Dell Latitude XT
GCN Lab review
THE DELL LATITUDE XT offers good performance along with a nice form factor and features, but it is expensive compared with the other reviewed units.
The Latitude XT is a laptop PC that can convert into a tablet, a nice touch that takes advantage of the large 12.1-inch screen. Surprisingly, this does not increase the weight much ' its 3 pounds, 12 ounces places it at about the middle of the road.
MAIN STORY: Portability meets performance
Middle of the road would be a good way to describe the Latitude XT in most areas. Its PassMark Performance score of 288.6 put it squarely in the middle of the pack. It does well in graphical performance because of its ATI Graphics Radeon Xpress 1250 chipset, but its 1.20 GHz Intel Core Duo ultralow-voltage processor seems a little underpowered for the Vista Premium operating system.
Given the low-voltage processor, we were expecting great battery life. Two hours, 23 minutes is not a bad run, but it was the worst in the review.
The Latitude's ability to operate as a tablet or laptop is a nice feature if you need it, but beyond that, there is nothing to make it special. It has wireless and Bluetooth in addition to Verizon Wireless built-in mobile broadband and all the ports you would expect. One feature our test unit did not have that almost every other system did is an internal optical drive, which is essential on the road. You could carry an external optical drive, but it's one more piece that might get lost and adds weight to your travel package.
The biggest problem with the Latitude XT is its price. At $3,640, it's the most expensive in the review. With eight laptops to choose from, another one likely will suit your needs for less money.Dell, (800) 727-1100, www.dell.com
John Breeden II directs the GCN Lab.
Greg Crowe is a former GCN staff writer who covered mobile technology.