The Latitude XT2 is Dell's multitouch-enabled business convertible-notebook that now includes Windows 7. The XT2 starts at $1,909 and offers a very thin and lightweight business-rugged chassis with an attractive brushed-metal finish. In this review we find out if the XT2's system performance or multitouch support has improved under Windows 7.

Dell Latitude XT2 features the following specifications:

* Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400 1.4GHz (800MHz FSB, 3MB L2 Cache)
* Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)
* 12.1" Premium WXGA (1280 x 800) LED-Backlight Display with 2-finger Multi-touch
* Intel X4500MHD Integrated Graphics
* 3GB DDR3 1066MHz RAM (2GB + 1GB)
* 120GB Toshiba 1.8" 5400RPM HDD
* 8X CD / DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive) through docking station
* Dell Wireless 1510 A/G/N, Bluetooth, and 1Gb Ethernet
* 6-Cell 42WHr Battery
* Limited 3-year standard parts and labor warranty with on-site service
* Dimensions: 11.7 x 8.7 x 1.1"
* Weight: 3lbs 13.6oz
* Price as configured: $2,830

Build and Design

The Dell Latitude XT2 has a very professional or industrial appearance with an all dark-grey design, sharp lines and edges, and even exposed screws. This notebook is definitely not targeted towards those looking for the next designer laptop. Instead, it is aimed squarely at those who just want to get down to business. The brushed metal surfaces are actually specially painted covers that give the look of metal but with the ease of maintenance that paint gives. The finish resists smudges and is much easier to wipe clean than most brushed metal exteriors. If it was painted matte black and had a Lenovo logo printed on it, you would swear it was a ThinkPad.

Access to user-serviceable components is easy through two areas. The hard drive is located underneath the battery and has four screws and a frame holding it in place. The RAM, Wi-Fi card, and WWAN card are located under a single access panel held in with two screws. Most upgrade needs can be taken care of in less than five minutes or however long it takes you to swap out a component. One interesting feature that Dell puts front and center under the access panel is a user removable BIOS chip (with a handy pull tab). This lets companies replace it in the event of a failed BIOS update, instead of sending the entire machine in for repair.


The 12.1" screen on the Dell Latitude XT2 looks great and is one of the better tablet screens I have seen in person. With the multiple touchscreen and pen input layers that tablets need over the actual display panel, most tablet screens look very hazy or cloudy compared to a standard notebook screen. The 1280 x 800 display on the XT2 looks slightly hazy compared to a normal display, but much nicer than the average tablet screen. One important feature of a tablet or slate screen is wide viewing angles for using the screen from multiple positions without having lots of color distortion. The display on the XT2 is above average in terms of horizontal viewing angles, but still suffers from some distortion when viewing the screen in landscape mode and pushing the screen back.

Battery Life

The Dell Latitude XT2 has lower power consumption under Windows 7 than it did in our previous review running Vista. In our battery test with the screen brightness set to 70%, Windows 7 on the Balanced profile, and wireless active the system stayed on for 3 hours and 59 minutes before going into standby mode. This is up from the previous 3 hours and 24 minutes we saw under the same conditions running Vista. For extended battery life Dell offers a 45Wh "slice" battery which is an external battery that attaches to the bottom of the notebook. This more than doubles the power capacity of the system but would also substantially increase its travel weight.


The Latitude XT2 is a good looking and well built business convertible-notebook that seems to lag behind the competition. Compared to its main rival, the Lenovo ThinkPad X200 Tablet, it uses a slower 1.8" hard drive, slower processor, and offers much less battery life unless you also use an add-on battery slice. One of the XT2's biggest flaws is the use of much slower 1.8" 5400RPM hard drives ... making the performance much slower than other top-tier business machines. Windows 7 multitouch support didn't fix the problems we had under Vista. Simple gestures such as scrolling or zooming feel jerky and make it easy to overshoot your intended mark. Sensitivity adjustments for multitouch in this situation would make a world of difference. Overall the Dell Latitude XT2 would lose many of its downsides if it included faster hard drives or processors and its price came down compared to competitors.

Tags : Latitude XT2 Tablet Product Details, Dell Latitude XT2 Review, Hands-On With the Dell Latitude XT2

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