At just over 1.1kg the Latitude X1 from Dell is aimed at people who travel around a lot in the course of their work. Even with the external optical drive it'll slip into a rucksack or large handbag without a problem.

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Anyone who has had to carry around a notebook for any period of time will realise it's not always that easy to protect it from knocks and scrapes. Dell has taken precautions against this, reinforcing the back of the LCD panel so it'll be able to handle the weight of other objects in your bag; the keyboard is also sealed so it'll be okay if you spill coffee over it on the 7.56 to London Bridge.

The battery life isn't great for a subnotebook - we only managed to squeeze 118 minutes from the three-cell battery Dell provides as standard. However, with the optional six-cell battery, we got four hours and 10 minutes, which is an excellent result.

It's small, but that doesn't make it awkward to use - admittedly you'll have to be pretty accurate when you type, but we've seen plenty of worse keyboards on bigger models. There's built-in 802.11b/g and Bluetooth functionality as standard.

But the criterion that will dictate whether or not the Dell is a good buy is what you're planning on using it for. Normal work tasks such as word processing and creating spreadsheets won't cause the Latitude any problems, but with more complicated tasks it'll struggle, as a WorldBench 5 score of 52 suggests.

One other reason you might want to purchase the Dell is the styling of the chassis - it looks great.

Latitude X1: Specs

  • 1.1GHz Intel Pentium M 733 processor
  • Windows XP Home
  • 256MB DDR RAM
  • 30GB hard disk
  • 12.1in 1,280x768 display
  • external 24x/24x/24x/8x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW/DVD-ROM) drive
  • 802.11b/g facilities
  • Bluetooth
  • 286x197x25mm
  • 1.1kg
  • 3-year onsite warranty
  • 1.1GHz Intel Pentium M 733 processor
  • Windows XP Home
  • 256MB DDR RAM
  • 30GB hard disk
  • 12.1in 1,280x768 display
  • external 24x/24x/24x/8x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW/DVD-ROM) drive
  • 802.11b/g facilities
  • Bluetooth
  • 286x197x25mm
  • 1.1kg
  • 3-year onsite warranty

OUR VERDICT

It's certainly cute and will handle word processing without any problem, but if you want to do anything more complex than that, it will struggle. We were slightly surprised by the high price tag.

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