Dell Rugged Latitude 5424 

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Last year Dell showed their new rugged range in London and as spring dawns one of their offerings arrives for me to give it the once over. Of course it will be in my office and the around surroundings and not as the early sample was in far flung places with very inhospitable conditions when things like battery life were truly life challenging.

dell latitude 5424 rugged laptop
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It is 34.5x28x5cm and weighs 2694 grams as supplied to me. Unlike most normal notebooks the figures here need some explanation. The width is to the edge of the padding, the depth is to the extent of the non-retractable handle and the width includes the fairly substantial feet.

The viewable screen is 30.5x17.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 13.8inches. The default screen resolution is 1920x1080 at 150%.

It has an Intel Core i5 running at 1.9GHz, 16GB memory and Windows 10 Pro 64bit. The hard disk is 500GB.

One test I always do, review time permitting, is to fully charge the notebook then fully discharge it and then recharge it and when full turn off and leave for three days and see what the battery state is, here it was 99%.

Another range of tests possible on Dell machines is the built in support assistant where it runs a set of six sets of tests checking for the latest drivers and downloads, scans the hardware, cleans files, tunes performance, optimize networks and removes viruses and malware and this took just a few minutes.

Going around the outside reveals a series of drop down doors, the first on the left side has a USB ‘C’ port, the next has two USB3 ports and 3.5mm socket for headphones. The front has the rugged handle that extends 4cm from the body with a rugged push in latch to open the unit in the centre of the area. The right side has two further doors the first has a bay for a removable secondary SATA drive and a Stylus, the second has four other ports first a removable Primary PCIe storage bay, SD Card, and above this SIM card, USB3. Onto the rear while the screen is capable of going back to 190% this does not stop the insertion of HDMI, Ethernet and Serial connections.

The base has two battery bays (only one battery as supplied to me) that can flip out via a two direction motion so for really remote places you could have extra batteries.

It was the base unit with more memory (8GB base 16GB supplied to me) that I was sent but a lot of the components were changeable to suit various operating conditions so this is a built it yourself option from the Dell website.

The keyboard is 83keys with the alpha keys being full size, the only key outside the basic layout is the on/off at the right top. 3cm clear on either side, 1cm at the top and 9cm at the front. The 10x5.5cm trackpad is mounted 11cm from the left and 13cm from the right with mouse keys in front of the trackpad.

It handled everything I asked it to in an environment it was not intended for. Startup was 15 seconds and shutdown 4 seconds, by default shutting the lid returns you to password screen.

Full specifications etc. are available from the Dell website and the prices start from around £2000.

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OverallDell Rugged Latitude 5424 rated 76 out of 100

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