Moving on to the sides, let us see what kind of ports and other peripherals this notebook has.
The left side first, as you can see there is one Firewire port, and then come two audio ports - microphone-in and headset-out. Underneath the audio ports is the ExpressCard slot. In between the latch and the audio ports, is the infrared (IR) port. The latch itself is the Wi-Fi control light. If there are any wireless access points nearby, you can use the Wi-Fi to detect them when your notebook is turned off. The control light will indicate if there is one nearby. It is also used to turn Wi-Fi on and off. Almost off the picture is the PC card (PCMCIA) slot, most notebooks feature this. Underneath the PC card slot is the card reader.
Turning the notebook so we can take a look at the rear you will see some more ports available.
First off is the Intel Pro network port. To the right of that are two USB ports, one of which is special. It houses power for external devices such as an external writer or hard disk. Next to that is the modem, a simple 56k Connexant modem. Then you will see the serial port (COM 1), the external VGA port and the power connector.
The power connectors on all Latitudes are the same and as such you can use power adapters from other Latitudes. But not all power adapters are equipped to power the bigger notebooks. It will power your notebook, but expect power management to kick in and reduce the performance of the notebook.
Now we switch over to the right side and the remainder of the ports.
This side does not have much flavor to it; it only has two USB ports and houses the DVD-writer. On the writer you will see two buttons, the smaller one is for ejecting your media and the other one is for ejecting the whole writer itself. Obviously the small hole in the middle of the writer is to eject the tray when the writer is powered down.
With all sides done, let us flip over the system and take a look at the belly of the beast.
Squarely in the middle is the place where you can expand the memory of the notebook. Underneath the lid are two DIMM slots to put memory modules in. Just above that is the connector for the port replicator or port expansion bay, for when you use the notebook in a docking-station. There are some screws that have a little icon next to them. This means they have a particular use. In the upper left corner you will see places for a screw with a lock icon next to it, this is used to lock the DVD-writer in place so it cannot be removed. On the lower right corner you can see two screws with hard disk icons next to them; these are used to remove the hard disk if necessary. What is left is the battery on the lower left corner. It has a test button to check the health and charge of your battery.
It seems this battery is in proper shape and fully charged. If you remove the battery you will stumble on to a nice surprise. It is the UMTS card expansion, to increase your mobility.
We were not been able to play with this feature much, because we did not have a SIM card to support it. This slot has support for Vodaphone and some other providers in America. You would have to check with Dell locally to see what kind of support you can get with this feature.
UMTS is one of the third generation mobile phone technologies. It enables you to enjoy relatively high speed Internet connections while being mobile. This is one of the first Dell notebooks we have seen that has this option integrated, so it came as a small surprise.