The corporate world demands productivity in all sorts of circumstances, so it only makes sense that you would want a business convertible that can keep up with those expectations. The 13-inch Dell Latitude 7389 2-in-1 ($1,149 to start, $1,974 as configured) goes from laptop to tablet and back again, and it pairs that flexibility with strong performance and battery life that will take you through your workday without requiring you to plug in to charge. Though competitors offer more style and endurance, the Latitude 7389 is a compelling and versatile choice for productivity workers on the go.
The Latitude 7389 sticks to an all-black design highlighted only by a silvery Dell logo. But the Latitude 7389 is a bit more flexible than most systems, thanks to a 360-degree hinge that lets you open the machine up into a laptop or further into tablet, tent and stand modes.
Soft-touch paint covers the entire plastic chassis, providing a comfortable, grippy surface whether the machine is in laptop or tablet mode.
The Latitude 7389 measures 12 x 8.26 x 0.7 inches and weighs 3 pounds, making it both thicker and heavier than many competing 2-in-1 systems, like the Toshiba Portege X20W (0.6 inches, 2.4 pounds), HP EliteBook x360 G2 (0.6 inches, 2.8 pounds) and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (0.7 inches, 2.8 pounds).
Along the sides of the chassis, you'll find a decent collection of buttons and ports. On the right, you'll find buttons for power and volume control, an audio jack, a USB 3.0 port, a microSD card slot, and a Noble lock slot.
On the left, you'll find another USB 3.0 port with power for charging smartphones and other devices, an HDMI port and two USB Type-C ports that double as DisplayPort connections and allow you to charge the laptop with the the power adapter or a desktop dock. Inside, wireless connectivity includes 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 and WiGig for wireless docking.
A handful of security and manageability features in the Latitude are especially helpful for businesses, like TPM 2.0 security and Intel vPro. Optional features include an embedded fingerprint reader, with a secure processor for biometric authentication and password management. Another configuration option gives you a built-in smart card reader.
The Latitude 7389 has a 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080-resolution touch screen, but the display comes in two varieties: one with standard bezels and another with a narrower bezel (like on our review unit).
Both come with the same full-HD display, covered in a layer of Gorilla Glass. In both cases, the display offers the same resolution and touch-screen functionality.
When I watched the trailer for Black Panther, the red uniforms of the Dora Milaje were vibrant and detailed, while a glowing sky was filled with aurora borealis-like purples. Because the display uses an IPS panel, it can be seen clearly from most angles, with only minor color shifting seen at 60 degrees off-center and good visibility out to nearly 180 degrees horizontally or vertically. This is a particularly important feature on a convertible that will be cradled in the crook of an arm as a tablet just as often as it will sit on a desk as a laptop.
In our lab tests, the Latitude 7389 reproduced an impressive 116 percent of the sRGB color spectrum. Both the HP EliteBook x360 G2 and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga produced less (each scoring 109 percent), while the Toshiba Portege X20W (121 percent) was slightly better.
Similarly, with an average brightness of 308 nits, the Latitude 7389 is brighter than the HP EliteBook x360 G2 (239 nits) and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (274 nits), while the Toshiba Portege X20W scored better (345 nits).
When I listened to Destroyer's "Tinseltown Swimming in Blood" the '80s-inflected tune played clearly, but the bass levels were disappointing. However, once I switched the Latitude from laptop mode to tablet mode, the audio quality dropped considerably, muffling the instrumentals and vocals.
The culprit behind this muffling is the downward-firing orientation of the speakers, which the lid blocks when folded around into tablet mode. Most competing 2-in-1 designs use side-mounted speakers to avoid this very problem, but the Latitude 7389 does not.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard has good depth, with 1.6 millimeters of key travel, and it takes 73 grams of force to register a keystroke. In actual use, the keyboard felt a bit stiff and slowed down my typing. I managed 58 words per minute, considerably slower than my usual 80, on the 10FastFingers.com typing test.
The touchpad measures 3.5 x 2.0 inches, with discrete right and left buttons. The surface of the touchpad is silky smooth and offered accurate tracking for regular cursor control and multitouch gestures. Like the keyboard, the buttons have a particularly deep range of motion.
With an Intel Core i7-7600U processor, 16GB of memory and a 256GB M.2 solid-state drive, our review configuration of the Latitude 7389 provides performance for all sorts of workplace uses. The dual-core processor is part of Intel's U-series line that offers a good blend of performance and energy efficiency for better battery life. When using the laptop, I had 20 browser tabs open while also streaming video, and I never saw a hiccup.
On the Geekbench 4 performance test, the Latitude scored 8,631. That's right in line with similarly equipped systems, like the HP EliteBook x360 G2 (8,873) and Toshiba Portege X20W (8,682), which both use the Intel Core i7-7600U processor, and ahead of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Intel Core i5-7300U CPU, 8GB of RAM), which scored 8,514. The Dell's score also exceeds the the category average (6,617) by a large margin.
The Latitude took just 3 minutes and 15 seconds to complete our OpenOffice spreadsheet macro test, in which we match 20,000 names with their addresses. That time beats the category average (5:51) and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga's showing (3:35), but is only 1 second ahead of the time from the similarly equipped HP EliteBook x360 G2 and Toshiba Portege X20W (3:16).
The Dell laptop's M.2 SSD took 19 seconds to copy 4.97GB of mixed-media files, a rate of 267.85 megabytes per second. While that beats the category average (211.8 MBps) and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga's showing (169.6 MBps), it's actually slightly slower than the results from the HP EliteBook x360 G2 (299.4 MBps) and Toshiba Portege X20W (299.4 MBps).
While the system's integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU isn't going to deliver the sort of graphics performance you would need for professionally editing video or playing demanding games, you will still get decent support for streaming media and playing more-casual titles.
In Dirt 3, a racing game that plays well even on most budget laptops, the Latitude 7389 achieved a playable frame rate of 49 frames per second, which is above the 30-fps threshold for basic playability. However, with the exception of the HP EliteBook x360 G2 (21 fps), competing systems did slightly better, with the Toshiba Portege X20W (53 fps) and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (54 fps) both offering better frame rates.
Outside of gaming, the Latitude 7389's graphics performance is good, as it scored a solid 77,225 in 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, a synthetic graphics test. That's in line with the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga's showing (76,248) and slightly ahead of the Toshiba Portege X20W's score (70,460), but it's well ahead of the HP EliteBook x360 G2's mark (54,800) and the ultraportable category average (56,270).
The last thing you want in a 2-in-1 laptop is to have to plug in to recharge regularly during the workday. Thankfully, the Latitude 7389 offers respectable battery life, lasting 8 hours and 59 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous web browsing over Wi-Fi. That's not substantially longer than the ultraportable category average (8:25), but it's still long enough to carry you through your 9-to-5. It's time is significantly better than the Toshiba Portege X20W's (6:37) and only a bit shorter than the HP EliteBook x360 G2's (9:17). If you need seriously long-lasting battery life, however, check out the the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (12:06), which lasts significantly longer.
The Latitude 7389's 720p webcam will work well enough for chatting on Skype or calling in to a video conference, but colors are a bit grey, and detail capture leaves something to be desired.
It's also worth noting that the camera struggled with the overhead fluorescent lights in our lab, producing the halo effects seen in the upper corners of the photo.
Running hot is an issue for any system, but it's even more noticeable on a 2-in-1 that's held in hand for tablet use. After streaming video for 15 minutes, we saw that the touchpad registered 83 degrees Fahrenheit and the center of the keyboard hit 88 degrees, both well below the 95 degrees we consider uncomfortable. However, the underside of the laptop chassis measured 93 degrees, with one spot near the hinge reaching 98 degrees. That's a little too warm for our liking, especially on a system you'll be handling extensively to fold from a laptop to a tablet and back.
Software and Warranty
Coming with Windows 10 Pro, the Latitude 7389 includes the usual collection of preinstalled software from Microsoft, like a trial version of Office, games like Minecraft and Candy Crush Soda Saga, and useful inclusions like Paint 3D and Cortana. Dell includes some additional programs, like drawing app Sketchbook, and online media-server tool Plex. As this is a business-oriented system, however, Dell hasn't added much proprietary software, aside from SupportAssist, a portal for tech support and troubleshooting the Latitude. The result is a refreshingly clean system.
Dell covers the Latitude 7389 with a one-year warranty, which includes on-site service after remote diagnosis. You can also pay extra to extend the warranty term or add accidental-damage protection. See how Dell fared in our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands reports.
The Dell Latitude 7389 starts at $1,149, with a base model equipped with an Intel Core i3-7100U processor, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB solid-state drive. It has wider bezels than our thin-bezeled test model and a smaller, 45-WHr battery. Midrange configurations offer a Core i5 processor option and up to 16GB of memory. For a good midrange option, we recommend getting the $1,349 configuration, which has an Intel Core i5-7200U, 8GB of RAM and a 1080p touch screen with a standard bezel, and upgrading to the 256GB SSD (an extra $217) for a total price of $1,566.
Our review unit sells for $1,974 and comes configured with an Intel Core i7-7600U CPU, 16GB of memory and a 256GB SSD. The display has the slimmer bezel option and a larger, 60-WHr battery.
Additional options include security features, like a fingerprint reader and a smart card reader. Wireless broadband is also available as a configurable option, though it will come with additional contract expenses from your chosen carrier. Storage options include self-encrypting SSD and capacities up to 1 terabyte.
The Dell Latitude 7389 is a capable business laptop with a 2-in-1 design that lets you use it at your desk or on the go for truly mobile productivity. From its nearly 9-hour battery life to its strong performance and healthy feature set, there's plenty to love about the Latitude, and it sits alongside top performers like the HP EliteBook x360 G2 and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga.
That said, when compared to HP's and Lenovo's top-tier 2-in-1s, the 7289 comes up a bit short. It's a little thicker and heavier than competitors; it offers USB Type-C but not Thunderbolt 3, and while it has solid performance and battery life, other laptops last longer.
If you want the best business 2-in-1 on the market today, consider the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, with its superior keyboard and 12+ hours of battery life. HP's EliteBook x360 G2 also stands out as the most stylish business convertible around. However, the Latitude 7389 is a great 2-in-1 laptop that's definitely worthy of consideration, and one you'll be happy to use throughout your workday.