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Dell Latitude 6430u review

Dell Latitude 6430u

The first Ultrabook we've seen with a replaceable battery

It’s amazing what is often done in order the name of appeasing consumers, or simply not to be left out. To date, every Ultrabook we’ve seen has followed the MacBook Air template, being as thin as possible and integrating the battery inside. Today we finally saw one with a traditional, removable battery – the Dell Latitude 6430u.

Dell Latitude 6430u

Now a user replaceable battery may not be high on everyone’s priority list, but for those who work on the go – which must include a lot of Ultrabook owners – having the ability to switch to a spare could be a real life-saver, or job-saver at least. There are 3- and 6-cell options too, so you can use the battery you need, and possibly save some weight.

Dell Latitude 6430u

It also goes to show, that it’s possible to design a laptop thin enough to match Intel’s requirements, without making major compromises to usability.

The Latitude 6430u is Dell’s first business Ultrabook, though that’s no reason for consumers to be put off. Useful extras, which come as standard include a spill-resistant keyboard and freefall hard disk sensor to prevent data loss. Options include backlit keyboard 3G, smartcard or fingerprint readers.

Dell Latitude 6430u

Its 21mm thick and weighs 1.7kg, reasonable specs for a 14in laptop. The screen isn’t all that impressive, with average viewing angles and brightness. Thankfully, the keyboard makes up for it, with the plenty of feedback and nice positive, firm feel. There’s also a touchstick in the middle, great for those who still love their ThinkPads.

As well as accessing the battery, you can also upgrade the memory, or replace it easily should it go wrong – another Ultrabook first we think. Those with heavy-computing needs will be happy that you can upgrade the RAM later if the current limits on memory modules is increased.

As a Dell laptop, you can specify it in numerous ways. Core i3 to Core i7 processors, up to 8GB of RAM, SSDs up to 245GB with built-in self-encryption. So whatever you want from an Ultrabook, as long as it’s not the slimmest one available, you should find it here.

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