Dell Latitude X1
- Lightweight, good keyboard design
- Cumbersome PDF user manual, poor battery life
Spring for the extra battery (at an extra charge) to add needed life to this otherwise fine and very light travelling companion.
Price$ 2,663.40 (AUD)
Aimed at inveterate business travellers, the 1.1-kilogram, silver Dell Latitude X1 is one of the lightest laptops around. Its no-frills ultraportability (there's no integrated optical drive, for example) struck me as seriously insubstantial at first--especially given the price tag--but a closer look revealed a pretty good design.
The generous 12.1" WXGA wide screen lets you do serious work on the go. The keyboard has an extremely short, hard stroke, but the keys' size and layout permitted me to touch-type at a rapid clip. I was pleasantly surprised to find a full set of dedicated arrow, Page Up, and Page Down keys; and my favourite keys, Delete and Ctrl, were conveniently placed in opposite corners. Only the undersize Shift key bothered me at first. My review unit had a slow-to-respond touchpad, but I easily fixed that problem by increasing the tap sensitivity. Interestingly, the touchpad has a coarser feel than most, almost like fine-grade sandpaper. The extra tactile feedback was novel during the short time I used the X1, but I'm not sure how I would adjust to this touchpad after a few weeks. An external mouse would obviate the problem for people who couldn't get used to the touchpad.
Besides offering basic business connections--network and modem jacks, microphone and headphone mini-jacks, and a VGA port--the X1 features a FireWire port and separate SD and CompactFlash card readers. With built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi circuitry, the X1 can handle short and long-range wireless communications with equal aplomb. One of the two USB 2.0 ports is powered, for connecting an external optical drive. Our test unit included a combination DVD-ROM/CD-RW USB optical drive; for extra, you can get a DVD burner. (An optical drive adds a little over half a kilogram to the X1's heft; total carry weight including the 280 gram power adapter is about 1.8 kilograms.)
The X1 is fully upgradeable, even if the process is not documented in the users' manual (a hard-to-search Acrobat document without hyperlinks). One memory slot and the unit's 4200rpm hard drive--60GB in our test machine--are within easy reach under the keyboard. Just remove seven small screws on the bottom of the laptop, pop a couple of keyboard latches and extract a few more screws beneath to free the hard drive and a metal plate over the DIMM slot. An inaccessible base 256MB of RAM comes built in.
Although no speedster, the X1 should have no trouble handling mainstream work. Armed with a 1.1GHz Pentium M Ultra Low Voltage 733 processor and 512MB of RAM, the X1 posted a WorldBench 5 score of 60, which is good for its class. A similarly-configured Sony VAIO VGN-T150P earned a score of 56.
But the X1 suffers from one major drawback: poor battery life. Its standard three-cell battery lasted just 2.6 hours on a charge, dismal for a laptop light enough to take anywhere. A replacement six-cell battery should provide some relief, though we did not test it. The X1's other problem is lack of compatibility with Latitude docking stations--a sticking point for companies standardised on this line. Dell sells several universal USB docking stations.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Acer Swift 7
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- More iPad screen sizes unlikely to stop slump
- Android struggling in tablets as Windows 10 2-in-1s come on strong
- Samsung unveils Galaxy Book, a Windows 10 tablet aimed at the Surface-curious
- Everything we think we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3
- Lenovo's ThinkPad P71 will work with HTC, Oculus VR headsets
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTAssociate Consultant - IT Project ServicesVIC
- FTSnr Security Architect - Permanent - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistSA
- TPDevOps ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Business Analyst AgileQLD
- CCPeoplesoft ConsultantNSW
- FTSenior IOS DeveloperNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst- Data GovernanceNSW
- TPSenior Software DeveloperQLD
- FTInfrastructure Analyst - Storage & Backup SystemsNSW
- FTIT Business Process Analyst x 3 - (government background)NSW
- FTSenior Lead Developer/Architect - TelcoVIC
- FTIT Project Manager. Ciritical permanent roleNSW
- FTTest SpecialistSA
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistVIC
- TPSQL Server Developer | 3 month contract |NSW
- TPTeam Leader Project And Quality AssuranceVIC
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- CCChange AnalystQLD
- CC.Net Developer - SilverlightVIC
- FTRuby on Rails DeveloperQLD
- FTSecurity Monitoring SpecialistVIC
- TPAgile Implementation LeadNSW
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW