The final piece of the wireless puzzle is the most interesting. Dell will soon be offering integrated 3G modules on the whole Latitude range. Unfortunately this option isn’t available yet, but it should be very soon. However, this review unit does indeed have the 3G module built into it – I did try slapping a 3G SIM into the module and seeing if I could get it to work, but Dell hasn’t installed drivers or software to control the module. I’m not sure how much this feature will add to the price of a Latitude D620, but as a regular 3G data card user, I would say that it is definitely a worthwhile option to go for.
The 3G module was present in this review sample, but there was no driver or software loaded - this will be an option soon.
When Dell does offer the 3G module as an option, it will be doing so in conjunction with Vodafone. The notebooks will ship with a Vodafone SIM already installed, then it’s just a matter of calling Vodafone and activating the SIM if you want to start using it. But don’t worry if you already have a 3G data card because Dell and Vodafone assured me that the module will accept any 3G SIM (Three excepted), so if you already have a data card with a contract, you can just remove the SIM and slip it into the Dell. The 3G module that Dell is shipping supports the new HSDPA standard, so you can potentially enjoy download speeds of up to 1.8Mbit/sec while you’re out and about.
The right side of the chassis is dominated by the integrated DVD writer, along with two USB 2.0 ports. The front is empty to facilitate the extended battery, but the left side is pretty full. There’s a single Type II PC Card slot, the hardware switch for the wireless adapters, an IrDA port, headphone socket, microphone socket and a smartcard reader.