Touch-and-go business laptop from Dell!
Dell Latitude 14 Model 3450: : This laptop means business!

June 22  2015: Recalling  Mark Twain's classic  quip when he read his own obituary in the newspaper, it's time to say about the laptop computer: Rumours of its death are an exaggeration. 

Industry  surveys speak of laptop and notebook  travails  in the face of the tablet onslaught.  But the fact remains:  the laptop form factor is still the best for productivity on the hoof. A few companies , continue to roll out business laptops , which cannily offer the best of both worlds:  traditional portable PC  features with the tablet's touch functions added.  The Dell Latitude  14 model 3450, part of the 3000 series of 14 inch laptops is a  good example.

The configuration I tried out,  is fueled by a 2.2 GHz Intel Core i5 chip  with 8 GB of  DDR3 RAM and 500 GB of  hard disk. It runs a 64-bit professional  version of  Windows 8.1  -- and   by end July it can be upgraded for free to the upcoming Windows 10. This is reassuring for  diehard fans of the look-n-feel of Windows 7 and earlier, because Windows 10 is a case of Back to the Future:  with  the option of switching any time between the tiled Windows 8 look and the classic  Windows desktop of old.

For me the icing in the cake is the combo of a standard   HD ( 1366 by 768) screen  with  the touch controls  that tablets have made so popular ( there is another model with  non-touch  full 1080p HD). I quite enjoyed  switching  at will from  using the laptop touchpad to  swiping the screen with my finger.

The 14 inch screen and the full keyboard is about right   for productive  office apps  - but I think a 500 GB HDD is on the lower side   -- as it is,  hardly  430 GB, on a single drive,  is left after the factory software installations.  With no DVD drive, I would have thought 1 TB should have been the entry level of a  laptop that flaunts its business plumage.

At  2 kg this is not exactly a lightweight --  nor is the asking price of Rs 73,000. But its  combo of touch and touch pad controls  will appeal to  mobile professionals who  look to throw  in some play after a hard day's laptop  work.

-  Anand Parthasarathy