Dell has ever been known for providing compact laptops. Does the market for a new laptop a few months ago, I performed some research & found that the E6400 is a device that would help me well. The Dell Latitude E6400 is the replacement for the traditional Dell D630, that also I had the possibility to use with. Satisfied with the D630, I felt that the E6400 would be a good choice for me.
After a few days trying to get my laptop with the Dell sales team to configure them properly and finally sent me my machine. After opening the box, I was very happy to see my new slim PC. The matte black finish makes that a really sound seeming machine.
I turned the computer on and was pleasantly surprised at the backlit keyboard in action. This was a $ 50 upgrade, but let me tell you that everything was worth it. I am typing this review in the dark now with no problems what so ever.
After a few minutes admiring my new computer, I saw the top right of the keyboard was tilted from the rest of the keyboard. I thought this was strange, but thought it was just the way it was designed. After analyzing the system anymore, I mentioned that the right speaker grills a dent in it. It seemed almost like a flat head screwdriver was put down.
These were small things I could deal with for the moment, so I kept going about my business and my new laptop to work up.
Something told me that the keyboard was broken because it seemed like a stuck key. I would work on something and every so often, something random would happen on the screen. I also installed a keylogger to work and figure out what the problem was and what the key was causing the problem.
After observing the logs in the key logger, I mentioned that the CTRL key was frequently pressed trigger shortcuts. Sure, I was a keyboard problem, so I took the laptop and pulled alongside the keyboard. After looking at the keyboard for a while, I notified that the simpleton who put the keyboard into the laptop it is stuck and that's why the left corner of the keyboard seemed wilted. The entire top right of the keyboard was bent and pried into place, so I straightened it out as best I could and put it back into the laptop.
The keyboard looked uniform now and I tried it out. The same subject - the CTRL key was. After some troubleshooting, I discovered that the touchpad was causing the problem. Apparently there is a feature on the touchpad to zoom in and out, which emulates pressing the CTRL and the + and - buttons. When my finger was on the left side of the touchpad, which would lead to the CTRL key to entering, so I disabled the feature and all was well.
I thought, since the laptop under warranty that I am a new keyboard and right speaker grill to get. At least Dell is reliable about giving replacement parts. They came the next day.
The system is still unstable. I would constantly review the Management Console Event Viewer logs to see what would cause my problems. The DVD writer also was active and kept crashing my system so I ordered it from Dell. After a few builds and a new DVD drive, my system was finally working as it should.
So it took a while to get this computer running like it should have. Dell has designed a solid machine, my only complaint is the inability of Dell to get it right the first time .... the second time ... the third time ....
The Dell Latitude E6400 is a solid, well-built machine that looks and works great. The backlit keyboard is a very nice touch and the fundamental (stock) screen is good for everyday use. The keys on the keyboard are resilient and feels good. There are 4 USB ports (two on the left and two on the right). One of the USB port doubles as an e-SATA port, which is nice! There is a VGA port on the left, along with a display port on the back. The right of the machine has a firewire port and a smart card port on the machine. The screen is sturdy and you have two hands on the laptop that is a nice touch to open Solid. The touchpad works well and the buttons are easy to push. I have the webcam option that works well for video conferencing. There is, of course, a network port on the back along with the standard microphone and headphone jacks on the right.
Overall this is a great laptop and I would definitely recommend to others. Just tired when you get the machine and make sure everything works. Make sure there are no dents on the machine because some newbie to the factory left him on the floor.
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