نقد و بررسی
لپ تاپ Dell Latitude D820
As a high school graduation gift, my parents bought me a Dell Latitude D820 15.4″ widescreen notebook. While Dell’s Inspiron line is squarely aimed at the consumer market, the Latitude line is geared more towards the academic, small business, and corporate user. This is evidenced by the Latitudes’ superior build quality, sober styling, lack of media-centric features, and higher price. Price-wise and size-wise, the Latitude D820 sits atop the thin-and-light 14″ widescreen D620 and the budget oriented 14″ standard-aspect D520 in the Latitude lineup. The D820 is an updated version of the D810 and features the Intel Core Duo processor to replace the D810’s Pentium M as well a significant weight reduction from the D810. According to CNET Labs, “While the 3.2kg [7.05lbs] Latitude D810 was more of a desktop replacement, the 2.8kg [6.17lbs] approaches the more portable thin-and-light territory.” This newfound svelteness, coupled with the D820’s impressive computing power, makes it a formidable contender in the mid-size business notebook category.
Reason for Buying
Soon after I began my research for a notebook computer, I came to the conclusion that I wanted a business-oriented machine. Since this laptop was going to have to last me through at least four years of college, it needed to be able to take a beating. I was also attracted to the clean lines and underplayed looks of the business machines (I was put off by the white bumpers and garish silver that clad Dell’s Inspiron line). I was interested in only the 14″ or 15″ screens in either widescreen or regular aspect ratios. Additionally, I wanted some sort of dedicated graphics solution to be Windows Vista-ready, run engineering and CAD applications in college, and do a little light gaming. I narrowed my selection down to three offerings: IBM/Lenovo (ThinkPad T60), HP (nc8xxx), and Dell (Latitude D620/Latitude D820).
While the HP had the nicest graphics card of them all (ATI Radeon x1600) and would have allowed me to play the latest games, I ruled it out because of price (>$2,000). My budget was limited to ~$1,500 max.
The IBM ThinkPad has long been legendary in the corporate world for its durable portability, excellent support, and strong management software suit. I came to the decision, however, that I did not want to pay the significant premium for the ThinkPad’s class-leading ruggedness, which I probably had no use for anyway. The ThinkPad T60 was aimed more towards the road warrior. I, however, was not going to be traveling much with the laptop save for the occasional trek from the dorm to the library and back.
That left me with the perennial value-king Dell. For hundreds of dollars cheaper than a similarly spec’d 14″ ThinkPad T60, I was able to price out a 15.4″ Dell Latitude D820. A comparably equipped D620 checked in at about $150 less. I settled on the D820 because I figured I wouldn’t be traveling much with this notebook and would not be carrying it to class on a daily basis. Thus, I thought I would benefit more from the increased productivity of the D820’s 15.4″ screen (and higher resolution) than the increased portability of the D620.
When we purchased my machine, Dell was having a sale which involved a $350 instant rebate on all Latitudes, sweetening the deal some more. I configured the machine on the Dell Small Business website. Almost every component of the machine was highly configurable, something that IBM/Lenovo and HP could learn from, and the online shopping experience was, overall, very pleasant. After having pulled the trigger, I realized that I did not select the option for the Bluetooth card. I called up Dell Small Business and asked them to add the card. It was too late to modify my original order but the associate was very helpful. Though the sale price was no longer in effect for the new order, she let me add the discount retroactively. The wait times to speak to an agent were negligible (definitely not the case with my past experiences with Dell Home) and the agent herself was polite and helpful. The total price for my D820 (after adding the Bluetooth card) came to $1496.25, which I felt was a good deal, especially since the Latitude line rarely goes on sale.
When I first uncased the D820 from its Styrofoam packaging, I was impressed by the solidness of its build. It felt sturdy and the laptop casing didn’t flex when handled. The case is billed as being magnesium alloy and most of the notebook’s body looks as if it is. The laptop was about as thin as I expected but it was a bit heavier than I thought it would be. It’s not an uncomfortable heft but one that implies a certain quality of build. At first glance, the notebook is not awe-inspiring but it is pleasing to the eye with an understated charcoal gray finish. At first blush, a tastefully styled (though by no means beautiful) and well-built notebook. Also included in the packaging were the user manual, software and OS CDs, and the AC power adapter.
Build & Design
The D820 has a magnesium alloy body that is supposed to protect the laptop from flexing and the wear-and-tear of corporate travel and use. The whole underside and lid of the laptop feel like metal but, unfortunately, the wrist rests are plastic. Thus, there is some amount of flex when handling that area but by no means is the amount of flex disturbing. The rest of the notebook, however, is very rigid.
Out of the box the screen hinges are quite stiff. In fact, to fully open the screen I have to hold down keyboard half of the notebook. Obviously these hinges will deteriorate over time but they look to be well-made. The screen locks down with two clasps which are retracted by a latch. These are also metal but there is some play in these clasps when the notebook is open. Some laptops these days (like the MacBook) have a closing mechanism which completely eschews these latches and clasps for a magnetic closure. That would have been a nice if unessential feature to see in the D820.
Another minor issue is with the amount of play in the WiFi catcher switch (a nifty feature that allows me to detect WiFi networks without booting up more on this later). I know I’m being picky but an expensive corporate-grade laptop should not have a rattling switch.
The screen has a high degree of torsional rigidity thanks to the magnesium alloy panel backing it resulting in little flex and no screen distortion when twisting the screen frame. When I apply pressure to the lid of the notebook no ripples appear, a common occurrence on poorer built machines. From my brief experience with an IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad T43, I have to say that the IBM felt slightly more solid (I would feel more comfortable throwing that notebook around) but the Dell is definitely close behind.
Another notable design feature of the D820 is the StrikeZone protection for the hard disk. In a drop situation, the StrikeZone acts as shock-proofing to minimize trauma to the disk drive and hopefully save your data.
There is not much to say regarding the aesthetic design of the notebook. The D820 uses a charcoal and black motif that works well not to draw attention to itself in an academic or corporate environment. The notebook is attractive but it is not going to win any design awards. It sports inoffensive aesthetics from an experienced manufacturer of corporate notebooks.
The screen is most likely the Achilles heel of the D820, if it has one. The screen is 15.4″ diagonal and is matte, not glossy. The trend in most consumer notebooks is towards the glossy screens which feature vivid colors and higher brightness for the benefit of gaming, movie-watching, and photo-viewing. Most business machines, however, still come with the old-style matte screens which are more suited for office rather than multimedia tasks. Unfortunately, the D820’s matte screen is not very bright and the higher brightness settings drain the battery quickly. A cool feature is the automatic light-sensor which adjusts screen brightness based on ambient light conditions. This is useful when running on battery power or when using the notebook in different settings but I ended up turning this feature off because it oftentimes results in an unacceptably dim screen.
Using Dead Pixel Buddy, a freeware program, I detected one dead pixel, five short of Dell’s return policy of six dead pixels.
Setting the screen to black, there is little apparent light leakage. There is less light leakage than on my Dell 2005FPW monitor and significantly less than other notebooks like the Dell Inspiron e1405.
Setting the screen to white, there is definitely some uneven backlighting. The bottom edge of the screen is brighter and there is some shadowing on the corners of the screen, though nothing readily noticeable in everyday use.
My D820 came with the WSXGA+ (1680×1050) screen. The other options were the base WXGA+ (1280×800) screen and the ultra-high resolution WUXGA (1900×1200). I am used to the WSXGA+ resolution on my Dell monitor and I chose it because I thought it was a good balance between screen real estate and legibility of fonts and icons. I could have gone with the highest resolution option and increased the Windows DPI and font sizes (indeed the WSXGA+ and WUXGA models ship with 120 DPI setting out of the box) but browsers and other applications do not always adhere to Windows settings. I changed the 120DPI setting to 96DPI because it made Windows fonts too large and screwed up graphics on web pages. I think I made the right choice here because the WUXGA display would have yielded fonts and icons too small for even my young eyes.
Sound & Multimedia
It is no secret that laptop speakers are bad. They usually feature tinny sound, distorted highs, and nonexistent bass. The Latitude D820’s speakers are no exception though admittedly not the worst I’ve heard. The D820 being a business machine, I didn’t expect any better. At least on the D820 you get stereo sound with a speaker on either side of the keyboard; on its cousin the Latitude D620 there is but one speaker. The volume is adequate for me but I don’t like to listen to music at high volumes. Using Sennheiser HD-202 headphones plugged into the side-mounted headphone jack, the sound improves significantly and is clear, accurate, and mostly distortion-free. The sound subsystem on the D820 is controlled by the Sigmatel audio chipset.
The D820 provides just volume control and mute buttons above the keyboard as opposed to the various media buttons found on most consumer laptops. While not absolutely necessary on a business notebook, it would have been nice to have a few more control buttons like play, pause, etc. for controlling Windows Media Player, PowerDVD, or WinAmp.
Processor & Graphics Performance
My D820 came with a 1.83GHz Core Duo processor and by all measures it’s a speed demon. I choose two 512MB sticks (total 1GB) to take advantage of dual channel memory capability which in theory doubles the bandwidth of the pipe from the RAM to the memory controller. I also chose the 667MHz RAM over the standard 533MHz. I wasn’t sure of the utility of this faster memory but my logic was that the Core Duo has a 667MHz front side bus and I would need the RAM to match that speed if I were to maximize performance. Startup times on my D820 are fast but not as fast as I expected. The machine takes 28.34 seconds to reach the login screen from a cold boot. Thus far the laptop has been snappy in every day usage such as internet browsing and word processing as well as during benchmarking. Applications load quickly as do Control Panel and My Computer and there’s a good degree of responsiveness to all user inputs. I have not had a single hang, lockup, freeze, or BSOD so far. I haven’t installed any games on this machine so I cannot attest to the performance of the Quadro NVS 120 graphics solution, the workstation version of NVIDIA’s consumer GeForce 7400 graphics solution. Do not expect stellar game performance out this card however my D820 received 670 3DMarks on the 3DMark06 benchmark.
- وزن : 2.7 کیلوگرم
- سازنده : Dell
- مدل : Latitude D820
- پردازنده : Core 2 Duo
- مدل پردازنده : T5600
- فرکانس اصلی پردازنده : 1.8 GHz
- فرکانس حداکثر پردازنده : –
- تعداد هسته پردازنده : 2
- تعداد رشته پردازنده : 2
- نسل پردازنده : –
- حافظه Cache پردازنده : 3 مگابایت
- ظرفیت حافظه داخلی : 160 گیگابایت
- پردازنده گرافیکی : Intel
- حافظه اختصاصی پردازنده گرافیکی : ندارد
- ظرفیت حافظه رم : 2 گیگابایت
- نوع حافظه : DDR2
- پورت VGA : دارد
- صفحه نمايش لمسی : ندارد
- صفحه نمایش مات : –
- درایو نوری : دارد
- وای فای : دارد
- پورت LAN : دارد
- مودم : دارد
- وبکم : ندارد
- حسگر اثر انگشت : ندارد
- پورت HDMI : ندارد
- پورت DisplayPort : ندارد
- پورت 1394 : دارد
- USB 3.0 : ندارد
- پورت کارت خوان : ندارد
- بلوتوث : ندارد
- اندازه صفحه نمایش : 15.4 اینچ
- نوع صفحه نمايش : LCD
- دقت صفحه نمايش (پیکسل) : 1280*800
- مشخصات اسپیکر : –
- باتری : لیتیوم یون 9 سلولی با ظرفیت 6.6 آمپر ساعت
- سیستم عامل : Windows