Written on: 03/11/2004 by adicos (6 reviews written)
Very light, really mobile, powerful laptop
The standard battery lasts only 2 hours
Dell Latitude X300 - Hello all,
I had the chance recently to play with the lightest Dell laptop, the Latitude X300.
I will tell you my impression about the laptop and I'll list some of the features. For the ones who really like the full specs, you can find them on the Dell website:
The first impression I had was very good, the laptop has a very nice, sleek finish, the quality of the materials used is much better than for the previous light laptops (as the old L400 and slightly newer C400).
The laptop is very small and indeed very light, only 2 cm thick (!!) and 1.32 kg (!!), making it one of the lightest on the market (as far as I know, only IBM have a lighter one). The silver finish, with a very nice, bright and easy to read 12.1" active matrix (TFT) display with XGA resolution (1024x768) makes it very attractive.
It has a the Ultra Low Voltage Intel Pentium M processor 1.2 GHz, which is definitively not the fastest Intel Pentium M processor (the maximum on the market is not 1.7GHz for Pentium M), but is more than enough to restart the machine in Windows XP in less than 26 seconds (from the moment you press "Restart", until you get the Log On window, this is tested by me), which is pretty impressive.
The laptop is working very fast, maybe because of the 640 MB RAM, but you can feel that WinXP blends much better with this machine that with others.
In two days of testing I did not have a single error (Dr. Watson error or "Perform Illegal operation", etc., the standard Windows errors), which is very good (even excellent).
Please bear in mind that this is actually a business laptop, created for the real mobile user, who is using the laptop for standard business stuff, like e-mail, documents and worksheets and not for complicated financial stuff or other "performance-eating" applications, but I am sure this laptop will cope even with this.
You get all the communications standard including integrated 56 Kbps V.92 modem, integrated 10/100 Ethernet LAN in system (10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN with the optional X300 MediaBase, but I'll talk a little later about it) and Dell Wireless 1350 802.11b/g miniPCI card or choose Intel PROWireless 2200 802.11b/g miniPCI card to obtain Intel CentrinoTM Mobile. Optionally, you can get the integrated Bluetooth (only extra £12 when factory-fitted, so it's worth the money). I tested both the Wi-Fi and the Bluetooth and not a single problem, worked "like a charm."
The hard-disk can vary from 20GB to 60GB (the laptop I tested had a 40GB hard-disk), which is more than enough to store whatever you want on it.
Because the laptop is so thin, you don't get any floppy or CD-ROM fitted internally, and also no serial or parallel ports (you can get them on the additional MediaBase, which is actually a silver docking station, very thin and very sleek). But on the laptop you can find fitted:
- two infrared ports, one Fast, one Slow
- two USB ports, one standard, one fast (USB 2.0)
- 15-pin video connector
- audio ports - microphone-in jack and stereo headphones/speaker jack
- IEEE 1394 (one) 4-pin connector
- plus the communication ports mentioned above.
The additional MediaBase/docking station comes with plenty of ports, which I am not going to list here, but there are a lot of them. Also, it comes with the bay for the CD/DVD.
On the laptop, there are two built-in speakers at the front of the laptop and the quality of the sound is very good (when you watch an "action-packed" DVD, you need good sound quality, don't you?).
The only thing I did not quite like about the laptop is that the standard 4-cell 28WHr Smart Lithium Ion lasts only 2 hours, which is not quite good for a mobile user. Of course, you can choose the 8-cell 65WHr Smart Lithium Ion battery, but this is an extra £106, which is quite a lot.
One more thing: I do not understand why Dell is changing the power supplies from model to model, so a power adapter for a laptop is not fitting another laptop from the same family!! For instance, there are Latitude laptops with completely different power supplies, but for instance power supplies from Latitudes are Ok for Inspirons...Why? I don't know. Maybe it is just business...
Apart from that, the laptop is a very nice piece of equipment, very reliable and for the £1500 paid for the one with the specs listed above, is quite good quality for money, is cheaper than similar IBM or Toshiba.