We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Laptops Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Dell Latitude E6420 XFR review

£4500 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Dell

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Military-spec laptops like the Dell Latitude E6420 XFR are built for action. We test Dell's tank-like notebook.

The Dell Latitude E6420 XFR is referred to as a 'fully ruggedised' laptop, aimed at those who don't just travel around a lot but actually work in the great outdoors or industrial environments.

Not to put too fine a point on it, the Dell Latitude E6420 XFR is built to be tough enough to withstand just about any accidental – and quite a few deliberate – acts of destruction that might occur. 

it's certified to milspec MIL-STD-810G, which includes testing with six-foot drops, blowing rain, dust and sand and is proven resistant to vibration, humidity, solar radiation and explosive atmospheres.

On the outside it looks more like a toolbox than a laptop, complete with a carrying handle. A sturdy clip keeps it all shut tight. But once opened some familiar components are revealed in the shape of a widescreen LCD, keyboard and touchpad.

For security purposes there is a fingerprint as well as a smartcard reader, to ensure that only the intended user can access the Dell Latitude E6420 XFR. 

The display, as well as having a pleasing matt finish which will prove usable in all conditions, was also a touchscreen on our sample. This is an extra option – you can select a regular display too.

You can operate the LCD touchscreen with your fingers or with a provided stylus, which is attached to the laptop by a plastic wire (that looks as if it might get snagged on a passing branch quite easily). 

We weren't impressed with the calibration of this Dell Latitude E6420 XFR's screen, which seemed to be registering touches more than an inch away from where we were actually making contact with the screen. 

The keyboard, while great for typing on, looks as if it could be an area of vulnerability - it just doesn't seem as sturdy as the rest of the unit.

More high-end laptop reviews

All of the ports and workings of the Dell are protected by an outer shell, requiring you to open catches to access things like the USB ports, SD card slot, DVD±RW drive and even the battery.

There are so many little nooks and crannies that you could quite easily not find out where a particular port is until you look carefully for it.

Component-wise, there's a powerful 2.7GHz Intel Core i7 dual-core processor that helped the Dell Latitude E6420 XFR to a score of 143 in our WorldBench 6 benchmarking suite, a very impressive score.

While the 128GB SSD doesn't have masses of storage space, it did help the Dell Latitude E6420 XFR to perform very well.

The nVidia NVS 4200M graphics card with 512MB memory is a good performer too; average frame rates of 46fps in the FEAR tests at Maximum detail suggests it will easily deal with graphics-intensive applications.

With its 60Wh lithium battery securely locked inside, the Dell Latitude E6420 XFR lasted 5.5 hrs in the MobileMark 2007 Productivity test.

Dell Latitude E6420 XFR Expert Verdict »

2.7GHz Intel Core i7-2620M dual-core
14in matt LED-backlit touchscreen
1366 x 768
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
4GB DDR3-1333MHz
128GB SSD SATA 3 Gbps
nVidia NVS 4200M with 512MB RAM
headphone jack
2 x USB 2.0
1 x eSATA
Bluetooth 3.0
gigabit ethernet
SD card reader
ruggedised design, stylus, webcam, fingerprint reader, smartcard reader
ExpressCard 54
60Wh lithium-ion removable
330 minutes MobileMark 2007 Productivity
143 points WorldBench 6
389 x 308 x 67mm
  • Build Quality: We give this item 9 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 9 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

The Dell Latitude E6420 XFR is a tank of a laptop, well suited to the outdoors. If you require a really rugged system then this is it – but you better have deep pockets. Performance is very good too, although we were a little disappointed by the touchscreen’s precision. The price tag is eye-watering, so this laptop should only be considered if you really do need the kind of system that'll survive being thrown off a cliff or run over by a tank.

  • Dell Latitude E6420 ATG review

    Dell Latitude E6420 ATG

    The Dell Latitude E6420 ATG is described as a 'business-rugged' laptop and although we wouldn't recommend that you throw it around the boardroom you can be fairly confident that it'll withstand a bit of rough treatment.

  • Dell Latitude E6410 review

    Dell Latitude E6410

    The Dell Latitude E6410 is a 14in-screen true business notebook computer – and an unseemly quick one at that.

  • Dell Latitude 13 review

    Dell Latitude 13

    The Dell Latitude 13 is a low-power business laptop that, at just 20mm thick and 1.6kg weight, encroaches on ultraportable territory.

  • Dell Latitude Z review

    Dell Latitude Z

    The Dell Latitude Z is the concept car of Dell's notebook line-up, with innovative technology not found elsewhere.

  • Dell Latitude E5400 review

    Dell Latitude E5400

    With the new Dell Latitude E5400, Dell has carved out an impressive laptop for your business needs. It hits a sweet spot with regards to solid build quality, the right combination of features, performance, and price tag.

IDG UK Sites

What is Google Photos? How to back up and share all of your photos for free

IDG UK Sites

Why I think the Apple Watch sucks and you'd be mad to buy it

IDG UK Sites

Swatch launches a colourful smartwatch

IDG UK Sites

New Apple TV 2015 release date rumours: TV streaming service delayed, hand gesture interface being...