Reasonable portable and decently capable, this is a strong laptop for the business user
Build to withstand some knocks
Average battery life
Why you can trust TechRadar
Designed with business users in mind, the D531 is a staple of Dell's business portfolio, aiming this machine at those who need a desktop replacement with a degree of portability.
To this end, you'll find the build quality is at the high-end. The chassis is made from magnesium-alloy with an extra thick layer placed on the lid to protect the panel and also to add further rigidity to the machine.
Open the lid and you'll find an impressive 15.4-inch Super-TFT panel with a standard resolution. The keyboard sits neatly in the centre of the main body and is solid and well built. With plenty of space between the keys and a smooth typing action, this was one of the most comfortable keyboards we came across.
To help keep costs down, Dell has fitted this machine with an AMD dual-core processor, but you can opt for an Intel chip if you'd prefer. In this particular specification, you'll find the ATi Radeon X1270 handles the graphics, which is an integrated solution that is on a par with Intel's latest X1300 GPU. This means you can run standard tasks with ease, but it won't handle the latest 3D programs.
Weighing in at 2.8kg, the Latitude looks larger and heavier than it actually is and, while it's not designed to be carried around all day, every day, it is fairly portable. Less impressive was its battery life of 187 minutes, under test, which trails behind many of its competitors.
The Dell Latitude D531 may be made with business user's in mind, but if you're looking for a laptop that will stand up to more than the average punishment on the road, this is worth considering.
Tech.co.uk was the former name of TechRadar.com. Its staff were at the forefront of the digital publishing revolution, and spearheaded the move to bring consumer technology journalism to its natural home – online. Many of the current TechRadar staff started life a Tech.co.uk staff writer, covering everything from the emerging smartphone market to the evolving market of personal computers. Think of it as the building blocks of the TechRadar you love today.