too. In fact the screen can tilt back until it's virtually flat though try as we might we couldn't find any real benefit for this. Suggestions on a postcard.

The next area of compromise is the keyboard. Corporate fat cats will certainly have difficulty getting their stubby fingers to type at speed on the keys, which are on the small side. The right side Shift key has been shrunk, as has the space bar, but once I got used to it, thanks to a pleasing key action I was able to pick up some speed. After a while though, things do feel a little cramped, and I wouldn’t want to type on it for extended periods of time. Above the keyboard in the middle is the power key and to the right of this is a rocker switch for the speaker volume and a mute button.

Jetinder

August 30, 2009, 6:45 pm

Bought this laptop 2nd hand and in good condition off e-bay, so far i've had it for 6 weeks and I love it. The more i use it, more i adore it.





Next to the current range of netbooks the D410 is similar in size and weight, it feels just as good but at half the price of most new netbooks.





I have a 1.86ghz cpu this is faster than ones in any new netbook, upgrading ram, upgrading a hard drive to a bigger one is easy.





The D410 uses IDE hard drive which in August 2009 you can still buy and uses DDR2 PC4300 or DDR2 PC4200 ram.





The D410 can handle any thing I throw at it, outside the office or home its perfect as a portable PC. Its small, light, easy to hold, carry around and use.





Wifi is brilliant, this laptop can find any wifi in the area and stick with it at full speed.





Playing youtube vidoes via wifi, listening to music via the ear phone socket while working on 3-4 other documents is easy and D410 does it in style.





It can play computer games but I never tried to play modern games on it (as via an emulator I love playing games from ZX Spectrum or Commodore 64).





D410 comes pre-installed with Windows XP Pro but installing any other operating system including Ubuntu (Linux) or newer versions of Windows is straight forward and will work.





It has a 12.1 inch screen which is easy to use, its bright and pin sharp with good colours. Text is crisp and clear (infact I'm writing this review on it thats how good the screen is). Being a Dell its well made, it has a feel of quality, you feel you can trust it and computer repair shops can fix it.





You can buy plenty of spare parts for it including new batteries from 3rd parties at good non rip off prices. Best batteries to get are 6600mah or 7200mah which (depending on usage) last from 5-7 solid hrs.





You can go to Dell's website and down both service manuals and user manuals (very useful for upgrading or fixing the D410), The same website also has a good forum where you can get a lot of help from.





Keyboard feels like its a normal size, its good, solid and positive. Like all netbooks the D410 doesn't come with a CD drive but you can either use a 3rd party USB CD drive or you can buy an external CD drive from Dell.





The D410 only has 1 speaker (as it was originally designed for business users who had no need for stereo speakers) but it has phono socket so you can plug your MP3 player's head phones in to it and the sound is perfect.





According to Dell the D410 can use any accessory made for other Dell Latitude D series netbooks.





Overall if I needed a 2nd netbook I'd buy another D410 and I highly recommended it to anyone.

comments powered by Disqus