DELL LATITUDE e6420: OWNER REVIEW
by Mark Tawanda Munyaka
November 6, 2019
Hi, my name is Mark Tawanda Munyaka. I’m a tech enthusiast and blogger who is from and based in Harare, Zimbabwe. Gadgets, gaming, software, programming, you name it I’m into it. Recently, I purchased a Dell Latitude E6420 from a local tech shop on a hefty discount. Besides, the discounted price, I chose the device because it is a business laptop and performance-wise it is pretty decent. I mainly use it for blogging, editing pictures on Photoshop, building web apps and editing videos. These tasks should be executable by any modern business laptop.
Weight and Size
The Dell Latitude E6420 is a bit heavy for a business laptop with a weight of 2.8 kg (6.2 pounds). It can be taxing on the back when you are always on the go, so it takes some getting used to. Some of the weight is attributed to its rugged design and the battery. The Dell Latitude E6420’s design includes a significant amount of metallic components from top to bottom. This combination of metals adds significantly to the weight. As for the size, it possesses a very thick frame for a 14-inch display business laptop. The E6420’s dimensions are 34.8 × 25.8 × 3.3 cm (13.9 × 10.3 × 1.3 inches).
The E6420 has an average battery life of about 3 to 4 hours based on my daily usage. On an average day, I browse the internet using Wi-Fi and multitask with a variety of multimedia applications. I purchased the E6420 configuration with a 4 cell Lithium-ion (50Wh) battery. There’s an option for a bigger 9 cell Lithium-ion (97Wh) battery which can last much longer.
The Dell Latitude E6420 possesses a standard port configuration that you would find in a typical pricey business laptop in 2011. This includes an 8× DVD optical drive, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, 5-in-1 SD Card reader, ExpressCard, 3 USB 2.0, eSATA, a SmartCard Reader and even a dock connector to extend port functionality. The screen is a 14-inch LED HD 720p (1366 × 768) display good enough for 720p HD video streaming. The E6420’s speakers sound quality is fine and includes IDT high definition sound, so the audio from the speakers is clear and audible. The keyboard doesn’t include a numeric keypad but is easy and comfortable to use. The touchpad supports multi-touch and has 4 physical buttons, 2 for right-click and 2 for left-click functionality.
As mentioned earlier, the design of the Dell Latitude E6420 includes a lot of metallic components. My first opinion of the design was that it was somewhat old-school in terms of appearance. Even if the Dell Latitude E6420 was compared with other laptops released during its time, it still looks archaic. However, being a business laptop it has quite a unique design and durable build. The E6420 has a tri-metal design which makes for an edgy and sharp feel. It has a spill-resistant keyboard which can save against the odd spill on the keyboard. The screen includes a protective seal for the display with an anodised aluminium finish enhancing the display’s durability. It even has a bumper for added protection of the screen. The corners of the E6420 are wrapped with reinforced magnesium alloy making it quite strong and rugged. Since it is MIL-STD 810G tested, the E6420 was built with protection from high temperatures, high altitudes, dust and vibrations in mind. Nicks and scratches can be a nuisance in terms of appearance, hence the E6420 guards against that with a powder-coated base. This is a rugged and tough-built business laptop. Even the hinges are made of reinforced steel. Hence, I wouldn’t be worried about the odd bump or fall of the laptop, the E6420 is strong enough to handle such.
I bought the laptop with a discounted price of USD 200.00 in a local tech shop. The Dell Latitude E6420 has significantly reduced in price since its first release. Back in 2011, the E6420 was priced from about USD 1,100.00 to as much as USD 1,600.00. The price depends on the system configuration you choose, with the most expensive having extra features like multi-touch display, SSD for storage, dedicated graphics card and a faster processor (2.7GHz Intel Core i7). On average I found that the E6420 is now priced between USD 200.00 to USD 400.00, on Amazon and eBay.
The Dell brand is world-renowned in the laptop industry especially the business laptop market. The Dell Latitude series was tailored for the business industry and competes among the best in the business on a global scale. Every year, it ranks in the top ten globally across multiple review sites which include Forbes and Techradar.
Performance-wise it delivers consistently according to its specifications. The boot-time is fairly fast, as it takes less me than a minute to start browsing the internet after switching on the Dell Latitude E6420. Multitasking is smooth and efficient. The E6420 runs most business-related software which includes word processing, spreadsheet, web browsing and HD video streaming. All can be run at the same time without any glitches. It still manages to deliver when using software like image and video processing programs which demanding more processing power and higher memory. Albeit, not as good as workstations with dedicated graphics. The Dell Latitude E6420 uses the Intel HD Graphics 3000 chip which is a shared graphics chip. Expect an occasional freeze or system lag when executing 3D image and video processing
CPU: Dual-core 2.5 GHz (Turbo boost up to 3.2 GHz)Intel Core i5(2nd Gen) 2520M, 3MB L3 Cache
RAM: 8GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz
HARD DRIVE: 256GB 7200RPM HDD SATA
GRAPHICS: Intel HD Graphics 3000
SIZE: 34.8 × 25.8 × 3.3 cm (13.9 × 10.3 × 1.3 inches)
WEIGHT: 2.8 kg (6.2 pounds)
DISPLAY: 14 inch 720p HD LED (1366 × 768)
OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)
INTERFACES: HDMI, LAN Ethernet, USB 2.0 (× 3), eSATA, VGA, Dock, Headphone, Microphone
WI-FI: 802.11 a/g/n
OPTICAL DRIVE: 8× DVD-R SuperDrive
WEBCAM: Integrated HD Webcam
CARD READERS: SD Card, SmartCard, ExpressCard/54
BATTERY: Lithium-ion 4-cell (50Wh)
I give the Dell Latitude e6420 a modest rating of 6.5 out of 10. It could have had a higher rating was it not for the extra weight which hampers mobility when I’m out and about. Moreover, it doesn’t have USB 3.0 which is a faster data transfer standard. Overall, the performance is consistent, reliable and there are hardly any system crashes. It is well suited to multi-tasking and easily upgradable for even better performance. Added to the strong and rugged design and discounted prices it makes for a good buy.