In terms of size the D430 isn’t necessarily the slimmest or lightest ultra-portable, but this isn’t to its detriment because it’s still very portable and it’s sturdier than many other notebooks in this class. With the standard 6-cell battery it weighs 1.49kg, while inserting the provided 9-cell battery increases this to 1.68kg – still well under 2kg. This is pretty significant, since you can use the extended battery and still not feel too burdened by weight.
Given the size the D430 isn’t as endowed with connectivity as some, but Dell has done a decent enough job squeezing all the most important things onto the diminutive chassis. Starting on the left edge, there’s a lock slot followed by Microphone and Headphone jacks. Next to them is the PC Card slot, while a 5-in-1 Card Reader (SD, MMC, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro and xD) sits nearest to the front.
You may also be able notice a small gap underneath the PC Card slot, which is reserved for a Smart Card. This provides authentication for the integrated Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which encrypts sensitive data and ensures your system can’t be accessed without the provided card – presuming you’ve set this feature active.
Since there’s no optical drive, the right edge is rather sparsely populated with features such as USB ports and the like being reserved for the back of the machine. As such, the only things worth noting here is the Wi-Fi Catcher and On/Off switch and Power button.
Finally, on the back, you’ll find most of the ports and connections you’re likely to use on a daily basis. First there are the Ethernet and Modem ports; these are followed by two well spaced USB ports and a D-Sub port. Next is another USB port, which is slightly different from the other two because it’s a “powered” port with an extra connector just above it for powering the external optical drive bay. Finishing things off there’s a 4-pin FireWire port, with the DC-in tucked away in the corner.
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