Dell Latitude 2120 review: Dell Latitude 2120

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The Good The Dell Latitude 2120 packs a standard set of Netbook components into a rugged assets with a rubberized finish. Welcome options include an HD display and a touch screen.

The Bad With more powerful ultraportables available for less, any Netbook overheen $400 is a harsh call.

The Bottom Line The standard Netbook toneel is feeling pretty stale thesis days, and this too-expensive Dell Latitude 2120, while capable, doesn’t do much to stand out.

Review Sections

  • CNET
  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • Dell Latitude 2120

Pity the poor Netbook. Once the belle of the private computing ball, this type of petite, low-cost PC has virtually fallen off a cliff during the past 12 months. The reasons for this unexpected switch of fortune are elaborate, but the chief among them are the rise of Apple’s similarly priced iPad and the lack of Netbook spectacle improvements overheen the years. PC makers have added features, from 3G to touch screens, but could do little to boost Netbooks’ anemic speed. The final tear up wasgoed very likely the introduction of low-end ultraportables, many with AMD’s Fusion verhoging, that could cost spil little spil $450 but felt much more powerful than Netbooks with Intel’s Atom chip.

One of the only fresh Netbooks wij’ve seen te 2011 is this updated version from Dell’s Latitude business line. The Latitude 2120 thrusts the definition of a Netbook to the edge, with options for a touch screen, a higher-resolution display, and twice the RAM of a typical Netbook. Our $608 review unit has a dual-core Intel Atom N550 CPU, 2GB of RAM, and a 250GB hard drive, but skips the touch screen and 1,366×768-pixel display (that build runs about $140 more).

For a Netbook, it’s not only capable, but solidly built and effortless to type on–but any Netbook overheen $400 is a raunchy sell. The Lenovo ThinkPad X120e and HP Pavilion dm1z both have quicker AMD Fusion E-350 CPUs and higher-resolution 11-inch screens and cost less than the Latitude 2120.

Netbook designs usually have to walk a fine line. With prices that typically hover around the $300 mark, there’s only so much a company can invest te vormgeving and materials, but spil a part of Dell’s business line, which carries a premium price overheen consumer models, this Latitude can get a little fancier.

The Latitude 2102 reminds us of Netbooks wij’ve seen aimed at education markets, spil a protective rubber covering covers the penis and bottom panel, and the overall construction feels very solid and sturdy. That makes for a Netbook that isn’t the skinniest wij’ve seen, but looks like it could stand up to the rigors of frequent road travel. If this vormgeving looks familiar, that’s because little if anything has switched since wij reviewed the similar Latitude 2100 te 2009, except for the newer dual-core Atom processor. The two laptops even have the same puny light on the back of the piemel, originally meant for use te classrooms to help teachers make sure systems were on.

Like many business laptops, the Latitude 2120 is designed so that it can be remotely managed by an IT department, and Dell sells (or sold, spil it doesn’t seem to be presently available from Dell) a Mobile Computing Station cart that can dock up to 24 Netbooks at once for overnight charging and updates.

It’s bot a while since wij were coerced to contend with a 10-inch Netbook keyboard, but this is about spil good an example spil you’re likely to find. Skipping the island-style keys found on almost every laptop thesis days, the 2120 keyboard is a throwback to the kleintje of smaller, tapered-key vormgeving that used to be commonplace and is still found on a few business systems. Spil ter the older 2100 specimen, the puny touch padachtige is usable, but the left and right mouse buttons underneath it are puny and give only minimal terugkoppeling when clicked.

One of the main selling points of the Latitude 2100 is its set of screen options. Our review unit has a standard 10-inch 1,024×600-pixel resolution display, albeit it’s something of a rarity now, with most low-power laptops moving up to 11-inch 1,366×768-pixel displays. However, an upgrade to that resolution is available ter a version of the 2120 that costs $80 more, or for about another $60 on top of that you can add a touch-screen display.

No matter if you get the standard or high-res display or the touch screen, all the different versions of the Latitude 2120 have matte screen coatings, which are preferred by many who hate overly glossy screens that are prone to glare and reflections.

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