Business notebooks have evolved from
chunky black computers to sleek thin beauties, while retaining productivity and
security features. Ultrabooks also promise lightning quick boot times and
full-day usage on a single charge. But which of these enterprise Ultrabooks
will emerge as leader of the herd?
Dell Latitude E7440
Intel does not have a weight limit on its
Ultrabooks, just a limit on thickness, and Dell seems to be toeing the line
here. It is a mere 2mm away from the maximum thickness of 23mm for screens
14-inches or larger, and weighs 1.68kg, monstrous by Ultrabook standards.
terms of portability, it’s very thin and light, at just under 3 pounds for the
12-inch version and 3.6 pounds for the 14-inch. Its three-cell battery can run
about 8.5 hours and can easily be swapped out if you’re traveling and need some
The matte aluminium top lid repels
fingerprints, except for the mirror-like finish on the Dell logo. To lessen the
impact of its chunky dimensions, the Latitude E7440 has a black hinge, black
bottom and duo-tone silver/black sides that somehow tricks the eye into
thinking the Dell has a slimmer profile.
There is also a power indicator, a
read/write indicator and a charging indicator on the hinge, visible when
looking top-down, making the Latitude E7440 the only Ultrabook in this
comparison to have visible indicators when the lid is closed.
The Dell Latitude E7440 is also the only
machine with most of its ports located at the back. The only ports on the sides
are the SD card slot on the left, and a USB 3.0 port next to an audio
input/output jack on the right. There is also a dedicated Wi-Fi on/off switch
on the right side. Everything else is on the rear - an Ethernet port, two USB
3.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort, a full-sized HDMI port and the charging port.
This can make it extremely inconvenient for presentations, as you have to reach
around just to connect to an external display.
The classic non-Chiclet style keyboard also
sets it apart from the competition. Due to the thickness of the notebook, Dell
has been able to incorporate a keyboard with more travel and substantial
tactile feedback. Despite this, it remains very quiet, which makes it excellent
for taking minutes during business meetings, or just keeping a low profile
while you hammer away at your report in the library.
Dell Latitude 7000, also known as E7240 in 12-inch and E7440 in 14-inch, comes
with or without touch. The non-touch display has an aluminum back, but for the
touch display model, the back has a woven carbon fiber material. The touch
display uses Corning Gorilla glass, and Dell’s actually the first to use the
company’s new NBT version, which is said to provide eight to 10 times higher
scratch resistance than a traditional soda-lime glass, as well as reduced
scratch visibility if you do end up scuffing the screen.
The review model we were sent is armed with
an Intel Core i5 processor and a multi-touch HD (1,366 x 768 pixels) display,
making it inferior specs-wise to the rest of the notebooks in our shootout.
Despite this, it’s still quite expensive at $3,023 for this configuration.