Dell Latitude C600

Dell Latitude C600

Summary: A great choice for the business user requiring power and a modicum of portability.

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38
  • Editors' rating:
    8.0
  • User rating:
    8.8
  • RRP:
    £2,119.00

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • flexible configuration
  • wireless-ready.

Cons

  • Operational glitches with the dual touchpad/pointing stick system.

Standing 3.5cm high and weighing 2.7kg (3.1kg with the AC adapter), Dell's Latitude C600 can hardly be described as 'thin-and-light'. However, its functionality has more in keeping with true desktop replacement systems.

The 850MHz system we tested offered excellent performance, long battery life, two modular bays and even a built-in antenna for wireless networking. Although the Latitude C600 will take up more space in your laptop bag than most mid-range systems, its bulk leaves enough room for an extra modular bay and allows it to carry a big enough battery to attain almost 3.5 hours running time -- benefits that many users may find worth the trade-off. With its 850MHz Mobile Pentium III SpeedStep processor, 128MB of RAM, and 10GB hard drive, the Latitude C600 is also a top-notch performer in other areas. In fact, the Latitude C600 is the fastest notebook we've tested under Windows 2000, returning a Business Winstone 99 score of 39.9. The quality of the Latitude C600's 14.1in. TFT display is very good. Our review sample's XGA-resolution screen had no noticeable 'dead' pixels or artefacts, and DVD movie playback quality through the eight-speed LG drive and InterVideo WinDVD software was smooth. Dell's S-Video port (with included composite video adapter) allows you to display presentations or (with the optional DVD drive) movies on TV screens. When we played audio tracks, the side-mounted stereo speakers were about par for the type, delivering a flat sound. There's no hardware volume control, so if you do use this notebook to play music, you'll need to keep a volume control screen open or remember the function key combinations. Hard drive and memory upgrades are easy with the Latitude C600, requiring the removal of one screw in each case. Another new feature is an integrated antenna for 802.11b wireless networking: by the first quarter of next year, you'll be able to add an internal miniPCI 802.11b card and free yourself from network cables. The Latitude C600's hybrid cooling system, which combines passive heat sinks with a variable speed active fan, results in a cool-running system. The keyboard is quiet and comfortable, but the dual-mode touchpad and pointing stick, each with control buttons, is a decidedly mixed blessing. Having a choice of pointing devices is great, but there are some drawbacks. For example, we found that the touchpad caused unwanted cursor movement when we used the pointing stick because of misplaced palms. However, if you disable the touchpad using Windows 2000's control panel, it also disables all four of the actuation buttons -- oddly, this didn't happen in reverse when we disabled the pointing stick and left the touchpad enabled. A single programmable function key can be configured to access a favourite Web site or service. It's a bit bulkier than the other mid-range notebooks in its class, the Dell Latitude C600 is a solidly built notebook that offers an excellent combination of performance, battery power and expandability, backed by a strong service and support program.

Specifications

General
Dimensions (W x H x D) 31.9x3.5x25.4 cm
Weight 2.7 kg
OS & software
Operating system Windows 2000 Professional
Software included InterVideo WinDVD
Chipset & memory
Chipset Intel 440BX
RAM installed 128 MB
Number of memory slots 2
RAM capacity 0.5 GB
Storage
Storage controller Ultra-ATA/33
Video
VGA (analogue) 1
Video out S-Video
GPU ATi Rage Mobility 128 AGP 2X
Graphics RAM 8 MB
Display
Display technology colour TFT
Display size 14.1 in
Native resolution 1024x768 pixels
Connections
Serial 1
Parallel 1
USB 1
Docking station port yes
PC Card 2 x Type II, 1 x Type III
Networking
Ethernet 10/100Mbps
Modem 56Kbps
Wireless
Wi-Fi integrated antenna for wireless 802.11b networking via a Mini-PCI card
Input
Pointing devices 2-button trackpoint, 2-button touchpad
Keyboard 88 keys, 19mm pitch
Audio
Audio connectors microphone, headphone
Speakers stereo
Audio processor ESS Maestro PCI
Microphone yes
Miscellaneous
Accessories C/Port II with 10/100_BaseTX (£232), C/Dock II with Media Bay & 2 x PCI slots (£414), 2nd Li-ion battery (£67), LS-120 (£88), Zip 250 (£182)
Other DVD-ROM drive
Service & support
Standard warranty 3 years
Battery
Battery technology Li-ion
Battery capacity 3600 mAh
Hard drive
Rotation speed 4200 rpm
Hard drive interface Ultra ATA/66
Hard drive capacity 10 GB
Processor & memory
Clock speed 0.85 GHz
Processor manufacturer Intel
Processor model Mobile Pentium III
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Prices

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Topics: Laptops, Hardware, Reviews

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38 comments
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  • 8.5

    I have had this notebook for 2 years, and I am more then pleased with it. I can only highly recommend it.
    anonymous
  • 10.0

    This Dell Latitude C600 is using the same parts with Dell Inspiron 4000.

    I chatted over email with fi_spareparts@dell.com (Finland), and I got a Dell 802.11b WLAN miniPCI card for 30 EUR only!

    It's coming tomorrow and then I will install it also with Toshiba Satellite laptop, which also has internal WLAN antenna manufactured inside... =)

    I can really just grap out any device (battery/DVD-drive/PCMCIA-card -- u-name-it) and it still doesn't crash. I'm using WinXP, and all devices were installed automagically, exept ATI's Mobile M3. (in Inspiron 4000 there is Rage 128...)

    Dell, simply to say, make these work.
    anonymous
  • 9.0

    Bought this model second-hand, and it still surprises me. Dell still are and always will be the best PC laptop manufacturer on the planet.

    If you want at laptop - Buy a Dell!
    anonymous
  • 9.0

    I've had this laptop for 2 years and I travelled around Europe with it. It is robust (It survived a 2metre fall onto concrete without breaking!). Lots of addons to buy for it, easy to service. The only problem I've had is the metal right-hand screen hinge broke because of metal fatigue.
    anonymous
  • 10.0

    When I bought this laptop off ebay for $480 NEW I wondered about how good it would be! Well I had a Dell Latitude cpi 366MHz and that was the coolest little gizmo ever! So I wanted more! More speed, more memeory and just plain more everything! So I went on ebay and found this after 2 months, and bought it. I got a very good deal at $480 new. So I got this little laptop in the mail opened it up and was amazed at the looks and the screen and design! I turned it on and in 3 minutes erased the hard drive and put Windows XP on it. I loved it from that moment on! I first spent about 2 hours loading all off my programs on it then wondered if I coukd play Halo on it? I put it on and it works like nothing I've seen before!!This is an A+++++ laptop!
    anonymous
  • 10.0

    anonymous
  • 8.5

    I got this as a family heirloom of sorts -- so far, I've put in a better quieter hard disk, a Mini-PCI wireless LAN card, a new battery and I've upgraded the RAM (all for cheap :).

    Now that it's all up to spec, this laptop is in my opinion superb: I like the touchpad, the screen is bright, it gets good battery life, the fan doesn't come on much and it's a nice quiet laptop that's good for playing music on.

    The wireless range isn't great -- in fact it struggles pretty badly over a distance of maybe a hundred feet with few obstructions, but that's good enough.
    The screen brightness is actually a bit too much, it doesn't have the range of brightness that the IBM laptops I'm used to do.

    The thing I like most about this is that it can take two batteries, one was semi knackered so I bought another one, I get four hours from that and now the first one seems to be recovering so I can get something like six hours of battery life.

    For the price (these c600s go for very little on eBay because they rarely have DVD drives), it is probably my current favourite mobile laptop (I've ended up with too many laptops, just the day before this was given to me, I bought an IBM X20).
    anonymous
  • 7.5

    anonymous
  • 7.5

    anonymous
  • 8.0

    anonymous
  • 8.5

    anonymous
  • 2.0

    People are saying how great this laptop is without buying it. What kind of rating is that?
    anonymous
  • 10.0

    anonymous
  • 8.0

    Its my Computer away from my my computer, Upgraded to XP pro. a lil slow at times but it takes everything ive thrown at it
    anonymous
  • 8.5

    While reasonable for any entertainment use, this laptop is perfect for anyone wanting a portable office!
    anonymous
  • 7.5

    Ran diagnostics prior to buying - passed all tests. Solid unit, adequate space for what I need--easy to type keyboard--didn't like touchpad or stick, so just bought mouse--works great. Boots up substantially faster than my dell desktop. Would recommend to others.
    anonymous
  • 8.5

    the features in this notebook is the best had for a year now and still doesn't let me down! I can even use it as a karaoke or dvd movie viewer for family outings.

    Features are very powerfull though it only has 8mb of Video Memory but its ok don't really need a bigger memory.

    Highly recommended
    anonymous
  • 10.0

    Easily good enough to run a small business from. One of my better buys.
    anonymous
  • 8.0

    I like it, great for students that need a bit extra for school and home use, 20gb is great so you can download music and have room for your school work.
    anonymous
  • 10.0

    anonymous