Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme stands out on toughness grounds but has a middling battery life. However, you can get a whole day battery life from the entry-level configuration with the standard 6-cell battery.
There are two Rugged Extreme notebooks from Dell: the Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme which is reviewed here and the Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme Convertible Notebook. The later has a 12-inch screen that rotates within its bezel to face outwards or operate in the traditional notebook mode. The former lacks the convertible feature and costs £2,139 on Dell’s UK website.
The Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme measures 35.6 x 24.7 x 5.2 cm and weighs 3.54kg with the standard 6-cell battery. It chassis features a carrying handle at the front making it look like a little briefcase.
The chassis is made of magnesium alloy which helps to keep its innards safe from shocks from drops. It four corners have rubber buffers that provide extra shock absorbance capacity.
The Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme has impressive specs. It boasts a 1.9GHz Intel Core i5-4300U processor, HD 4400 Graphics processor, 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM.
It has support for dual band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet and Bluetooth 4.0. Mobile broadband and GPS modules are available as optional extras. It runs Windows 7 Professional but there is an option for Windows 8.1 if you like it.
Its screen is Gorilla Glass-protected and has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. It is a resistive touch panel.
• It has a superb robust build
• It has excellent protection for ports and slots
• Decent mainstream performance
• It has stealth design
• It is bulky and heavy
• It as an unresponsive touchpad
• Its battery life is disappointing with standard 6-cell battery