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Dell Latitude E7440: Keyboard, Touchpad and Verdict

By Mike Jennings


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Review Price £1,504.00

Dell Latitude E7440 – Keyboard & Trackpad

If you need more evidence that this is a business machine, look at the keyboard: it’s a traditional unit that ignores fashionable Chiclet-style designs, and it’s backlit with several degrees of illumination.

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We had no issues with the Latitude’s typing action. Every key hammers down with a consistent, snappy action that encourages rapidity, and the base is firm. The Return key and space bar are sensibly sized, the cursor keys aren’t shrunk, and there are shortcut keys and discrete buttons for common actions. The only downside comes from this laptop’s modest size, which means there’s no room for a numberpad.

The touchpad is wide, smooth and responsive, and supports Windows 8’s gestures, and there’s a pair of light buttons. The trackpoint is mixed: its buttons are high-quality, but the point itself has little clearance from the keyboard, which makes it tricky to use.

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Other things to consider

There’s no denying the high price of this particular E7440, but more modest specifications are available for smaller budgets.

The model beneath our sample in Dell’s range costs £1,367, and it’s got a slower Core i5 processor and just 4GB of RAM – but a touchscreen, which our review model doesn’t have. Dell’s £1,187 version has a Core i5 CPU, a 128GB SSD and a non-touch panel, and the most affordable 7000-series machine costs a reasonable £839 – but has a 1,366 x 768 screen and mechanical hard disk.

Every model can be customised with a multitude of service options. The three-year next-business-day warranty included with every 7000-series laptop can be upgraded with one or two extra years, and ProSupport can be added for these deals too – prices run from £30 to £226.

Accidental damage and theft protection options range from £36 to £109, and encryption, data protection and anti-theft tags and tracking options make this machine even more secure.

It’s even possible for Dell to tweak options in the BIOS before the laptop has left the factory. The docking station port on the bottom of the machine plugs into a £156 unit that serves up two USB 3 ports, three USB 2 connectors, audio jacks, DVI, DisplayPort and D-SUB outputs, an eSATA connection and another Gigabit Ethernet port.

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Should I Buy the Dell Latitude E7440?

The Latitude excels in several important areas. Its components are the match of its rivals, the screen has a high-resolution, great brightness and a matte finish, and it’s got excellent ergonomics and connectivity. It’s all contained inside a chassis that’s one of the sturdiest on the market – a key attribute for a business machine.

The screen’s mediocre colour accuracy means the panel doesn’t have the all-round quality of the Sony, though, and its battery didn’t last quite as long as the VAIO. Lenovo’s machine has a better keyboard and trackpoint.

The price, too, is a sticking point. The Dell is around £500 more expensive than the flimsier Sony, and the ThinkPad isn’t much pricier – but, if we craved a high-quality keyboard, we’d pay the difference.


It’s a three-way battle for the title of "best business Ultrabook", and the Dell is a top contender – anyone who buys this machine will not be disappointed. Examine your priorities before you take the plunge, though; the Latitude is a powerful, well-made all-rounder, but the lighter Sony has a superior screen, and the Lenovo has a slightly better keyboard.

Next, read our pick of the best laptops

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William Prince

March 6, 2014, 1:05 am

I've been using the E7440 for 6 months. With HD screen and 256 meg SSD (the liteon leaves my previous Samsung 830 behind) it is the best business laptop I've used. The fans very rarely cycle up - it is cool and the battery life is good enough to work away from a plug without worrying.

I waited to upgrade to Haswell as Dell has been insisting on using terrible screens for business laptops for the last few years. A backward step - no idea how people use 1366 x 768 for work/our company is full of them?

You will definitely need the mini port/VGA adapter for presentations - and for me if I undock/dock the USB ports don't always work on the docking station until a reboot, but this seems better after a Bios update?

Even better as I'm in Hong Kong the price was several hundred pounds less - or is that Dell ripping off the UK?

Excellent upgrade from my creaking 5 year old Latitude E6000 series - with 1400x900 screen. Easy to slide into your case - which I keep checking it is in as so light in comparison.

Great business laptop.

Gareth Barber

March 6, 2014, 10:15 am

A powerful machine with great specs, but 1.6kg, thats not really ultrabook territory now is it?
Spec wise its no different from the sony pro, its also around the same price, and the sony pro is <1kg, which has made it my every day machine, my vaio z12 (2010) seems beastly in comparison, the other aspect is the instant boot.

14 inch screen instead of 13 though, and removable battery, the sony pro has the battery slate, but its not really the same thing.

Oscar of the Wilde

July 30, 2014, 10:40 am

It made my paws itch and didn't have a cup holder.


December 31, 2014, 12:37 pm

The E5440 however is awful, with the fan at 3,000rpm almost constantly and only switching off if you leave it completely idle for 10 minutes.

Apparently this incredibly dumb fan control behaviour is by design, meaning this will be my first and last Dell.

Dan Zee

January 20, 2015, 3:52 pm

I couldn't get the jack port to work as a line in... any hep is appreciated. When I plug in anything, the pop up allows me to choose speakers, headsets, but not Line in and there is no manual setting either... Windows 7 this machine is... :(

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