For a long time, most business notebooks have had a boring black or gray aesthetic. However, in a world where sexy Surface Pros and sleek MacBooks have begun to dominate the boardroom, there’s no excuse for ugly anymore. So on the 13-inch Latitude 7370 which is due out March 8 starting at $1,299, Dell is taking design elements from its attractive best-in-class XPS consumer notebooks, and bringing them to the office, with enterprise-level durability and security.
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Inside, the 7370 is equipped with all the bells and whistles you’d expect on a premium business machine including an Intel Core m CPU, up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of M.2 SSD storage, two Thunderbolt 3 USB C ports for super fast data transfer. On the security front, there’s a plethora of options such as built-in smart card reader, fingerprint sensor, Intel TPM chips and Intel vPro processors.
Dell limits the 7370 to Intel Core m3, m5 and m7 CPUs, which don’t have as much horsepower the Core i3, i5 and i7 chips available on its XPS systems. Dell says m-class chips offer the same level of performance as last year’s fifth-gen Core i CPUs – enough for most business users – while featuring better energy efficiency.
The 7370 has a durable carbon-fiber body which Dell says has the same weave and strength as the carbon fiber on the Space Shuttle. The laptop is MIL-SPEC 810 tested for durability so it promises to withstand some punishment. Weighing just 2.48 pounds and measuring 0.56-inches thick, the 7370 is smaller than almost every other business system in its class.
When I finally got the chance to see the new 7370 in person for CES 2016, its looks were pretty striking.
The first thing you notice about the Latitude 7370 is its nearly bezel-free 13.3-inch Infinity Display, a feature which debuted on the 2015 XPS 13. Customers can choose from a 1920 x 1080 anti-glare screen, or opt for a more vibrant 3200 x 1800 WLED touchscreen if they want an extra bit of visual pop.
The carbon fiber body has been coated with a clear soft-touch finish so you can still see the weave of the material underneath. It’s a subtle look that's stealthy while also being sophisticated, although I feel like the black on black color scheme is a little more appropriate for hacker types who may or may not be working on some clandestine project. Thankfully, Dell also offers a CNC machined aluminum lid, so when closed, the 7370 should look stately even when put up against systems from Apple or any other company.
As with all of Dell's Latitude machines, the 7370's keyboard felt great. It has just the right amount of key travel and resistance, and with its bright built-in back lighting, the notebook should offer a superb typing experience in almost any environment. And if you couldn't tell from the photos, ports aren't in short supply either as the 7370 also has micro HDMI, an SD card reader and a traditional USB Type-A port in addition to the two USB C options.
While I have to reserve final judgement for when the Latitude 7370 finally hits offices in March, it seems beauty has finally made its way to business. It's about time.
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