Dell Latitude 6430u - High-End Business Ultrabook

8/4/2013 9:33:33 AM

It is a good business Ultrabook, but the tough case, the refine design and its innovation deserve a better display.

Dell has introduced its very first high-end business Ultrabook after a very long time coming, the Latitude 6430u. This product’s tough case can satisfy the MIL-STD-810G military standard and it also features many business-friendly functions. This latest introduction from Dell will fight a fierce battle with ThinkPad X1 Carbon from Lenovo.

The Dell Latitude 6430u

The Dell Latitude 6430u

If there was a beauty contest for business Ultrabooks, there is no doubt that the Latitude 6430u is not a good candidate for the crown. While the wedge-shaped X2 Carbon from Lenovo reveals that it is in such an understated class, the Latitude shows a heavy feeling around the waist with its 22mm-thick chassis. It looks a little ordinary with the combination of black panels and silver trim. The weight of 1.63kg is 270g heavier than Lenovo’s model.

Although its outlook is not very subtle, the Latitude 6430u is amazingly tough. All 14 test criteria of the MIL-STD-810G are satisfied, so of course it must look very solid. In fact, you will struggle a little bit with the base and lid to have them flexing. Fold the lid flat and you will see that few millimeters from the metal trim surrounding the device’s circumference will cover the edge of the display. If there was any accidental fall or crush, the 6430u’s metal skeleton would bear all of the weight of the collision, not the fragile LCD-panel housing.

Dell Latitude 6430u’s keyboard

Dell Latitude 6430u’s keyboard

In term of convenience, Dell is also very competitive. It seems that the backlit Scrabble-tile keyboard of the testing sample is not completely flat – there is a slight bulge in the life side of the device – but the concaveness of the buttons fits the fingers perfectly, and each of the acts very responsively and crisply. You will not be bothered when typing as the touchpad’s position is out of the palm and thumbs’ ways. The swiping, scrolling as well as two-finger zooming movements in Windows 8 are also reliable.

Our testing sample comes with a Core i5-3427U 1.8GHz, 4GB RAM and SSD Samsung PM830 128GB drive. That combination is agile combination and it has our tests in Real Worlds Benchmarks done with the score of 0.69. With 459MB/s and 231MB/s as the read and write speed respectively, the SSD drive is able to load huge computations and image files in a blink.

The standard specifications are enough to load any application as well as supporting the vPro for easier management, but Dell also provides many updates and additional options: the processor can be upgraded to Core i7-3667U 2GHz for $83.4 without VAT; it is also possible to extend the RAM to 16GB for $217.8 without VAT; double the SSD drive would cost $185.3 without VAT. No extra fee is required to change the Windows 8 Pro 64bit to Windows 7 Professional.

Everything which is necessary for Latitude 6430u has been equipped. There are three USB 3.0 ports – one of them also plays the role of the eSATA connector – a SD card reader, the 3.5mm headphone jack and Gigabyte Ethernet, together with the D-SUB and HDMI outputs. Moreover, it also features the dual-band 802.11n wireless and Bluetooth 4, and the built-in 3G for the Dell’s Wireless 5630 for an extra $148.3 excluding VAT. Personal security is managed by the TPM 1.2 model, but an extra $6.2 for the fingerprint reader.

The ports

The ports

A smaller 3 cell 36Wh battery has been equipped for our testing sample model – other retail models would be equipped with the 60Wh 6-cell battery – and the Latitude 6430u has been pulled back in our test because of this. In the light-use battery test, the Latitude 6430u just endures for 5 hours and 23 minutes with the screen calibrated to a dim 75cd/m2. Fortunately, the battery is recharged quickly thanks to Dell’s ExpressCharge technology; after the 3 cell battery is used up, it has been recharged up to 87% within less than 1 hour. If you wish to get at the battery, it would be easy. What you need to do is unlock the latch on the Dell’s underside.

The 14 inch screen is the biggest disappointment. Reading documents would be easy with the resolution of 1,366x768 without any scaling DPI settings of Windows, and the combination of the matte anti-glare finish and a maximum brightness of 243cd/m2 might be satisfying in most of the cases. What brings disappointment is the image quality. The Windows desktop looks like being washed out with the contrast ratio of 209:1, and the panel’s narrow color gamut makes it impossible to create the strongest colors.

Dell has introduced a good business Ultrabook, but with a better display, it would be great: a good display would turn this Ultrabook into a high-end business laptop.

However, the Latitude 6430u shows an undoubted attraction with its price. With the sturdy built quality together with the 3 year warranty, fast performance, refine design and wonderful ergonomics, this non-glossy Ultrabook is really good when its price is below $1,544.4.



·         Part Code: Latitude 6430u

·         Price including VAT: $1,425.5

·         Overall rating:5/6

·         Features & Design:4/6

·         Value for Money: 5/6

·         Performance: 5/6



·         Warranty: 3 year NBD warranty


Physical specifications

·         Dimensions: 338 x 230 x 22mm (WDH)

·         Weight: 1.630kg

·         Travelling weight: 2.1kg


Processor and memory

·         Processor: Intel Core i5-3427U

·         RAM capacity: 4.00GB

·         Memory type: DDR3


Screen and video

·         Screen size: 14.0in

·         Resolution: 1366 x 768

·         Graphics chipset: Intel HD Graphics 4000

·         VGA (D-SUB) outputs: 1

·         HDMI outputs: 1



·         Capacity: 128GB

·         Hard disk usable capacity: 119GB



·         Wired adapter speed: 1,000Mbits/sec

·         802.11a support: yes

·         802.11b support: yes

·         802.11g support: yes

·         802.11 draft-n support: yes

·         Bluetooth support: yes


Other Features

·         eSATA ports: 1

·         SD card reader: yes

·         Pointing device type: Touchpad

·         TPM: yes


Operating system and software

·         Operating system: Windows 8 64-bit



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