Dell Latitude Rugged Extreme 7404 Laptop Review

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8.5

Value for Money Score

8.5/10

Reliability Score

8.5/10

Performance Score

8.7/10

Specifications and Features Score

8.3/10

Design Score

8.6/10

Pros

  • Touchscreen
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Lots of ports
  • Well protected entry points
  • Good thermal management

Cons

Verdict

The Dell Latitude Rugged Extreme 7404 laptop comes with a military standard and IP 65 certification for its durability, faster, and better performance. Though the battery life and its wi-fi range is a bit of a concern, it is designed not to fail, in any given temperature and weather extremes, but for a high price.

Dell Latitude Rugged Extreme 7404 Laptop & Variants Price

Introduction

Dell Latitude Rugged Extreme 7404

You will get a better and higher user experience when you use the Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme 7404 laptop. It is designed to be durable.

This tough book can put up with a lot of abuse and assure a faster and better performance.

It meets with all the required military specifications and even the 14-inch touchscreen as well as the ports and slots are well protected to ensure that nothing fails when you use this system in extreme environments.

Every entry point of liquid, dust, and sand are closed off.

Though it is bulky, it is reliable enough due to its specs to be used easily and conveniently in a police cruiser or on a construction site in the desert, or to stay connected with the base during a military operation in remote areas.

It is not just designed to endure punishment, but to perform as well. The hard drive included is solid state which ensures faster boot up and performance.

The touch screen, the adequate amount of RAM, the CPU, all ensures that you are not let down.

The system also comes with a stylus to make the best use of the resistive and outdoor readable touchscreen.

It is more reliable to complete tasks like filling up forms on site, to collect signatures, and more.

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However, storing the stylus may be a bit of an issue as it falls very easily out of the holder.

This laptop is also very reliable from the security point of view. In addition to its rugged built, one more feature that makes this device one of the most reliable laptops is the Dell Data Protection feature.

This allows you to encrypt any data virtually on any device so that it is not accessible to the others easily.

You can prevent unauthorized access using a smart card reader, the fingerprint reader, and several other software that ensures higher and better endpoint security as well.

Buy for: Good performance, good audio quality, test certifications, stylus included, Dell data protection.

Beware of: Faster battery drain, raised keys, wi-fi range, average touchpad.

Design and Build

This i5 Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme 7404 is built tough. Period.

It is designed to survive in harsh conditions, and engineered to offer the highest level of performance, even if you use it in the battlefield!

It replaces the legendary XFR model and Dell has included new styles and security features to make this machine stand out from the others in similar category.

The display is quite large, at least larger than the previous models, and toughened.

It is well protected by the thick bezel and exhibits images at 1366 x 768 pixels or HD resolution.

The best part is that this display supports touch and is built to be resistive but readable outdoors.

The brightness level of this touchscreen is good enough to allow you to see the images displayed on it clearly even when it is viewed under direct sunlight.

The build quality of this display is so good that it responds easily and quickly even if you touch it with protective gloves on.

The thermal design power or TDP is good enough as well to keep the system cool even under heavy and long use. It actually comes with a 4th generation Quad Cool thermal management technology.

The casing is built from magnesium alloy and other rigid ultra-polymer shock absorbing materials are also used to ensure higher protection.

The design includes futuristic stealth features as well as other protective covers to prevent the innards of the system from damage.

There are strong rubber pads fitted around the edges to absorb the shocks when you put or place the device down carelessly.

The different components inside the casing cannot be dented, warped, or deformed otherwise.

There is also a strong and non-removable handle integrated into the casing which is flexible and has protective padding as well.

The surface of the casing is built to be rock solid and the texture makes it easy to clean.

Though the lid of the display can be marginally dented and scratches can inevitably occur over time, the functionality of this rugged laptop will not be affected adversely for sure.

The sealed keyboard comes with standard-sized keys in spite of the small grid.

With good enough key travel and tactility, there is literally not much to complain about this backlit keyboard.

However, the touchpad, which is very small, needs some improvements in sensitivity, multi-touch features, and its constantly jerking mouse.

Performance

The performance of this unit is quite balanced due to the processor, the fast solid-state drive, the integrated graphics, and the Windows 10 Professional operating system.

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The processor, though belongs to the 4th generation, ensures speedy processing of the data supporting several routine tasks.

The Intel Core i5 processor is sufficiently fast to perform all tasks at a base clock frequency of 1.9 GHz.

The U suffix indicates that it consumes low power and therefore produces less waste heat considerably.

This means that the performance of the processor and the system is not reduced even in battery mode.

The integrated HD graphics card of Intel does not come with a dedicated video memory, but is good enough in operation even using shared working memory.

However, you can use the discrete graphics option for a better multimedia experience.

Its performance is further enhanced by the actual memory bandwidth when it is fully available.

The graphics solution produced is fast and can manage various undemanding apps and tasks with it.

However, it is not suitable for intensive 3D gaming or intricate 3D construction jobs.

The Windows 10 Professional operating system needs no introduction about its features, functionality, and usefulness.

It is easy to operate and will help in performing any task on this machine most efficiently.

RAM & Storage

The DDR3 SDRAM has a capacity of 8 GB, which is common for laptops today, and is enough to support multitasking on the system.

However, if you want more power, you can upgrade it up to 16 GB of super-fast memory.

The SSD storage is fast enough to boot up the system and programs, thereby adding to its overall performance.

Its 256 GB capacity is at par today’s average laptops and allows quite a lot of space to store your audio, video, and text files.

Ports & Connectivity

Lots of ports and slots are included on its sides that includes USB 3 port, an HDMI port, an SD card reader slot, 2 parallel ports, two VGA ports, and Ethernet ports.

You will get a strong wireless network of 802.11ac wi-fi standard to download and upload data in quick time.

It also supports Bluetooth technology. The highlight of the device is a second Gigabit LAN port. This offers added networking options.

However, the wi-fi range seems to be a bit restricted.

Battery Life

As usual, the battery life varies under different usage types and test scenarios. It depends on other factors as well such as runtime, screen brightness, energy saving, and more.

The system is supposed to have a battery life of up to 13 hours when new, and over time and use, it will come down to 10 hours or even less.

The actual possible runtime will be much less under full load or video playback as the battery life drains out pretty fast in these scenarios.

Additional Features

The bottom mounted speakers of Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme 7404 are loud at max volume but the sound seems to be muffled overall.

It is treble-heavy but more balanced with decent bass. However, the distortions are not very significant.

The camera integrated in the system is located above the screen and is hidden by the privacy shutter.

The quality of pictures taken by it is not that impressive with dull color, darker shades and slightly blurry details.

Specs:

  • Brand: Dell
  • Screen: 14 inches
  • Display: HD Touchscreen (1366 x 768)
  • Storage: 256 GB
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage Type: SSD
  • RAM Type: DDR3 SDRAM
  • Processor: 4th generation Intel Core i5 4310U
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics
  • Processor Speed: 1.90 GHz
  • Processor Brand: Intel
  • Product Dimensions: 14.02 x 9.72 x 2.05 inches  
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
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What Do Users Think about Dell Latitude Rugged Extreme 7404?

This is a really nice machine that is solidly built and assures an awesome performance, said most of the users.

It runs well under any given condition and justifies its rugged built. Even when maxed out, it never slows down.

However, they said that it would have been better if it came with a dedicated graphics card.

The amount of memory and storage, the solid built, the number of ports, or the great keyboard, everything seems to be good in this laptop, said some users.

It even offers a great listening pleasure while playing music. All in all, it is a great buy and offers good value in return on the investment.

Some of the users however said that all the greatness of this laptop is useless unless it is plugged in.

The battery life is much less than what is advertised. They said that while watching a video the battery drains out pretty fast, and it is very annoying to them.

If only the maker takes up this issue seriously, this will be a great laptop. Check out Latitude Rugged Extreme 7404 Manual.

On the other hand, quite a large number of users said that they got what they expected from the machine.

They really liked its rugged nature and good performance. Yes, it is not pretty or light in weight, but with the good drivers, updates and Dell support, this is a great laptop to use in extremely harsh environments.

However, there are a few users who downright rejected this laptop saying it is terrible with several drawbacks overlooked by Dell.

It is meant to be rugged but it is nothing but a bit more than any average device as far as strength is concerned.

They also said that it is not reliable either and pointed out that the keys are raised higher than usual.

The design and touchpad sensitivity could have been much better, according to their opinion.

Other Expert Views

Dell has done a pretty good job, feels NotebookCheck. This laptop passes all tests they conducted on it, particularly with its input devices. However, the keyboard is found to have a decent drop which causes inconvenience while typing.

Laptop Mag however is pleased with the laptop for its durability and military-tough design. The magnesium alloy material used to build it really makes it extremely rugged. However, a higher battery life is desirable.

PCMag are in favor of the fully modernized design of this laptop with well protected ports and slots. The security features included in it makes it a reliable device to use outdoors. However, a dedicated graphics card is preferred.