Games PC & Laptops

Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged review: A durable, rugged, customizable laptop for demanding environments – Techaeris


Right here at Techaeris, we often get enterprise, shopper, and gaming oriented desktops to assessment. Nearly all of these are pretty slim and glossy and meant for indoor or moveable use. Our Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged assessment takes a take a look at a sturdy, rugged laptop computer to be used in harsh and demanding environments. Final yr we reviewed Dell’s Rugged pill, learn on to see how this customizable rugged laptop computer stands up.


The Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged laptop computer despatched to us has the next options and specs (configurable when ordering):

  • Intel Core i3-7130U CPU @ 2.70GHz (as much as Eighth Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8650U Processor (Quad Core, 8M Cache, 1.9GHz,15W, vPro) out there)
  • 14″ FHD WVA (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare Non-Contact (Anti-Glare Non-Contact, Outside-Readable Display and Embedded Contact, Outside-Readable Display obtainable)
  • M.2 128GB PCIe NVMe Class 35 Strong State Drive (as much as M.2 1TB PCIe NVMe Class 40 Opal Self Encrypting Strong State Drive obtainable)
  • 8GB, 2x4GB, 2400MHz DDR4 Non-ECC (as much as 32GB out there)
  • Qualcomm® QCA61x4A 802.11ac Twin Band (2×2) Wi-fi Adapter+ Bluetooth Four.2 (Intel® Twin Band Wi-fi AC 8265 (802.11ac) 2×2 with or with out BT Four.2 out there)
  • Sealed Inner RGB Backlit English Keyboard (non-backlit and rubberized backlit keyboards out there)
  • Ports: 3x USB-A, USB Sort-C, SD card slot, SIM card slot, HDMI, Serial port, RJ-45 Ethernet, stylus port (stylus non-compulsory), three.5mm audio
  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X20 LTE (DW5821e) for Home windows 10 out there (not included on our evaluate unit)
  • Contact FIPS 201 Fingerprint Reader, FIPS 201 Contacted Sensible Card, Contactless Sensible Card, NFC (not included on our assessment unit)
  • three Cell 51Whr ExpressCharge Succesful Battery (2nd three Cell 51Whr ExpressCharge Succesful Battery obtainable)
  • Home windows 10 Professional 64-bit
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 32.88 x 347 x 244.5 mm (excludes bumpers and deal with)
  • Weight: Beginning at 2.22kg with a single three cell battery and no deal with

What’s within the field

  • Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged laptop computer
  • 90W Rugged AC Adapter, 7.4mm Elbow Barrel
  • Regulatory info


Whereas most customers are used to glossy and slim laptop computer designs, the Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged is something however. When closed, it appears akin to a small briefcase with its optionally available deal with and strengthened corners. Every of the eight corners is reduce at an angle and is strengthened with a rubber bumper.

Your complete unit itself is quite mild and is constructed of light-weight, but sturdy feeling, plastic. On the entrance of the laptop computer is the place you’ll discover the aforementioned deal with. Additionally rubberized, it has a grippy floor beneath the deal with. Underneath the deal with is a clasp which, when the underside is pressed, releases the lid/show, permitting you to open it. To the left of the clasp is the speaker grille whereas the exhausting drive exercise mild is to the correct.

Dell-Latitude-5420-Rugged-review-20The Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged.


Alongside the left aspect of the laptop computer, you’ll discover two coated port compartments. All of the ports on the Latitude 5420 Rugged are coated with a door. The door have to be unclasped with a lever in the midst of the compartment to show the ports. Beneath the left aspect compartments, you’ll discover the three.5mm audio and two USB-A ports, one all the time on, close to the entrance. The again port compartment homes the USB Sort-C port with a DisplayPort icon printed on the duvet.

Alongside the proper aspect of the laptop computer, you’ll additionally discover two coated compartments. The primary, situated close to the center, homes the detachable M.2 NVMe SSD drive. This enables for straightforward swapping of the exhausting drive for numerous causes — whether or not it’s totally different consumer drives, configurations, or for straightforward upgrades. The second compartment accommodates the SD card slot, a SIM card slot (if the laptop computer is LTE outfitted), a 3rd USB-A port, and a slot for the elective stylus.

Dell-Latitude-5420-Rugged-review-12The uncovered ports (together with the NVMe SSD slot) on the left aspect of the Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged.

Yet one more compartment sits throughout the again. This homes the serial port, RJ-45 Ethernet jack, and HDMI port. These ports might be configured throughout buy. For instance, you possibly can get a second serial port as an alternative of the HDMI port. To the correct of those ports, when wanting behind the laptop computer, is the lock slot and the facility adapter port on the far proper. The facility port, apparently sufficient, is the one port not coated on the laptop computer.

The underside

Flipping the laptop computer over, you’ll discover a few fascinating issues as properly. First, there are two pretty giant compartments close to the entrance of the underside of the laptop computer. These home the batteries. In our assessment unit, one had a battery in it whereas the opposite was only a cowl. You possibly can simply add one other battery throughout configuration. This setup permits customers to hold additional batteries with them and scorching swap lifeless batteries for longer battery life. Within the center close to the highest of the laptop computer is an array of pins to be used with the elective Rugged Dock.

Show and keyboard

Opening up the laptop computer, the palm relaxation, show body, and keyboard look simply as rugged. The sealed RGB backlit keyboard presumably retains mud and liquid from the laptop computer internals. Typing was fairly common and responsive, so no complaints there. The keyboard has 4 brightness settings, plus an off setting. There are six screws in numerous locations across the keyboard for straightforward removing and alternative. To the higher proper of the keyboard is the facility button with an LED strip in it to point energy.

Under the keyboard is the touchpad with two bodily buttons. The touchpad works properly and has a textured plastic floor versus the graceful floor of different laptops. The buttons work as anticipated for left and proper mouse button click on actions.

Dell-Latitude-5420-Rugged-review-18The keyboard and trackpad on the Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged.

On both aspect of the touchpad buttons are two pretty deep hollowed out oval formed holes. Two shallower oval holes centred on the touchpad are on the far left and proper aspect. When wanting on the show, there are 4 nubs which correspond to those holes. When the lid is closed, these nubs sit within the holes and assist maintain the lid in place. This presumably prevents twisting do you have to occur to drop your laptop computer.

Centred between the highest two nubs is the webcam, which features a privateness shade slider. The 14″ FHD show is framed with three/Four-inch bezels on the edges and bigger 1 1/Four-inch bezels on the highest and backside. The Dell emblem is centred and debossed into the plastic body underneath the show.

Drop examined

Talking of dropping, the Latitude 5420 Rugged is drop examined from three ft for impression resistance. Simply wanting on the design and really feel of the laptop computer, it undoubtedly seems prefer it might deal with a three-foot drop simply. It’s also licensed for IP-52 ingress safety, making it excellent for numerous temperature and environmental extremes.

General, the Latitude 5420 Rugged undoubtedly exudes ruggedness. Its design and the supplies used undoubtedly really feel rugged and invoke confidence in its sturdiness.


Sadly, our assessment unit got here with the 14″ FHD WVA (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare Non-Contact display. Luckily, there are Anti-Glare Non-Contact, Outside-Readable and Embedded Contact, Outside-Readable Display choices obtainable. Our evaluate unit was hit or miss when making an attempt to make use of it outdoor and extremely trusted the lighting circumstances. It fared o.okay. when overcast and within the shade. In brighter circumstances, there was a little bit of glare off of issues like my white t-shirt which made it exhausting to see the display even at full brightness.

Dell-Latitude-5420-Rugged-review-23The common show display outdoors on the Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged.

Outside use apart, the FHD display is certainly clear and crisp and simply seen from vast viewing angles indoors. Color illustration appeared respectable sufficient as nicely.

Software program

Whereas there’s not an excessive amount of to say right here given the Latitude 5420 Rugged ships with the 64-bit model of Home windows 10, there wasn’t rather more put in outdoors of the standard Home windows 10 bloatware. As with our evaluate unit, you possibly can order it with out an anti-virus so that you don’t have to fret about McAfee or different choices slowing down your system.

So far as Dell-installed software program is worried, the 5420 Rugged comes with Dell Command | Replace, Dell Digital Supply, Dell Free Fall Knowledge Safety, and Dell Energy Supervisor — all helpful apps in their very own proper.

Dell additionally gives up a enterprise suite of software program like ProDeploy Shopper Suite, ProSupport, and ProSupport Plus, can be found for IT directors for simpler deployment and end-user help. As nicely, further safety choices can be found for off-site use to additional shield consumer and firm knowledge.


Our evaluation unit shipped with the Intel Core i3-7130U CPU and 8GB of RAM with a 128GB NVMe SSD. Considering enterprise use, we used this for net searching, doc modifying, and different Workplace 365 associated apps. We additionally threw some Lightroom and lightweight Adobe Photoshop modifying via the system as properly and in every case, the system carried out decently. In fact, relying in your utilization wants, the 5420 Rugged may be configured with as much as Eighth-Gen i7 processors, as much as 32GB of RAM, and as much as 1TB Opal self-encrypting NVMe SSD drives.

Dell-Latitude-5420-Rugged-review-11The detachable NVMe SSD on the left aspect of the Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged.

The Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged additionally makes use of QuadCool thermal administration to be used in hotter temperatures. Whereas we didn’t check hotter temperatures (it is just spring right here in any case), we did stick it within the freezer for a couple of hours to simulate chilly use. After eradicating it from the freezer, it fired up just about as one would anticipate in room temperature circumstances. For the brief time the pc was colder, it ran high-quality and we had no points with it.

Sound High quality

For less than having a single entrance firing speaker, I didn’t anticipate a lot within the sound high quality division. Whereas there isn’t a lot bass, if any, the speaker does put out fairly the quantity and is crisp and clear, even at full quantity. Whereas I wouldn’t plan on watching films with it, it does do exactly discover in a pinch or for video conferencing or different enterprise audio wants.

Digital camera

Throughout our check video name, the webcam works properly sufficient and the opposite social gathering talked about we appeared fairly respectable in readability and color. As properly, the onboard microphone picked us up simply sufficient for the opposite social gathering to listen to us with out having to talk too loudly.

Battery Life

Our evaluation unit solely got here with a single three Cell 51Whr ExpressCharge Succesful Battery. The laptop computer does have two battery slots and you should purchase a further battery whereas ordering for longer battery life.

Dell-Latitude-5420-Rugged-review-09The battery compartments on the underside of the Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged.

On that word, throughout testing at 100% brightness (as we examined this outdoors more often than not) and the keyboard backlight off with energy settings set to raised efficiency, we managed to get between 6 and seven hours persistently. As talked about in our Efficiency part, we caught to enterprise associated duties like Workplace 365 apps, doc modifying, web shopping, primary photograph modifying, and the occasional video streaming from YouTube.


Whereas we coated this a bit within the Design part above, the Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged is military-grade MIL-STD 810G examined and comes with an IP-52 ingress safety score. With its three-foot drop safety as properly, the 5420 Rugged’s nook bumpers supply up further safety. Whereas we didn’t toss this laptop computer round throughout testing, we’re assured that it’ll survive your common unintentional drops and bumps whereas used outdoor or in non-office sort environments.


Beginning at US$2001.57/CA$$2,610.92, the Dell Latitde 5420 Rugged isn’t precisely low cost based mostly on the internals. All in, you possibly can simply be as much as over US$6000/CA$9000 relying on configuration. That being stated, this isn’t one thing most individuals can be shopping for for private use and relying on the enterprise surroundings can be nicely well worth the buy only for the ruggedness of the laptop computer.

On that observe, on the time of this assessment, the Latitude 5420 Rugged is presently 35% off on Dell’s U.S. website (sorry Canada) so if your corporation is considering rugged laptops, now’s the time to leap in.


The Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged isn’t for everybody, in fact. With its rugged design and additional elective security measures, this rugged laptop computer undoubtedly has its makes use of for companies that function in non-office settings. Sturdily constructed and extremely customizable when ordered, the Latitude 5420 Rugged is a wonderful selection for working in harsher environments.

*We have been despatched a assessment unit of the Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged laptop computer for the needs of this evaluate.

Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged

US$2001.57+/ CA$2,610.92


Nailed it

  • Very rugged design
  • Numerous customizable choices
  • Respectable efficiency as examined
  • Simply swappable NVMe SSD
  • Twin detachable batteries
  • Respectable battery life
  • Further software program/hardware safety choices
  • Crisp, clear, comparatively loud sound

Wants work

  • Base show not nice outdoors
  • Costlier than comparable non-rugged laptops

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