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  1. #401
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    Default Re: Latitude E4300 first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by cliang View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm a user come from Taiwan. I've bought a Latitude E4300 last week, but it is delayed and I will get it about next week.
    I'd like to get an additional carrying case, but I have a question about how is the depth of E4300 with 6-cell battery? Does anyone know?
    Thanks!
    It's not bad at all. It makes about a 1" thick brick along the back edge. If you carry it around, it's actually a handy grip.

  2. #402
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    Default Re: Latitude E4300 first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmslaw51 View Post
    I just received this from Dell not ten minutes ago. I have been waiting for my replacement E4300 as my machine has a bad wireless card and constantly locks up. This is what they told me:

    Latitude E4300 system shipments have been suspended due to customer
    reported system freeze/hang conditions. These system hangs are due to an
    interaction from some E4300 motherboards to Intel(r) Core(tm) 2 Duo
    SP9300 and SP9400 processors. Dell and Intel are committed to providing
    high quality systems and are working diligently to resolve the issue for
    this platform. We expect to have a resolution and updated statement by
    January 19.
    I have 8 of the 4300's so far. 3 of those have experienced the lockup issue and the other 5 have been fine (except for the constant hard drive activity light). I found a temp workaround for the lockup issue in another forum somewhere. Disabling Intel speedstep in the bios will give you a slight performance hit, but at least it won't lock up in the middle of the day. So far the 2 users that the "locker machines" were deployed to them have reported no lockups in the past 2 days since disabling speedstep.

    I am anxiously awaiting the A06 Bios update or a chipset driver refresh, whatever they come up with.

  3. #403
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    Default Re: Latitude E4300 first impressions

    Hey guys,

    I just got my E4300 from the Dell Outlet delivered earlier this week and I'm gonna try to get a review (with pics) in once I have it up and running as my main machine but here is a preview.

    I am coming from a D630 (using XP Pro) that i've had for a year (and a D600 before that which I had for 4+ years) so i'll be comparing it to those notebooks. Over the holidays I was at my parents' where my D600 is residing. They also have an Inspiron 1525 which I used extensively when I was there because my D630 got a virus. I have used thinkpads before and will spend some time with my friend's t61 before I type up my review. So there will be plenty of keyboard comparisons.

    I definitely like the Latitude E4300 so far.

    My specs:
    SP9300 processor (2.26 GHz)
    4GB RAM
    Vista Business 32bit
    Intel Wireless 5300
    Bluetooth
    Backlit keyboard
    Webcam
    Latitude On Ready
    160GB 5400RPM HDD (Fujitsu)
    DVD Burner
    No fingerprint scanner/no contactless smartcard reader
    6-cell battery
    90 watt AC adapter
    $1275 (including tax)

    Keyboard
    Ok, so first of all the keyboard is good. It is marginally noisier than my D630 and about the same as my old D600. One thing to keep in mind is that the backlit keyboard is different from the regular keyboard. I looked at the photos posted in this thread of non-backlit E4300 and the keyboard is definitely different. I'll expound on that in my detailed review. Backlit function is amazing, can't tell you how many times i've squinted at my keyboard in the dark looking for special symbols at the top (!@#$%^& etc) that i don't have memorized. Keyboard has flex if you look for it but this is not an issue in regular use. The D630 keyboard is rock solid and sturdy. But I must say that I type fastest on my D600 keyboard which is not as sturdy as the D630 but the keys feel lighter and bounce back quicker I feel.

    Speakers
    The sound from the built in speakers is tinnier than that of my D630 but volume is not an issue and they do their job, which is to be useful in a pinch or when showing stuff to people outside of the apartment so I am happy with them (this coming from a minor audio snob). Otherwise I use external speakers when docked or headphones when in a public place.

    Heat and Noise
    Fan moves a lot of air out the side which is good and keeps the notebook relatively cool. I haven't used it heavily yet so this is a preliminary assessment. Notebook is quieter than my D630 for sure.

    Other
    Notebook is much lighter than my D630 (3.9lbs vs. 5.8lbs)
    90W AC adapter is slim (half as thick as the 90W that came with my D630 docking station)
    Screen is brighter than D630
    Right button under touchpad was damaged and plastic strip above keyboard with indicator lights a little warped but Dell is sending a tech Monday to replace those
    Addition of middle button under trackpoint to enable scrolling (like with thinkpads) is awesome
    Battery has some play if you try to move it around but does not move by itself

    That's about it for now. I'm going to install a 320GB 7200RPM WD Scorpio Black and do a clean install of Vista (I've been holding out on XP until now but I'm gonna give Vista a chance and tweak it according to the guide here on notebookreview). Once I've used it as my main machine for a bit I'll put up a more detailed review.

    -Phil

    P.S. For those who thought E4300 was too expensive, there are some great deals to be had on the Dell Outlet:

    http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineS...=28&l=en&s=dfb

  4. #404
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    Default Re: Latitude E4300 first impressions

    Vista 32-bit?
    Call Dell and request the 64-bit Vista. As mentioned before, it's more polished, allows you to unlock the full potential of your CPU, and allows you to use the 4GB of RAM (rather than 3.2 to 3.8GB of RAM) that you have, but also enjoy without any slow down (Windows, like all 32-bit OS, performs hacks so that the OS boots from 4GB of RAM, many people claim that they do see visually a slow down when using 4GB of RAM using Windows 2000/XP/Vista 32-bit).

  5. #405
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    Default Re: Latitude E4300 first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodBytes View Post
    Vista 32-bit?
    Call Dell and request the 64-bit Vista. As mentioned before, it's more polished, allows you to unlock the full potential of your CPU, and allows you to use the 4GB of RAM (rather than 3.2 to 3.8GB of RAM) that you have, but also enjoy without any slow down (Windows, like all 32-bit OS, performs hacks so that the OS boots from 4GB of RAM, many people claim that they do see visually a slow down when using 4GB of RAM using Windows 2000/XP/Vista 32-bit).
    From what I have gathered so far, 64-bit seems to be worth it if you use software that is RAM intensive or for better security encryption and that you don't notice much of a speed boost otherwise because most software is 32bit. I figured I would jump up to 64bit with Windows7.

    Do you really think it is worth it to do 64bit? Would I notice a performance difference?

  6. #406
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    Lr Re: Latitude E4300 first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmslaw51 View Post
    I just received this from Dell not ten minutes ago. I have been waiting for my replacement E4300 as my machine has a bad wireless card and constantly locks up. This is what they told me:

    Latitude E4300 system shipments have been suspended due to customer
    reported system freeze/hang conditions. These system hangs are due to an
    interaction from some E4300 motherboards to Intel(r) Core(tm) 2 Duo
    SP9300 and SP9400 processors. Dell and Intel are committed to providing
    high quality systems and are working diligently to resolve the issue for
    this platform. We expect to have a resolution and updated statement by
    January 19.
    Just received an email telling me that the hold on the E4300 shipments has been lifted. The note indicated that a group of Dell and Intel engineers figured out the fix for the bios that was causing the lock-ups , and that it has been tested and released for installation.

    Maybe I'll get my replacement before Christmas 09

  7. #407
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    Default Re: Latitude E4300 first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by pitviper45 View Post
    ...One thing to keep in mind is that the backlit keyboard is different from the regular keyboard.
    To find difference, here pictures of the backlit and non-backlit keyboards.
    thread on forum
    Last edited by kitir; 14th January 2009 at 05:16 AM.

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  8. #408
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    Default Re: Latitude E4300 first impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by pitviper45 View Post
    From what I have gathered so far, 64-bit seems to be worth it if you use software that is RAM intensive or for better security encryption and that you don't notice much of a speed boost otherwise because most software is 32bit. I figured I would jump up to 64bit with Windows7.

    Do you really think it is worth it to do 64bit? Would I notice a performance difference?
    On my desktop (AMD Athlon X2 4400+ S939 (not AM2) (equivil: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 - 2.0 GHz), 4GB of RAM DDR1, Nforce 4 16XSLI, Geforce 260GTX, Western Digital 7200RPM 16MB Buffer 250GB) system, I did see visually a speed increase. Nothing drastic, or something like that.. but it's there. Games goes 5-10fps faster, even for HalfLife 2 I got 20fps more over Vista 32-bit. Also day-to-day task you do have a slight increase of speed. Videos plays with less resources, specially HD 1080p movies.

    Why is that? Let me answer that question... because:
    - ALL Vista 64-bit processes are in 64-bit. And having an OS (which is heavy (I don't mean that Vista is bad... just that it's not DOS or Linux command line)) running everything on 64-bit advantages you in day-to-day tasks. Meaning because the OS gets to run on 64-bit, your 32-bit takes advantages of this... it gives this "Windows is lighter than what it actually is" type of effect, which helps other applications.
    - 64-bit drivers, and better OS polished, means less bugs (most issue mentioned about Vista only affect Vista 32-bi and not 64-bit). This gives you this slight fps increase in your games and again helps out for the above point. If you want to test Vista, test the 64-bit one, as again, it's more polished as it's the "original" (if you want) windows.
    - 64-bit codecs. That is correct, you get to use 64-bit codec with your 64-bit media player. Don't have/know one? how about the not set as default (32-bit version is set as default), Windows Media Player 11 64-bit (found in Program Files (not in "Program Files (x86)"). Codec pack like ths one:
    http://shark007.net/x64components.html, comes with a tool to convert the file association and shortcuts from WMP 32 to 64-bit. Using 64-bit codecs means less resources used (especially visible with fancy HD movies), means a little bit more battery life. How much? well that depends on the video you play. One note on this: Vista comes with, apparently (well I sure can't find one), the only 64-bit DVD codec (which is very good) for Windows. However, its only in the Home Premium and Ultimate edition (I guess Microsoft made a deal with a company to have this codec with Media Center, so only these edition have it). In any case, it won't give you anything as it's your optical drive motor that eats the battery like no tomorrow. But you do gain a little bit battery life if you have an ISO of your DVD and play it from there.

    - And of course, you have the opportunity to run 64-bit version of applications. And, as mentioned before, get to use your your 4GB of RAM at full without slowdowns. Meaning faster system. Which also explains the faster results that I am having.
    So in conclusion, it's all the little things that ads up which makes visible results. Heck just the fact that you have less bugs on your OS is worth the switch, especially when it's free and just a phone call away (or ask a friend near you for a Vista SP1 disk (any edition, OEM or retail, it's the product key that decide what to install), and use the product key under your machine.

  9. #409
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    Default Re: Latitude E4300 first impressions

    Never ending story: first E4300 arrived in the beginning od December - wrong assembled hinges.
    Replacement was confirmed for 23 December, arrived yesterday - dead pixel in the center of display, I have not accepted it. After more then 2 months from the order and 1,5 months with NBD I am without NB. Incredible quality of service.

  10. #410
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    Default Re: Latitude E4300 first impressions

    I've had my E4300 now for 2 months and have had no problems with it. I upgraded to the backlit keyboard after using the regular one for a month and didn't like the feel of it. Use it everyday for work and it runs great!

 

 

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