Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 6: Which Convertible Is Right For You?

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That we're even comparing a Latitude against the excellent Microsoft Surface Pro 6 signals a major win for Dell. Finally, the company has a notebook worthy of challenging heavy-hitting Windows 10 2-in-1 laptops in the Latitude 7400 2-in-1.  

Dell Latitude 14 2-in-1 v Pro 6

A huge step forward for the brand, the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 has a sleek, premium design; strong performance; and ridiculously long battery life. On the other side of the ring is Microsoft's excellent Surface Pro 6, which holds the top spot as our favorite detachable 2-in-1 for its stunning display and comfortable keyboard. 

So, which of these 2-in-1 laptops is best: The surprisingly good Latitude 7400 2-in-1 or the tried-and-true Surface Pro 6? Find out in this epic face-off. 

Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 6: Specs Compared

  Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1  Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Starting Price (as tested) $1,599 ($2,802) $799 ($1,449)
Colors Silver/Gray Platinum, Black
Display 14 inches, 1080p touch screen 12.3 inches, 2736 x 1824-pixel touch screen
CPU Intel Core i5-8265U, Core i5-8365U, Core i7-8665U Intel Core i5-8250U, Core i7-8650U
RAM 8GB, 16GB 8GB, 16GB
SSD 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Key Travel 1.4mm 1.3mm
Ports 2 Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, 2 USB 3.1, microSD, headphone/mic, lock slot USB 3.0, Mini Display, Surface Connect, microSD, headphone
Webcam 720p 720p
Battery Life (hrs:mins) 13:08 9:20
Geekbench 4 17,087 13,025
Size 12.6 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.3 inches
Weight 3 pounds 2.4 pounds (w/ keyboard)

Design

These are two very different systems, both in form and function. 

The Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is a bendback 2-in-1 laptop, which means its flexible lid rotates backward, transforming the machine into tent or tablet mode. On the other hand, the Surface Pro 6 is a tablet that converts into a laptop via a detachable keyboard (sold separately). 

Dell-Latitude-7400-2-in-1

There are pros and cons to each form factor. The Latitude 7400 2-in-1 has a more rigid base, which makes it more comfortable to use on your lap than the Surface. However, the Surface Pro 6 can be used as a true discrete tablet, while the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 can only hide its thick, cumbersome keyboard. 

The 12.3-inch Surface Pro 6 (11.5 x 7.9 x 0.3 inches, 2.4 pounds) is also considerably lighter and more compact and than the 14-inch Latitude 7400 2-in-1 (12.6 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches, 3 pounds), even with the fabric Type Cover attached.  

surface-pro-6

Despite being different types of convertible PCs, there are several similarities between the Surface Pro 6 and the Latitude 7400 2-in-1. Both are made of metal the Surface Pro 6 is magnesium while the Latitude is aluminum and will easily slip into a backpack or purse. The Surface might be the smaller of the hybrids, but the Latitude 7400 has slimmer bezels. 

The other thing we need to talk about is aesthetics. These are two very pretty products, but I have to give the nod to the Surface Pro 6, if only for its black color scheme, which makes the silver/gray Latitude look somewhat generic. Not to say that the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 isn't a looker; chrome trim around the touchpad and diamond-cut edges are welcome reminders that this is a premium machine. 

Winner: Surface Pro 6

Buy Surface Pro 6 on Microsoft

Ports

We can cut the Surface Pro 6 some slack for having fewer ports than the Latitude 7400 2-in-1. After all, the Surface has a much smaller chassis. However, that doesn't excuse the lack of a USB-C port, an unacceptable omission on a premium laptop

Surface Pro 6 ports

Instead, the Surface Pro 6 has a Surface Connect port that you can plug into the company's $199 dock for video output. Other ports include a USB 3.0 input, a mini DisplayPort, a headphone/mic jack and microSD card slot.

Dell-Latitude-7400-2in1-007

The Latitude 7400 2-in-1 has just about every port you could ask for. There are two Thunderbolt 3 connections on the left side, next to an HDMI port and a USB 3.1 (Type-A) input. On the right edge of the laptop are a second USB 3.1 port (yes, there are four USB inputs), a microSD card slot and a headphone/mic jack. You can even rig up the Latitude 7300 2-in-1 with LTE connectivity via an optional SIM card slot. 

Winner: Latitude 7400 2-in-1

Buy Latitude 7400 2-in-1 on Dell

Display

Size isn't everything. The Surface Pro proves as much with its 12.3-inch display, which is both brighter and more vivid than the Latitude 7400 2-in-1's 14-inch panel. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the extra real estate that the Latitude offers. It's just that the Surface Pro 6's 2736 x 1824-pixel touch screen is so magnificent that my eyes had a hard time looking away from it. 

surface-pro-6-with-keyboard.jfif

When I watched a trailer for Jumanji: The Next Level, the jungle our four main actors are teleported into looked a lot lusher on the Surface Pro 6. Green vegetation was more saturated on the Surface than on the Latitude, and Kevin Hart's red neckerchief was so much sharper and more lucid on the Microsoft tablet that I could even make out the pattern on the fabric. 

Dell-Latitude-7400-2in1-003

If there's one thing going for the Latitude 7400 2-in-1, it's that certain tones, like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's skin, looked more natural on the Dell. Still, I much prefer the brighter, more dynamic picture of the Surface Pro 6's panel. 

MORE: The Laptop Screens with the Best Color: Guide

According to our colorimeter, the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 covers 113% of the sRGB color gamut. That's a solid result, but below the premium laptop average of 130%, which the Surface Pro 6 topped with a rating of 136%. 

The Latitude 7400 2-in-1 tops out at 280 nits of brightness, which is much dimmer than the Surface Pro 6's 408 nits of peak luminance and below the 346-nit average. 

Winner: Surface Pro 6

Keyboard and Touchpad

This category is a split decision. The Surface Pro 6 has a snappier keyboard, while the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 has a larger touchpad.  

Despite being on a smaller chassis, the Surface Pro 6's keys are just as large (if not larger) than those on the Latitude 7400 2-in-1. And while they might not be as generously spaced out, only people with very large hands will find the Surface Pro 6's keyboard cramped.

Microsoft-Surface-Pro-6-015

Both keyboards come close to our 1.5-millimeter preference for key travel, but fall just short, at 1.4mm on the Latitude and 1.3mm on the Surface Pro 6. But these figures don't tell the whole story; The clicky, tactile feedback and lighter actuation force (72 grams) on the Surface Pro 6's shallower keys make them more comfortable to type on than the Latitude 7400 2-in-1's heavier keys (81 grams).

I typed at 113 words per minute with an accuracy of 94 percent on the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 and obtained nearly the same results on the Surface Pro 6 (110 wpm, 96 percent accuracy). 

Dell-Latitude-7400-2in1-008

There's nothing wrong with the Surface Pro 6's 4 x 2.1-inch touchpad, but the larger, 4.1 x 2.3-inch surface on the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 will appeal to those who use Windows 10 gestures. Speaking of which, I had no problems executing pinch-to-zoom or three-finger swipe gestures to switch between programs on either device. 

Winner: Surface Pro 6

Performance

Armed with an Intel Core i7-8665U CPU and 16GB of RAM, our Latitude 7400 2-in-1 review unit outperformed the Surface Pro 6 with a Core i5-8250U CPU and 8GB of RAM. 

Keep in mind, this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, but it gives you an idea of the level of performance these laptops offer for the money (see value and price below).

Dell-Latitude-7400-2in1-002

The Latitude 7400 2-in-1 scored 17,087 on the Geekbench 4.3 overall performance test, racking up significantly more points than the Surface Pro 6 (13,025) and the premium laptop average (13,524). 

MORE: Best 2-in-1 Laptops - Laptop/Tablet Hybrids - Laptop Mag

The Latitude 7400 2-in-1, with its 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Class 40 SSD, also trounced the Surface Pro 6 on our file transfer test, duplicating 4.97GB of multimedia files in 6 seconds for a rate of 848 megabytes per second. The 256GB SSD inside the Surface Pro completed the same test at around one-fourth the speed, at 203 MBps, which is slower than the 640.6 MBps category average.

surface-pro-6-write

It's no surprise, then, that the Surface Pro 6 (23:22) took several minutes longer than the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 (19:09) to convert a 4K video into 1080p resolution using the Handbrake app. 

Each machine is equipped with integrated UHD 620 graphics, which means neither is meant for gaming. Still, casual gamers will have no problem playing most modern titles at low graphics settings. The Latitude 7400 2-in-1 ran the racing game Dirt 3 (1080, medium graphics settings) at 60 frames per second, whereas the Surface Pro 6 maintained a smooth 81 fps. 

Winner: Latitude 7400 2-in-1

Battery Life

Both the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 and Surface Pro 6 last a full day on a charge, but only the Latitude will remain powered into the next day. The Surface Pro 6 endured for 9 hours and 20 minutes on our battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness.

Dell-Latitude-7400-2in1-001

That's an excellent result, but several hours short of the Latitude 7400 2-in-1's stellar 13-hour and 8-minute runtime. The average premium laptop has a runtime of 8 hours and 19 minutes. 

Winner: Latitude 7400 2-in-1

Value and Price

The base model Latitude 7400 2-in-1, at $1,499, costs more than twice the $799 base model Surface Pro 6. Both of those machines come with a Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. However, you could save a few dollars on our Dell Laptop Deals page. 

Microsoft-Surface-Pro-6-005

The price gap is narrowed when you throw in the Surface keyboard, which brings the price of the Pro 6 to $928. Still, Microsoft's tablet is much less expensive than Dell's convertible business machine. 

We recommend buying a laptop with at least 256GB of storage, an upgrade that brings the Surface Pro 6 up to $1,228 and the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 to $1,699.  

For power users, the Surface Pro 6 with a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD goes for $1,699 plus $129 for the keyboard, while a similarly configured Latitude 7400 2-in-1 costs a whopping $2,802. 

Winner: Surface Pro 6

Overall Winner: Draw

  Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Design (10) 7 8
Ports (10) 7 5
Display (15) 12 14
Keyboard/Touchpad (15) 12 13
Performance (20) 18 15
Battery Life (20) 19 17
Value (10) 5 8
Overall (100) 80 80

The Latitude 7400 2-in-1 and Surface Pro 6 are two evenly matched machines and choosing between them should come down to personal preferences and needs. 

If you like the idea of a tablet that attaches to a keyboard to become a laptop, then the Surface Pro 6 is as good as they come. However, if you prefer a traditional laptop form factor but want the option of converting it into a tablet (albeit, a clunky one), then the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 should be at the top of your list. 

Both laptops have slim yet sturdy chassis and offer all-day battery life and comfortable keyboards. If you're a business user, the Latitude has more ports and faster overall performance. If display quality or portability is a primary concern, then go with Microsoft's premium tablet. Or you could just choose the much cheaper option in the Surface Pro 6. 

Credit: Laptop Mag

Author Bio
Phillip Tracy
Phillip Tracy,
Phillip Tracy is a senior writer at Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he reviews laptops and covers the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News and NewBay Media. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, listening to indie music or watching soccer.
Phillip Tracy,