The Dell Latitude E6540 is a great mid-range business notebook and has a solid build in our personal experience. Everything works perfectly under Windows (which it was designed for) and only loses access to the internal Wi-Fi and has a minor Bluetooth connectivity issue on macOS. The WiFi issue can be permanently fixed by swapping out the internal card or by adding a USB WiFi adapter if you have multiple laptops. For the intermittent Bluetooth issues, use a USB Bluetooth adapter or start the HackBook with a smartphone connected by USB cable. If your smartphone is Android, you can take advantage of USB Tethering while on-the-go. If you have small kids that love to play online games, the Dell Latitude E6540 HackBook is perfect for them to learn on while keeping your actual MacBook safe from the occasional drops and spills.
The battery weighs relatively little so the E6540 weight does not increase by much to make mobile use easier. With the power features of macOS High Sierra and later, we notice that the battery life lasts longer in the day than using Windows so if you occasionally need to use Windows, decide if you will be running Windows directly by dual-booting or launching it from within a VirtualBox session.
The keyboard and supported trackpad are comfortable, useable, and are inexpensive to replace when damaged. It comes with a backlight feature and will shut off after 10 seconds of inactivity to keep from draining your battery.
There are 3 (one USB 3.0 on each side and USB 2.0 on the rear) USB ports, an optical drive, and an SD Card Reader. The optical drive can be removed to add a second hard drive (7mm is recommended) to help with storage or multi-booting. We recommend keeping the optical drive (to help hardware that ships with CDs) and only swap permanently if the drive fails. The E5440 is also equipped with a webcam that can save you from installing an external webcam in the limited USB ports available.
The E6540 comes with either the (lower resolution) Intel HD Graphics 4400 or the (higher resolution) Nvidia GeForce GT 720M. The Intel HD Graphics 4400 GPU is what we typically use and advise for better stability with multiple OS. Users who require the ability to cast to an external display or projector will need to do this under HDMI or utilize a USB Display adapter.
The E6540 is widely available as new, certified refurbished, used, and for parts. New systems will have the latest CPU and firmware included while refurbished maybe four years old from a business lease and will have a mixture of parts and vinyl to cover blemishes. Used is helpful for testing for seeing if it is the right investment for you and for parts are useful to build it yourself when units being offered are overpriced.