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The Best Laptop for Engineering is an Old Dell Latitude

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Singling out the best laptop for engineering is a bold move. This Dell Latitude makes a strong case for using silly superlatives. Those of you working in the engineering field will love this.

Hidden in the ExpressCard slot, we have a diametrical scale, a ruler…

Latitude top

… and a temperature scale converter, and letter opener!

latitude bottom

I discovered this cruising Imgur, a post by user Sam_the_Engineer, who received this Dell Latitude E Series laptop as a loaner machine while IT serviced his newer Dell Precision, which to Sam’s chagrin, did not have the tools stashed inside.

An investigation reveals that the tools come in Dell Latitude E6430 laptops. The insert is a standard Dell part, #M92YV. Normally a piece like this is a useless hunk of plastic that keeps crud out of the ExpressCard slot, but it looks like Dell designers gave engineers a special nod packing a few tools inside.

Launched in 2012, Dell Latitudes have fallen out of date somewhat. You can still purchase a recertifed Dell Latitude E6430 for the cost of an inexpensive Chromebook.

The old Latitude specs are still decent by 2016 standards.

  • 8 GB memory
  • Intel Core i5-3320M (2.60 GHz)
  • 1 TB HDD
  • The 14-inch display gets (1366 x 760px) resolution
  • Windows 7 Professional

For a little more coin, you can get Windows 10 Professional and 16 GB loaded on this Dell Latitude E6430 refurb.

In the Latitude’s heyday, techs loved the 6000-series laptops. They are easy to repair and upgrade, the back panel held on by one or two screws. It looks and feels durable, though bulky next to more modern laptops.

They have enough power for MATLAB and CAD applications, though it may lag with extreme file rendering tasks and other CPU-intensive functions compared to  current-gen machines.

Best Laptops for Engineering – current generation

Without the hidden surprise toolset, picking one best laptop for engineering is not as clear cut.

Engineers that want the latest hardware instead of a plastic ExpressCard multi-tool, don’t let me stop you. You will find these in the mobile workstation gallery.  The latest models have Intel Core i7-6000 series CPUs, a combo of HDD/SSD storage, dedicated video cards, and high definition displays.

Here are three picks for engineers; click the images for more information.

Dell Precision 15 7000 M7510

Dell-Precision-7-series

• Intel Core i7 2.70 GHz
• 8 GB / 1 TB HDD
• Nvidia Quadro M1000M
• 15″ / 1920 x 1080
• Windows 7 Pro

HP ZBook 14 G2

HP Z book

• Intel Core i7-5500U (2.4 GHz)
• 16 GB / 1 TB HDD
• AMD FirePro M4150
• 14″ touch screen (1920 x 1080)
• Windows 10 Pro

Lenovo ThinkPad W550s

Lenovo ThinkPad W

• Intel Core i7-5500U (2.70 GHz)
• 8 GB / 256 GB SSD
• Nvidia Quadro M1000M
• 15.5″ / 2880 x 1620
• Windows 7 Pro

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Final thoughts

There are great laptops PCs for engineers to choose from. Just remember the drafting ruler is sold separately with the new crop of best laptops for engineering, and they and do not fit snug inside the chassis like the good old Dell Latitude.

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The Best Laptop for Engineering is This Old Dell Latitude
Article Name
The Best Laptop for Engineering is This Old Dell Latitude
Description
Singling out the best laptop for engineering is a bold move. This Dell Latitude makes the strong case for using silly superlatives. Those of you working in the engineering field will love this.
Author
Adam Lovinus

Adam Lovinus

A tech writer and Raspberry Pi enthusiast from Orange County, California.

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