The D810 is definitely is an improvement over the D800 it replaced in both form and performance. Designed to be a high end performance notebook for business, this is clearly not a notebook designed for constant mobility. In fact, if you plan travel with this notebook beyond 5% to 10% of the time, we'd recommend looking at some other more portable options. Don't sacrifice mobility for performance if you are on the move often, as you will quickly learn to regret it in our opinion. On the flip side, this is a solid desktop replacement for those users not planning to move it very often.
For those not quite familiar with Dell's notebook line-up, the Latitude line is strictly designed for business and professionals, not the general consumer. Though, some mainstream consumers certainly like the professional look and opt for the Latitude line, what you give up with a Latitude is the flare you might want for DVD playback, multimedia usage, gaming, etc., which is better left to the Inspiron line.
With a starting price of $1,199, this notebook has a pretty wide range of configuration options, as our sample system came in at $2,524. In a customized build, we could get a fairly high end system for under $2,000. So all things considered, the D810 is competitively priced against other business DTRs. We just recommend at least getting an UltraSharp display: WSXGA+ (1680 x 1050) or WUXGA (1920 x 1600) UltraSharp displays. As we said in our 6000 review, performance may be something you can change in the future if you have enough skill to change CPUs or don't mind sending the unit into Dell for an upgrade, but a display is something you are more or less stuck with, and it is a lot harder to upgrade at the original upgrade cost. The other reason we recommend choosing one of the two better display options is that you need to keep in mind that your screen is something you are going to use day in and day out; for every second your computer is on.
Coincidentally, because this is a DTR, you aren't going to be going many places without an AC adapter, so you certainly can get by with a cheaper 6 cell battery. It doesn't make much sense to use a 9 cell, though upgrading to one certainly is cheaper than buying it separately (upgrading only costs $39). Just keep in mind that the 6 cell battery is the same size, except it has "empty filler" cells to fill space, which is why a D810 will weigh .31 lbs. lighter with a 6 cell over a 9 cell (less than a 1/3rd of a pound). Remember, weight shouldn't really be a factor if this is just going to sit on the desk, minus the occasional trip to the meeting room. Going for the 9 cell battery and or modular battery add-on makes sense if you need to use this powerhouse notebook off-site/remotely.
For run of the mill/day to day computer operations plus the added kick need to power performance driven applications for the workplace, the D810 is the best Dell is offering in the business performance notebook department. There are a few minor improvement that we would like to see, namely the implementation of a integrated microphone. But as a solid, simple, professional notebook, the Dell Latitude D810 takes a solid 8.5 on the HotHardware Heat Meter.