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The SD card reader’s slit is located on the front panel. You can also see the black translucent plastic bar that covers the block of LED indicators. There is no latch to hold the lid shut. When closed, the lid is held down by the stiffness of the hinges.

The following is located on the notebook’s left panel:

  • Headphones and microphone mini-jacks
  • 4-pin FireWire connector
  • Exclusive peripheral connector (USB 2.0 plus additional power)
  • Analog video output (D-Sub)
  • Power adapter connector

The connectors are placed at wide enough intervals, so you can use them all at once without any inconvenience.

The exclusive connector consisting of an ordinary USB 2.0 port and additional power pins is intended for an external optical drive. Since the USB standard makes provisions for powering up the attached device, I’m inclined to regard the combined connector as a way to push the user to buy Dell’s exclusive devices compatible with this connector.

The power connector is non-standard, too. It is octagonal rather than round and I doubt you can find a third-party power adapter with such a plug. Dell Computer just doesn’t seem willing that the owners of its notebooks used components from some other companies.

There are no ports on the rear panel. It is given entirely to the battery compartment. The included battery does not protrude from the case and does not distort the rounded outline of the notebook.

The right panel carries the following:

  • Power On button
  • RJ-45 network connector (Ethernet 100Base TX) with a LED indicator of activity
  • RJ-11 connector of the integrated V.92 modem with an LED indicator, too
  • One more USB 2.0 port (without additional pins)
  • CF card reader

Strangely enough, there is no PCMCIA slot here.

As you may note on the side-view photographs, the bottom panel of the notebook is not flat, but rather bent strongly. There is also a curious text “STRIKE ZONE” below the network and modem connectors. As it turned out, this unevenness of the notebook’s bottom is due to the lack of an active cooling system. There are no fans and there are no openings for convective movement of the air. The metal case clings closely to the heat sources and acts as a regular heatsink. A most appropriate cooling solution for a mobile device!

 
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