Dell Latitude 2120 is a 10-inch business netbook from Dell aimed at SMBs and large enterprise users interested in a rugged, portable computing device with long battery life and some unique features. Showcased at CES 2011 in January, the Latitude 2120 netbook is based on a dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor and isn’t very different from some netbooks of the past. Should you buy one? Let’s find out...
The Dell Latitude 2120 netbook has some impressive security & maintenance features under the hood.
Design and Build Dell has paid special attention to the Latitude 2120 netbook's exterior build and design. Unlike the cheery and colorful looking Dell Inspiron Mini 10, the Dell Latitude 2120 opts for an industrial look -- closer to a Lenovo ThinkPad X100e, for instance. The Latitude 2120 has a textured rubber layer on the netbook’s screen lid and bottom panel for protection against spills and bumps. The rubberized layer also makes holding the netbook in your hands easier compared to glossy surfaces that tend to slip easily. So the rubber casing on the Dell Latitude 2120 is definitely a good idea.
Far from slim and sleek, the Dell Latitude 2120 is a thick, meaty netbook that weighs 1.6-kg -- greater than what regular 10-inch netbooks weigh. Yes, the Latitude 2120 is a rugged, well-built 10-inch netbook that isn’t exactly a featherweight. The netbook’s battery bulge elevates the hinge from its front lip to create an incline which aids typing -- while the netbook’s placed on a flat surface. Another design enhancement on the Latitude 2120 netbook is its onboard speakers are placed as vertical strips on either side of its screen.
Usability The Dell Latitude 2120 netbook comes with a standard 10-inch screen with a higher-resolution screen -- 1366x768 compared to 1024x600 as is customary on a 10-inch netbook. What’s more, the widescreen display on the Latitude 2120 is matte in nature, so forget distracting reflections. The Latitude 2120’s matte screen is especially good for reading text but not as vivid for watching movies or videos as the glossy screen on the Inspiron Mini 10 netbook.
The Dell Latitude 2120 business netbook's screen comes with an optional touch input feature, where you can use your finger or a stylus to manipulate the desktop without reaching for the touchpad. Touch input is crisp and responsive if not a bit claustrophobic on the small screen size of the Dell Latitude 2120 -- or maybe it's to do with my chunky fingers but the touch input takes getting used to. With little practice you can definitely work with the Latitude 2120’s touchscreen display. The screen is accompanied by a webcam that’s good for videochats.
The keyboard on the Dell Latitude 2120 netbook sports isolated, chiclet-styled keys that are quick and snappy to type on, no problems whatsoever. The spill-resistant keyboard deck is nice and firm and there's no flex to hamper your typing. Frequently used keys like Space, Enter, Control and Shift are big and evenly spaced. If anything, we found the Latitude 2120’s touchpad a tad too tiny to work with, even by netbook standards. But its response and haptic feedback is nice and good.