Feeds
80%
Dell Latitude Z

Dell Latitude Z

Super-slim designer notebook, anyone?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Review If you want a laptop to impress, then a likely choice is a high-end MacBook rather than an amorphous black box Windows notebook, that looks about as cool as a fridge-freezer. With admiring glances in mind, is Dell's Inspiron Latitude Z, a machine the company is heralding as the thinnest and most stylish 16in laptop around.

Dell Latitude Z

Form over function? Dell's Latitude Z

Indeed, the Latitude Z is a fine piece of design. The satin finish 'dark cherry' casing looks and feels exquisite, as do the chamfered chrome screen hinges at the rear corners that also house the Ethernet and power sockets. The good looks are matched by the first rate build quality and solidity. The latter being especially important in a machine that, while having a pretty broad footprint of 396 x 272mm, is no more than 20mm thick at its maximum. As with most skinny notebooks the lid will bend if given a good twist, but you have to be pretty brutal.

That solidity hasn't come at the expense of increased weight – at 2kg you couldn't reasonably expect it to be any lighter. Thankfully, Dell hasn't stripped the Z of all the useful stuff in the quest to shave a extra few mm off the thickness. So you still get two USB ports – one of which doubles as an eSATA link – a DisplayPort socket and a 3.5mm headset jack. The Latitude comes with a DisplayPort to VGA adapter with an HDMI version being an optional extra. Absent from the Z is a memory card reader and an optical drive, but the unit does come with a sleek external 8-speed DVD+/-RW slot drive.

The lid houses a widescreen 1600 x 900 backlit LCD panel with a matt finish. That finish takes away the final degree of crystal clarity when watching video, but it cuts down on surface reflections, which is more important for a machine targeting the business user. In use, it is a crisp, bright and colourful display with wide effective viewing angles that should satisfy the vast majority of users.

Press a button next to the lower right hand corner of the screen and that side of the bezel becomes a touch sensitive control panel incorporating what Dell calls EdgeTouch. The area can be used to either launch one of seven selected applications when tapped in a certain place or it can act as one long scroll bar which was how we tended to use it.

Dell Latitude Z

Indubitably slim

Dell hasn't dropped the soap with the keyboard either. The shiny and slightly concave keys are well spaced and pleasant to the touch, though the travel may prove a little short for some tastes. The keyboard is also backlit and the illumination can be set to either on or off or automatic which lights up when you start to type and then switches off when you stop. I had no complaints about the large multi-touch touchpad either which was precise and sensitive in equal measure.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.