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Latitude E6400 Owner's Lounge

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by Greg, Aug 30, 2008.

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  1. Greg

    Greg Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    I'll go ahead and start this thread, even though I don't have my E6400 yet.

    For now, I think forum moderator John Ratsey is the only NBR member with an E6400! So we'll let him take the glory until a few more of us get the notebook!
     
  2. jjfcpa

    jjfcpa Notebook Evangelist

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    Just ordered one today. Est del is 09/16. Hopefully they've got production ramping up and will get it out early like they usually do.
     
  3. Greg

    Greg Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Yup, I have an order in from yesterday...and I have next day shipping :D. I'm waiting for this notebook and am as excited as a little kid in a candy shop.
     
  4. devwild

    devwild Notebook Guru

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    Yup, ordered mine today as well. Can't wait, my poor old 600m is finally going to get a much needed break from photoshop torture. :D
     
  5. Greg

    Greg Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Well, every one needs to keep an eye out. Rumors have it (thanks Commander Wolf!) that the price on the E6400 is going to drop below the introductory pricing.
     
  6. Rishi

    Rishi Notebook Enthusiast

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    If the price drops before my order ships (they gave me an est. date of 9/22) does Dell have a price guarantee?

    btw, here's my E6400 config:

    Intel® Core™ 2 Duo P8600 (2.40GHz, 3M L2 Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
    Genuine Windows Vista® Business SP1
    1.0GB, DDR2-800 SDRAM, 1 DIMM (2x2GB DDR2-800 already in hand for self-upgrade)
    Internal English Backlit Keyboard
    NVIDIA Quadro NVS 160M With Express Card
    160GB Hard Drive, 5400RPM
    Black Wide Screen WXGA+ LCD Panel
    Dell Wireless® 370 Bluetooth Module
    90W A/C Adapter (3-pin)
    8X DVD+/-RW w/Roxio and Cyberlink PowerDVD™
    Intel WiFi Link 5300 802.11a/g/n Draft Mini Card

    Subtotal: $1,554.02
    Shipping and Handling: $0.00
    PST: $124.32
    GST/HST: $77.70
    Total: $1,756.04
     
  7. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    I'm typing this on my E6400. :D

    Some observations as I discover more things:

    Those big speaker grilles each side of the keyboard are decorative. There's one small speaker of about 1/2" size on each side. There's no sound manager software with an equaliser so the default sound is quite rich in the higher frequencies.

    The power consumption of the backlight keyboard at full brightness is around 1.5W which is a significant power drain when running on battery. However, about 1/3 brightness is fit for the purpose.

    Dell needs to do more work on the ControlPoint software and give more user control over the ambient light sensor / display backlight / keyboard backlight options. I haven't managed to discover how to use the ALS to trigger the keyboard backlight while retaining manual control over the display backlight.

    5 hours looks to be a reasonable running time target (with 6 cell battery) with web browsing on wireless.

    I'll leave Greg to figure out whether things work better under Vista than under XP.

    John
     
  8. ferris209

    ferris209 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Well, after many months of comparing and contrasting, I'd pretty much decided to go with an M1530. However, in making that decision I was navigating away from my preference of a 14" screen, smaller chassis, and possible lack of ruggedness. I was doing this because I absolutely wanted an LED screen, backlit keyboard, Wireless N, and Vista Ultimate. It may seem petty, but even the backlit indicators (power, HDD, WIFI, BT) were highly appealing to me cause I have to work in low-light conditions regularly and they make deciphering my current computer condition easier. I even ordered one, then canceled it two days later. Then the E6400 came along. It seems that Dell pretty much read my mind on the computer I really wanted with this model. I only have a couple of questions:

    1. Does the E6400 have gigabit Ethernet?

    2. Should I order ASAP, or wait a month or so to see what tweaks Dell makes to the line?

    Now, I fully know that question 2 will be eventually, or immediately, be answered with a typical "Well if you always wait for better, you'll never get a computer!" But I do not intend on waiting any further than a month or so, I need this thing by the end of Oct. We are expecting our first child by then and I do tons of work on the computer. My current circa 2004 Toshiba is just not cutting it anymore. Simply put, would I benefit from waiting just one more month?
     
  9. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Yes to GigAbit ethernet - SiSoftware Sandra reports:

    As for price trends, everthing to do with computers (well, at least the hardware) tends to become cheaper with time. The current uncertainty is whether Dell's current warnings of delays are caused by high demand or limited supply. I personally doubt that the corporate purchasers will be ordering truck-loads of the E series yet. Sensibly they would want to check out a few. In which case there could be a sweet spot in the pricing as They try to ramp up production of these models and need to stimulate the demand before the big orders come in.

    The E6400 isn't perfect, but the display is a pleasure to use.

    John

    PS: I was just looking at the Dell UK site. Options for the backlit keyboard and the slim adaptor have disappeared.
     
  10. ferris209

    ferris209 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Here's my prospective setup, setting at $1982.09, including shipping and taxes. I am using a 12% government employee discount.

    edit: Oh yeah, that is just the on line quote, I will probably call tomorrow and actually talk to a rep, hopefully I can get a $100 or so knocked off even further.

    Model: Latitude E6400
    Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo P9500 (2.53GHz, 6M L2 Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
    Operating System: Windows Vista® Ultimate SP1, With media
    Memory: 1.0GB, DDR2-800 SDRAM, 2 DIMMS [I am planning to buy 4 gigs of OCZ memory from Newegg]
    Keyboard: Internal English Backlit Keyboard
    Graphics and Expansion Slot: NVIDIA Quadro NVS 160M With Express Card
    Primary Storage: 250GB Hard Drive, 7200RPM with Free Fall Sensor
    Fingerprint Reader: Internal Fingerprint Reader
    LCD: 14.1" UltraSharp™ WXGA+ (1440x900) LED Display - Brush Metal Black
    Bluetooth: Dell Wireless® 370 Bluetooth Module
    AC Adapter: 90W A/C Adapter (3-pin) 90AC3P
    Primary Optical Device: 8X DVD+/-RW w/Roxio and Cyberlink PowerDVD™
    Camera/Microphone: Integrated Webcam with digital microphone
    Wireless LAN (802.11): Intel® WiFi Link 5300 802.11a/g/n Draft Mini Card
    Systems Management: No Intel® vPro™ Secure Advanced Hardware Enabled Systems Management
    System Documentation: Resource DVD and Quick Reference Guide
    Primary Battery: 6 Cell Battery
    Hardware Support Services: 3 Year Basic Limited Warranty and 3 Year NBD Onsite Service
    Installation Services: No Onsite System Setup
    Additional Power Options: 90 Watt Additional AC Adapter, 3-Pin
    Color Options : Brushed Metal Black
    LCD: Black Wide Screen WXGA+ LCD Panel w/Integrated Camera and Microphone
    Processor Branding: Intel Centrino 2 Core Duo Processor
    OS Labels: Vista Premium Label
     
  11. glentium

    glentium Notebook Evangelist

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    Ordered E6400 last week.

    I wish anyone who will receive their E6400 with US English keyboard will give comments about the quality, like, if flex is also present like the European keyboard John has.
     
  12. Greg

    Greg Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Once mine shows up, I will.
     
  13. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Another thought on the keyboard flex issue is whether the backlighting option affects the flexibility. The only way to check that is to have the two keyboards side-by-side.

    I've been using my E6400 as the main computer for the past day (now I have enough software installed) and I don't find the flex to be significant in normal usage. My main gripe is the navigation keys tucked away in the top right corner.

    John
     
  14. TWY

    TWY Notebook Consultant

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    Ordered mine last Friday evening when my Dell rep called me to inform me that the Bluetooth module was available. :D


    System:

    Brushed Metal Black
    Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo Processor P8600
    Mobile Intel(R) Graphics Media Accelerator X4500HD With Express Card
    4GB (2x2GB) 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM
    160GB SATA (7200RPM) Free Fall Sensor Hard Drive
    8X DVD+/-RW Drive
    56k Internal Modem
    Integrated 10/100/1000 Ethernet
    Intel WiFi Link 5300 (802.11 a/g/n 3X3) MiniCard
    Dell Wireless 370 Bluetooth(R) 2.1
    14.1" Widescreen WXGA (1280x800) Display
    Integrated 0.3 Megapixel VGA Webcam with Single Digital Mic for WXGA LCD
    Internal Backlit Keyboard (English)
    6-Cell Li-Ion Primary Battery
    Genuine Windows Vista(R) Business 32 bit SP1 (English) DVD Media Included
    3 Yrs Next Business Day Onsite Service


    Accessories:

    E-Module Air Bay
    Cool Slice
    DisplayPort to HDMI
    DisplayPort to Single DVI
    RJ-11 Modem cable (AP)
    90W AC Adapter - 3 Pin
    Dell 14.1" Nylon Case
     
  15. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    I had previously seen that a full CPU stress test + standard battery recharge takes about 70W from the mains socket so a maximum 65W from the PSU. I finally got round to try the option 65W slim PSU instead of the standard 90W power brick.

    Up pops Dell Control Point with this helpful message:

    [​IMG]
    :mad: :(

    I clicked the OK button, left the slim PSU connected and ran wPrime to get 46s, which is a significant hit (was <33s) while only drawing about 31W from the mains socket. I then look in RMClock and see that the CPU is throttled to 1.6GHz. So, how to outwit Dell? RMClock has a throttling option. I set this to 100% and wPrime is back to a reasonable score.

    I also did an overnight stress test of my P8600 running at 1.05V (down from its preset 1.1375V). 9 hours with no problem and the CPU temperature stabilised at just over 60C. That voltage drop only gives 3 or 4W saving at full load, but it all helps keep the heat down.

    John
     
  16. Chevy95ZR2

    Chevy95ZR2 Notebook Geek

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    So these CPUs do have a little wiggle room to undervolt? I got the T9400 in mine (Precision deal), and I was hoping I could volt it down a little to save battery and heat.

    Second, the system draws more power than the 65W brick can produce? That worries me, as my I8600 would charge and run off of a 65W brick. Any ideas as to why the power demand has increased?
     
  17. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    There may be more about undervolting these new CPUs in the Undervolting guide. I recall something about RMClock (which hasn't been updated since Feb 08) not handling the half multipliers that some of the new CPUs have (one reason why I opted for the P8600).

    I suspect that Dell's current software doesn't look at the hardware. I've got a P series CPU and the Intel graphics and the pair are hard pushed to use more than 35W. The standard (not Express) recharge rate is 35W so that's potentially 70W. Most notebooks cut back on the recharge rate if the PSU can't delivery enough power. This will only be an issue if users try to recharge the battery and heavily load their computer at the same time.

    A combination of the T series CPU and nVidia GPU could potentially increase the fully load power drain by 15 to 20W. However, the same philosophy of reduced recharge rate if there is no spare power should apply. Dell need to look at this and I will flag it as an issue in my review. The slim 65W PSU is a gem (about 40% of the thickness of the standard brick) and goes a long way to offsetting the disappointment of the E6400 being overweight. Users should be made aware that recharge time may be increased but not that performance will be reduced. That's the way things used to be.

    I'm always amazed by the way manufacturers put a lot of effort into reducing notebook size and weight (and charging the customers extra) and then supply a brick of a PSU. My Toshiba R500 review provides a good example of this.

    The E6400 Setup & Quick Reference Guide actually lists three PSUs:
    The E series 90W PSU won't be too bad, but while you don't see "slim" in the description then expect it to be the 90W D series brick.

    Something I have just noticed: It is possible to have the Ambient Light Sensor trigger the keyboard backlight but disabled for the display. A big cloud just came over while I was typing this post, the room went dark and the keyboard backlight came on.

    John
     
  18. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Time to bump this thread.

    I swapped the provided Samsung HM160HI HDD for a Fujitsu MHZ2320BH that I already had. The Fujitsu, which I thought was a quiet HDD, is noticeably louder than the Samsung. It's a ticking noise and not particularly obnoxious.

    Something that I noticed yesterday (and not mentioned in my full review which is in the system) is that the PLDS DU-8A2S DVD burner seems to be very fussy about its food. First it wouldn't read a software installation DVD (eventually I connected an external USB burner) and then it gave problems with 2 of the 4 DVDs I asked it to burn. One was a failed burn and another wouldn't verify (but read fine on another notebook).

    It looks to be in need of a firmware update.

    Who else now has received the E6400 and is joining the lounge?

    John
     
  19. AndyBurns

    AndyBurns Notebook Consultant

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    My E6500 went from "pre-production" to "production" status overnight, anyone know where UK models are being assembled, e.g. all in Ireland or could it be anywhere in the world?
     
  20. SpeedyMods

    SpeedyMods Notebook Deity

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    Well I s'pose that I can join this now that mine is being built.

    Here is what I got:

    So I got this for $1299 + $5 Nova Scotia Envirionmental Tax (the last option ^) + 13% Tax ($169.52) for a total of $1473.52.

    I have a 1gb stick of DDR2-667 here that I'm going to pop into it, I don't think that the difference in speed will be very noticable, plus I know that this computer will see a lot more RAM in it's lifetime. I'm going to load Vista Home Premium onto it (I have a retail copy here, hopefully MS will let me transfer it onto this computer)

    I was quite surprised at how close the rep came to matching the US pricing, since Canada hasn't gotten a price drop.

    Ahh, no more using my mom's POS XPS M140.

    Greg
     
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