Dell has come a long way with its design. The Latitude series is a corporate workhorse that has always provided pretty good bang for the buck in a very bland and boring package. The new Latitude 6400 changes all that with an updated design that looks and feels like a completely different system.

The new Latitude has cleaner lines, a better keyboard and gives off less heat. The power supply is smaller with a light built into the connector so you know the laptop is getting juice from a live outlet. The screen is brighter in both battery and AC mode. Everything about this laptop says refined workhorse.

We tested a unit with XP, 2GB of memory and the 160GB hard drive. Office 2007 was plenty fast in addition to our suite of audio editing programs. We found the layout of the keyboard and the location of the connections ergonomic and friendly. Not much to complain about. This is a very solid performer at a reasonable price and the new design just looks and feels more expensive than it is.

Previously we would have scoffed at a Dell laptop and reached for a ThinkPad. That’s not the case anymore. The new Latitude 6400 series will continue to be standard issue at Fortune 500 companies and deserves a look as a solid desktop replacement in the home.

Visit Dell for more information.