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Dell Latitude XT2 XFR review

A fantastic fully rugged laptop, but it falls short in terms of power and specification

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1280 x 800
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Good build quality
  • Portability
  • SSD drive
  • Touchscreen with stylus

Against

  • Performance
  • Only 128GB of storage

The Latitude XT2 XFR adds to Dell's corporate range and is billed as being the world's first multi-touch compatible rugged tablet. Combining a stunningly hard-wearing design with average performance, it makes a tough and unique, albeit slightly flawed, choice.

The fully rugged chassis is incredibly tough and has been tested to MIL-STD- 810G standards. You can drop it from three feet, use it at altitudes of up to 15,000 feet and work in sub-zero temperatures without any risk of significant damage. All the ports are sealed beneath lockable panels, providing protection against dust and water.

The 12.1-inch screen has been tested to withstand impact, ensuring even this traditionally fragile component is well protected.

Despite its tough build quality, the 2.6kg chassis is surprisingly portable. It is one of the thickest laptops around, but the rubber padding on its edges makes it comfortable to hold.

The 254-minute battery is average, however, and bettered by the Panasonic Toughbook CF-31.

Usability is excellent. The keyboard is spacious and responsive and a pleasure to work with. A rubber, backlit keyboard can be added for £286 (ex. VAT) to improve accessibility and protection. The tiny touchpad is less easy to use, but the Dell compensates with its touchscreen panel.

Multi-touch panel

The multi-touch display lets you easily use your fingers to scroll, rotate and zoom documents. A stylus is also included, letting you write on the screen to take notes. While the capacitive screen cannot be used with gloves on, a resistive option will be available soon to allow such use.

Dell latitude xt2 xfr

Image quality and visibility are excellent. The matt finish prevents reflections and it is an extremely bright screen, so is easy to view in direct sunlight. Colour, contrast and sharpness are equally strong, producing a detailed and vibrant picture.

Where this machine falls short of its rivals is performance. Rather than a cutting-edge Intel Core processor, it uses last-generation Core 2 Duo technology. There is ample power for running office applications, but consider your needs if you need maximum power in the field.

Benchmarks

Battery life: 254 minutes
MobileMark 2007: 175
3D Mark 2003: 2050

Storage also falls short with just 128GB of space, so bear this in mind if you have many large files to carry with you. The Solid State Drive is more stable than the mechanical disks of its rivals, however, so you may consider the improved resilience it provides to be a worthwhile compensation.

While there's no denying the quality and build of the Latitude XT2 XFR, its limited specification, power and battery life lag a little too far behind the competition. It's a fantastic fully rugged laptop though and well worth considering.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet PC
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelGMA 4500MHD
BluetoothYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Solid State Drive Capacity128 GB
FireWire/i.LINKYes
eSATA/USB ComboYes
Product FamilyLatitude XT2
Operating System PlatformWindows
Processor ModelSU9600
ColourSilver
Operating SystemWindows 7 Professional
Brand NameDell
Form FactorConvertible
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Processor TypeCore 2 Duo
Screen Size30.7 cm (12.1")
Screen Resolution1280 x 800
Standard Memory3 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.45 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Optical Media SupportedDVD±R/±RW
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
DigitizerYes
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
ConstructionRugged
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Memory StandardDDR3-1333/PC3-10600
Height38.1 mm
Width307.3 mm
Depth238.8 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesXT2
ManufacturerDell, Inc
Product ModelXT2 XFR
Product NameLatitude XT2 XFR Tablet PC
Product LineLatitude
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part NumberBLCWX3P3
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.dell.co.uk
Marketing InformationInnovative and Flexible

Whether you're using it as a tablet PC or as a laptop, the Dell Latitude XT2 XFR provides a rugged mobile computing solution that can help increase average uptime in a range of challenging environments.

Maximum Memory5 GB