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Dell’s Latitude series of laptops are famous for their durability and rugged nature. So obviously, while having a conversation about the best rugged laptop and the best laptop on a budget, a few older Dell Latitude laptops are going to be brought up. The Dell Latitude 5404 Rugged notebook is one of those laptops.

Why We Like It – Dell Latitude 5404 Rugged

The Dell Latitude 5404 Rugged laptop is one of the better older laptops that are available for cheap nowadays. It sports excellent battery life for the old hardware and a lot of different ports that are going to help you to minimize your converting dongles and different USB hub purchases.

Pros
  • Built-in SD card reader
  • Latitude Rugged series of docks supported
  • 512GB SATA SSD
Cons
  • No built-in webcam

Power & Performance

The Dell Latitude Rugged laptops have never had crazy impressive specs, and the Latitude 5404 is no different. It sports a very old 4th Gen Core i5-4310U, which is neither efficient nor performant. Now, you can buy the Intel Core i7 variant of this laptop instead, but given the price hike, it’s not really worth it. And that too, would be a 4th Gen i7 processor, so there won’t be any real-world performance gain if you go for that instead.

Battery

Even though we did mention that the hardware inside is not efficient at all, the 97WHr nine cell battery drives this laptop well past 10 hours easily. Dell took advantage of the vacant space inside this laptop very efficiently and packed in a massive battery for users to take advantage of. Now, it’s still not good enough to match the LG Gram 17 ultrabook’s battery, but it’s close enough.

Ports & Expandability

In terms of ports, you get two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0. And don’t worry, you get the other ports like HDMI, VGA, DVI, Serial port, gigabit ethernet, and headphone jack too. And on top of that, there’s a built-in memory card reader and a slot to insert an LTE SIM card. Yes, you read that right, for wireless connectivity in more than just a few places with Wi-Fi, it also has a built-in SIM card slot.

Build Quality

The build quality of the Latitude 5404 is excellent and almost as good as the much more costly Lenovo ThinkPad P52. From top to bottom, it is built like a tank, and even things like the keyboard, the flap covers for the ports show that.

Value

At almost $850, the Dell Latitude 5404 is indeed a good value for money buy, as it does come with a somewhat capable CPU, excellent build quality, incredible battery life, and a lot of different functionalities that you don’t see at this price. A built-in hard drive would’ve been nice to see here for extended storage, but the 512GB SSD should be enough for most. If you are strictly looking for a premium rugged laptop, and money isn’t a problem, then, by all means, you can go for the most expensive Panasonic Toughbook available out there. But you almost certainly won’t be getting this much value out of your purchase.

Dell Latitude 5404 Rugged Wrap Up

All in all, the Dell Latitude 5404 is an excellent rugged laptop for budget-conscious buyers. It really doesn’t get any better than this at this price.

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Debanjan Chowdhury

I am a student who likes to read comics, build PCs, play games, and discuss tech stuff. I also love geeking out over comic book movies and Star Wars. Just your average nerd.

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