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Dell Latitude 6430u hands-on review

Business ultrabook with replaceable battery
Wed Sep 26 2012, 13:33

PC FLOGGER Dell launched its first ultrabook aimed at businesses last week, the Latitude 6430u.

Running Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system (OS), the Latitude 6430u offers a full business class system, according to Dell.

dell 6430u ultrabook laptop

It has two DDR3 memory slots for up to 8GB of SDRAM, support for a third generation Intel Core I3, I5 or I7 processor, integrated Intel HD4000 graphics and up to 256GB of SSD storage. Though we can't test performance until we get a unit in for a full review, here's a rundown of our first impressions.

Design and build
The first thing we noticed about Dell's Latitude 6430u ultrabook was its soft-touch finish. Dell said this was introduced to make it easier to grip while feeling high-end and resisting smudge marks. And we agree, as the chassis remained almost entirely smudge free as we handled it. The finish also makes the Latitude 6430u nice to hold and easy to grip.

Opening up the lid, the 6430u looks durable and feels sturdy. It is edged with a solid metal rim to ensure that it resists handling wear and tear, adding an air of robustness.

The 6430u is Dell's thinnest and lightest business focused laptop. However, at 20mm thick, it is not the lightest or thinnest ultrabook we've encountered, though we believe that what it lacks in weight at 1.7kg it makes up in sturdiness. Many other laptops we've tested that meet Intel's ultrabook specifications are much thinner and lighter, such as the Sony Vaio S13, but they usually are let down by flimsy feeling lids and a lack of solid build quality.

Another feature that we like is that Dell has kitted out the 6430u with a drop support feature, where the hard drive is turned off if the device senses a change in gravity. We'll be interested to test this feature when we get a unit in for a full review.

The 6430u isn't the sleekest ultrabook out there, but it certainly isn't the ugliest either. Its black design and silver rim give it an attractive but somewhat bulky appearance. However, since it's marketed towards businesses we believe that its appearance won't be a problem, as its soft-touch finish and tough shell should win over business customers.


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