Review Dell Latitude D830 Notebook

Everyday's Business. Step by step Dell equips all its notebooks with Santa Rosa technology. Of course, also the Latitude business series goes Santa Rosa, first and foremost the D830. The classical 15.4 WXGA office notebook scores especially high by a robust magnesium case and good equipment. The advantages of the D830 compared to its predecessor, the D820, can be found in this review.

Test Dell Latitude D830 Logo

Case

Of course we were curious, if also the case was changed in the course of the update to the Santa Rosa technology. After scrutinizing it, we are sure that the D830 has the traditional look. Decent gray in gray design still ensures a cool business-like look.

Also the robustness is unchanged. Alike the D820 also the D830 has a very stable case, which is pressure resistant and flexural rigid.

Alike its predecessor the case is mostly made of magnesium parts, which contribute to the case's robustness. Also the light clamshell design of the display is unchanged and provides good flexural rigidity and a closed state, which protects the display against dust penetration.

Both hinges seem spacious and robust and keep the display in its position with hardly any see-saw. The ramshorn hook is made of metal and works alright, but, we noticed that it is somewhat loosely attached to the case.

The D830's interfaces are typical Dell mainly placed at the notebook's backside. Again a so-called "powered USB" port is provided. This is a standard USB port with separated power supply which makes it possible to connect external devices with higher consumption. Among others also a serial port, which is still demanded in the fields of control and machine programming, is provided.

Front Side: No Ports
Dell Latitude D830 Interfaces
Left Side: Kensington Lock, Firewire, Audio Ports, PCCard, ExpressCard
Dell Latitude D830 Interfaces
Back Side: LAN, S-Video, Powered USB, Modem, Serial Port, VGA Out, Power Connector, Fan
Dell Latitude D830 Interfaces
Right Side: DVD Drive, 2x USB
Dell Latitude D830 Interfaces

Input Devices

The keyboard has a good layout, similar to desktop PCs. Furthermore, the keys are adequately big and typing feels soft and comfortable. Still, the point of pressure is clear. The keyboard is attached tightly to the case. Maybe some users might complain about a somewhat too hard stop at the end of the key stroke.

The track point reacts very sensible to pressure, so unintended clicks are frequent. Even after adapting the driver settings, this is still true. Changing the speed of the mouse pointer with the track point is especially difficult, because the edgy knobbed surface sticks a little too little to the finger and is not really ergonomically.

The wide touch pad has a smooth surface with good sliding properties. It allows to precisely control the mouse pointer. Both of its buttons are user-friendly with sufficient travel. Between them there is a fingerprint reader.

The Dell D830 provides only three hot keys which are dedicated to volume control. The WLAN can be activated by a slide switch located at the right side. It and also the display's transport hook are a little rickety.

Touch pad
Dell Latitude D830 Touch pad
Keyboard
Dell Latitude D830 Keyboard

Display

Color Diagram
Dell Latitude D830 display measurement

Different display versions are available for the Dell Latitude. They range from the 1280x800, the current base version, a 1680x1050 WSXGA+ panel to a top WUXGA display with a resolution of 1920x1200 pixels. The display surface can be either a reflecting Ultra Sharp solution, or alternatively matt.

The reviewed notebook was equipped with a non-reflecting 1680x1050 display, which is a reasonable solution. The WSXGA+ panel combines overview with comfortable font size, so, its ideal for Windows Vista.

The display's brightness is very good with up to 186.3 cd/m² in its lower part. However, the brightness clearly declines to the top, so the illumination is only 64.2%. The measurement diagram of the display calibration depicts that the blue color curve has to be lowered to calibrate the colors.

119.6
cd/m²
132.1
cd/m²
127.3
cd/m²
126.8
cd/m²
143.3
cd/m²
136.5
cd/m²
169.2
cd/m²
186.3
cd/m²
178.5
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Maximum: 186.3 cd/m²
Average: 146.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 64 %
Black: 0.3 cd/m²
Contrast: 478:1

The low black value and the good maximum brightness result in a good maximum contrast. A contrast ratio of calculated 621:1 is a perfect study. The WSXGA+ panel is also alright regarding speed of reaction.

Operation Outdoors
Dell Latitude D830 Outdoor

On the one hand the Dell Latitude D830 should be fit for outdoor usage, because of a matt display with good maximum brightness. However, because the brightness clearly declines especially at the top of the display, outdoor usage is not completely trouble-free.

Horizontally, the stability to the vantage point is alright. Vertically, you'll quickly face, especially when looking from bottom up, a heavy darkening of the display. The area of operation is vertically rather narrow and just sufficient.

Dell Latitude D830 Stability to the Vantage Point
Dell Latitude D830 Stability to the Vantage Point
Dell Latitude D830 Stability to the Vantage Point
Dell Latitude D830 Stability to the Vantage Point
Dell Latitude D830 Stability to the Vantage Point
Dell Latitude D830 Stability to the Vantage Point
Dell Latitude D830 Stability to the Vantage Point
Dell Latitude D830 Stability to the Vantage Point


Video of Display's Stability to the Vantage Point

Performance

As already used to, you can also choose between a variety of equipments for the Dell Latitude D830. At the time of writing, the whole range of processors of the Core 2 Duo series from T7100 to T7700 is offered.

The reviewed notebook was equipped with todays most powerful mobile CPU, the T7700 with 2.4GHz. Regarding mobile computational power there is, therefore, nothing left to be desired. This is also proved by the performed benchmark tests.

In the reviewed notebook an integrated GMA X3100 video card was responsible for graphics and 3D. This is the successor of the integrated GMA 950 GPU. The performance of this solution is alright and comparable to a X1300 or a Geforce 7300. Still gaming is not one of the intended tasks for this notebook.

Combined with 2GB main memory and a very fast 120GB hard disk the Latitude D830 is a powerful office notebook.

Further information about the video card can be found  here or in our comparison of mobile video cards. Detailed information about the Core 2 Duo CPU can be found here.

Please also look at our benchmark list of mobile processors or at our benchmark list of mobile video cards, in order to compare this notebook to other configurations.

Benchmark Comparison 3DMark
Benchmark Comparison 3DMark
Benchmark Comparison PCMark
Benchmark Comparison PCMark
3D Mark
3DMark 2001SE6405 points
3DMark 031763 points
3DMark 05922 points
3DMark 06
 
479 points
Help
3DMark 06 in comparison
Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B (min)
 740, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 900
54
   ...
Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx K3011
 Z2760, SGX545
459
Toshiba A9
 T7500, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3100
479
Dell D830
 T7700, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3100
479
Dell Vostro V13
 SU3500, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
483
Acer Aspire One 752
 743, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
485
   ...
Clevo Clevo P157SM (max)
 4930MX, GeForce GTX 880M
29955
PC Mark
PCMark 054629 points
Help
PCMark 05 in comparison
Acer Aspire One 751 (min)
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
692
   ...
Dell Latitude E5500
 T7250, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
4615
MSI CX620MX-i3343W7P
 330M, Mobility Radeon HD 545v
4624
Dell D830
 T7700, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3100
4629
Zepto Znote 3414W
 T7250, GeForce 8400M GS
4630
Dell Vostro 1520 (Core 2 Duo T6570, GMA 4500MHD, 3GB RAM)
 T6570, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
4634
   ...
Fujitsu Celsius H710 WXP11DE (max)
 2820QM, Quadro 1000M
13842
120 GB - 7200 rpm
Transfer Rate Minimum: 28.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 54.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 45.3 MB/s
Access Time: 14.2 ms
Burst Rate: 67.6 MB/s
CPU Usage: 15.3 %

Emissions

Loudness

In Idle mode the fan runs all the time, and this is also audible in quiet environments. However, the noise level is not really annoying, as it is a rather rustling noise. Sometimes, the fan's revolution speed is increased and you can hear it a little more.

Although the revolution speed clearly increases under load, a maximum noise level of 42.3 dB is yet alright. Furthermore, it's unlikely to reach this noise level during standard office operation.

The built-in hard disk drew our attention, because it clearly clatters and creaks in use.

Noise Level

Idle 32.4 / 41.3 / 41.3 dB(A)
HDD 37.9 dB(A)
DVD 36.5 / dB(A)
Load / 41.3 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Besides a clear increase at the bottom side, where 41.7°C are reached, the temperature emissions of the D830 are alright. Especially the maximum temperature at the top side of only 35.2°C ensures a comfortable use.

Upper side

palmwrist: 35.9°C max: 36.8°C avg: 35.2°C

Bottom side

max: 41.7°C avg: 37.9°C

Speakers

The speakers are located left and right beside the keyboard and provide good and clear sound. Even the basses are up to a certain degree alright. Also the maximum volume is alright, however, the sound starts getting unclear and the speakers blast at about 75% of maximum volume.

Battery Runtime

The reviewed notebook was equipped with a powerful 85Wh battery which is about comparable to a 7600 mAh battery. So, the Dell Latitude D830 has a good battery runtime.

The measured runtime ranged from about 2 hours under load, and more than 4 during WLan usage to a maximum of 9 hours without load and with optimized energy settings (WLan, Bluetooth, LAN off, minimum brightness, energy saving mode).

Overall, the D830 can be called a very mobile notebook. Considering that the D830 can be equipped with a supplement battery attached to the modular drive, the mobility of the D830 is excellent.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
9h 10min
WiFi Surfing
4h 00min
DVD
3h 48min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 48min

Power Consumption

Idle 14.7 / 23.4 / 29.0 Watt
Load 52.1 / 50.4 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         

Verdict

Dell Latitude D830
Dell Latitude D830

In general the Dell Latitude D830 meets the requirements of a reasonable business notebook. Regarding performance it clearly outperforms the D820, its predecessor. But, this is also a result of the good equipment of the reviewed notebook.

Equipped with an especially robust and durable magnesium case, the Latitude D830 meets the business notebook's demand for an indestructible and persistent case. Also the decent design makes it look business-like.

Another important aspect are of course user-friendly input devices, which allow to work for a long time without problems. Regarding this aspect, the D830 has a keyboard with a clear layout and a user-friendly touch pad. Only the  track point did not really convince us.

The display's strengths are a matt and, therefore, non-reflecting surface and the concise WSXGA+ resolution. A weakness is the poor illumination, which is a result of the brightness declining at the top edge. Another pro of the D830 is that you can choose between a number of display version.

The Latitude D830's performance is, as for the reviewed notebook, very good, because of a powerful mobile CPU (T7700), 2GB Ram and a fast 120GB hard disk. Considering it is an office notebook, hardly anything is left to be desired.

Emissions of the notebook are, especially considering it is an office notebook, something which should not be neglected. In our case, the Latitude D830 met our expectations in some degree. We need to mention that the fan ran all the time, but, overall the noise level of the D830 is passable.

Finally, the D830 also scores high regarding battery runtime. Equipped with a powerful 85Wh battery the runtime is in between 2 up to impressing 9h. In practice about 4 hours should be possible.

Reviewed: Dell Latitude D830
Dell Latitude D830

Specifications

Dell D830

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel GM965
:: Memory
2048 MB, DDR2 PC5300 667Mhz SDRAM, max. 4096MB, 2x1024MB
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
15.4 inch 16:10, 1680x1050 pixel, WSXGA+ DellSharp Wide Aspect Ratio TFT Display, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
120 GB - 7200 rpm, 120 GB 7200 rpm Seagate ST9120823AS: 120GB, 7200rpm
:: Connections
PCCard Typ I/II, ExpressCard, Mikrofon, Headphones, 3x USB 2.0, VGA-Out, S-Video, Firewire, seriell, Kensington Lock, LAN, Modem, Docking
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 39 x 360 x 262
:: Weight
3.02 kg
:: Battery
, 85Wh Lithium Ionen Akku
:: Price
1900 Euro
:: Additional features
Intel 965M, HDD: 120GB, 7200rpm, Seagate ST9120823AS, SigmaTel STAC9205 HD Audio, DVD +/-R (DL) Toshiba-Samsung TS-L632D,

 

The design of the Dell Latitude D830 is alike the design of its predecessor, the D820...
Dell Latitude D830 Image
The notebook is equipped with a high-capacity 85Wh battery, ...
Dell Latitude D830 Image
Also the sound of the speakers is good.
Dell Latitude D830 Image
The fan runs all the time, but its noise level is still passable.
Dell Latitude D830 Image
The surface temperature is overall alright.
Dell Latitude D830 Image
The T7700 CPU the reviewed notebook was equipped with, provides excellent performance.
Dell Latitude D830 Image
You've also the choice regarding CPU, RAM, and hard disk.
Dell Latitude D830 Image
A number of display versions can be chosen for the D830, among others the WSXGA+ panel the reviewed notebook was equipped with.
Dell Latitude D830 Image
The input devices are user-friendly and the keyboard convinces by a clear layout.
Dell Latitude D830 Image
....mainly located at its back side
Dell Latitude D830 Image
The notebook is generously equipped with interfaces...
Dell Latitude D830 Image
Although the metal display hinge is very robust, it unfortunately clatters clearly.
Dell Latitude D830 Image
...and one can expect a long durability.
Dell Latitude D830 Image
So, the notebook is very flexural rigid,...
Dell Latitude D830 Image
...there are magnesium parts.
Dell Latitude D830 Image
Behind the decent look...
Dell Latitude D830 Image
...a decent gray in gray design.
Dell Latitude D830 Image
...which makes a runtime of up to 9 hours possible.
Dell Latitude D830 Image

Pro

  • Very robust case
  • Well equipped with interfaces
  • User-friendly keyboard with structured layout
  • Non-reflecting surface, concise resolution
  • Very good performance
  • Emissions acceptable
  • Very good battery runtime
  • Contra

  • Wobbling transport hook and WLAN switch
  • Display's illumination only moderate
  • Speakers blast at maximum volume
  • Similar Notebooks

    Price Comparison

    Ciao.uk

    Dell Latitude D830

    Rating

    Dell D830
    08/31/2007
    J. Simon Leitner

    Chassis
    92%
    Keyboard
    86%
    Pointing Device
    88%
    Connectivity
    86%
    Weight
    75%
    Battery
    92%
    Display
    80%
    Games Performance
    56%
    Application Performance
    98%
    Temperature
    74%
    Noise
    72%
    Add Points
    92%
    Average
    83%
    85%
    Office *
    Weighted Average

    > Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Dell Latitude D830 Notebook
    Author: J. Simon Leitner, 2007-08- 9 (Update: 2013-05- 8)