Dell Latitude XT is nowhere near the term of high performance because what it strives for is different. But there still are interesting points left to look at. Later on you will see how this not so high spec help battery life and heat on this machine.

Spec

CPU Intel Core 2 Duo U7700 @ 1.33GHz
Operating System Vista Business 32-bit
Display 12" WXGA (1280x800) matte screen
with dual digitizer (N-Trig)
Memory 1GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM onboard +
2GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM [only 1 slot]
Graphic card ATi Radeon Xpress 1250
Chipset ATi RS600 + SB600
Hard Drive 120GB 5400rpm 1.8" Samsung HS122JC
CD/DVD drive External media base with DVD+/-R/RW with Double Layer Support
Networking Gigabit LAN, Dell 1390 802.11b/g
Extra array mic, fingerprint
Battery 6-cell (42Wh)
Dimension (LWH) 8.6" x 11.7" x 1.2"
Weight (lbs) 4 lbs 5 oz (+8.2 oz for adapter)
Power adapter 45W (Dell part#: GM456)

Well, this machine is not going break any record and I also not sure if I should benchmark it. I mean that's almost pointless. Some of them, however, are good for reference and comparison's sake.

Windows Experience Index (WEI) - This is always a good one since anyone using Vista has it. No matter how crap it is; it's useful somehow.

Windows Experience Index -- Dell Latitude XT

Start-up time - from grub menu to ie with fully loaded mycapsules.com on ie. It doesn't need to be fully loaded anything else though.

U7700, 3GB RAM, 120GB 5400rpm 1.8" HDD 1:30 min

Sleep/resume time - I started seeing this pointless but sometime it helps giving an idea fresh system look like :-)

system sleeping time resuming time
U7700 <5 seconds <3 seconds

wPrime 1.63 - testing hardly on CPU--and this ultra low voltage is not going to be anything exciting indeed.

wPrime -- Dell Latitude XT

CrystalMark - well, almost everything is in number; pretty good for reference.

CrystalMark -- Dell Latitude XT

PCMark05 & 3DMark06 - I don't see if this will help you a thing =) since it will be only a bit.

HD Tune - It's 1.8" hard drive, remember that. There is no way that it is as fast as 2.5" one.

HD Tune -- Dell Latitude XT

Network Performance - Because of Dell 1390 which is plain 802.11g WLAN, we won't see anything interesting here 2-3MB/s is what we normally achieve. Gigabit LAN is also performing great as it should be.

Heat & Noise

Dell XT - HWMonitor Wow!! This is one of the coolest laptops I have so far. I almost feel nothing throughout palm rest, keyboard, and on the screen. ULV CPU and thoroughly designed air ventilation should be the main factor here since at air vent on the left, hot air is coming out continuously (but still pretty silence) keep laptop at the minimal temperature. On the screen, there is no hot or even warm surface found!! Inside, as you can see on the right, maximum temp is only 152°F/67°C

Consequently, temperature on the outside surface is not hot too. Please note that all data are in °F (+/- 1.5°F) and measure while this is on battery working normally about 30 min or so.

Dell Latitude XT - surface temp Dell Latitude XT - surface temp
[Note: ambient temp = 83°F/28°C; low = 88°F/31°C; high = 101°F/38°C]

Battery Life

Battery on Dell Latitude XT is normal, nothing interesting or fantastic about, almost 3 hours on 6-cell, 42Wh. While it could have achieved better using ULV, it is disappointing because it constantly drains out 13W as a minimum which is considering very high at idle. No matter how I configure, that's the best I could get. Turning screen off helps decreasing 4-5W; turning others off help only about 1W less totally. As a result, Dell XT realistically last a tad shorter than 3 hours. That is ordinary, but not good as far as portability is concerned. 2 hour and half--oh boy! way to less!! since you shouldn't drain out battery every time.

Besides, a bit short battery life. Dell provides such a portable power adapter instead. Light and thin as you saw earlier in this review, it comes with only 45W while regular laptop/tablet PC power adapter is about 65W or so. Does that effect how long to fill Dell XT up? We'll see.

image

This is from Performance Monitor which I use to track all data, this time it's charge rate (red) and remaining capacity (green.) I could classify how fast it can charge into 3 situations:

  1. Charging while using, charge rate will vary between 21-23Wh which taking about 2 hours from 0%-100%
  2. Charging while turning on but screen off, charge rate will increase to 27Wh since it doesn't have to provide juice for monitor. This will help shortening charge time a bit.
  3. Charging while sleeping/turning off, this indeed helps charging much faster by only a bit over an hour with 35Wh charge rate.

As you see, the screen sucks only about 4-5W an hour as same as others tablet PC's. That means ATi chipset (GPU + Northbridge + Southbridge) is the only thing to blame here. Dell should have go for Intel chipset here, so that they could at least give LV CPU as an option while consuming less or equal to what Dell XT is right now.

Service

This is hell good of service from Dell Business, although it could be whole different if you have consumer model. The thing is Dell has both live chat and telephone service which are nice. Also, you can even ask for a replacement to do it on your own. Don't have to mess or take any risk sending to repair center since according to my experience, sending anything to any repair center does not help really, including Dell.

Almost anything they cover they will send you a replacement promptly, mostly few days to be on your door step. Plus if you send your machine in, it's going to take less than a week (but bad part is it won't help a thing!! you will need to ask for a replacement to change yourself anyway ha ha)

Drawback

Although there is a light sensor, it is almost useless since it won't work while on AC. Moreover, it should be a way to tweak sensitivity for this. It's just way too sensitive for me. Thus I just choose to disable it.

Fingerprint sensor is not a good one. You will not be able to swipe your finger in different way [inside out in notebook mode & opposite which is more natural in tablet mode] since this sensor will not be able to match. Firstly I thought it was a software, but I just put the same UPEK Protector Suite QL to thinkpad X61T and surprisingly it works great like normal. In addition, this finger is kind of miss, instead of hit. On the other words, I swipe my thumb 10 times, it will work only 1 or 2. Unlike Thinkpad, which 80% is the lowest probability. Note: I use convenient mode on both.

Dell Latitude XT -- battery chart

It should have an option for extended battery like real 9-cell. You may know that slice battery that they claimed as 9-cell battery is only 45Wh comparing to 6-cell with 42 Wh. I have no clue what the heck is going on too and chart above is way too exaggerate since 42Wh + 45 Wh = 87Wh and by the fact that it drains 13Wh constantly; that's only 6 and a half hour and that is only left it idle. 3 hours missing = -40% from ad. I just expected Dell much more honest than this, 20-25%? please.

N-Trig!? Not only it has a problem with a driver, but also the service is like talking to the wall. No response ever!!! At least, recently not only Dell using this, HP Touchsmart family also join this boat. I expected to have at least working Adobe Photoshop pressure sensitivity.

Conclusion

To be honest with you, this is the machine I want to like; it has almost everything needed to be a perfect one, but it can't keep up to par in some important features. I don't know if I could recommend Dell XT to anyone, but I think for its price on outlet, $600-$850; it's definitely a great price for this machine. Forgetting buy this in full. It's just not worth that big buck.

Pros

  • Capacitive touch
  • Nice design
  • Jog-dial
  • Cool in temperature sense

Cons

  • Mediocre battery life
  • not so good Pointstick
  • not that light; in fact, much heavier than I expected.
  • Driver problems!