Dell Latitude E7240 in the office practice test: How flexible is an Ultrabook? {Review}

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For a long time, I've been looking for the ideal device for my mobile office. Over Christmas I now Dell one of its business Ultrabooks for the test provided. The device convinces through functionality and design. What is not convinced is Windows 8.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


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:

Product Information
Manufacturer/Model Dell
model series Dell Latitude
Series Dell Latitude E7240
Processor Intel Core i7 4600U / 2.1 GHz
Multi-core technology Dual-Core
cache L3 - 4 MB MB
graphic card
graphics processor Intel HD Graphics 4400
Installed 4 GB
Technology DDR3 SDRAM - PC3-12800 - 1600 MHz
hard disk
hard disk GB SSD 256
Interface Serial ATA
Optical Storage
Drive type without drive
Display Type 12.5 ″ TFT
Max Resolution 1366 x 768
Features Display, matt, LED backlight
sound card onboard
Microphone available
input devices
input devices Keyboard (illuminated (background)), touchpad (multi-touch trackpad)
network card Gigabit Ethernet (10 / 100 / 1000)
Wifi 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
power supply
Accumulator 4 cells lithium ions
Kapazität 42 Wh
Width 31.05 cm
depth 21.1 cm
height 2 cm
Weight 1.36 kg
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.

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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 housing, reinforced housing corners made of magnesium alloy, stable steel joints, woven carbon fibers, robust powder-coated undersides, moisture-resistant keyboards and special LCD seals. StrikeZone shock absorbers, fast response free fall sensors and hard disk insulation made of rubber also increase the robustness of the devices. The optional touch displays .. they 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Pre-installed software

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.

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And it may be practical to quickly switch from one program window to the next and back again without exiting the program. However, I find it irritating that the buttons are only shown when you move the mouse into the upper corner, which always results in a certain “look around” - I prefer a specific button. With Ubuntu you can set something like that. Possibly the real one Sense This feature is only accessible with a touch display, which 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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  1. Samsung ATIV Tab 3 in the workflow test: Tablet as a notebook replacement? | PROFESSIONAL PICTURES

    [...] to the laptop with keyboard. As things stand so far, however, I would rather buy an ultrabook like the one I tested here, which also offers more value for money [...]

  2. Dirk Formella

    Dell is building good notebooks, but it has never been able to build a decent power supply ...

    • Simone Janson

      Thanks for the hint. I can confirm that, the power supply was also too bulky for me.

  3. Competencepartner

    Dell Latitude E7240 in office practice test 1 / 2: How flexible is an Ultrabook ?:

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