Keep Ultrabooks What You Promise?
For me it is the first experience with an Ultrabook: I have so far worked with heavy laptops, a handy but too small netbook, tablets and even with mobile phones.
I've been using an Ultrabook for a long time because it promises the full functionality of a computer. But is it still small and light enough to always have it? On the test stand is the Dell Latitude E7240.
The configuration of my test device:
|model series||Dell Latitude|
|Series||Dell Latitude E7240|
|Processor||Intel Core i7 4600U / 2.1 GHz|
|cache||L3 - 4 MB MB|
|graphics processor||Intel HD Graphics 4400|
|Technology||DDR3 SDRAM - PC3-12800 - 1600 MHz|
|hard disk||GB SSD 256|
|Drive type||without drive|
|Display Type||12.5 "TFT|
|Max Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Features||Display, matt, LED backlight|
|input devices||Keyboard (illuminated (background)), touchpad (multi-touch trackpad)|
|network card||Gigabit Ethernet (10 / 100 / 1000)|
|WLAN||802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac|
|Expansion / Connectivity|
|interfaces||3 3.0 x USB|
|Video||1 x HDMI, 1 x Mini DisplayPort|
|Network||1 x Ethernet - RJ-45|
|Audio||1 x 2-in-1 Audio Jack (headphone / microphone)|
|Others||1 x docking / port replicator|
|Others||WiGig - Wireless Docking|
|Accumulator||4 cells lithium ions|
|Color / design||Silver-gray|
Ultrabook in mobile use
What first comes to mind, at least if you worked with a netbook before, are size and weight. To some unhandler than my 10 inch netbook it is already and a little more difficult to stow away in the travel luggage. Also the power supply is quite chunky and unwieldy.
But everything has two sides: the only two inches more screen size allow astonishingly an ideal working, even with more complex work like changes to the code of a WordPress blog or when cutting videos.
How robust is the device?
The device makes a stable impression, but how robust is it really? About the equipment of his device Dell writes in his press release.
Brushed aluminum cases, reinforced magnesium alloy body corners, sturdy steel joints, carbon fibers woven in, sturdy powder-coated bottoms, moisture-resistant keyboards and special LCD seals. StrikeZone shocks, fast-response free-fall sensors, and rubber disk insulation enhance the ruggedness of the equipment as well. The optional Touch Displays .. are equipped with the extremely scratch- and damage-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass NBT. "
I have not really tested any of these features: I have not poured coffee over the keyboard to check the moisture resistance, nor have I thrown it down during operation to test insulation. Many problems show, so my experience so far, also over time, eg loosening hinges, if the device is often packed on the screen.
Speed and battery
In terms of speed, 4 GB RAM is really noticeable and allows you to work pleasantly, along with image editing and video editing and rendering. It is easily possible to perform several memory-intensive operations side by side. Attention: The device is also delivered in different variants with 2, 4 or 8 GB RAM.
The keyboard is pleasantly light-weight, so it is fun to work: The whole 15 article I have produced 2 weeks on the device.
The battery pack has a maximum running time of approximately six hours. This is quite neat, but could be a problem with a long-distance flight. What helps is the switching off the keyboard illumination - a feature, which I would not necessarily have value and which I nevertheless surprisingly pleasant.
Wi-Fi and connections
A plus is the WLAN connectivity. The antennas apparently also in remote areas, where my mobile phone descends, still a hotspot. For me, WLAN is completely sufficient, but who is worth on Bluetooth, Wireles Gigabit, HSPA + or LTE, should pay attention to the respective variant when purchasing - the latter were not included in the functionality of my test device.
The device has an amazing number of connectors for an Ultrabook: On the right hand side of the case is a mini DisplayPort, 1 x USB 3.0, SD cardreader and combination port for microphone and loudspeaker. On the back you will find 2 x USB 3.0, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet and the plug for the power supply. This is not my ideal: too big is the danger that the cable is kinked. The port for the docking station is installed on the underside.
But what is clearly missing is a VGA port. The may look old-fashioned, but most of the beamer, which I have used so far in presentations, had just only VGA connection, only very rarely there were also more modern variants. The docking station, which was not at the test device, obviously has a VGA connection. However, one must even then even drag along or buy an adapter.
SD cards and hard disks
The laptop has a convenient SD card slot - nice if you have to take a quick look through my photos like I do on the road. However, it is impractical that Windows is no longer able to recognize memory cards larger than 4 GB.
I found a suitable driver on the website of Dell in vain and then found this emergency solution: Memory card packed into the mobile phone, this then connected as an external hard drive to the computer. The connection cable for the camera I had not of course.
But also external hard disks can become a problem: My home is easily recognized at the Linux machine, but on Windows, but only now and then. Device Connections and Drivers in Windows: Definitely a problem.
Working with Windows 8
Now comes an aspect that is just as crucial for good work: the right operating system. Unfortunately, Windows 8 did not convince me as a staunch Ubuntu Linux user.
Dell is the only manufacturer synonymous yes Linux laptops, but this is, as I was informed, not even with Linux and I did not succeed at all by pressing the F2 button into the bios to get there to boot from the USB Stick and then test Ubuntu Linux.
Windows 8: The first impression is positive
At first, I was very enthusiastic about Windows 8 with its intuitive tile architecture, so I found it revolutionary, and luckily there are many programs I use for Linux, also for Windows. Yes even the configuration was done much faster.
In addition, one may argue that even under Linux not everything works perfectly. And presumably it's just a matter of habit.
It is nice to see that Dell does not pre-configure his computer to me some test software, which then you have to first uninstall expensive, as you know of other devices.
Apparently, according to the manufacturer, the device is also equipped with a comprehensive encryption technology that allows BIOS management and data deletion even with switched off devices by remote access - a feature that I have not tested either.
Otherwise, there were unfortunately some sticking points: Apart from the connection problems already described, I find the work with Windows simply confusing, because for me is never fully understandable, where, for example, the program configuration files are saved - that was a few years ago, one of my main arguments, to Linux to switch, where everything is clearly arranged in the home folder.
And it may be handy to switch quickly from one program window to the next and back again without ending the program. However, I am irritated that the buttons are only displayed when you move the mouse in the upper corner, which always results in a certain "looking around" - I prefer a specific button. With Ubuntu one can adjust such a thing. It is possible that the true meaning of this feature only opens up with a touch display that the Dell Latitude E7240 unfortunately did not have.
Humans are creatures of habits
I also miss the possibility to display two windows at the same time side by side or one above the other and work with them. With Ubuntu goes, with Windows one can always only display a window small. And what I really miss are the different workspaces, where I can move the programs with Ubuntu and by which I always keep the overview of the already opened program windows. With Windows 8 I can only jump to and fro.
When I then still caught a virus, which I did not really get rid of despite some anti-programs, I really began to look forward to my computer at home. Man is just a habit.
Apart from Windows 8, I would recommend the Dell E7240 however unrestricted, even if it is a price around the 1.000 Euro (depending on the configuration) rather in the premium segment is to be settled.
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