Dell Latitude E6530 Review: Business Class Performance

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Introduction and Specifications

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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