This value is backed up by intelligent design and typically superb build quality. Fine, the D630 won’t win any beauty contests but that’s not the point. What you do get is a notebook that will stand the test of time, there’s no glossy finishes here, just a tough metallic grey that will happily endure years of being trailed around conference rooms and being handed down between different employees.
Yet this doesn’t mean the D630 is excessively thick or heavy. Weighing 2.4kg with the primary battery, 2.6kg with the extended battery, and measuring 30.3mm thick may not make it an ultra-portable, but it’s still light enough to carried around without too much hassle. This helps make the D630 a really good all rounder, being both large enough to include a reasonably sized keyboard and light enough to be taken out of office.
As with the whole chassis, the basic layout of the keyboard hasn’t changed with a keyboard that’s very nicely proportioned for everyday use. Our favourite bugbear is nowhere to be seen, with the Ctrl key correctly placed to the left of the Fn key while the majority of the keyboard layout is identical to a standard desktop keyboard, the only main differences being the lack of a number pad and the rearrangement of the nonessential keys to fit the chassis. This means that, for the most part, you get a proper sized keyboard, with a large UK style Return key and all the other things you would expect.
Using the keyboard you’d be forgiven for thinking the keys a little on spongy side, but given time it’s easier to appreciate the sense of depth and positive feedback provided. In many ways it’s more akin to a desktop keyboard than a notebook one, which is no doubt the intended effect. The only other annoyance is that the keys aren’t quite uniformly even, with some pressing down in the corners as you type, but this is a small complaint and otherwise the D630 provides a very pleasant typing experience.
One of the best features of the D620 was the combination of having both a touch point and a touch pad, and this remains a key feature of the D630. The touch point in particular is worthy of praise, being nicely proportioned, sensitive and accurate, while enabling you to control the cursor without moving your hands away from the keyboard.
Between the buttons for the touch pad is a fingerprint reader, which provides identification for the Trusted Platform Module that’s used in all of the Latitude range for security and data encryption. Alternatively there’s a Smart Card slot on the left edge of the notebook, providing a choice of authentication methods.