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Laptops Reviews
15,669 Reviews

Dell Latitude D520

£763 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Dell

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

If you're in the market for a well-built, functional and versatile business laptop, you could do worse than the D520.

This review appears in the October 06 issue of PC Advisor, available now in all good newsagents.

If you're in the market for a well-built, functional and versatile business laptop, you could do worse than the D520. The beauty of the Latitude is in its simplicity – and its low price tag.

See our Laptop Advisor website for expert reviews of today’s best laptops, plus read our essential advice to make sure you choose the right specs

It isn't the most portable laptop at 2.9kg, but it won't be too much of a pain to carry once in a while. It's not geared for entertainment either, as it uses a conventional screen form factor, it doesn't have a standalone graphics card and the speakers aren't much cop.

However, everything else about the D520 is appealing. It's sturdy and looks smart – but not flashy – and the keyboard is a good size. The screen is strong, offering sharp detail and, while the lack of a standalone graphics card will prevent graphics-intensive applications running easily, for normal office applications it's more than adequate.

But the real selling point is the performance-per-pound ratio. Not many laptops in this price bracket would achieve a WorldBench 5 processing-speed score of 89. What really impressed us was the battery life: five hours and 45 minutes. And although the screen gets quite dim when it's unplugged, the Dell does a good job of preserving every last iota of power.

For a business laptop, a 60GB hard drive should be plenty; you might even squeeze the odd MP3 track on to the Dell without using up all the storage space. A DVD writer covers backup, and there are options for connecting to wired and wireless networks. There's a VGA output for connecting to projectors, and it slots into a docking station as well.

Dell Latitude D520 Expert Verdict »

1.86GHz Intel Core Duo T2300 processor
Windows XP Professional
60GB hard drive
15in 1,024x768 TFT display
onboard Intel graphics controller
8x/8x/8x/4x/4x/4x/4x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/-R DL/+R DL/-RW/+RW) 24x/24x/24x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) drive
802.11a/b/g facilities
1-year collect-and-return warranty
  • Build Quality: We give this item 9 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 9 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Provided you don't want it to double up as an entertainment tool, the Latitude has everything that a good business laptop should have: a good turn of speed, long battery life and high build quality. The price tag should please, too.

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