Notebookcheck

Review Dell Latitude 3340 Notebook

Sebastian Jentsch (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 05/14/2014

Studious. Commonplace plastic barebones, hard-rubber bezel, and the most basic technology. But a battery runtime of 14 hours and more! Who would buy such a laptop for a not exactly bargain price? Perhaps universities or colleges will be interested?

Dell Latitude 3340: Affordable, basic and good - the perfect laptop for school and university?
Dell Latitude 3340: Affordable, basic and good - the perfect laptop for school and university?

For the original German review, see here.

Dell touts its Latitude 13 models to be exceptionally robust laptops, particularly for the educational field. The model rounds off the low-end sector of its Latitude series. We previously tested the 14-inch Latitude 3440 and 15-inch 3540. The 13-inch model's price of 850 Euros (incl. VAT; ~$1166) is even higher than that of its family members, which is likely due to special features (resistant casing) and the different price range available for the educational field. Generous discounts are also possible for bulk orders. The Latitude 13 is not available in free trade to date, at least not in Germany. With this background, it is obvious that the price of a Latitude E5440 (also 850 Euros; ~$1166, HD+ docking, etc.) does not "fit" to the present Latitude. However, since it is being sold in a different market, the Latitude 3340 perhaps does not have to compete with this price criterion.

Be that as it may, there are handy, everyday robust standard laptop contenders. For example, Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge models, such as the equally sized 13-inch Edge E330 (i3-3120M, starting at 460 Euros; ~$631), would be named first. Acer joins in with the TravelMate P633-M that costs less than 600 Euros (~$823) even with a Core i5 and UMTS modem. There are more options in the 14-inch range, like HP's ProBook 645 G1 (AMD A-Series A6-5350M) or Dell's Latitude 3440 (Intel Core i5-4200U).

Case

A 180 degree change - the former Latitude 3330 looked really stylish.
A 180 degree change - the former Latitude 3330 looked really stylish.

The German website states "a completely sealed design". The manufacturer refers to the sealed keyboard and touchpad design with an underlying spill protection. We did not want to try if this works with real fluids, but it is rather strange that there is no outlet on the chassis' underside (a small hole like in many business laptops).

The rubberized sides of the lid and base are more conspicuous. It is not a coating, but a real, mounted rubber part. This not only gives the edges a soft feel, it above all also protects the laptop against shocks and breakage, for example in cases of a short drop. Even if Dell states an SSD hard drive without moving parts, our review sample sports a solid-state hybrid drive that corresponds to a conventional HDD mechanically.

The battery has some room in its compartment; the gaps in the work area are quite large. The hinges are very stiff, we needed both hands for opening the lid, which can be opened to 190 degrees, and the hinges are mounted tightly to the base. The lid itself is not very stiff; twisting its sides noticeably bends its center. The thin base is relatively rigid, and force was needed to twist it. Overall, the chassis appears suitable for everyday use, although its looks will not catch anyone's eye.

By the way, the Latitude 3330 precursor featured an entirely different chassis with an aluminum finish and a completely different look.

Connectivity

There are not many interfaces. Although a DisplayPort is available, things that are sometimes important, such as a VGA (d-sub) or docking port, are not. This is in line with the Latitude 3000 range that only provides slimmed down business features if at all.

Left: AC, RJ45, HDMI, mini DisplayPort, USB 3.0
Left: AC, RJ45, HDMI, mini DisplayPort, USB 3.0
Right: SD card reader, headphone/microphone combo jack, USB 3.0, Kensington
Right: SD card reader, headphone/microphone combo jack, USB 3.0, Kensington
Recovery DVDs
Recovery DVDs
65-Watt power supply
65-Watt power supply

Communication

Intel's Wireless-AC 7260 module transmitted with an almost stable speed at a distance of 15 and 45 meters (~49 and 148 feet) in the author's personal settings. Websites could still be opened in a satisfactory time, even in the larger, linear distance outside the building. Users who prefer LAN can connect with Intel's I218-LM (Clarkville ULT) Gigabit adapter.

Security 

Besides the spill-protected input devices, the E3340 sports a TPM module (log in information). Long life cycles alongside maintenance and setup options from the manufacturer are also important for institutional buyers. Dell offers this in the form of Dell Configuration and Deployment Services, and Dell Imaging Services. Some contenders include a fingerprint reader and hard drive protection (fall sensor). The first is, however, counterproductive in educational institutions, and makes more sense in personal computers.

Accessories/Software

The box includes only the power supply, quick start guide, and recovery DVDs. Dell's universal SuperSpeed USB 3.0 docking station can be used as a port replicator. Intel's Wi-Fi module supports Wireless Display, providing the corresponding monitor is present. The manufacturer offers the mobile Dell Computing Cart for managing up to 30 laptops. The devices are inserted into a rack, and are recharged and maintained (Ethernet). Dell provides security software in the form of Dell Data Protection/Protected Workspace. Data Protection/Encryption encrypts data.

Maintenance

The device does not have any maintenance covers. It is not intended that the users access the innards.

Warranty

Dell always includes a one-year base warranty. The options for warranty upgrades are extensive. The base warranty can be extended up to 5 years for a maximum of 139 Euros (~$191).

Regrettably, the webcam is not worth mentioning, and is only suitable for taking pixelated shots and video chats in a low resolution. Outlines are blurry and colors look unnatural, even in daylight. The microphone does a better job. Our outdoor recordings in the video clip exhibited a low-noise, clear sound at a normal distance of 40 centimeters (~15.7 inches).

Webcam 1280 x 720
Webcam 1280 x 720
Pale colors, coarse pixels
Pale colors, coarse pixels
Unsuitable for snapshots
Unsuitable for snapshots
Reference EOS 1100D
Reference EOS 1100D

Input Devices

Keyboard

The keys make an agile, typing-eager impression, which is due to the firm strokeclear drop, and crisp pressure point. There is virtually no typing noise. All keys feature a concave surface that makes it easier for the fingers to find the right key. The layout is a bit narrow on the right (enter key), and the arrow keys have been slimmed down.

The key bed is in a small recess that is also lined with rubber. That could be a part of the sealing that the manufacturer mentions. The 13-inch laptop does not feature a number pad, but it can be added as a secondary function via the function key

Touchpad

The touchpad with a diagonal of exactly ten centimeters (~3.9 in) features a rather rough surface. The keys provide good feedback due to their clear drop and long pressure point. The stroke is firm, but not hard, and it is quiet. The Latitude 3340 would thus be perfect for use in the library. However, there is one drawback: We could not perform multi-touch gestures. The driver does not provide the corresponding settings. The input device operates as a simple PS/2 compatible mouse in the state of delivery.

Keyboard: Clear drop, crisp pressure point
Keyboard: Clear drop, crisp pressure point
Keyboard: Concave surface for higher accuracy
Keyboard: Concave surface for higher accuracy
Abrasive plastic surface, responsive keys
Abrasive plastic surface, responsive keys

Display

The 13.3-inch screen (CMN1352 133BGE, Dell P/N: 90N37) has the common low resolution of 1366x768 pixels. It is the matte, non-touch model. Dell also offers a TN LED touchscreen. We do not know whether it is at least partly matte.

The brightness is equal in both AC and battery mode when the energy-saving mechanisms of Intel's VGA driver are disabled (dims otherwise). Nevertheless, the average is only 211 cd/m², which is too low for comfortable working in sunlight. The poor contrast is unfortunately typical for many budget TN screens. TN screens do not have to be as bad as the one here (247:1). The ProBook 645 and TravelMate P633 contenders use superior TN TFTs. On the other hand, they both have a lower brightness. That just shows that all good things rarely come together.

212
cd/m²
217
cd/m²
213
cd/m²
212
cd/m²
232
cd/m²
211
cd/m²
198
cd/m²
200
cd/m²
205
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 232 cd/m²
Average: 211.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 232 cd/m²
Black: 0.94 cd/m²
Contrast: 247:1
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E330 NZS4RGE
Intel Core i3-2370M, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT007-9ZV142
HP Probook 645 G1
AMD A6-5350M, AMD Radeon HD 8450G, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
Acer Travelmate P633-M-32374G50ikk
Intel Core i3-2370M, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Hitachi Travelstar 5K500 HTS545050KTA300
Screen
Brightness Center232227
-2%
182
-22%
184
-21%
Black Level *0.941.79
-90%
0.27
71%
0.35
63%
Contrast247127
-49%
674
173%
526
113%
Contrast *10.3510.49
-1%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *11.7911.42
3%
Gamma *2.382.32
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)4237.6
-10%

* ... smaller is better

AdobeRGB color gamut: 42%
AdobeRGB color gamut: 42%
sRGB color gamut: 60%
sRGB color gamut: 60%

We calibrated the screen with the spectrophotometer, and checked the sRGB color accuracy in the state of delivery. Calibrating considerably lessens the intense bluish cast (see Grayscale). The Latitude 3340 will not be interesting for graphic designers; sRGB is only 60% covered. This magnitude is common in low-cost aSi TFTs (TN).

CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker

Outdoor use in the sun is quite possible owing to the AR coating, however, not in direct sunlight.

Overcast conditions
Overcast conditions
Almost sunny conditions
Almost sunny conditions

The viewing angles are bottom of the barrel for TN screens. We could only view the TFT without an inverted image from the sweet spot centered in front of the screen, and up to 45 degrees left and right. It got unsightly beyond that, as can be seen in the screenshot below. This may be all right in the lecture room because it limits the seat neighbor’s view of the screen.

Viewing angles: Latitude 3340 non-touch HD screen
Viewing angles: Latitude 3340 non-touch HD screen

Performance

In line with the purpose, the Latitude is only available with energy-efficient ULV (Haswell) processors. The Core i5-4200U installed in our review sample clocks at 1.6 to 2.6 GHz, and is more than sufficient for most applications. The CPU supports the new AVX2 extension (extended instruction set, e.g. vector calculation) in addition to Turbo Boost and Hyperthreading. The lower TDP of 15 Watts is typical (Ivy Bridge: 17 Watts), which includes the power requirement of the integrated chip set.

The DirectX 11 capable Intel HD 4400 takes care of video output because there is no dedicated GPU. Its Execution Units (EUs) clock with a frequency of 200 up to a maximum of 1000 MHz.

The Latitude is equipped with 4 GB of DDR3 memory. Unfortunately, one memory module also inevitably means  single-channel operation, which affects the GPU performance. Data is stored on a conventional 500 GB hard drive from Seagate, which includes an 8 GB MLC-NAND as a solid-state hybrid drive.

System info CPU-Z CPU
System info CPU-Z Cache
System info CPU-Z Mainboard
System info CPU-Z Memory
System info GPU-Z
HD Tune: 83 MB/s seq. read
CrystalDiskMark: 37 MB/s seq. read
System information: Dell Latitude 3340 i5

Processor

Prime95 CPU stress test multi-core @2.2 GHz
Prime95 CPU stress test multi-core @2.2 GHz
Furmark GPU stress @800-1000 MHz
Furmark GPU stress @800-1000 MHz

To what extent does the Core i5-4200U max out its Turbo during load? Prime95 loaded all four cores, and the clock remained stable at 2.2 GHz. That is a bit less than the promised 2.6 GHz, which is however specified for single thread (one core). The temperature was 75 degrees Celsius (167 Fahrenheit) during this test.

The scores of the Cinebench tests are one of the best for an i5-4200U in both AC and battery mode. The contenders with a Core i3 or AMD's A6 APU come in last with a 50% lower computing power depending on the test. We have to point out that both TravelMate P633-M and ThinkPad Edge E330 sport the old Sandy Bridge architecture with a poorer per Watt performance than in Haswell, even when standard voltage is compared with ULV.

Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E330 NZS4RGE
Intel Core i3-2370M, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT007-9ZV142
Acer Travelmate P633-M-32374G50ikk
Intel Core i3-2370M, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Hitachi Travelstar 5K500 HTS545050KTA300
HP Probook 645 G1
AMD A6-5350M, AMD Radeon HD 8450G, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
Cinebench R11.5
-23%
-26%
-18%
OpenGL 64Bit15.369.72
-37%
8.82
-43%
16.82
10%
CPU Multi 64Bit2.522.31
-8%
2.04
-19%
1.34
-47%
CPU Single 64Bit1.040.88
-15%
0.87
-16%
Cinebench R15
-38%
CPU Multi 64Bit229118
-48%
CPU Single 64Bit10073
-27%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-23% / -23%
-26% / -26%
-28% / -26%
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.04 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.52 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
15.36 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
100 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
229 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
19.95 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Help

System Performance

We used PCMark 7 and 8.2 to assess the application performance. The PCMark 7 score is quite good due to the strong System Storage, as well as the better graphics solution (despite single-channel) and the current Core i5 Haswell's better computing performance. Added up, the contenders lag behind by 17 to 40%. However, the good score of HP's ProBook 645 G1 (AMD A6) in PCMark 8.2 is noteworthy, although it sports a conventional hard drive (no SSHD) and the APU core's computing performance is lower. AMD's Radeon HD 8450G pays off here. This integrated GPU apparently accelerates PCMark 8.2 better than our HD 4400 (single-channel).

Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Acer Travelmate P633-M-32374G50ikk
Intel Core i3-2370M, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Hitachi Travelstar 5K500 HTS545050KTA300
Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E330 NZS4RGE
Intel Core i3-2370M, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT007-9ZV142
HP Probook 645 G1
AMD A6-5350M, AMD Radeon HD 8450G, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
PCMark 7
-40%
-32%
-40%
Score29281753
-40%
2079
-29%
1908
-35%
Lightweight26681731
-35%
1925
-28%
Productivity21271216
-43%
1308
-39%
Entertainment25202056
-18%
1698
-33%
Creativity55513823
-31%
3561
-36%
Computation97917879
-20%
3414
-65%
System Storage31121565
-50%
1814
-42%
PCMark 8
6%
Home Score Accelerated v219812230
13%
Creative Score Accelerated v221541922
-11%
Work Score Accelerated v227383175
16%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-40% / -40%
-32% / -32%
-17% / -26%
PC Mark
PCMark 72928 points
PCMark 8 Home v21981 points
PCMark 8 Creative v22154 points
PCMark 8 Work v22738 points
Help

Storage Devices

The solid-state hybrid drive (500 GB, 5400 rpm) has an 8 GB NAND that is used as a cache for frequently accessed data. It is a kind of "learning" system, and is to speed up start and boot times considerably. This process is also performed swiftly, but does not apply to copying and installations. They are even slower than with a conventional HDD as can be seen based on the single measurements in the following chart. Sequential read is very bad; 80 to 110 MB/s would be usual. Lenovo and HP score here. We ran CrystalDiskMark 3.0 several times in different intervals to exclude interfering background programs. The results were always this low.

Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Acer Travelmate P633-M-32374G50ikk
Intel Core i3-2370M, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Hitachi Travelstar 5K500 HTS545050KTA300
Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E330 NZS4RGE
Intel Core i3-2370M, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT007-9ZV142
HP Probook 645 G1
AMD A6-5350M, AMD Radeon HD 8450G, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-10%
34%
33%
Read Seq37.7373.67
95%
108.8
188%
112.8
199%
Write Seq108.585.1
-22%
106.2
-2%
110.5
2%
Read 51224.8424.13
-3%
32.65
31%
31.71
28%
Write 51246.8224.85
-47%
48.47
4%
44.12
-6%
Read 4k0.3570.257
-28%
0.378
6%
0.323
-10%
Write 4k0.6620.607
-8%
0.751
13%
0.82
24%
Read 4k QD320.7490.62
-17%
0.856
14%
0.786
5%
Write 4k QD320.650.333
-49%
0.754
16%
0.807
24%
Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Transfer Rate Minimum: 9.1 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 108.6 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 83.5 MB/s
Access Time: 17.5 ms
Burst Rate: 149.9 MB/s
CPU Usage: 2.8 %

Graphics Card

The HD 4400 also lags 33% behind HP's ProBook 645 G1 in 3DMark (2013). However, they were tied in 3DMark 11. The superior CPU support lets Intel's Core i5 systems win when Physics is added though.

Regardless of that, the HD 4400 is ideal for this work laptop. Games will unlikely be an issue for the users because higher focus is placed on the energy-saving features. The World of Games can be entered with undemanding tracks, such as FIFA 14. The HD 4400 should also be able to cope with games that are older than ten years.

3DMark (2013)
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
4704 Points ∼4%
HP Probook 645 G1
Radeon HD 8450G, A6-5350M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
3166 Points ∼3% -33%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Physics (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2318 Points ∼6%
HP Probook 645 G1
Radeon HD 8450G, A6-5350M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
1220 Points ∼3% -47%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
699 Points ∼3%
HP Probook 645 G1
Radeon HD 8450G, A6-5350M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
724 Points ∼3% +4%
1280x720 Performance Physics (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2941 Points ∼22%
HP Probook 645 G1
Radeon HD 8450G, A6-5350M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
1573 Points ∼12% -47%
3D Mark
3DMark 11774 points
3DMark Ice Storm35351 points
3DMark Cloud Gate3828 points
3DMark Fire Strike502 points
Help
low med.high ultra
Crysis - GPU Benchmark (2007) 21fps
Fifa 14 (2013) 1265446fps
Thief (2014) 9.66fps

Emissions

System Noise

The produced noise was never distracting; the fan was off most of the time (idle). That only changed slightly in load, but 32 dB(A) during 3DMark 2006 are not much. Some multimedia laptops create this level when idling. The TravelMate P633-M and ProBook 645 G1 achieved 40 dB(A) in the stress test. The Edge 330 is just as quiet when idle, and we only registered the HDD's noise in that case.

Noise Level

Idle 31.3 / 31.3 / 31.3 dB(A)
HDD 31.3 dB(A)
Load 31.6 / 35.7 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Stress test, FurMark & Prime95 simultaneously for 1 h
Stress test, FurMark & Prime95 simultaneously for 1 h

The casing remains nice and cool when idle, and the hot spots do not break any negative records under load either. Our review sample is the clear winner when it comes to the warmest spots on the casing. The TravelMate P633 heated up to 50 °C (122 °F), and the ProBook 645 G1 reached 52 °C (125.6 °F) under load (hot spot on the underside in each case). We only measured 43 °C (109.4 °F) on the Latitude.

The Latitude 3340 performed the one-hour stress test with a slightly fluctuating CPU clock of 1.2 to 1.3 GHz, and the HD 4400 clocked with 900 MHz. Thus, we now encounter what we did not find in the performance test above: thermal throttling. The fan can no longer cool the components sufficiently in this (rather unrealistic) extreme scenario, and the SoC reduces its clock rate. This already occurs at 70 °C (158 °F). The HD 4400 contributes massively to this throttling. The CPU's clock rockets to 2.2 GHz again as soon as we stop FurMark (GPU stress). However, as the CPU benchmarks proved, the i5-4200U will achieve its innate performance in practical use.

 25.7 °C26.2 °C26.8 °C 
 25.9 °C25.6 °C26.1 °C 
 24.2 °C24.3 °C26.6 °C 
Maximum: 26.8 °C
Average: 25.7 °C
29.6 °C28.6 °C26.1 °C
30.1 °C27.1 °C27 °C
28 °C23.8 °C25.3 °C
Maximum: 30.1 °C
Average: 27.3 °C
Power Supply (max.)  29.5 °C | Room Temperature 21.8 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

The speakers are located on the laptop's front, below the wrist rest. Thus, they radiate toward the tabletop, and the sound changes depending on the surface. The volume is satisfactory; the small membranes do not distort at high volumes. Nevertheless, the sound is not really worth listening to because the mid-range is overemphasized while trebles and low ranges are completely neglected. However, we rarely find a differentiated sound. At best, select multimedia laptops feature sufficiently sized speakers or a subwoofer.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The 3340 is almost an eco laptop. Although it does not produce its own energy, it consumes 50 to 60% less power than its contenders. Idle is particularly praiseworthy: 5 to 7 Watts alongside 0.1 Watts in standby are very low rates for an office laptop.

The power supply provides 65 Watts, which is more than enough for the 29 Watts that we measured in the stress test. The average and maximum consumption under load is identical, and more evidence of the CPU throttling during load.

Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E330 NZS4RGE
Intel Core i3-2370M, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT007-9ZV142
Acer Travelmate P633-M-32374G50ikk
Intel Core i3-2370M, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Hitachi Travelstar 5K500 HTS545050KTA300
HP Probook 645 G1
AMD A6-5350M, AMD Radeon HD 8450G, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
Power Consumption
-46%
-58%
-63%
Idle Minimum *4.76.3
-34%
7.7
-64%
8.4
-79%
Idle Average *6.39.4
-49%
9.7
-54%
10.5
-67%
Idle Maximum *7.110.1
-42%
10.6
-49%
11.5
-62%
Load Average *28.837.4
-30%
42.1
-46%
40.3
-40%
Load Maximum *28.849.8
-73%
51.5
-79%
47.8
-66%

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.1 / 0.1 Watt
Idle 4.7 / 6.3 / 7.1 Watt
Load 28.8 / 28.8 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 960

Battery Runtime

The low power consumption points to a long battery runtime. It should be long because Dell states a runtime for a whole day of school. The 65 Wh battery in the 3340 does not fail its manufacturer - 14:31 hours in the Wi-Fi test is a very positive surprise. A script opens websites every 45 seconds in this test.

The brightness was dimmed to 140 cd/m² (4 levels), and the energy-saving profile was selected. Idle lasts much longer, but is not a real-life situation due to minimum brightness. The contenders are no match for this runtime strength, although the ThinkPad Edge E330 (63 Wh) features almost the same capacity. The power consumption of the Sandy Bridge CPU in the Edge 330 is simply too high to compete with Haswell. The TravelMate P633-M (44 Wh) and ProBook 645 G1 (55 Wh) both have a lower capacity battery.

Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E330 NZS4RGE
Intel Core i3-2370M, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT007-9ZV142
Acer Travelmate P633-M-32374G50ikk
Intel Core i3-2370M, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Hitachi Travelstar 5K500 HTS545050KTA300
HP Probook 645 G1
AMD A6-5350M, AMD Radeon HD 8450G, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
Battery Runtime
-55%
-70%
-59%
Reader / Idle1145588
-49%
374
-67%
568
-50%
WiFi871345
-60%
235
-73%
289
-67%
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
19h 05min
WiFi Surfing
14h 31min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
8h 59min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 56min

Verdict

Latitude 3340
Latitude 3340

Dell's Latitude 3340 forms the entry-level of the Latitude series. The lack of the "E" in the name makes it a member of the low-cost Latitudes, which we have reviewed in the 14 and 15-inch size: Latitude 3440/3540. The present 13-inch laptop steps out of line: It is not a beauty in terms of looks (boring full plastic body) and feel (rubber lining), and it is more expensive than its mentioned sister models despite standard hardware in the form of a (hybrid) HDD, HD screen, and no dedicated GPU. That might be because of the educational institution market that allows different pricing due to various services (leasing, platform stability, charging racks for the device). The 3340 is only available directly from Dell (currently 713 Euros plus VAT; ~$978).

The quest for a handy work companion has thus not come to an end yet. The ThinkPad Edge E330 (currently Core i3-3120M) will catch the searcher's eye because it is available starting at 460 Euros (~$631), and features very good input devices. The lower power consumption of the Ivy Bridge processor should also have improved the runtime. Acer's TravelMate P633-M and HP's ProBook 645 G1 are pricier, but have a higher contrast screen. The ProBook 645 has better input devices than Acer's laptop, and the battery runtime of almost five hours in the Wi-Fi test was also quite good. The ProBook 645 is the most attractive contender; its aluminum work surface makes a very solid and high-quality impression. However, its price is also quite steep: approximately 750 Euros (~$1029) for the AMD A6 configuration is rather high, particularly considering that an HD+ screen is not used. Knowing this, the Edge E330 seems to be the best choice among the 13 and 14-inch laptops.

 

 

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In Review: Dell Latitude 3340. Test model courtesy of Dell Germany
In Review: Dell Latitude 3340. Test model courtesy of Dell Germany

Specifications

Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
Processor
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 4400, Core: 22-900 MHz
Memory
4096 MB 
, Kingston PC3-12800 single-channel
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, CMN1352 133BGE Dell P/N: 90N37, TN LED, Normally White, transmissive, aSi-TFT, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Lynx Point-LP
Harddisk
Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive, 500 GB 
5400 rpm -1EJ162, 420 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Lynx Point-LP - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
2 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: headphone/microphone combo, Card Reader: SD, TPM 1.2
Networking
Intel I218-LM (Clarkville ULT) Network Adapter (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Wireless-AC 7260 (a b g n ac)
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 34 x 330.9 x 243.2 ( = 1.34 x 13.03 x 9.57 in)
Weight
1.773 kg ( = 62.54 oz) Power Supply: 320 g ( = 11.29 oz)
Battery
65 Wh Lithium-Ion, 11.1 V; model: ZFDF9
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64 Bit
Additional features
Webcam: HD 1280x720, Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: isolation, Keyboard Light: no

 

[+] compare
Dell Latitude 13-3340
Dell Latitude 13-3340
The basic plastic chassis...
The basic plastic chassis...
...defies everyday forces.
...defies everyday forces.
A thick rubber lining protects the screen.
A thick rubber lining protects the screen.
It also give the barebones non-slip grip.
It also give the barebones non-slip grip.
We would not call the design stylish.
We would not call the design stylish.
But pupils and students won't likely care much about looks.
But pupils and students won't likely care much about looks.
Will buyers who study smartphones for months before purchasing...
Will buyers who study smartphones for months before purchasing...
...want such a commonplace, unsightly subnotebook?
...want such a commonplace, unsightly subnotebook?
Definitely not, but they don't have to either.
Definitely not, but they don't have to either.
Dell sells its Latitude 3340 exclusively to educational providers.
Dell sells its Latitude 3340 exclusively to educational providers.
And they lend the device to their scholars.
And they lend the device to their scholars.
The smooth-running keys are appealing...
The smooth-running keys are appealing...
...with their clear drop.
...with their clear drop.
The lid's bezel.
The lid's bezel.
A wide gap between the battery and hinge.
A wide gap between the battery and hinge.
The rubber lining runs around all sides.
The rubber lining runs around all sides.
The speakers are on the underside.
The speakers are on the underside.
There are no maintenance covers.
There are no maintenance covers.
The chassis does not look high-quality, but makes a robust, long-lasting impression.
The chassis does not look high-quality, but makes a robust, long-lasting impression.
Rare: Dell includes recovery DVDs.
Rare: Dell includes recovery DVDs.
The standard power supply of many Latitude models: 65 Watts.
The standard power supply of many Latitude models: 65 Watts.
Latitude 3340: Matte, but the brightness could be better.
Latitude 3340: Matte, but the brightness could be better.
Latitude 3340: Keys with a concave surface, and useful feedback.
Latitude 3340: Keys with a concave surface, and useful feedback.
Latitude 3340: Basic, boring chassis
Latitude 3340: Basic, boring chassis
Latitude 3340: Exactly right for the educational sector.
Latitude 3340: Exactly right for the educational sector.
Latitude 3340: Not many interfaces,...
Latitude 3340: Not many interfaces,...
...but with a DisplayPort.
...but with a DisplayPort.
Latitude 3340: No maintenance covers - not intended for opening.
Latitude 3340: No maintenance covers - not intended for opening.

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Pro

+Insensitive casing
+Feasible input devices
+DisplayPort + HDMI
+Runtimes
+Very quiet and usually cool
 

Cons

-TFT's low brightness
-Poor contrast
-Tight viewing angles

Shortcut

What we like

Although the rubber lining is not pretty, it is something special. The long battery life is great.

What we'd like to see

A brighter screen. If it is to be semi-rugged, then with 350 cd/m² please. It would hardly have an impact on the battery runtime.

What surprises us

Dell sent us a review sample that is not listed in any German online shop, and Dell does not offer for an end-customer suitable price.

The competition

HP ProBook 645 G1 (HD)
Acer TravelMate P633-M-32374G50ikk
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E330 NZS4RGE

Dell Latitude 3440 (HD+)
Lenovo ThinkPad L430
HP ProBook 6475b 
HP ProBook 6470b-B6P73EA
Asus BU400A-W3101G
Toshiba Tecra R940-1JG

Rating

Dell Latitude 3340 Education Series
05/05/2014 v4
Sebastian Jentsch

Chassis
66 / 98 → 67%
Keyboard
65%
Pointing Device
64%
Connectivity
59%
Weight
66 / 67 → 98%
Battery
91%
Display
73%
Games Performance
50 / 85 → 59%
Application Performance
60%
Temperature
83%
Noise
92%
Audio
50%
Camera
38 / 85 → 45%
Average
66%
73%
Office *
Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Dell Latitude 3340 Notebook
Author: Sebastian Jentsch, 2014-05-14 (Update: 2014-05-16)