With its design and business orientation, the Dell Latitude E6330 is going very much against the current trend of Ultrabooks. At the moment there is very little direct competition, such as the LifeBook S792 from Fujitsu.
As usual with Dell, the customers have extensive configuration options to make use of. Our E6330 test model is fitted out with a Core i5-3320M CPU, an integrated Graphics 4000 graphics chip, 4GB of RAM and an SSD. If individual components you want are not available through the online configurator, it could help to order via telephone, since the options here are normally more varied.
As with its predecessor, the suitable port layout has been retained on this model. Ports that are normally permanently occupied have been banished to the back of either side or to the rear side itself. The use of an external mouse is therefore not impeded by annoying cables on both the right and left sides. The left side is generally subject to the heat waste blown out of the case while under heavy workloads. What is less enjoyable, due to its poor visibility, is the positioning of the eject button for the optical drive, which is on the downward sloping side edge. The same goes for the card reader on the front side.
As expected, Dell has done away with USB 2.0 ports and replaced them with the 3.0 version. In regards to a built in HDMI port, our model handles things differently from the E6230, still using a mini-HDMI port.
With Intel 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection (10/100/1000 MBit/s), Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 AGN (a/g/n) and Dell Wireless 380 Bluetooth 4.0 the Latitude E6330 reaches the current standards for communications technology. In addition, Dell has installed a Wireless 5560 HSPA+ Mini-Card Network Adapter Broadband modem. Most users will find that this configuration will suffice. Only those who travel frequently to places with bad infrastructure will probably find themselves wishing for an RJ-11 port for an analog modem.
With Business devices, security features take on a more important role than with normal consumer laptops. Next to the Kensington Lock Slot and the fingerprint scanner there is also a SmartCard reader onboard. Furthermore, a Trusted Platform Module allows for the unique identification of the device from afar, since the installed VPro processor supports remote access.
Fortunately, next to the necessary accessories such as the power adapter and battery, we find a Reinstallation DVD for Windows 7 Professional 32-bit and two software CDs in the package. It’s interesting that there is not a 64-bit version already installed. The built-in 4 GB of RAM will be used less efficiently with the 32-bit version. The choice of a 32-bit operating system really only makes sense when 64-bit drivers are not available for existing peripheral devices.
Dell offers a range of optional accessories, including a docking station for the docking port found on the bottom side. In the German online shop the E series Legacy Expansion Port is offered for 58.99 Euros (~$77), the advanced E Port II for 169.99 Euros (~$221) and the simple E Port II for 149.99 Euros (~$195). With the E Port II solutions, the interface range is expanded to include a display port.
The hard drive can be swapped out without taking off the bottom plate, rather just by easily removing two screws. If you do take off the bottom plate you will get easy access to the other components, such as the fan.
The warranty for Latitude E series notebooks is a standard 3-year base support with service on the next business day. This can be upgraded for a cost to the so called ProSupport, which includes (according to Dell) on-site service after remote diagnosis, technical support around the clock, premium support for hardware and software, as well as a central contact for escalation management.
In comparison to the predecessor there are no observable changes. The moisture resistant keyboard with a standard layout (no Chiclet design) can be backlit at four different levels through the optionally installed backlight on our test device. The keys are slightly concave, big enough and are pleasant to touch. Thanks to the relatively short stroke and firm pressure point, the keyboard is good for extended time typing.
The built-in Touchpad comes from Alps Electric and supports multi-touch gestures. As with the predecessor and the 12-inch sibling model, the vertical dimensions are not enough for particularly comfortable use of multi-touch gestures.
The Touchpad keys respond well over the entire area and work relatively quietly. The slightly rough surface has a good feel to it, which is also somewhat soft.
The TrackPoint allows for precise positioning of the mouse pointer without having to reposition it. The associated keys function as toggle buttons, which work well and quietly.
Dell equips the Latitude E6330 model with a low-reflective 13.3-inch HD display with a resolution of 1366×768 pixels with LED backlighting. At the moment Dell does not offer any alternatives. The resolution is fine in regards to form factor. Fujitsu’s LifeBook S792 can’t offer anything more in this area.
As expected from Dell, the Latitude E6330 can be configured with various performance enhancing components. What all models have in common is that they are based on the QM77 chipset from Intel. As for processors, there are the Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors from the Ivy Bridge generation to choose from. Up to 8 GB of RAM can be added in addition to these processors while placing your order. As for graphical output, the system relies solely on the integrated Graphics 4000 chip of the respective processor. A configuration with a dedicated graphics card is not possible. Therefore, in terms of power, the Latitude E6330 is aimed at mobile office and Internet users no matter what the configuration chosen is. For graphic intensive 3D applications it clearly doesn’t have the necessary power reserves on board.
Our test model is equipped with a Core i5-3320M processor, four GB of RAM and a speedy 128 GB SSD. As mentioned before, there was only a 32-bit operating system preinstalled. Apart from the fact that part of the 4 GB of RAM may not be made use of, it also means that further RAM upgrades are pointless without changing to a 64-bit operating system. For the other test this means that our 64-bit benchmarks could not be carried out.
The installed Core i5-3320M CPU is a fast dual-core processor from the Ivy Bridge generation, which thanks to hyperthreading, can process up to 4 threads working simultaneously. Using Turbo Boost can take the clock rate from the base of 2.6 GHz dynamically up to the maximum of 3.1 GHz with two cores, and 3.3 GHz with one core. Detailed information about the processor can be found in our special article. Our benchmark list of mobile processors provides a suitable power classification.