Dell Latitude ATG D620 – Semi-Rugged Notebook Review - Dell Latitude ATG D620 Review

Pointer manipulation is well taken care of with both a touchpad and a trackpoint in evidence. The blue trackpoint is recessed between the G, H and B keys, while two large, silver buttons are positioned directly below the Spacebar. Below the trackpoint buttons is the sliver touchpad – this offers smooth and accurate movement, along with a widescreen aspect ratio to match the screen. Below the touchpad are two selector buttons, although these are smaller than the ones for the trackpoint since a fingerprint scanner has been squeezed in between them.

The inclusion of a fingerprint scanner is a good thing though, especially on a notebook that’s going to be used in the great outdoors, where there’s more chance of you losing it and your precious data. The ATG D620 can also be further secured with a smartcard – there’s a slot on the left of the chassis and the machine can be enabled to only operate when the card is in situ.

Inside the ATG D620 is an Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 dual core CPU running at 2GHz along with 1GB of RAM. My review sample was loaded with Windows XP, but if you choose to go with Vista I’d suggest a memory upgrade to 2GB. There’s an 80GB hard disk, which is encased in a shock resistant enclosure, so you shouldn’t lose your data if you happen to drop the ATG.

Wireless connectivity is as good as it gets with this semi-rugged machine. the Centrino Duo badge gives away the fact that there’s an Intel PRO/Wireless 3945abg Wi-Fi adapter, supporting 802.11a, b and g standards. There’s also integrated Bluetooth for transferring files to and from your mobile phone or even using a Bluetooth headset for VoIP. But the jewel in the wireless crown is an integrated HSDPA module. I slapped a Vodafone SIM into the slot hiding behind the battery, fired up Dell’s own Mobile Broadband Card utility, and within seconds I was surfing the web at 1.8Mbit/sec.

The HSDPA or Mobile Broadband as Vodafone likes to call it, is a serious boon in a notebook like this. Because the ATG is designed to be used out in the field, being constantly connected, regardless of location is an invaluable tool. Of course you’re only going to get full HSDPA in cities and surrounding areas, but I had no problem getting the full complement of 1.8Mbit/sec at the TrustedReviews offices out in Ascot.

For wired connectivity the ATG sports an integrated 56K modem and a Gigabit Ethernet controller. The latter is particularly useful for corporate users who will no doubt have a high speed backbone in the office – with a Gigabit connection the transfer of large files will be a fast and painless procedure.

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