capsule review

Dell Latitude D505

At a Glance
  • Dell Latitude D505

Dell Latitude D505
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard

This Dell Latitude D505 is built around the 1.2-GHz version of Intel's new Celeron M chip. A budget version of the Pentium M processor, the Celeron M keeps the cost down by offering just half as much secondary cache as the M provides. The $1620 D505 delivers across the board; its battery lasted 4 hours and 45 minutes on one charge in our tests. In our speed tests, the D505 with 256MB of RAM earned a PC WorldBench 4 score of 111; somewhat behind the scores we've seen for notebooks equipped with the Pentium-M, but adequate for general use.

Outstanding budget performance is this slim and light Wi-Fi-equipped business notebook's main draw, but we also liked the D505's portability, at 6.1 pounds for the notebook itself and 7.1 pounds including the AC adapter and cables. Another slick feature is the combination drive's built-in spring-loaded release, which lets you pop it out with one hand and swap in an optional $99 secondary battery.

The D505 offers a full complement of mainstream connections, but in other respects it is modestly equipped. The keyboard is bare-bones, with no scrolling or shortcut buttons, no dedicated volume buttons, and mouse buttons that feel slightly cheap. The graphics chip uses main system memory for graphics, which works fine for basic tasks but not for fast graphics tasks such as 3D games. On the upside, the stereo speakers are loud enough to use in desktop presentations, and Dell's $199 D/Port port replicator turns it into a serviceable desktop replacement. Though the print manual is minimal, the electronic reference buried in the Windows Help and Support Center is complete and helpful.

The Dell Latitude D505 combines good performance and battery life in a reasonably priced, lightweight package with few frills.

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • Dell Latitude D505

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