Picked up a used Dell Lattitude E6540 today

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May 26, 2009
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Hill Country TX
As the title says picked up a E6540 today on Ebay. Price was $279. My old cheapo HP was falling apart quickly. The laptop itself was fine but the case was cracking by the hinges and getting worse over time. Yes I know the E6540 is OLD...but it was the flagship in the day, and still has pretty good specs. Here is a copy/paste of what I got. Will be delivered Monday. Intel i7-4610M 3.00Ghz (Up to 3.70GHz Turbo Boost) Dual Core CPU w/ 4MB SmartCache 16GB System Memory 500GB 7200RPM SSHD Hybrid Graphics - Intel for power saving and Radeon for when you need something more. - Intel HD 4600 - Radeon 8790M w/ 2GB Dedicated Memory NICE 15.6" Full HD LED Backlit Anti-Glare Display @ 1920 x 1080 Resolution DVD-ROM Optical Drive IDT HD Audio Intel I217-LM Gigabit Ethernet Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 Wireless Intel Bluetooth Integrated Webcam Backlit Keyboard Would appreciate any comments or advice on this laptop.
 
Originally Posted by R1jake
I know nothing about them, is it new or what all I'm seeing is used and refurbished listed on ebay.
Yes used. Looks like it was gently used though. With windows 10 pro and COA.
 
I have NEVER bought a new laptop. I always buy a used one with specs I like and add an SSD and upgrade the RAM to the max capacity (if/when necessary). Has always worked well for me and until something changes, will continue to be my way of doing things when it comes to laptop purchases.
 
They were a pretty solid business-class laptop beyond the random bad LCD panel and easy-to-loosen lid screws which are all external and easy enough to tighten. Sometimes batteries would go bad early but that was just random bad luck. The biggest problem with the E6540 and its E6440 little brother are those terrible Seagate 'SSHD' hybrid hard drives that had a high failure rate. The Toshibas they eventually started to use were marginally better. If you haven't already, update the BIOS to latest (there's a new one, A27, posted as recently as two weeks ago) and run the full long diagnostic with a press of F12 at POST. https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/product-support/product/latitude-e6540-laptop/drivers That said, as mentioned above, they are a perfect candidate for an SSD upgrade in 2.5" packaging. Lots of choices for 500 gig drives out there for not much more than $50 nowadays.
 
Thanks for all the great info. We'll see how the original hdd is. I really like SSD's and will probably get one at some point.
 
Originally Posted by Bottom_Feeder
They were a pretty solid business-class laptop beyond the random bad LCD panel and easy-to-loosen lid screws which are all external and easy enough to tighten. Sometimes batteries would go bad early but that was just random bad luck. The biggest problem with the E6540 and its E6440 little brother are those terrible Seagate 'SSHD' hybrid hard drives that had a high failure rate. The Toshibas they eventually started to use were marginally better. If you haven't already, update the BIOS to latest (there's a new one, A27, posted as recently as two weeks ago) and run the full long diagnostic with a press of F12 at POST. https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/product-support/product/latitude-e6540-laptop/drivers That said, as mentioned above, they are a perfect candidate for an SSD upgrade in 2.5" packaging. Lots of choices for 500 gig drives out there for not much more than $50 nowadays.
Thanks!! Great info.
 
I run an E6440, which is the 14" version of this laptop. Still a great machine. I expect another 2-3 years before I have to retire it. I bought basically one of the last E6440s built in mid 2016. I personally picked up a HDD/SSD tray to replace the CD-ROM drive. Makes it a bit lighter to travel with, and I don't have to put up with any annoying sounds from the DVD. If you want to run a double or triple monitor setup, go on eBay and get an E-Port docking station, and get one with the *blue* USB ports on the back if possible. Then you can have a triple screen setup which is nice (laptop screen + 2 external screens). Also, the dock saves on the number of insertions to the ports, such as Ethernet, USB, etc. Other than that, my E6440 has held up better than I thought it would, and although it seemed flimsier at the outset, it actually has been a more solid unit than my old Dell Latitude D830. Agree with everyone else -- ditch the HDD/SSHD, and install a pure SSD. Those can accommodate either SATA or mSATA -- may as well go with SATA, rather than mSATA, same speed anyways, just different form factor. I personally can't use mSATA in my E6440 as I use the slot for a 4G LTE card.
 
Damage like that is pretty common on those laptops, the question is whether you can live with it and it doesn't cause other issues. Back a few years at my old job they were recycling some older equipment and let me have at it before discarding unwanted stuff. I built a Dell E6510 from 3 or 4 of them and then put an SSD in it - it's still running at my friend's as I gifted it to over 2 years ago. Recently upgraded it to Win10 which was free too. It's a decent laptop, 3rd party batteries are available and cheap, the only downside is its little extra bulk and weight.
 
Nice! I picked up a used E6420 a year or two ago for $199 shipped for the kids to share for schoolwork. It's been perfect. Used or reman'd PCs and laptops is how I've rolled for about 18yrs now. I never pay more than $200-300.
 
Originally Posted by dubber09
Damage like that is pretty common on those laptops, the question is whether you can live with it and it doesn't cause other issues. Back a few years at my old job they were recycling some older equipment and let me have at it before discarding unwanted stuff. I built a Dell E6510 from 3 or 4 of them and then put an SSD in it - it's still running at my friend's as I gifted it to over 2 years ago. Recently upgraded it to Win10 which was free too. It's a decent laptop, 3rd party batteries are available and cheap, the only downside is its little extra bulk and weight.
Got the laptop yesterday and it doesn't have any "damage". Actually it's quite clean. Updated all drivers. It's very speedy. Happy so far.
 
I love Latitudes. They're well built and designed to be serviced, parts are plentiful on eBay and Dell still posts drivers for machines that are 20 years old.
 
Not a laptop, but I bought my mom a Dell Optiplex 9030 AIO a few weeks ago with an i-5, 8 gigs Ram, 500gig HDD, and windows 10. It was $230 shipped. Thing looked almost new (one dead pixle in a corner that my mom will never notice) and although this computer came out in 2015, it is more computer than what she will ever need doing her excel, word and internet use on. We have these computers at work and are on and used 24/7, so should be good for her 0 to 2 hours a day use. I did swap the HDD for an 480 gig SSD (only really helps with her boot times), and put the 500 gig HDD in an external case for backup. This replaced a computer I built for her probably 10 years ago that was just getting way to slow. I really need to do the same for my sister, I built hers about the same time and it is getting slow as well.
 
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