Review: Dell Latitude 3330

June 24, 2013

On April 16, 2013, Dell introduced the 13-inch Latitude 3330 notebook, which marks a new low price point for a highly configurable Latitude. This marks a new direction for the Latitude line and is an important test for Dell as they move forward.Latitude 3330 picture

Design

The Latitude 3330 retains much of the same basic, attractive design of 2010's Latitude 13 at a much lower price. A Latitude 3330 with a 6-cell battery weighs approximately 3.6 pounds with a travel weight (which includes power adapter) of about 4.3 pounds.

The Latitude 3330 does not include an internal optical drive. Like higher-end Latitudes, it does include a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) - important for effective whole disk encryption.

The Latitude 3330 includes a 13.3-inch 118 pixel per inch matte 1366 x 768 display with a 16:9 aspect ratio. A 720p web-cam with a microphone is standard. Video output is via VGA and HDMI - no mini-DisplayPort is present, but few systems at any price give a choice of all three.

Other standard Latitude 3330 connectivity includes a powered USB 2.0 port, two USB 3.0 ports, and a Secure Digital slot. There's also a headphone jack and an Ethernet port.

The Latitude 3330 is EPEAT Gold-compliant and Energy Star 5.2-certified. Power usage information for the 3330 and other netbooks, notebooks, and desktops in use at the University is available here.

Configuration and Ordering Notes

Several notes when ordering a Latitude 3330:

  1. The 3330 is available with second generation ("Ivy Bridge") Core i5, Core i3, and Celeron processors. ISC suggests purchasing a Core i5 or Core i3 processor.
  2. Having at least 4.0 GB RAM is essential for the optimal functionality of a modern notebook.
  3. Though 64 GB and 128 GB solid state drives are available with the 3330, ISC does not believe that they are currently an appropriate choice for many users because the cost and capacity trade-offs are too great.
  4. As with any notebook, ISC suggests that LSPs consider purchasing an extra AC power adapter for the 3330.
  5. The 3330's connectivity options include 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Gobi 3000 multi-vendor WWAN connectivity and Bluetooth 4.0 (currently available when the Intel wireless card is selected). ISC believes that Bluetooth is a relevant protocol for most notebook users and that WWAN connectivity is useful for many "road warriors".

See ISC's Notebook Purchasing Guide for more configuration hints. As of June 2013, configuring a Latitude 3330 to the Value Notebook specification can be done for approximately $550. The University's Computer Connection has a 3330 configuration available for order.

Windows Performance

ISC tested a Latitude E3330 with 1.3 GHz Core i3, 1600 MHz 4.0 GB RAM, integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics, 320 GB/5400 rpm hard drive, and Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit. It received a Windows Experience Index base score of 4.7, with individual scores of:

  • Processor: 5.4
  • Memory (RAM): 5.9
  • Graphics: 4.7
  • Gaming graphics: 6.1
  • Primary hard disk: 5.9

These scores suggest that Windows 7 performance will be good to excellent for most users on a Latitude 3330 configured in this manner.

Analysis

ISC sees the Latitude 3330 as an interesting entry into the enterprise value notebook market, with a reasonable degree of configurability and an attractive presentation.

Potential purchasers should recognize that the 3330, though a recent introduction, is running on previous generation hardware. Graphics, though capable, are not at the Haswell level and neither is battery life.

When correctly configured to the Value Notebook specification in the Notebook Purchasing Guide, the Latitude 3330 is approved for use at the University.

Dell Latitude 3330 graphic courtesy of Dell

--John Mulhern III, Lead for Client Technologies, ISC Technology Support Services (June 24, 2013)

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Date Posted: July 12, 2013

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