Dell :: Latitude E6400/E6500 - Display And Color Choices
Jan 4, 2009
I'm very close to buying a Latitude E6400 or E6500, but I have a few questions before I pull the trigger. I'm hoping that a few E6400 and E6500 users can help me out...
1- Displays- are they all matte finish or ??? If I go with the E6500, I definitely want the WXGA+ (1440x900) LED-backlit option, but I'm thinking WXGA or WXGA+ (LED-backlit) will do on the smaller E6400.
2- Color choices- I know that Regal Red and Regatta Blue are offered in addition the standard Brushed Metal Black finish. Other than the tiny photos shown on the Product Details page as representations of each color, I can't seem to find any larger photos of the Red or Blue models! Is it a glossy or more of a matte/flat finish.....or should I just stick with the Brushed Metal Black?
3- Which size- 14.1" (E6400) or 15.4" (E6500)? The lighter weight and smaller dimensions of the E6400 are very appealing. I'm just wondering if there are any significant benefits that the E6500 would provide over the E6400 (other than the availability of a WUXGA display)?
4- Thermal Management- The reviews I've seen were models with the P8400 processor and integrated graphics. Heat management was very good on those configurations. Does that hold true for models wity T9400/T9600 processsor and the nVIDIA graphics card? Is fan noise ever a problem?
The new colors Regal Red and Regatta Blue are now available at Dell's website for the Latitude E4300. E6400 and E6500. The E4200 does not show the option as of yet, but that will surely be remedied soon. They seem to come with a hefty increase in price however...
I'd like to ask any E6400 or E6500 owners about their fan noise as I'm considering those machines right now. I'm thinking of going with the Intel 4500 graphics for hopefully less heat and noise than the Nvidia NV160.
How long does the fan stay off while doing basic web browsing? When it turns on does it ramp up to a slow speed or does it blast on and then ramp down to a slow speed? Does this cycle of off and on continue?
The reason I'm asking is I had a Lenovo Ideapad Y430 that was very irritating regarding fan noise. With basic web browsing or even idling the machine the fan would stay off for about a minute or two and then would blast on when it turned on before ramping down immediately to a slow speed for about a minute. Then it would shut off and this cycle would continue over and over. Was very distracting and annoying when in a quiet environment.
I'd like a fan with either consistent fan noise (stays on at slow speed forever) or with no noise at all (stays off forever). How close is the E6400 or the E6500 to this ideal behavior?
I was amazed when I tried out a Dell Studio 1537 that had a fan that didn't turn on at all while web browsing. I could use it for hours and it wouldn't turn on.
I think it could be a good thing to summarize what is good and bad about Latitude E6400 and E6500 in a separate thread. Especially for newcomers it is a little bit hard to find this information in the 135 pages long E6400 Owner's lounge thread. I will start with my experiences after seven weeks use of my Latitude E6400.
My specs E6400 with P8600 CPU, Intel Graphics, 1280x800 CCFL screen, 160 GB 7200 RPM HD, Intel 5100 WiFi, Bluetooth, 6-cell battery, E Port Plus docking station, Windows XP Pro with SP3 (own installation).
Very good Windows XP performance with own installation LCD screen has good brightness and contrast Battery life is great Overall temperature of CPU, chipset etc is low Audio quality in general is good on my laptop, no skips or crackling audio Hard drive and DVD drive are 100% stable in ATA/IDE compatible mode The laptop has a good selection of ports that are mostly located in good positions. Light and thin design Fast 7200 RPM hard drive that is also quiet for being a 7200 RPM drive.
SATA drivers for running in native SATA mode (AHCI/IRRT) are not 100% stable causing some problems with DVD drive and eSATA drives. See below for details. Fan is set programmed to run a little bit too often/too fast. See below for details. Occasional delays in Windows Explorer when clicking on folders. This seems to be caused by a lag that appears when the sound "Start Navigation" is played when clicking on a folder.
USB ports on the back of the docking station wiggle a little bit. I will get a replacement docking station that I hope will fix this problem. Fingerprint reader is connected to a peculiar "Broadcom USH CV" device making it inaccessible for standard fingerprint software. I have got myself a UPEK USB fingerprint reader instead that works much better. Dell ControlPoint software is bloated and not entirely stable. I have only installed the System Manager part that is more or less necessary and also works better than the other parts.
I am satisifed with my E6400. It is fast, has the features I need and is running cool. There are however some things I think Dell should have put more effort into before releasing the laptop like the buggy SATA drivers, nonstandard fingerprint device and the fan programming. I think Dell will eventually fix these problems but I do feel a little bit like a beta tester. If I had known about the problems before my purchase, I would probably have purchased the older (and hopefully more stable) Latitude D830 model instead..............................
Now I'm looking to get a cable lock for it. I know they are not the best at protecting your laptop, but some protection is better than none, besides I just want to lock down to a table while I need to run to the bathroom for a minute.
So, from personal experience, if you have a Dell Latitude E6500/E6400, what locks work/fit best for it? I've done some research and I've tried to read around(couldn't find much on here for the specific laptop).
So far I'm looking at these two (but I have no word from latitude E6500/E6400 users): ..
Since my good old 15" notebook (from summer 2003) died in the beginning of the year, I was looking for a replacement and soon came across the E-series leak. I was immediately impressed by the sleek look and the nice set of features, but I couldn't decide on a certain configuration until now. The result was spending almost 9 months with my old Pentium 3 desktop and its 17" CRT - not exactly the finest web experience you can imagine. This desktop will soon be replaced by a budget gaming system, but I'm sure it will still play a secondary role. Became too accustomed to solely using a notebook, I guess
I should first introduce myself a little bit and talk about what I'll do with this machine. I've just finished school and I'm beginning to study Computer Science at a nearby university this week - staying at home and commuting every day with the notebook in my backpack. Its main purpose will be nothing special, the usual word processing and internet stuff, but also coding and anything else I'll do for university. I still have to try out if it's necessary to take notes on it during part of the lectures, but I think the battery life of the 6-cell should be sufficient. If not, I might just buy a second 6-cell, which doesn't cost much more than upgrading to the 9-cell battery and is more flexible in my opinion.
Here are the parts I've almost decided on, while I'm free for your suggestions:
- P8400 processor - Vista Business (unsure if I should get Home Basic, it will be secondary besides Linux anyway) - 2 GB of RAM - Intel X4500 graphics (keeps cool, saves power, and runs fine with Linux) - WXGA+ LED display with webcam (WSXGA+ would have pushed me towards 15,4") - DVD burner (don't need it much, but still hope the firmware issues get sorted out) - Intel Wifi Link 5100 (good Linux support in the future, but won't pay EUR 45 more for the 5300) - Bluetooth (standard except for the absolute budget class, isn't it?) - Backlit keyboard (pure gimmick, but might be nice for those nightly sessions ) - NO fingerprint reader - 6-cell battery - 3 years NBD service and nothing else
I checked with Dell Live Chat late yesterday afternoon (I have been in contact with them many times before regarding this issue, to no avail) and got lucky. After the rep had me uninstall/reinstall different drivers, which did not work, he asked if he could have remote access to my machine. I granted it and within a few minutes, he solved the issue. His fix was a registry edit. Unfortunately, since in my mind the only fix was going to be a new driver from Alps, I did not play close attention to the changes he made. I believe the entries changed are located at "HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Alps" and "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Alps". You need to look for an entry that reads something like "Cursor Type" (it was located near the top 1/3 of the entry) and you need to change it from whatever it is currently set at (something like 1715 or 1517, I don't really remember) to zero (0). Reboot and viola...animated cursors are back.
The fan on my E6400 runs most of the time at about 3000 rpm, I would like it to run at about 1500 rpm instead, I think 3000 rpm is quite noisy, even though it's stated as "slow"...
It works great and I'm able to controll the fan-speed (and noise!) manually..
I'm wondering if it would be possible to modify this fan controller for the E6400 and other laptops as well?..
The Zalman Fan Mate 2 has an input of 12V and can via the knob output between 5-11V, hence the fan will run slower if it is conncected to the Zalman controller. The problem so far is that the Zalman Fan Mate 2 is built for desktops with bigger power-pins, the one in the E6400 is quite small. Secondly I'm not sure about the voltage of the built in Dell-fan.
Anyway, if someone figure out how to modify a hardware fan controller for the Dell Latitude series, I think these controllers could sell like hot cakes...
When I ordered my E6400, it said on the Dell configuration pages that it would have a UPEK fingerprint reader. I am quite sure I got another fingerprint reader since it says "Broadcom USH CV w/Fingerprint Swipe Sensor" in Device Manager. When I look closely at the quotes I got from the Dell sales guy it doesn't say UPEK anywhere on the E6400 quote but it does say UPEK on the E6500 quote.
Does the E6500 have the same (non-UPEK) fingerprint reader?
Is it possible to get the E6400 with a UPEK fingerprint reader?
I would like to have a laptop with the UPEK fingerprint reader since I ordered a Dell USB UPEK fingerprint reader with my laptop that I intend to use when the computer is in the docking station. The USB UPEK fingerprint reader doesn't work with the fingerprint software on my E6400. I am not 100% sure it will work even if I would have the same brand of fingerprint reader in the laptop but I think it should increase the chance a lot.
I've read through 100 pgs of the E6400 owners thread and other countless threads, but I have a few more questions before I start hunting for an E6400 at the dell outlet tomorrow.
1) I know there is an 'overheating' issue with the Nvidia card while gaming. Is it only when gaming? I don't want it to overheat while idle or watching DVDs or something. I don't really game but work on photoshop and watch DVDs once in a while.
2) Dell lists the minimum weight at 4.3 with the SSD, 4 cell battery, and travel lite module. I'm getting the travel lite module and SSD (X25-m) for sure. Where do I get the 4 cell battery? I didn't see it in the options. Battery life isn't a big concern since I am always plugged in at work and at my apartment.
3) How much more weight would be added with WXGA+ led, bluetooth, webcam, nvidia gpu, backlit keyboard, and 6 cell? I'm trying to minimize all the weight I can
4) Should I be worried about extra heat from the T-series CPUs vs. P-series? My research requires running simulations that ramp up CPU usage on my Vostro 1400 up to 100% for at least 30 mins at a time. For me, speed is important, but not if it starts overheating.
5) I've read that the Intel 5300/5100 wifi cards have issues with certain routers and disconnects often. Are the dell cards free of trouble?
6) Some members have complained about the screens not being so good (LG vs Samsung?). Are the E6500 screens better in general? I might give up a little weight to get a bigger/better screen.
I can't remember where I read it but somebody mentioned that on some of the older versions of the Dell ALPS Touchpad drivers there were more options available. Anybody know which version, if any, had support for tap zones in the corners or for browser back/forward swipe zones?
I tried the latest Toshiba drivers and the driver lets you configure these zones but for some reason it doesn't work. Horizontal scroll didn't work either on the Toshiba drivers but a feature I can only describe as "typing palm guard" works on the Toshiba version even though the Dell drivers don't have support for it.
So this suggests to me there are more options available that the ALPS hardware on our machines can support than provided by the Dell drivers.
On the Dell drivers when you type and graze your palm against the pad you can inadvertently move your cursor, select text in a random area, or accidentally lose focus from the edit box.
With the Toshiba driver it disables the touchpad as you type so that these mistakes can't happen and you can graze or even rest your palm on the touchpad surface
Can't believe I scanned through the whole owners threads for the M4400, E6500, M2400, E6400. Can't believe I still have questions, but they are listed below:
Background: I'm a pro photographer and am looking for a road machine that has a decent, accurate display. Won't be used at home, won't be used for games. I have looked closely at the MBP (older matte and new glossy) and could live with the screens but the smug gets to be excessive and it would be demeaning to live in bootcamp or lose the touchpad by loading just windows (no interest in switching to OS X). I have also looked at the sony sr & z 13" and could live with either if I gave up and went size over power and durability.
I have not seen any of the LCD choices for the Latitude or Precision in person unfortunately and have no place to view them, which leads me to this post. What got me here is that I have read that the macbook pro shares LCD panels with the WXGA+ LED screen of the M4400 and E6500. Now there are other choices namely the WUXGAs and possibly problems with the WXGA+ displays on both the 14 and 15 inch dells, or maybe with specific samsung or LG models of either though it isn't really clear which one is superior.
Question 1) Truelife = Glossy? AG= anti glare? Ultrasharp = high res?
2) Is the main functional difference between the latitude and precision the video card choices and possibly a display option for the 15"?
3): I would prefer to go with the smaller 14 inch model but looking at the comments on this forum and the review on notebookcheck.net left me thinking the 14 inch LED screen was not up to the level of the 15inch model. Am I wrong on this?
4) The M4400 thread refers to several tables with Contrast, gamut and brightness data for the 4400 --- does anyone have a link to this data for the M2400, E6400 and/or E6500?
My other questions refer to the M4400 and E6500: 5)Is the Canadian website's ultrasharp UWXGA CCFL display the same as the 2 CCFL display mentioned in the M4400 thread? Anyone know if the RGB LED display is available in Canada?
6) Is the UXWGA CCFL monitor the same on the E6500 as the M4400? Is the UXWGA RGB LED monitor available on the E6500?
7) From the specs banded about is the following true: WUXGA CCFL -- 75% of ARGB gamut, 350 cd brightness 1:400 contrast MATTE finish WUXGA RGL LED -- 100% of ARGB gamut 300 CD 1:500 contrast GLOSSY finish WXGA+ LED 45% of ARGB (or similar) 300CD 1:500 contrast MATTE Finish
8) Is the WXGA+ LED display really equivalent to the MBP lcd quality? Are there still problems?
9) How tiny is the text, icons, etc on the WUXGA screen? At home I have a 22" CRT running at nearly the same resolution and I am worried that I'll have to use the "special" features of windows to read.
10) There was brief allusion to problems profiling the RGB LED screen on the M4400 thread -- I've got the older xrite DTP 94 colorimeter-- will there be problems?
11) For those with the LED RGB WUXGA display --> are there banding problems from the wider gamut and (presumably) still 6-bit display?
12) Finally given all the above I didn't seem to find a consensus on the best fit for a monitor for my purposes. The choices being A) E6400/M2400 with WXGA+ LED, B) E6500/M4400 with WXGA+ LED, C) E6500/M4400 with WUXGA CCFL, and finally D) M4400(E6500?) with WUXGA RGB LED.
the question is pretty much in the title. I'm thinking about buying a E6500 Latitude with WUXGA 2CCFL display. The comments about the 2CCFL backlight I've read so far haven't been very positive, but I haven't owned a backlight so far and can't decide how serious the possible issues are.
I'm mainly working in a text editor on a black background or surfing the web, in particular I'm not doing any photo editing. I'll watch a DVD from time to time but I'm not used to the best display and it shouldn't be too hard to meet my demands when it comes to colors. But of course the display shouldn't suck,
displaying wrong colors or being bright at some places and dark at others. And it should be sufficiently bright for working under normal lighting conditions without having to sit right in front of a wall with curtains closed as it is the case with my current display.
The alternative would be a WSXGA display with LED light and I'd probably choose a E6400 instead of a E6500 in this case. But I could also buy it on a E6500. I'd appreciate any suggestions helping me which display to pick.
I'm looking to get a notebook cooler for my E6400, as I am sure some other are considered or have taken advantage of. So, I want to find out one that is going to work the best.
I am considering the following:
- Zalman ZM-NC1000, said to be really quiet and effective. From what I gather blows air up at the notebook
- Antec notebook cooler, also supposed to be quite effective. This one I think sucks away the hot air from the notebook
Now the question is, what is going to be the better choice? I think the fan on the E6400/ E6500 blows hot air out of the notebook right? In which case the cooler that then helps in taking that away would be best?
I wanted to share with the forum some strange, yet interesting findings that I've come up with in the last week or so.
First, some background. I am the IT manager/senior admin for my company. I do all of the purchasing and high end tech stuff, so I get to play with a fair amount of hardware and equipment before deploying it to the company.
For the last year or so, I've owned an E4300 as my work laptop, and have been purchasing E6400's to deploy to our company. Some of our consultants have dual internal hard drives using the Newmodeus optical bay caddy, and use an esata/usb combo port to power their optical devices when they need. We also utilize the Coolmax esata/usb enclosures for external drives. All of these devices work great on our older E6400's and my E4300.
Recently, I made another order of some E6400's and 2 E6500's as a trial. No matter what I do, the Newmodeus cables (I have a hard drive one as well) will NOT work with the E6500 and 1 of our new E6400s. Occasionally, by wiggling the cable in the plug and pushing hard, I can get a device to be detected for a few seconds. I decided to have Dell come out and replace the motherboard in 1 to see if I got a defective board.
Well, that didn't help at all, so I dug a little deeper. I borrowed a colleagues Coolmax enclosure, and plugged that in. To my amazement, it worked fine. I compared the esata cables....and the Coolmax cable is ~1-2mm longer than the Newmodeus cables.
The port depth on some of these machines must be a little deeper than others, not allowing the cable to fully seat and get a good connection. I have 2 E6500's and 1 E6400 with this issue.
My next plan of attack is to use a small saw to cut a little of the plastic off the Newmodeus cables to see if I can get them to seat a little deeper. I will report back my findings. I never thought something so simple would be such a PITA.
I've recently bought my E6500. My configuration has no dial-up modem inside. (it's impossible to order custom config in my country). This thing is not very useful nowadays, but sometimes I need it to send faxes.
My laptop has RJ11 phone line connector and corresponding 2-pin connector inside, so it should be possible to install Conexant D330 modem module, which is available cheap on eBay.
But there is one problem: I also need the orange flat flex-cable with 10 pin connector. It's shown in the E6500 service manual modem page, item #3 on picture. Right above the WWAN card. (sorry i have too few post and can't add the link, you can find it in e6500 owners lounge thread)
Can somebody remove back cover from your E6400 / E6500, and tell me the Dell part numbers of the flat cable and modem card?
Just logged on to dell's driver site. WOW, new drivers dated yesterday for fingerprint. Finally i'm getting native windows 7 bio support for my M4400. Downloaded and installed.
No, nothing, nada, shaite. Still no support. This is ugly. Just read online that Dell listens and now you can get Inspiron 10 with Moblin. What about business users that scream for native bio support for latitude and precisions. Dell needs to shape up on this point.