Dell Latitude E7240
The Dell Latitude E7240 is a business ultraportable that looks great and has a comfortable keyboard for work, but its trackpad and audio could be better.
- Lightweight and durable design
- Comfortable keyboard
- More than 3 hours of battery life
When you need to get work done on the go, there’s nothing like an ultraportable business notebook. The 12.5-inch Dell Latitude E7250 looks and acts the part, with a professional aesthetic, a full-HD touch screen and a comfortable keyboard, and it backs up that good first impression with a speedy 5th-generation Core i5 CPU and a 500GB solid-state drive. The result is a capable work partner you can take anywhere, with long enough battery life that you can leave the power cord behind. We have some complaints, but overall, the Latitude E7250 is a strong choice.
The Dell Latitude E7240 has a subtle, clean aesthetic with a magnesium-alloy chassis and lid that scream “utilitarian.” The woven carbon-fiber lid looks classy and professional when closed. When you open it, you’re presented with a 12.5-inch 1920 x 1080-pixel touch screen with a comfortable, soft-touch palm rest.
Durability and Security
The E7240 won’t have any trouble withstanding your commute. Dell claims that its Latitude 12 7000 series laptops stand up to MIL-STD 810G testing, a U.S. military testing standard for environmental stresses and equipment durability against drops and impact (4 inches or less).
The 12.5-inch 1920 x 1080p touch display on the E7240 offers bright images but somewhat muted colors. In our tests, the screen reproduced just 69 percent of the sRGB color gamut — less than the category average of 76 percent.
If you’re thinking of rocking out between meetings, use a Bluetooth speaker. The Latitude E7240’s speakers make music sound downright hollow. You’ll certainly be able to hear the E7250, as it managed 98 decibels on our volume test, beating other business Ultrabooks like the Folio 1020 (85 dB). The category average is 73 dB, so you’re definitely getting louder sound with the E7240 — it’s just not high-quality sound.
After the computer streamed 15 minutes of HD video, the bottom of the machine measured 96 degrees, while a section on the back left side hit 100 degrees — 5 degrees higher than what we consider comfortable. The touchpad (76 degrees) and the space on the keyboard between the G and H keys (88 degrees) were much cooler. The PC was never too hot to use in my lap while writing and streaming episodes of The Daily Show in the background, but it was certainly warm enough to notice.
Ports and Webcam
For a notebook that bills itself as an enterprise Ultrabook, the Latitude E7240 has just about every port you would expect. It boasts three USB 3.0 ports (one on the right side and two on the rear), one of which features PowerShare for charging when the notebook is asleep. There’s an HDMI port on the back. It also has an SD card reader, a smart card reader, a Mini DisplayPort, a DC-in port and room for an Ethernet cable.
The PC’s 1920 x 1080p FHD webcam isn’t very impressive, though. Photos and videos were plagued by noise, and the white balance was slightly off; only the brightest whites escaped the camera’s marginal yellow tint.
With a 5th-gen Intel i7-4300U CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB SSD, the E7250 won’t have any trouble handling your word processing, a few spreadsheets and lots of open tabs in your Web browser.
With integrated Intel HD 5500 graphics, this machine works well for Web browsing and video, but don’t expect great performance with games.
The E7240 lasted 3 hours and 18 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test (Web surfing over Wi-Fi at 100 nits), which is impressive for a device with a touch screen
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