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Dell Latitude D410 - Dell Latitude D410

By Benny Har-Even



Our Score:


There's no dedicated buttons for enabling or disabling wireless, but this can be done instead by using the function key and pressing F2. To the left of the power switch are two lights that indicate when the integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled and in the base of the screen are indicator lights for power, hard disk activity and charging status. The function keys also provide shortcuts for Standby and Hibernate modes. Dell has also done well to supply both a trackpoint and a trackpad so you can choose which control method you prefer. A utility enables you to turn off the track pad if you want to avoid unwanted screen taps.

The next area of compromise due to the size is the fact that there's no built-in optical drive. There is however, an external docking station, which Dell supplied with a DVD combo drive enabling you to watch movies or copy files onto a CD-RW. This also provides extra ports in the form of Ethernet, a modem, two USB, a serial and a parallel port and a PS/2 port for an external keyboard or mouse. There's also a VGA output, a headphone out and an external power connector. There's also room ofr an second battery, and you can purchase an extra 9-cell battery in addition to the 6-cell unit supplied. The latter has power remaining indicator lights built-in, activated by pressing a button on the battery. Attaching the D410 to the MediaBase was straightforward though I found that it I had to push it down a few times to get it to click into place. Once attached, the MediaBase’s connections and the optical drive appear in Windows Device Manager.

Fixed storage wise, Dell has provided a 40GB hard disk, which isn't huge but is reasonable for a machine of this size. Round the back of the notebook is a VGA output, two USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet connection and an analogue modem port. There's also a power socket and the connector attached to the external power block is pleasingly solid, ensuring that it will last the course of a life on the road. Indeed the build quality of the D410 is very solid, with no flimsy surfaces or spongy plastics that often afflict cheaper machines.

At the right hand side of the notebook is a single Type II PC Card connection with Dell. There's no Express card support - something to bear in mind for the future. Next to this are headphone and microphone sockets, so you can use a headset, useful for making Skype calls.

On the opposite side is another standard USB 2.0 port and a lanyard security connector. Finally there's a 'ye olde' infra red port.

Ultimately though, what’s so impressive about the D410 is the amount of performance that Dell has managed to squeeze into such a small package. This is largely in part to the Sonoma specifications. Certainly the integrated 915 chipset graphics aren’t that impressive but no one would think of doing any serious gaming on a notebook like this. More impressive is the CPU and I/O scores. The overall SYSmark 2002 score of 215 is great, and the Dell thoroughly outpaced the Sonoma based Sony we looked at a few days ago in all tests. This includes the battery tests, with the system lasting almost three hours.

The biggest criticisms that can be levelleled at the Dell is that it is a bit lacking in the style stakes. Certainly when you open it you won’t be as impressed as you would as you might be by an IBM Thinkpad or a up-market Sony. But when you’re in an airport somewhere, and need to get some work done quickly and efficiently, this won’t matter too much.


The D410 is typically Dell. It may be lacking in the style stakes but this is an impressive business ultra portable notebook with a docking station for the hot-desker. Though the screen is average and the keyboard a touch cramped, when you consider the features, performance, build quality and the price, the Dell D410 will win over your mind, if not, perhaps, your heart.


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.

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