Dell Latitude E6430s vs Latitude E6430u: classic vs Ultrabook
2 April 2013
Excerpt: If you're looking for a business laptop that's not too big or heavy, Dell has two options in its Latitude line. The 6430u is an Ultrabook and the E6430s is a traditional notebook. Today we will take a closer look at both. They look very different. The Latitude E6430s is bigger and heavier than the 6430u, and looks like a typical, compact business laptop. It has state-of-the-art hardware though, including an Ivy Bridge processor.
Conclusion: The original Latitude E6330 was praised for its durable design, easy expansion options, solid keyboard, and fast CPU performance. The E6430s retains all of the positive aspects of its predecessor by using identical chassis and core internal hardware, all the while incorporating a larger 14-inch screen onto the same available surface area. Users who have been on the fence about the original E6330 now have an even better reason to jump on board with the E6430s.
Pros: Solid magnesium alloy build quality, Backlit keyboard with excellent feedback, Powerful CPU and GPU performance, Easily upgradeable, Good battery life, Docking port and Modulay bay expandability, Quiet fan during light use, Powerful performance, ease of expandability, and respectable battery life in the classic Tri-Metal Latitude chassis, now with a larger 14-inch display. Everything we love about the Latitude E Series is in full force on the E6430s.
Cons: Thick and heavy, Loud fan under medium to heavy use, Screen could have been brighter for improved outdoor usability, Loud keyboard, No higher display resolution options, Battery life not improved over original Latitude E6330, No latch/magnet for closed lid position
Excerpt: Business-class laptops don’t get much love these days, due to all the buzz surrounding ultrabooks and tablets. But there are still plenty of jobs that demand the processing power, storage, and general flexibility of a true business-class machine. If you still use optical media like CDs or DVDs in your day-to-day computing, a laptop with an optical drive is essential.
Pros: Bright display, Excellent touchpad, Sturdy, handsome design, Solid performance and battery life
Cons: Hefty, thanks to the metal case, Extended battery option makes the laptop bulky, Lid doesn't lock
Conclusion: At over $2,000 in our review configuration, the Latitude is undoubtedly expensive. That said, its components are more than most business users need, and Dell offers a fair number of internal options to choose among, so you can get a much cheaper version of this machine in the same rugged shell at a starting price of $799. Those who need a higher-resolution screen than the lowest-common-denominator 1,366x768 panel in this line will have to look elsewhere.
Pros: Rugged build quality, Great backlit keyboard, Compact for a laptop with a 14-inch screen, Excellent battery life with extended battery
Cons: Mediocre maximum screen resolution, Cramped touch pad and SSD, Port placement isn't ideal, Expensive in test configuration
Conclusion: As unspectacular and modest as business laptops may appear at first glance, you would never guess how much performance they often hide inside. In the Latitude E6430 's case, we are faced with a slightly different case design - as usual, beauty is in the eye of the beholder - but the other qualities of the aluminum/magnesium chassis are convincing.
Pros: Extremely stable magnesium/aluminum chassis, Great workmanship, Pleasant feel, Accurate input devices, Good fan management, Well-designed energy saving modes, Comparatively fast application performance, Very energy efficient, long battery life possible, Very many configuration options that should meet (almost) every need, Vast range of accessories, The extremely solid case, Dell's well-designed energy saving and fan management and how well the Latitude manages energy ...
Cons: Screen is too dark for outdoor use, The - tactually solid - keyboard sometimes produced a (somewhat clattery) loud typing noise
Summary: The Dell Latitude E6430s is a strong performer. It's built for tough environments and has strong battery life to boot. While our $1,646 configuration is on the pricey side, having a solid state drive on board makes a big difference in terms of boot time and overall responsiveness. Is this our top 14-inch business notebook? Not quite.
Pros: Strong performance, Speedy boot time, Durable construction, Comfortable keyboard
Cons: Expensive, No higher-res display option, Pointing stick could be better
Excerpt: The typical budget that a customer has when he goes out to buy a notebook is spread over a big area. Someone looking for a notebook can spend as little as Rs. 25,000 for a decent entry-level notebook or as much as Rs. 40,000 for a decent mainstream one, and even anything higher for an Ultrabook, gaming notebook or something that is a large-sized desktop replacement.
Conclusion: The Dell Latitude E6430s punches above its form factor in many respects. The optical drive, comprehensive port selection including ExpressCard/34, and performance would all be more in keeping with a larger notebook. Unfortunately, it punches a little above the price we usually associate with notebooks this size as well. A three years next business day warranty is included as standard, going some way to mitigate the business price tag, as does the sturdy construction.
Pros: Decent performance for a 13in notebook, Good selection of ports, Optical drive, ExpressCard/34 slot
Summary: The Latitude E6430s is a sturdy mid-range laptop offering a good mix of capabilities for mobile workers. However, the battery life is unimpressive and this model puzzlingly lacks even the option of 3G broadband capability.
Pros: Rugged construction, large 14in display in 13in chassis, optical drive option
Cons: Heavy for its size, battery life unexceptional, no 3G broadband option