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Lightweight Machines For Heavy Workloads (Part 1) - Dell Latitude E7440

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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.

In 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 more juice.

In 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 more juice.

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.

The 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 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.

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