Dell’s Latitude Laptops Get an Overdue Makeover
Earlier this year, we got some hands-on time with the surprising Latitude 7400 2-in-1, which ended up as one of our favorite new laptops of the year. Now Dell is using that Midas touch on the rest of its Latitudes, and (fingers crossed) turning them into gold. That will be a relief to Dell business users since the Latitude line has lagged behind its ThinkPad and EliteBooks competitors in recent years. Based on what we've seen of the new devices, that could soon change.
Here are all the new Latitude business laptops announced today, each of which will be available on May 1 on Dell's website.
Latitude 7300 and 7400
Starting at $1,299, the 13-inch Latitude 7300 and 14-inch Latitude 7400 are the priciest of these new devices, and for good reason. These two notebooks, which are essentially the clamshell version of the Latitude 7400 2-in-1, will be available in either aluminum or carbon fiber (think XPS 13) and they'll borrow the thin InfinitryEdge bezels we've praised on the XPS laptops.
There are a ton of security features packed in these machines, but the most intriguing is SafeScreen, a display option that uses some backlighting tricks to reduce viewing angles. It is the same idea as HP's Sure View, but Dell claims its method is more power efficient.
Both the 14-inch and 13-inch models can be configured with up to a 1080p display, up to a Core i7 (8th Gen) CPU, up to 32GB of RAM and up to a 1TB SSD. Dell didn't provide battery life ratings, but the Latitude 7300 and Latitude 7400 come with several battery options so you can decide if you want maximum portability or endurance.
Business users will appreciate the Latitude 7000 series' 4x4 narrow-band antenna, which should provide a stronger, faster Wi-Fi signal. Other features include a lid that can be opened with one hand, a fingerprint reader and optional IR camera for Windows Hello login and fast charging that Dell claims will provide an 80% charge in one hour.
Latitude 7200 2-in-1
Dell is adding yet another convertible laptop to its business offerings. The 12.3-inch Latitude 7200 2-in-1 (starting at $999) is a detachable, which we don't often find in the enterprise space. Like the Surface Pro, the Latitude 7200 2-in-1 has a kickstand that adjusts the angle of the display, and an included keyboard can be attached to the bottom of the display. We were happy to see that the keyboard has a touchpad, unlike the one made for the iPad Pro.
The 7200 2-in-1 is the smallest and lightest of the group, weighing just 0.6 inches and 2.6 pounds with the keyboard attached, which makes it a great option for frequent travelers. Despite its weight, you still get a sturdy, brushed-aluminum finish that gives the tablet a premium appearance. Like the new clamshell devices, the Latitude 7200 2-in-1 has a fingerprint sensor and improved Wi-Fi antennas. You even get a Thunderbolt 3 port for connecting to multiple 4K displays and delivering fast transfer speeds.
The Latitude 7200 comes with a 12.3-inch display that can be configured to up to 1080p resolution, along with up to a Core i7 CPU, up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage.
The budget-minded will be pleased to know that these overhauls aren't just coming to Dell's premium business laptops. The company also unveiled more affordable 5000-series laptops, including the Latitude 5300, 5400 and 5500, along with the convertible 5300 2-in-1. These mainstream notebooks got a modern overhaul and now feature thinner bezels and a slimmer chassis. The 14-inch 5400 is made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic while the 15-inch 5500 is available in aluminum.
The Latitude 5000 series offers most the features you get with the 7000-series, but at a lower price. For example, the 13-inch, 14-inch and 15-inch laptops come with a fingerprint sensor, an optional IR camera and multiple Thunderbolt 3 ports. You can configure these models with up to a 1080p display, a Core i7 CPU, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.
Last but not least is the Latitude 3301, an affordable 13-inch laptop with a plastic chassis.
Starting at $599, the Latitude 3301 is a good option for small businesses or companies who need to buy in bulk but don't have the available funds to buy everyone a $1,000 machine. Despite its price, the Latitude 3301 has slim display bezels and a relatively portable chassis.