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Dell Latitude E4200 12.1in Ultra-Portable - Dell Latitude E4200 12.1in Ultra-Portable

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



Our Score:


Another interesting new feature of the Latitude range is the remote Tracking & Recovery service. It's an added extra, starting at £15 for one year's Tracking & Recovery and £20 for the Remote Data Deletion option, but if you're concerned about theft (which with a notebook like this you should be) it could prove invaluable. This is made possible by a software agent and BIOS embedded persistence module, both of which can survive OS re-installation, hard drive re-formatting and even hard drive replacement.

When reported stolen the laptop will report its location when connected to the Internet and if you choose the remote deletion option, you can instruct sensitive data on the machine to be deleted remotely. In addition, in systems with GPS fitted (this is integrated into the HSDPA module on E4200) the service gives you even more accurate location data, also making it possible to track a unit's movements within a company.

Thanks partly to the very fast SSD, the E4200 performed well in all of our benchmarks -- giving the similarly priced Sony VAIO TT11MN a good thrashing and comfortably besting the Toshiba Portégé R600 and its slower SSD. Its speed is particularly well demonstrated in our in-house batch image editing test, where the E4200 proved over 30 per cent faster than the Sony and just under 15 per cent faster than the Toshiba. In real-world use this speed ensures exceedingly snappy general operation when opening files, programs and brisk boot-up and shutdown times.

Battery life is also very good. It might not quite match the VAIO TT, but the E4200 managed a creditable four and a quarter hours in the Productivity segment of MobileMark 2007 and an excellent five hours and 26 minutes in the Reader test. If you opt for the four-cell battery, or purchase both, you can expect more or less exactly half these figures when using it. And, of course, when using the Latitude ON Reader you can enjoy more battery life than you're ever likely to need, too.

These impressive results are the cherry on top of a generally very impressive cake. Granted, if you do need an integrated optical drive (or a webcam) you'll have to look elsewhere, but this is becoming less of a necessity these days and in every other respect the E4200 delivers everything a business ultra-portable needs. It's light and portable, sturdy and durable, is easy to use and has all the security features a road warrior needs to keep their data secure. Throw in some nice extras, such as the instant-on Linux OS, remote security options, the small 45W power supply and the powered USB port, and the E4200 is a worthy successor to the D430.


So long as you don't need an optical drive, the E4200 is an ideal option for the serious businessperson on the move.

Bill Broadley

January 19, 2009, 6:49 am

"One thing you can't change, however, is the 12.1in, 1,280 x 800 display. As with all notebooks this size it's an LED backlit effort and is suitably sharp, bright and legible in bright light thanks to the anti-glare finish. It's a shame there's no option for a higher resolution, but we've yet to see a 12.1in"

The thinkpad x200s is 1440x900 and the x200 uses CFL not LEDs as a backlight.


January 19, 2009, 8:07 am

Bill, I believe Andy meant TR hasn't reviewed one yet. I would like to see a pair of reviews of the X200 and X200s. Is it likely you guys will review one/both?

Andy Vandervell

January 19, 2009, 2:08 pm

Yeah, that's was what I was saying, but thanks for pointing that out Bill. We are indeed looking into getting the X200 in for review.


January 19, 2009, 6:09 pm

The "instant on" feature reminds me how quick it used to be to boot up my Acorn Archimedes. The whole OS was kept on ROM, and starting up took about 10 seconds from cold. When we've got the superfast SSD and quick booting Windows 7, could this sort of boot time be a possiblity? Notebooks surely all need this sort of pre-boot option.


January 21, 2009, 4:49 am

Thanks for a nice review! With this wonderfully up-to-date connectivity package comprising all of USB, Firewire, and e-SATA, one wonders why they didn't opt for a DisplayPort connector. Maybe simply because Intel was late delivering proper driver support for that?

PC Pro also reviewed this machine (at http://www.pcpro.co.uk/os/r... ) and were complaining that the screen was below par. Do you have any comments on that?


October 27, 2014, 2:10 pm

Nice to return to this review after all these years. I have been quite pleased with this laptop. The keyboard is worse than the D430 but not bad. The touchpad is flaky at best. The screen is sharp and bright, but viewing angles are horrible. And a HDMI or DP-connector would have been nice.

Still I have been very pleased with it. The docking connector, internal 3G-chip, long battery life and low weight have been its saving grace. It has been a perfect companion for trips out and about and has taken a fair amount of abuse without complaining. Had the same laptop been released today but with a Haswell/Broadcom CPU and an IPS screen I would feel happy to buy it once again. Low weight and a tiny footprint for the win. And this is still one of the lightest proper business laptops ever released.

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