Review: Dell Latitude E6510
June 9, 2010
In March 2010, Dell announced the Latitude E6510 15.6-inch widescreen, which is based on Intel's Calpella notebook platform. The E6510 supplants the Latitude E6500 and is a moderate update. It is accompanied to market by an updated 14.1-inch widescreen (E6410) and an updated ruggedized 14.1-inch (E6410 ATG).
Design and Changes
The biggest single change for the Latitude E6510 is that this generation of the E series moves to Intel's Calpella notebook platform. The discrete video card is upgraded from 256 MB to 512 MB and RAM changes from 800 MHz DDR2 to either 1066 MHz (for dual core processors) or 1333 MHz DDR3 (for quad core processors).
The Latitude E6510 enclosure is approximately the same size as the Latitude E6500 it replaces, though there are some changes (it's slightly heavier, wider, and shorter) because of the move from a 15.4-inch 16:10 display to a 15.6-inch 16:9 display. Along with the Latitude E4310 and E6410, the E6510 has a new brushed aluminum ("Slate Silver") cover. The E6510 uses the same power supplies and docking solutions that the E6500 used.
The Latitude E6510 is about two tenths of a pound heavier than the E6500, weighing from 6.2 to 6.6 pounds, depending mostly on battery size with a travel weight (which includes power adapter) ranging between 7.3 and 7.7 pounds.
Latitude ON is an option on the Latitude E6510. This is basically a separate system on a chip that is meant to be booted up when on the go and is for short temporary use. Latitude ON runs off a modified Linux system and was unable to connect to AirPennNet out of the box. It is a little slow to boot and takes almost as long as a full system boot up does. Latitude ON seems polished and easy to use. It offers web, email, remote desktop, Skype, and calendar usage, along with a picture viewer and music player. Dell also advertises that the battery life is significantly longer in this mode, but Information Systems & Computing (ISC) has not confirmed these claims.
When appropriately configured, the Latitude E6510 is EPEAT Gold-compliant and Energy Star 5.0-certified.
Several notes when ordering a Latitude E6510 through Dell's Premier Page for the University:
See ISC's Notebook Purchasing Guide for more configuration hints. As of June 2010, configuring a Latitude E6510 to the mid-weight notebook specification can be done for approximately $1,200 to $1,500. The University's Computer Connection has an E6510 configuration available to order.
ISC tested a Latitude E6510 with 1.6 GHz Core i7, 1333 MHz 4.0 GB RAM, 512 MB NVIDIA NVS 3100M discrete graphics card, 250 GB/7200 RPM hard drive, and Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. It received a Windows Experience Index base score of 4.9, with individual scores of:
These scores suggest that Windows 7 and Windows Vista performance will be excellent for most users on a Latitude E6510 configured in this manner.
The Latitude E6510 is an upgrade over the Latitude E6500, with improved processors, a better chipset, and a 16:9 screen being the most obvious differences. ISC sees the Latitude E6510 as being a competitive choice among 15.6-inch mid-weight notebooks available in mid 2010. The three year warranty battery is an interesting innovation for removable batteries.
When correctly configured to the mid-weight notebook specification in the Notebook Purchasing Guide, the Latitude E6510 is approved for general use at the University.
Latitude E6510 graphic courtesy of Dell
--John Mulhern III and Andrew Romond, ISC Technology Support Services (June 9, 2010)
Information Systems and Computing
University of Pennsylvania
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