By Jonathan Woon
Staff reporter

If you see a freshman and senior using similar laptops, don’t be fooled. The brand new Dell Latitude E6530 looks similar to the laptops issued two years ago but comes with major under-the-hood improvements.

The most surprising featured packed in the laptop is its ability to connect via Bluetooth. You can now connect your mouse without a USB dongle. You can also connect all your mobile devices without a working internet connection. Bluetooth connectivity was not present in the previous two laptop models.

In terms of power, it is by no means a monster processor but the quad core Intel i5 Processor clocked at 2.90 GHz should be sufficient for Microsoft Office as well as your favorite cat videos on YouTube.

One specification that is expected in this year’s machine is a 64-bit operating system. Such operating systems are common today, but because Southwestern issued a 32-bit laptop two years ago, it is an upgrade worth noting. With the upgrade, laptops will fully utilize its hardware components.

The laptops come with 8 GB of RAM. This is especially surprisingly as it is double the typical amount for consumer-targeted laptops.

With the 64-bit operating system coupled with 8GB of RAM, start-up time for the E6530 is relatively short at 52 seconds. This marks a huge improvement compared to the older 32-bit model that ticks away 2:05 minutes at start-up.

Though not the latest Windows 8, the new laptops come with Windows 7 Professional which should serve students’ school-related needs flawlessly. It also comes with Microsoft Office Suite.

Users can also rest assured that their data is stored securely in the 500 GB internal hard disk. This is another notable upgrade from previous laptops that came with only 300 GB worth of storage.

When it comes to peripheral connection, the E6530 sports the latest and fastest USB 3.0 ports as well as one USB 2.0 port. Users can connect up to three USB devices at once. There is also an HDMI port for your external monitor needs.

Besides USB ports, the E6530 also features an express chip slot as well as an eSATA. The express chip slot comes in handy when a better graphics card or sound card is needed. Though not popular among regular users, the eSATA slot can be used to expand the memory arsenal with an external hard disk.

Users can personalize their laptops with preloaded Builder Pride desktop wallpapers.

In comparison to last year’s Toshiba laptops, this brand new Dell Latitude E6530 is sturdier and solid. Its overall dark themed body reinforces the tank-like feel users get when using the machine.

Overall, the brand new Dell Latitude E6530 is a huge upgrade from the previous Toshiba laptops. With a relatively fast machine coupled with upgraded Wi-Fi connection, internet addicts can expect a speedy experience when surfing the internet on campus.

Jonathan Woon is a senior majoring in communication. You can email him at jonathan.woon@sckans.edu.