Dell Latitude E6530 Review: Business Class Performance

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There was a time, not too terribly long ago, when a machine was immediately glossed over by average consumers as soon as the "business" label was placed on it. If you've worked in the corporate world within the past 10 to 15 years, you know exactly what we mean. Those dreaded "work laptops" were never ones to be proud of, and while they somehow managed to function, they were typically slow, overloaded with bloatware and unbecoming in terms of design.

But things are different these days. Starting with the smartphone, employees began a quiet movement to bring their own devices to work. Eventually, by and large, they won when it comes to phones. Many enterprises are now completely comfortable with an employee using an Android or iOS-powered device as their main handset. And it seems as if they're taking the hint on other devices, too.

Dell's latest Latitude range is proof that enterprise laptops are no longer being overlooked when it comes to power, performance and even design. While there are a variety of Latitude E Series options to choose from, our test unit is the 15.6" E6530. Even within this one model, there are a multitude of configuration options to choose from; let's take a look at how our unit came configured.

Dell 15.6" Latitude E6530 Laptop
Specifications & Features
Processor Options Intel Core i7-3520M (2.9GHz, 4M cache)
Dimensions Height: 1.11" - 1.34" / Width: 15.2" / Depth 10.16"
Starting at Weight Starting at 5.40 pounds with 4-cell battery, SSD and airbay
Display 15.6" HD+ (1600x900) Anti-glare non-touch display
System Memory Up to 16GB dual channel DDR3 1600MHz; 2 DIMM Slots (ours equipped with 6GB)
Graphics Intel HD 4000 graphics
Battery 97WHr battery, 9-cell extended slice battery.
Hard Drive Options 128GB SSD
Wireless Connectivity Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 802.11n 3x3 Half Mini Card
Sound High quality speakers, Stereo headphone/Microphone combo jack, Integrated noise reducing array microphones
Webcam Optional integrated HD video webcam and Dell Webcam Central software
Ports and Connectors USB 3.0 (3); VGA (1); HDMI (1); eSATA / USB combo (1); SD Card Reader (1); Gigabit Ethernet (1); Kensington Lock Port (1); 3.5mm Headphone Jac; 54mm ExpressCard; Docking connector, Optional SmartCard Reader/Contactless SmartCard Reader/Fingerprint Reader or FIPS Fingerprint Reader, Additional USB 3.0 ports option via E-Modular Bay II
Systems Management
Intel® vProTM Technology’s advanced management features (optional, requires Intl WiFi® Link WLAN), TPM 1.24
Operating System Options • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64 bit
• Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 32 bit
• Genuine Windows® 7 Professional 64 bit (as tested)
• Genuine Windows® 7 Professional 32 bit
• Genuine Windows® 7 Ultimate 64 bit
$1746 as tested

There are a few things here that really impress us for this being a "business-centric" machine. For one, it's really rugged. There's a Tri-Metal casing that's as rigid as we've ever seen, and the keyboard is designed to resist spills -- sometimes all too frequent occurrences when traveling frantically on business. It's also a potent machine. A Core i7 paired up with 6GB of RAM and an SSD looks great on paper. We'll be taking this workhorse through its paces in the pages ahead -- join us.

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Jaybk26 2 years ago

It's good to see business models are finally improving. I adopted a business laptop long ago and I had to completely wipe it to make it function well.

LKnudson 2 years ago

It's not to bad when you can wipe them.Getting them as an actually business laptop and having to keep the programs on it is far worse.

sirgood 2 years ago

Boy I agree. I think all brands of computers come with too much pre-installed JUNK! My trick is to burn all of the device drivers to a CD, wipe the machine and install a full non-OEM license of the OS. Then as I find hardware that does not work I install then manually from the Device Manager having the system scan the CD for the device drivers. The only machine I could not do this with was an e-Machine, and I immediatly returned it. I wish vendors would give us the option of buying a "clean" machine.

AKnudson 2 years ago

I have used the Dell lines before, especially the latitude model. The newer ones, though not inherently fast do work well if a little bit slow. The laptops are durable and reliable as long as you don't mess with the system settings or registry too much.

sirgood 2 years ago

The difference in performance that you may be seeing as opposed to the performance they are reporting may be in the choice of hard drive. Their test machine was using a Solid State Hard Drive (SSD) as opposed to the old platter Hard Drives. The boost in performance from going to Solid State is incredible. I used to do Engineering design work on a machine with a platter drive, and it took several minutes to start up. I would turn it on first then walk to the break room to store my lunch, and the machine would still be starting up. With SSD I couldn't even get away from the desk and it was ready to log in. This was the same machine, only change was going to Solid State.

nicoletoledo 2 years ago

On paper looks good. And for business. The only laptop i bought was for my mom for mothers day. And that was way back then. This is a good upgrade and with ssd programs will be blazing fast

CDeeter 2 years ago

This sounds like a great biz laptop. I like the higher res matte screen, and back lit spill resistant keyboard. Nice features to have indeed.

karanm 2 years ago

Love the USB 3.0 ports, although they may be useless for a business laptop. And is it just me that loves Intels WIDI tech, that would be perfect for a business or media laptop. Its a huge option in my opinion and a must for me if I look for a laptop, anybody else??

karanm 2 years ago

Wait with the Ivy bridge processor and the Intel Centrino wireless card this thing should support WIDI, am I missing something here??

NNK 2 years ago

Looks good...but I really don't understand why business laptops need to be high end

sbarber 2 years ago

"Looks good...but I really don't understand why business laptops need to be high end"

Well, because it depends on what your business is. We're getting some of these for our company because we're do software development for a living, are often on the road, and some of our products are heavy resource consumers (usually run on large servers by our customers).

So, these machines are not for every business user for sure. But definitely for some it makes sense.

KPhoenix 2 years ago

Looks professional

JPrakash 2 years ago

Are there any Business grade Ultrabooks ?

PKumar 2 years ago

Core i7 for a business laptop?

rom1 2 years ago

And why not?

DDK 2 years ago

Too high end for a Business laptop

realneil 2 years ago

So it's tough and a heck of a lot less money than the Toshiba Toughbooks?

Nothing wrong with that,........

ashok one year ago

It is one of the worst laptop I ever seen. I had many problems with this laptop. I am not able to create folders,files and install any softwares.

The processor is making lot of noise and when we place the SD card , it is not coming outside..

I contacted customer care service many times. They replaced laptop one time and it didn't resolve the issue, They are asking me to send the laptop one more time.

My Dell Order No : 405580958

Here are cases I opened with Dell customer care and there is no resolution from 2 months.

Service Request #:882151832.

It is waste of my time and money.



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