Pros Speed, weight, keyboard
Cons a few design issues...
this review is for the Latitude D610. You will notice that some of the reviews here are 1) not for this model but for prior modles, and/or 2) submitted by people who don't actually own this machine.
Briefly: I've ownded about 8 laptops over the years; I've been a laptop owner since the earliest sewing machine-sized models. Currently, the main competitors to the D610, are the IBM t4x series, and the HP NC6230, and potentially the ACER travelmate 3200 series. These are elite busines-class laptops. (one could argue the apple powerbook g4 too, but I would disagree; not that the powerbook isn't a great machine, just machined for different use). Sadly, the HP 6230 is still "unavailable" at this time, else I may have gone with it (my prior laptop was an NC6000 - a cleanly designed and sturdy machine).
D610 - my config: 1.86mhz processor, 60gb 5400 speed hard drive, 512 mb (2 dimms), x300 video with 64mb dedicated mem, SXVGA w/ native res of 1500x1050).
Upside: This machine is CLEARLY speedier than even the last gen top of the lines. Response is crisp, drive I/O excellent for a laptop (8mb drive cache). there's some nice reviews of the ATI x300 video mem: google it and read - it's substantially faster than the latest gen Intel integrated 900 series chipset, let alone the older intel 855 series). D610is nicely weighted, base and screen balance well, overall weight is fine (about 5.5lbs). Keyboard is large, provides good tactile feedback, feels sturdy. Case of the 610 is noticeably sturdier than the older d600, though still not on par with the HP magnesium alloy cases used on their NC6000 series. However, D610 is quite sturdy, atleast as sturdy as the IBM T4x cases (wife owns a T42). Lastly: cost - with Dell's current promotions, this laptop is $400-$600 cheaper than IBM; cheaper even than acer. Good deal, I must say.
Downside: power adaptor design is positively moronic: requires that cables sit at awkward right angles, thus increasing breakages; proprietry clumsly large design, inefficient use of cable length. This may seem minor but trust me: every cable gets accidentally pulled, yanked, dropped, tripped over, stepped on: this adaptor will wear/break quickly. CNET should have called this out and DELL should be slapped HARD for it. Remember: when your power adaptor breaks, you're permanently offline until you get a new one. Next, weight: Dell lists laptop starting at about 4.7 lbs, but if you read fine print that's with the 4 cell battery and the "weight saver" in the multi-bay (it's a non-functional plastic piece that fits into and covers the cd/dvd slot). Fine, BUT: they don't include a weight saver either with the laptop or as a listed accessory (maybe at some future point it will appear on their web site...?...)! Fraudulent? you decide. Simply put: the laptop is 5.5+ lbs, not 4.7. Next, screen. Good but not great. And be advised: if you've never used 1500x1050 native res, try before you buy. Fonts are tiny, you really need to futz with dpi settings to make it fully usable; also some programs like mozilla's firefox really choke on that high res. I spent hours getting it too look good. And it does: looks great, exceeding crisp at 1500x1050. SADLY, however, it is surprisingly SUBPAR at standard 1024x768. Very disappointing.
Overall, I'd give this laptop a 7 out of 10.
Pros Great build quality, good performance, good battery life
Cons headphone noise, somewhat thick in comparison to other lappies
Summary PROS: Yes, the build quality is MUCH better on this than the d600...the screen no longer warps when you push it from the back (it's VERY solid, actually), the mouse buttons beneath the touchpad are better quality (and not uneven like on the d600 I tried), the palm rest is cool and the bottom is warm but not hot. And yes, the keyboard is a much different experience than in the d600...the d600 is mushy as hell, but the d610 keyboard is stiff and precise..close, as some have said, to IBM. The performance on this machine, at least from my evening's worth of experience on it, seems pretty damn good, though it takes quite a while for it to load hl2 (is this normal?).
CONS: All said, though, it's not perfect. It's a little thick (especially when compared to the t42/43 models), still kinda heavy (the 4.X pound stat is rather misleading), and YES, THE HEADPHONE NOISE IS HORRIBLE. I'm not sure at this point if it's enough to make me return it, but it is very loud and quite noticeable in all but the loudest music. The screen is ok, but not fantastic....the view angle, like an all laptops is fairly limited...too far to the right or left and it begins to invert..to far up or down and it lightens or darkens the screen.
CONCLUSIONS: This is, after all, a business laptop. NOT a gaming laptop, NOT a multimedia laptop, NOT a desktop replacement. However, in all these areas, it comes fairly close...or at least close enough for all but the most gadget-hungry and power conscious of us. The performance is good, the build quality is fantastic (especially for a Dell), it'll play your latest games with decent quality, it'll play your DVDs, etc. I'd recommend it, but I'd think twice about the headphone issue, which is easily the worst thing about this lappy.
Pros Robust, Fast, All Ports
Cons Audio Sucks
Summary There is no built in microphone. This sucks bad for using Skype and the like. Esp. disapointing as the D600 did have a built in microphone.
The built in speaks are OK, but the sound quality when using earphones, sucks really bad. A ton of hiss.
I bought a bluetooth headset to workaround both problems--it works fine.
All in all a good machine,
Pros Full-featured, nice design, compact, quiet, hi-res screen
Cons Could be lighter, the battery could last longer
Summary I was in need of a notebook computer for an upcoming trip so I can check emails and continue with software coding while away from my home office. So my requirements were for a lightweight, compact notebook computer that had a usable-sized keyboard with a CDRW burner and 512 MB memory and 60 GB (minimum) hard drive, and builtin WiFi. Also, I wanted the cost to be under $1000 US if possible.
So, I did some research and came up with the Dell Latitude D610, Dell Insprion m700, and Gateway 250x. The Gateway notebook computers don't allow for much customization, so you basically have a choice between two differently configured systems. The system I was considering was approx $1100 US, which was over my $1000 target price. Also, I've never owned a Gateway computer before, so that played a role in my purchase decision.
I have used two different Dell laptops over the past several years for my main job, and I've never had a problem with them. So, I narrowed my choice down to the Dell m700 and D610 notebook computers. I was really leaning towards the m700 because of it's compact size, lightweight design, and good design looks. The biggest hesitation I had, was the reduced-size keyboard on the m700, which eventually turned me towards getting the D610.
I've also read numerous reviews on the predecessor to the D610 (the D600), which seemed to have numerous problems with an overheated hard drive, so that gave me some concerns. After reading that some of these issues have been resolved in the D610, I decided to order it from Dell and give it a try. Using my business account and a $500 discount offer, I was able to get a fully loaded system (512 MB RAM, 80 GB 5400 Hard drive, XGA+ screen, 24x CDRW/DVD drive, 3-Yr mail-in Warranty) for $1007 US (with free shipping).
In less than 6 days I had my new Dell D610 delivered to my doorstep. I've been using it for the last 5 days, and here are my comments:
The Computer is well built, and a good size for a portable notebook computer. The 1440 x 1050 resolution screen is fantastic, and I have no problems with the displayed text or icons (as some have reported). Again, the screen is wonderful.
The full-sized keyboard works good (I'm a touch typist), so I have no complains. The builtin WiFi worked great and without any issues (connecting easily to my WPA WiFi Home Router), and the computer is virtually silent with only a slight sound from the exhaust fan.
The only slight disappointment I had, was that the computer wasn't as light in weight as I hoped for. I was expecting something about 1/2 lbs lighter, but I really can't complain too much since the notebook is still light enough to tote around. Also, the 4-cell battery life is about 2 hrs with the WiFi continuously on, so it would have been nice to get another 30 mins to 1 hour extra time.
so bottom line: This computer is well designed, has a full-sized keyboard, and can be configured with lots of high-end options. The screen is fantastic, and you get a lot for your money if you can take advantage of Dell's various offers. I'd highly recommend the D610 to everyone who needs a portable notebook computer.
Pros Lite, durable feel, layout, wifi, bluetooth, battery, and simply works well.
Cons No FireWire connection and minor annoyances previously mentioned by other reviewers.
Summary Being a previous, satisfied Latitude owner (C800) of 4.1 years and finding my old Latitude "giving up the ghost", it was time for a replacement.
Let's just say I'm quite happy with the D610. First off, it's SO MUCH LIGHTER than the C800 was and feels more durable. Performance is great as well.
* Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 2.00GHz
* 1GB RAM
* ATI MOBILITY RADEON X300 64Mb
* 80GB HDD
* CD R/W and DVD Combo
* Main Battery and Secondary Battery
* Docking Station
I've had the D610 just over a week now and WOW! The battery life is great. I've gotten a good four to six hours of continuous use between charges so far. It really just depends upon what you're doing. Minimal disk access and turning the display brightness down put the remaining charge estimates at nearly eight hours (when fully charged).
Performance: doesn't stutter and doesn't let me fall asleep waiting for it.
Display: clear and bright. However, a flaw did develop by day five of ownership and so I'll be without my laptop for 3-5 days while the repair is made. All things considered, totally usable and still looks great; I simply expect a flawless product until it gets a bit older. Dealing with Dell Support was satisfactory. Within a day (three or four email exchanges), they had made arrangements for repair (LCD replacement); under warranty, of course.
Keyboard and General Layout: Very comfortable to use. Has both the pointer stick and touch pad and I frequently use them both.
Wireless and bluetooth: So convenient! I'm hooked! All of it works very well.
Power: I opted for the combo power supply. Basically, a power supply that's able to be powered from house current, your vehicle's power port (aka cigarette lighter) and even the power port on many commercial airlines. This eliminates the need for multiple power supplies and cords. It's all contained neatly in a zippered bag/pouch that fits nicely in the laptop bag/case.
So what did I find less than perfect? My previous Latitude had a FireWire connection while the Latitude D610 does not. I only needed this connection to sync my iPod. The work around was to purchase a PCMCIA card that has a FireWire connection.
The only other thing that is less than perfect so far is the audio hiss while wearing headphones (mentioned by other reviewers). It doesn't bother me much but when the music gets quiet, it is there.
Speaking of things I can hear (or not hear)...I have yet to hear the hard drive. I see the HDD light blinking, but that's it. Finally, the fan noise other reviewers mentioned... I found the noise to be a mere whisper. Okay... I can hear it... in a quiet environment. Basically, I find the Latitude D610 to be really quiet.
So there you have it. My 2nd Latitude purchase and I'm not disappointed. In fact, it's even better than I was expecting.