Connection wise the D630 is well catered for. On the left edge you’ll find microphone and headphone jacks, a 4-pin FireWire port and a slider, which doubles as a wireless on/off switch and a Wi-Fi Catcher switch. Just below these is the slim Smart Card slot, while a little further on is a Type II PC Card slot. Also on the left edge is the obligatory security lock slot, but on the front there are no connections at all since the battery is situated toward the front.
As it’s larger than the standard one, this means that the extended battery juts out of the front. On the plus side it has a nice soft touch rubber finish and doubles as a wrist rest. It’s also provides a handy way for carrying the notebook, which is no bad thing either.
The right edge is dominated by the optical drive; however there are two USB ports mounted horizontally one above the other. On the back there’s a further two USB ports mounted vertically, providing four overall. It’s a small point but a good one, enabling a USB keyboard and mouse to be connected, while providing two further USB devices to be connected without using a hub. Also on the back are modem and Gigabit Ethernet ports, and finally there’s the DC-in, a Serial port and a D-Sub port for connecting an external monitor. As ever there’s a docking port connection on the bottom of the D630, providing further connectivity options should you want them.
Overall. it’s difficult to see what else you’d want. A card reader would be welcome but hardly essential, and would use up an internal USB connection. As such, you essentially gain the extra USB port for not having it, and if you absolutely must have a card reader you can always use an external one.
At 14.1in and with a 1440 x 900 native resolution, the D630’s display is well suited to office environments. Although it isn’t the brightest or most colourful display, the maximum brightness setting strikes a nice balance between clarity and comfort. Everything is nice and clear, with crisply produced text, but it’s not so bright that one can’t sit in front of it for long periods of time.
As one might expect there’s no glossy finish, and as such there are no problems with reflections in high light environments while the display provides excellent viewing angles. One unusual feature of the D630 is also related to the display, with a light sensor embedded into the bezel allowing for automatic adjustment according to the brightness of your environment. Dell’s Quick Set software allows you to change your preferences, creating maximum and minimum preferred brightness levels, and all in all it’s a nice time saving feature for everyday use.
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