Dell Latitude E6400 Review - Intel Core 2 Duo with backlit keyboard and Windows Vista Ultimate

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Dell has always been known for producing solid laptops. Does the market for a new laptop a few months ago, I did some research and found that the E6400 is a machine that would serve me well. The Dell Latitude E6400 is the replacement for the popular Dell D630, which also I had the opportunity to work with. Happy with the D630, I felt that the E6400 would be a good choice for me.

After a few days trying to get my laptop with the Dell sales team to configure them properly and finally sent me my machine. After opening the box, I was very happy to see my new slim PC. The matte black finish makes this a very good looking machine.

I turned the computer on and was pleasantly surprised at the backlit keyboard in action. This was a $ 50 upgrade, but let me tell you that everything was worth it. I am typing this review in the dark now with no problems what so ever.

After a few minutes admiring my new computer, I saw the top right of the keyboard was tilted from the rest of the keyboard. I thought this was strange, but thought it was just the way it was designed. After analyzing the computer some more, I noticed that the right speaker grill a dent in it. It seemed almost like a flat head screwdriver was put down.

These were small things I could deal with for the moment, so I kept going about my business and my new laptop to work up.

Something told me that the keyboard was broken, because it seemed like a stuck key. I would work on something and every so often, something random would happen on the screen. I even installed a key logger to try and figure out what the problem was and what the key was causing the problem.

After viewing the logs in the key logger, I noticed that the CTRL key was repeatedly pressed trigger shortcuts. Sure, I was a keyboard problem, so I took the laptop and pulled alongside the keyboard. After looking at the keyboard for a while, I noticed that the idiot who put the keyboard into the laptop it is stuck and that's why the left corner of the keyboard looked bent. The whole top right of the keyboard was bent and pried into place, so I straightened it out as best I could and put it back into the laptop.

The keyboard looked uniform now and I tried it out. The same subject - the CTRL key was. After some troubleshooting, I discovered that the touchpad was causing the problem. Apparently there is a feature on the touchpad to zoom in and out, which emulates pressing the CTRL and the + and - buttons. When my finger was on the left side of the touchpad, which would lead to the CTRL key to enter, so I disabled the feature and all was well.

I thought, since the laptop under warranty that I am a new keyboard and right speaker grill to get. At least Dell is good about sending replacement parts. They came the next day.

The system is still unstable. I would constantly review the Management Console Event Viewer logs to see what would cause my problems. The DVD writer also was active and kept crashing my system so I ordered it from Dell. After a few builds and a new DVD drive, my system was finally working as it should.

So it took a while to get this computer running like it should have. Dell has designed a solid machine, my only complaint is the inability of Dell to get it right the first time .... the second time ... the third time ....

The Dell Latitude E6400 is a solid, well-built machine that looks and works great. The backlit keyboard is a very nice touch and the fundamental (stock) screen is good for everyday use. The keys on the keyboard are resilient and feels good. There are 4 USB ports (two on the left and two on the right). One of the USB port doubles as an e-SATA port, which is nice! There is a VGA port on the left, along with a display port on the back. The right of the machine has a fire wire port and a smart card port on the machine. The screen is sturdy and you have two hands on the laptop that is a nice touch to open Solid. The touchpad works well and the buttons are easy to push. I have the web cam option that works well for video conferencing. There is of course a network port on the back along with the standard microphone and headphone jacks on the right.

Overall this is a great laptop and I would definitely recommend to others. Just tired when you get the machine and make sure everything works. Make sure there are no dents on the machine, because some newbie to the factory left him on the floor.

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