If you’re really concerned with security, you’ll be pleased to know that the D620 also has an integrated smartcard reader, so you can make sure that no one can access your machine unless they are in possession of the correct smartcard. In this day and age where the data on a notebook is often far more valuable than the hardware itself, it’s good to see that Dell is doing its best to make its machines as secure as possible.
The review sample that Dell sent me was equipped with an extended battery, but unlike most extended batteries that protrude at the rear, this one actually protrudes at the front. At first I thought that I would find this solution incredibly annoying, but in practice I didn’t. I think it helps that the protruding part of the battery has a rubberised finish, so if you do brush your wrists on it, it actually feels quite nice. The battery also has a charge indicator, which allows you to see how much charge your notebook has without needing to switch it on.
Inside the D620 things are also very encouraging with an Intel Core Duo T2500 driving things along at 2GHz. There’s also 1GB of RAM installed, although the Intel integrated graphics chipset will steal a small amount of this. Storage is well taken care of with an 80GB hard disk - although this may not be as large as some notebook hard drives, with a corporate machine a great deal of user data will be stored on a server so masses of hard disk space isn’t necessarily required.
Dell has really pushed the boat out when it comes to wireless connectivity. There’s an Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Wi-Fi adapter, which supports 802.11a,b and g. There’s also an integrated Bluetooth adapter, so you will be able to transfer files from your mobile phone, or even a digital camera like the Kodak EasyShare V610. A nice touch is that the hardware switch that turns the Wi-Fi on and off, doubles up as a Wi-Fi detector when the notebook is switched off. This means that you can check whether there is a Wi-Fi network near you without having to boot into Windows, although it won’t tell you if it’s an open or secure network.