Yesterday I got a new work laptop since my good old Dell Latitude D620 was about to die (the mobo was probably dying as the machine had random lock up and the like). What’d I get? A new Dell ATG D620. It’s basically the same machine with a few interesting upgrades.
First, it has a much thicker screen. I think it’s mostly plastic to make it look “All Terrain” but the machine is noticeably heavier so I think there may be some sort of extra panel in there to protect the screen from cracking. Also on this new, thicker screen bezel is a pair of red LEDs that can be used to light the keyboard when it is dark. Totally not necessary, but great for mood lighting if you’re going to go on a frag fest in the dark. I had the option of keeping my loaner “regular” D620 but decided on this guy for yet another attribute of the screen: brightness. This screen is VERY VERY bright. If you crank the brightness, it will be too bright to use indoors. Now that’s some backlighting (LED maybe?).
The only other discernible difference is the inclusion of the fingerprint reader in between the left and right touchpad buttons. I’m not sure that this is the best placement, but probably less expensive and easier than carrying two different housings for the machine (like the XPS m1330).
The innards seem to be identical (minus the screen of course) as my previous Latitude D620, although I think I did get a speed bump to the Intel Core Duo T7300…doesn’t really matter though since the bottleneck is my good old 4200rpm 80GB drive that is like watching protozoa evolve into super-human beings sometimes.
The only downside I can see right now aside from the added thickness is the weight of this guy. It’s feels like it is at least 7 or so pounds…noticeably heavier than the regular D620. I mean, I was able to carry around both the regular D620 AND the XPS m1330, but with the ATG D620, it gets a little tough on the back. And no, I don’t plan on upgrading my bag and using my internal frame camping pack to haul my gear around.
Overall though, the ATG D620′s blindingly bright screen wins me over since outdoor computing with poorly-backlit screens has been a thorn in my side since I got my first laptop back in 1998 (ouch, I know).