VIDEO: Dell Latitude 6430u Ultrabook Review

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This business-class Ultrabook offers a well-rounded mix of performance and portability. But is the Dell Latitude 6430u worth its $1,500 price tag?

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Hi, I’m Michael Wall from NotebookReview, and this is our quick look at the Dell Latitude 6430u. So pretty much, this notebook here is the epitome of what you would want from a business class Ultrabook.

Here you can see that the look and design of it is understated, which is obviously something that you want with a business class notebook. This fixture right here at the top, a black matted finish has like a soft texture to it so when you put your fingers down, you can easily grip onto it, it gives you some friction, which is great when you have an Ultrabook or a light, portable, notebook, because you’re going to be moving around, you’re going to be carrying it. So having something that you can easily hold and that you can really get a good grip on is an important feature to have.

Then additionally, a nice little extra is that this finish right here is extremely resistant to fingerprints, so even when you’re running your fingers all over it like this, it’s not going to show, and, again when you’re carrying the device around a lot, chances are your fingers are going to be on it, so it doesn’t show. That’s a huge bonus.

I will say, though, that it might be a little bit heavier than what you expect from a 14-inch Ultrabook. It weighs in just around four pounds. Obviously, that’s not incredibly heavy, but it’s a little bit heavier than some of its competitors. I will say, though, for its extra girth, you do get some durability. There is an excellent build design here.

When you put pressure on the chassis, right here you can see it’s not moving really at all, and then even when you put some pressure here on the back display, it moves a little bit, but the important thing to note is that there’s actually no rippling going on, on the screen. Having that kind of added durability, especially when you’re moving a machine around, really helps it hold up against the wear and tear that kind of comes with travel.

So another excellent addition to this machine is just how comfortable it is to use. The keyboard right here is excellent. There’s really, really fast push back, and there’s a tactile feel to it. But the keys actually curve inwards, which is really nice because then it just kind of cups your fingers and it helps you get a better hold on the keys while you’re typing, and it really lets you just type quickly and with assured accuracy.

In the same line, this generously-sized touchpad is excellent. It’s really extremely responsive. The multi-finger gestures work extremely well.

So actually, surprisingly enough, I wasn’t expecting the speakers to be that high quality, just because this machine obviously isn’t media-oriented. It’s more of a business machine. But I will say that I was pleasantly surprised. They provide crystal clear audio, even when it’s pushed to 100% capacity. So that’s a nice little change of pace, and they’re located right here at the left and right top sides of the keyboard. While it’s not extremely loud, it’s certainly loud enough to fill up a room with audio pretty comfortably.

When it comes to the ports here, there’s nothing that’s really going to blow you away. It basically has all the basic needs. You have your basic Ethernet cable here. You have USB 3.0. The nice thing is though is that they actually make use of the surface area, the total surface area of the device. So they actually go and use the back panel as well here, and you can see that you have a combo eSATA/USB 3.0 and a full HDMI component cable over there, and then you also have on this side a VGA port and another USB 3.0 along with an audio jack. So, I mean, obviously there’s not a ton here, but it does serve the basics.

The noticeable thing that it’s missing obviously is a DVD/Blu-ray drive, but it does actually offer an optional drive that can be plugged in to the eSATA port in the back of the machine. The problem is that it actually does come at an additional price. I think if you want a re-writable one it’s going to cost around $80, and if you want just the standard, it’s going to cost somewhere around $30 to $40.

So probably the most notable downside to this machine is its mediocre display. As you can see, there’s nothing wrong with this display. I mean, it’s a 14-inch display with your standard 1366 x 768 resolution. It does provide a clear picture. The color contrast, not exceptional, but definitely adequate and will fit users’ needs. The issue here though is that, while this machine is running around $1,500, a lot of competitors offer more than this. They offer at least 1600, maybe even a full 1920 by 1080 resolution. So I mean, that’s kind of an issue.

I will say though, one thing it has going for it is it has extremely generous viewing angles, especially when you’re talking about the horizontal plane. Here you can see if I turn it to the side, it’s still fairly easy to see, and that’s a nice thing, especially if you have multiple people looking on the device at the same time. It’s really easy for everyone to see what you are talking about.

Vertically, it’s not as generous when it comes to viewing angles, but still, it functions pretty well.

Videographer: Ed Green


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