The Dell Latitude E5470 is a professional grade laptop that has the power to work and potentially run flight simulation, we all know that flight sim in all senses of the word uses a lot of power that’s why I think it’s quite useful that this laptop has both functionality and power at it’s core. Dell gave us the chance to have a look at this laptop so we would tell you what we thought of it.
Now because this is a professional grade laptop you obviously can’t expect to get the Sleek and slim design of a consumer grade product, I’m just joking. What I really like about Dell’s products in general is that even though this is a professional grade piece of hardware it also has the ability to look amazing!
The main body of the laptop is constructed of a hard plastic, ABS I would assume. It’s also features a brushed aluminium hinge which extends to highlight the power and Ethernet ports along the back of the device. The lid of the laptop features a polished Dell logo which stands out beautifully against the matt lid. The underside of the laptop consists mainly of vents for the plethora of cooling fans included in the laptop.
Overall and incredibly sleek and slim design for this laptop, I really really like it I would say it probably is the best looking professional grade laptop I’ve ever seen apart from Dell’s XPS line of products 😛
Now this is the part where the Dell E5470 really pulls away from the competition in the consumer market because it consists of an absolute plethora of ports that actually make it quite useful for Flight Simulation.
- 3 USB 3.0 (one with PowerShare), HDMI, VGA
- Network connector (RJ-45), external SIM card tray option
- SD 4.0 Memory card reader
- Headset/mic combo jack
- Optional Contacted SmartCard Reader and touch Fingerprint Reader
- Two M.2 Expansion slots: 1 WWAN/HCA and 1 WLAN/BT/WiGig
- EDock port
- Lock slot
Featuring 3 USB 3.0 ports and a headset / mic combo jack it proves to be quite useful for flight simulation, with these USB ports you have enough space to plug in your peripherals and have one left over for the mouse. The headset / mic combo jack makes it perfect for multiplayer and VATSIM flights.
Now for something completely irrelevant to flight simulation; it’s the fact that the Dell Latitude E5470 features a SIM card slot, yes a SIM card slot. You can tell that this is a Enterprise grade laptop when it has a feature like this, I tested it out and it works perfectly fine it’s actually surprisingly useful especially if you want to play flightsim on the go and you want to launch it through steam.
Keyboard / Mouse
Now just as a little side note, I come from using a MacBook Pro as a daily driver. Apple are known in the industry to have some of the best keyboards and mice. So when I talk about the keyboard and mouse on the Dell E5470 laptop i’m talking about it compared to the MacBook Pro.
None the less I must say that the Dell Latitude E5470 keyboard is very good the amount of key travel is good and they don’t feel too mushy, it comes with a backlighting so you can easily use it at night and the function keys are well, functional.
The track pad for the laptop Is obviously not as good as the MacBook Pro but saying that it is still a very very good Trackpad, the most common problem with a laptop Trackpad is that your finger gets stuck as you try moving it across the surface I can assure you this doesn’t happen with the Dell E5470 laptop’s Trackpad.
I must express the fact that this laptop is not designed to run flight sim, The whole reason for this review is to explain how you can also work and play on the same system. What you will notice when you see the benchmarks below is that it’s not on the same level as a gaming laptop and that’s okay.
The first test I conducted was using 3Dmark, I think that this test is a good one because it allows you to see how your system compares to others. It also tests your computer’s ability to deal with different types of gameplay. Ranging from graphics to physics simulations. As you can see it scored 3,169 which is very good for a laptop of these specs.
The next bench mark in line was a piece of software from Maxon Studios called Cinebench R15 this benchmark tests the computer’s ability to display graphically intense things and also the speed at which is can render an image. An impressive score of 31.33FPS and 221cb was achieved.
The last test for the Dell E5470 is called Geekbench 3, this test is only for testing the CPU of the laptop, as this is a new I7 Skylake CPU I expected great things! I wasn’t disappointed! It achieved a single core score of 2546 and a respectable 4864 on the Multi-Core Score! That I7 6300U Skylake CPU certainly doesn’t fail to impress!
How does it run Flight Simulators?
So the next question that you might ask is, how does it run flight simulation? And I’d say “not bad!”. You’ve got to understand that this laptop was not designed to fly flight simulation but we’re creating a hypothetical situation where you may want to run flight simulation on the same computer that you work on.
In the year of 2006 Microsoft created a successor to FS9. It was FSX. Ever since then it has become the simulator of choice for millions across the globe. FSX is a strange program to try and run, because of Its age it is only a 32bit program which means that it can only utilise 4GB of your RAM and if you start loading it up with tonnes of addons you may find that your computer runs out of available RAM and crashes but that didn’t stop me from doing it anyway.
With a few scenery add-ons this laptop runs FSX very well, Hitting 25fps most of the time it renders the game very possible to play. Obviously as soon as you add the more complex add-ons from PMDG and a weather engine the system slows down significantly but this is to be expected.
Released November 1st 2010 Lockheed Martin joined the world of flight simulations with Prepar3D! Based entirely off of Microsoft’s code for FSX, Lockheed Martin set about creating a better version. They certainly achieved that! P3D is a little bit harder to run than FSX mainly because the graphics are a little bit more complex with the addition of shadows and HDR.
This is where the Dell Latitude E5470 starts to struggle, it doesn’t have a standalone GPU and therefore can’t really cope with the increased stress that P3D puts upon the system. I wouldn’t recommend running P3D on this laptop as you can only expect to get around 15 to 20 FPS.
The Dell Latitude E5470 is the pinnacle of professional design its sleek modern look places it miles above other enterprise grade laptops which seem to prioritise function over form. Dell seems to do both equally. Its performance is perfect for a heavy professional workload but at the same time can easily handle light flight simulation use. If you’re a busy professional that doesn’t have time to own a dedicated flight simulation PC then flying on this laptop is the next best option other than buying a purpose built flight sim / gaming laptop.
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The Dell Latitude E5470 is the pinnacle of professional design its sleek modern look places it miles above other enterprise grade laptops which seem to prioritise function over form. Dell seems to do both equally. Its performance is perfect for a heavy professional workload but at the same time can easily handle light flight simulation use.
Keyboard / Mouse