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Also like Apple notebooks is the integrated ambient light sensor. This sensor constantly measures the ambient light around the notebook and adjusts the backlight accordingly. This means that the screen should always be lit perfectly for your current lighting conditions. If you find yourself at odds with the brightness setting that the sensor chooses, you can turn it off and manually configure the backlight.
Below the screen is a seven row keyboard – mimicking one of the ThinkPad’s unique features. To be honest, it’s more of a 6.5 row keyboard, since the top row only stretches across half the width of the notebook. The keyboard isn’t quite up to ThinkPad standards, but then I’ve never found a competing notebook keyboard that is. That said, Dell has equipped the D620 with a very respectable keyboard – all the keys exhibit a decent amount of travel with a solid break. The Caps Lock, Shift, Return and Backspace keys are all large, as one would have hoped. But Dell has gone the extra mile by making sure that the Ctrl key is in the bottom left corner where it should be, while also making this key slightly larger to make it even easier to strike. The cursor keys are also dropped away from the main keyboard making them very easy to access.
Pointer manipulation is very well catered for. Nestling between the G, H and B keys is a blue trackpoint. I’m a big fan of trackpoints, since you don’t have to move your hands away from the keyboard when using them. There are two corresponding buttons below the Spacebar, which are easily accessible with either thumb. If you don’t like trackpoints, there is also a high quality touchpad with a widescreen aspect ratio to match the screen. The obligatory two selector buttons lie below the touchpad, but conspicuous by its absence is any form of scrolling area on the touchpad itself.
There is also a fingerprint scanner below the touchpad allowing the user to secure the notebook using the biometric data stored on their fingertip. Obviously fingerprint security is not perfect, but I’m all for any extra layer of security when it comes to notebooks, especially something simple like swiping your finger. Ultimately end users want simple solutions, and if they can swipe a finger instead of remembering a password, they might be more inclined to at least try to secure their notebook.
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