I am striking this post out on a new Dell Latitude E6500. The Latitude E6500 is Dell’s latest, Premier Business Laptop.
To me, any good laptop needs to be portable, have a battery that lasts, have external expansion ports, and operate at a reasonable temperature. So, it was hard not to be skeptical when reading about all the options available for the Dell Latitude E6500.
A lot of my work is done in the field. I’m called to work on both new and legacy systems of all types, but mostly related to telco/data circuits and networks. I may need any number of adapters to connect my laptop to their equipment. Believe it or not, I still do a lot of work where a Cisco DB-9 (Serial “Console” Cable) is the only way to modify the configuration of the equipment. How many laptops in the last three years have a DB-9 connection on it?
Well this laptop doesn’t have one either. However, it does have a PC Card Slot to add additional adapters. This system is also compatible with the E-Series Docks, 2 of which have the DB-9 Serial Port.
Dell Latitude E6500: Standard Equipment
I ordered my system and was surprised with all the equipment that came standard. You can see the configuration of my system below:
- PROCESSOR: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T9600 (2.80GHz, 6M L2 Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
- OPERATING SYSTEM: Genuine Windows Vista Business Bonus-Windows XP Professional downgrade
- LCD PANEL: 15.4” UltraSharp™ Wide WXGA+ (1440×900) LED Display-Regatta Blue – STANDARD
- WARRANTY & SERVICE: 3 Year ProSupport for End Users and 3 Year NBD On-site Service
- VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA Quadro NVS 160M – STANDARD
- MEMORY: 4.0GB, DDR2-800 SDRAM, 2 DIMMS
- INTERNAL KEYBOARD: Internal English Backlit Keyboard – STANDARD
- CAMERA/MICROPHONE: Integrated Webcam with digital microphone – STANDARD
- SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT: No Intel vPro™ Technology’s advanced management features
- PRIMARY STORAGE: 128GB Dell Mobility Solid State Drive
- OPTICAL DRIVE: 8X DVD+/-RW w/Roxio and Cyberlink Power DVD™, Blue
- WI-FI WIRELESS CARD: Dell Wireless™ 1510 802.11a/g/n Draft Mini Card
- BLUETOOTH WIRELESS: Dell Wireless® 370 Bluetooth Module
- MODEM: Internal 56K Modem
- PC CARD – STANDARD
- EXPRESS CARD – STANDARD
- SD CARD READER – STANDARD
- VOLUME CONTROL BUTTONS – STANDARD
- TOUCH PAD – STANDARD
- TRACK STICK – STANDARD
- TRACK STICK BUTTONS – STANDARD
- SMART CARD SLOT – STANDARD
- CONTACTLESS SMART CARD READER – STANDARD
- WiFi On/Off SWITCH – STANDARD
- 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS – STANDARD
- 1 x POWERED USB 2.0 PORT – STANDARD
- 1 x eSata/ POWERED USB 2.0 PORT – STANDARD
- LCD BACKLIT KEYBOARD – STANDARD
- VGA DB15 VIDEO PORT – STANDARD
- 10/100 NIC – STANDARD
Dell Latitude E6500: Visual Tour
Or, see the standard pictures from Dell by clicking >>HERE<<!
The standard hardware set was impressive to me. After upgrading a few items in the configuration and adding a couple E-Port Docks, I now have just about every type of port I could possibly need.
I have been using the laptop for a couple months now. The system runs great. I have had zero issues with the system hanging or stalling. The system has not crashed on me yet. I haven’t noticed any extreme heat given off by the machine, though it does get warm on your lap. Most importantly, I haven’t had a single scenario in the field where I didn’t have the right adapter to connect to the site’s equipment.
Dell Latitude E6500: Criticisms
Ordinarily, when I test a machine, I find more to criticize than to praise. I haven’t criticized this system at all, yet, but I will.
I found the Standard 6-Cell battery doesn’t last very long. In fact, for my use, this battery is just about useless. MY SOLUTION: I purchased the 9-Cell Battery.
The 9-Cell “Long Life” batteries takes up an extra inch of space when attached to the laptop. So if you buy a case that is made for a 15.4 inch wide-screen laptop, you may not have enough space for the laptop with the battery attached. My field service bag doesn’t have enough room, and is made for screens up to 17 inches. MY SOLUTION: I take the battery off the laptop when I put it in the case.
The system doesn’t come pre-loaded with Micro$lop Windows XP Pro SP3. SOLUTION: I didn’t really care, because I was going to run Linux on it, but I did order the XP PRO downgrade.
There is way too much space wasted with the Dell Software and recovery partition. This is often the case. Dell goes above and beyond to make recovery easy, but the space is wasted. A lot of the software loaded on the machine is just bloat-ware. MY SOLUTION – When I reformatted the machine to install Linux, I deleted the recovery partition.
It can be difficult to separate the laptop from the E-Series docks. MY SOLUTION – I’m very careful! There really isn’t a good way to make this less cumbersome unless I simply quit using its dock.
Dell Latitude E6500: Summary
All in all, the Dell Latitude E6500 seems to be a solid laptop. I don’t often recommend purchasing Dell Systems, or any other system with Micro$lop on it. However, if you need a new laptop, and an Apple MacBook Pro is out of the question, then this is the machine to buy.