For business professionals seeking a viable business laptop, the Dell Latitude 14 E7450 may be just what the doctor ordered!
An Ultrabook that raises the bar.
Dell has recently entered a specific niche of ultrabooks geared toward business professionals looking for great performance, improved productivity, and affordability. Its latest model, the Latitude 14 E7450 continues to raise the bar with its smart design, solid chassis, excellent battery life and technical performance.
Because the E7450 is equipped with the latest Broadwell technology, this places it ahead of similar ultrabooks by Hewlett Packard and Lenovo, both of which have yet to include the new processing technology.
Additionally, the E7450 is built to withstand the daily commute, is designed with military grade technology, and weighs in at just over three pounds to allow for easy portability.
Dell has accomplished this while keeping costs reasonable, starting at just over £799. The Ultrabook continues to be critically acclaimed, with various other online reviews giving the E7450 high marks for performance, construction, display quality, and battery life.
So is there anything not to like? Let’s find out.
A design for working life.
Smart yet professional in its appearance, the exterior case of the E7450 sports a traditional colour scheme constructed of a magnesium alloy chassis and a smart carbon fiber lid. It’s not going to turn many heads, but it’s a perfect design for a corporate environment.
The solid construction of the E7450 becomes evident when you first handle the laptop. This is an Ultrabook that feels like it could withstand a knock off the side of the office desk, although I haven’t tested this!
There is a generous selection of connectivity ports strategically positioned to the rear and the sides of the Ultrabook, and we will touch on these later in the review.
On the bottom of the E7450, you will find access to the battery, which can be removed and swapped out, in addition to the E-series docking port that connects with the Dell docking station.
A metallic finished hinge accents the black finish and houses the indicator lights for various device functions.
What’s the keyboard like?
When you open the black matte finished lid, you are greeted with a spacious backlit keyboard with a rubberised pointing stick in the centre of the G and H keys. The keyboard is finished with a generous touchpad and five mouse buttons. You can also adjust the backlighting to two levels of brightness.
Dell also modified the chicklet key design to make the keys more concave for improved comfort and accuracy when performing daily computing tasks. The keys are substantial at 14 x 14 mm with backlighting that ensures accuracy in different types of lighting.
Dell says it has added improved key travel and this is certainly noticeable when using the Ultrabook for typing large documents (such as this one!) I love the fact that Dell has put ample space between each key, which is perfect for people like myself that don’t get on too well with closely married keys on a laptop.
I usually end up doing a number of extra random key presses when writing a document, but I am pleased to say that this didn’t happen once when writing this review, so the keyboard gets a big thumbs up from me!
Size isn’t everything!
The Dell 14 Latitude E7450 is slightly larger in size than potential competitors. Measuring in at 13.3 x 9.1 x 0.8 inches, it is still a very highly portable device that will be ideal for people that have a long commute to work.
The E7450 is slightly lighter in weight than most other Ultrabooks, weighing in at 3.6 pounds.
Additionally, the E7450 is designed to stand up to extreme temperatures and humidity as well!
What’s the display like?
The E7450 is equipped with a multi capacitive 14” screen that uses Gorilla Glass for added protection. The screen is a Matte finish, which personally I prefer as it reduces glare when using the laptop outside, or in a brightly lit room. The colours don’t look quite as vibrate as a gloss finish, but for me, this is an acceptable trade-off.
The viewing angles are fantastic for a screen of this size, making it ideal for interaction with Windows 8.1 (I have not tried it with windows 10 yet) as well as delivering professional presentations and collaborating on projects.
In terms of display quality, the screen offers WLED (White Light Emitting Diode) backlight technology which provides for sharp text and imaging. The display is designed as a widescreen for improved viewing with a 1920 x 1090 high definition resolution and 16:9 image aspect ratio.
IMPORTANT – I noticed that Dell and some other vendors online sell a version of the E7450 that has a lower resolution screen, so make sure that you check the technical specs before adding it to your shopping cart!
The Latitude E7450 is equipped with a 54 Wh (watt/hour) 4-cell battery which is slightly better than some of the other standard batteries in the HP and Lenovo ultrabooks at 48 Wh and 50 Wh respectively.
In a battery rundown test conducted by PC Magazine, the battery lasted just over ten hours which is more than enough to get you through the day. This is just over two hours longer than the Touch E7440 and longer than most of the other Windows ultrabooks on the market.
My experience with the battery life was very similar, and when using the laptop for daily tasks such as writing, internet browsing and streaming I was getting around 8 hours from the device. I do love a bit of You Tube though!
The battery can also be removed, allowing you to swap it out for a fully charged battery if you require more than ten hours of use. Additionally, if the battery life is not as important, Dell makes a 3-cell option which of course, has a shorter lifespan before recharge is necessary.
The Latitude 14 E7450 that I am using has Windows 8.1 Professional preinstalled. However, I did notice that some vendors still sell the E7450 with windows 7 professional installed so again, be sure to check the technical specs before committing to buy.
In terms of processing performance, Intel has added 14-nm to the manufacturing of its latest Broadwell processors, which means a reduction in power consumption. Plus, they have improved the processing performance by about 5 percent.
The E7450 I used was equipped with a Core i5-5300U Central Processing Unit running at 2.3GHz with 8GB of Random Access Memory (RAM) and integrated Intel HD Graphics processor.
The hard drive.
The E7450 I tested was equipped with 128GB of internal storage on a Solid State Drive (SSD). This eliminates the traditional moving parts you find on a hard disk and increases the reliability and life of the hard drive. A solid state drive makes for lightning fast operating system and application loading times, you certainly won’t be complaining about waiting for the laptop to start up!
In a recent Geekbench test which tested the overall system performance, the Latitude E7450 received a score of just over 5300 which is very respectable for this type of test. Although this is slightly less than the Lenovo T450, the E7450 makes up for it with a faster Central Processing Unit.
When PC Magazine tested the internal storage drive, just under 5GB of different media files were copied in less than 40 seconds using 130 Mbps (megabits per second) as the transfer rate. In the same test, Office was used to match more than 1,950 names to their respective addresses. This took just over 5 minutes.
The Intel Broadwell processor combined with the Intel High Definition Graphics processor showed high performance marks on the PCMark 8 Work Conventional test with a score of just under 2,700 points. The multimedia tests were also as strong with just over five minutes for the latest version of Adobe Photoshop CS6 and strong test results for the built-in 3D technology.
The above specifications are more than enough to handle a traditional business workload. There are other review sites that conduct numerous performance tests, but just be aware that the E7450 comes in many different technical variations depending on where you buy it from.
The E7540 does not lack port connectivity features. There is one USB 3.0 port on the side of the device and there are also two additional USB 3.0 ports located in the back as well.
To the side you will find the fan exhaust, SmartCard, SD card readers, the headset jack and Kensington Lock.
Dell purposely positioned the majority of the ports on the back of the E7450 to help provide easier attachment of cables. On the back of the E7450, you will find a Mini-DisplayPort, Gbit LAN connection, AC power, HDMI port, and the two USB 3.0 ports we described earlier.
The Latitude E7450 comes equipped with the latest standard for wireless connectivity which is 802.11ac. You also have access to WiDi (Intel Wireless Display) for streaming multimedia wirelessly from a compatible device, as well as access to Gigabit Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and WiGig Ethernet which offers a much faster wireless network connection.
Audio and speakers
The Dell Latitude 14 E7450 is equipped with dual high quality speakers located just under the front edge of the device and provides very good performance.
I am very impressed with the quality of sound that comes out of this humble Ultrabook. It is balanced and free of the typical high tinny tones and a respectable bass sound which is exceptional when compared to most laptops. The volume when set to the maximum is capable of filling a medium sized area without any problems with sound distortion.
Dell has designed the 7450 for businesses concerned about security. Included in the E7450 is a wide selection of security options such as Data Protection and Encryption services by Dell. This provides you with complete system encryption to protect sensitive files and data.
Additionally, you have access to Microsoft BitLocker which provides auditing and reporting capabilities that are enterprise level quality. To protect unauthorised access to the E7450, it is equipped with a Smart Card reader and a fingerprint reader with the option to install Computrace in the event the device is lost or stolen.
Optional docking station.
On the underside of the Latitude E7450 is a docking port used for the purpose of connecting a Dell docking station. Dell makes a docking station known as the E-Port Replicator which allows you to connect the E7450 simply by placing it on the docking station.
The docking feature allows you to connect additional components such as an external storage device, mouse and keyboard, and monitor without having to individually connect them each time you return to work. The docking station includes three USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, one DVI port, one DisplayPort, one DVI port for outgoing video, and one Ethernet port for wired network or Internet connections.
What are the pros and cons?
Overall, there is a lot to like about the Dell Latitude 14 E7450 when it comes to using the device for business. However, here are a few pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.
- Solid military grade construction and lightweight design.
- Excellent keyboard.
- Impressive battery life.
- Two pointing devices add convenience and enhance productivity.
- Exceptional quality speakers and audio.
- Upgraded CPU enhances performance and productivity.
- Device can run warm when used for extended periods.
Final verdict. Excellent.
Overall, there is very little that I can fault with the Dell Latitude 14 E7450. The solid chassis and long battery life should be enough to carry you through your entire workday. With its sophisticated design coupled with a comfortable keyboard, great performance, and high quality display, the Dell Latitude 14 E4750 is currently considered one of the best Ultrabooks available on the market for business use. We think it is definitely a solid option for professionals who are looking for a mobile workstation that is highly functional and packed with essential productivity features.
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