Dell's 10.8-inch Latitude 11 5175 is a device that thrives during both work and play. The tablet offers solid performance from its Core m5 processor and a display bright enough to make both PowerPoint presentations and movies shine. When attached to the optional Latitude 11 keyboard, this slate transforms into a mini laptop replacement that enables all-day productivity. This hybrid is on the chunky side, but overall it's a winner.
Other than its soft-touch back, there isn't much to say about the Dell Latitude 11 5175's black magnesium-alloy body. The tablet's large bezel helps prevent accidental input, and it sports cameras on its front and back.
The Dell Latitude 11 5175 is one hefty slab, and even more so when it's docked to its Latitude 11 keyboard. The 10.8-inch tablet measures 0.42 inches thin and weighs 1.6 pounds, which makes it thicker and heavier than the 9.7-inch iPad Pro (0.33 inches; 0.98 pounds) and the 12-inch Samsung Galaxy TabPro S (0.25 inches; 1.52 pounds). Microsoft's 12.3-inch Surface Pro 4 (0.33 inches; 1.73 pounds) and Lenovo's 12-inch ThinkPad X1 Tablet (0.33 inches; 1.7 pounds) are bigger tablets with a similar weight and thickness.
When docked to its keyboard, the Latitude 11 5175 measures 1 inch thick and weighs 3.2 pounds. That's more than the above-named 2-in-1s with their keyboards attached, which measure between 0.43 to 0.57 inches thick and weigh between 2.35 and 2.9 pounds. While the Latitude 11 5175's heft may discourage you, it's likely the reason why this 2-in-1 offers excellent battery life.
On the left side of the Dell Latitude 11 5175 you'll find its headphone jack, mini-HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port and a USB Type-C port that the tablet relies on to draw power.
While some USB-C ports can support additional displays, the Latitude 11's can only be used for charging and data transfer. The tablet's microSD reader and lock slot are on its left side.
Dell has given the Latitude 11 5175 a mixed bag when it comes to its cameras.
Using the 3.6-megapixel front camera, I took selfies of me in our office that were just as noisy as the average webcam. I did appreciate that it captured decent details of my hair and the stitching on my shirt, and the red of the Purch wall looked accurate.
With the 5.7-MP rear shooter, I took vivid and detailed photos on our rooftop that rendered deep reds and bright greens from leaves and grass. The back camera also captured the small ridges of the tree bark in the background.
Durability and Security
The Dell Latitude 11 5175 is tested for durability under serious duress, but it offers only some of the security standards that IT departments look for. The tablet passed 14 MIL-SPEC tests, the same standards that U.S. military equipment needs to meet, which means it can survive usage in extremely high and low temperatures (from 140 degrees to minus 20.2 degrees Fahrenheit). It also holds up to humidity, getting sand and dust blown at it for 12 hours, and multiple drops onto plywood while it's turned off. Its only MIL-SPEC-tested competitor is the ThinkPad X1 Tablet.
The Latitude 11 5175 includes a TCG Certified/FIPS-140-2 TPM 2.0 module for encrypting data, and its Intel Core M processors offer vPro technology so that the devices can be managed from the field, but it doesn't include a fingerprint reader and smart card reader. For those additional layers of security, you'll need to buy one of the Secure Edition models, which start at $1,249. If you want a self-encrypting hard drive, those models will set you back at least $1,299. Of its competitors, only the ThinkPad X1 Tablet includes a fingerprint reader by default.
Touch Screen Display
The Dell Latitude 11 5175 features a 10.8-inch 1080p display that reproduces fine detail, but its colors aren't always correct. When I streamed a Captain America: Civil War trailer on the tablet, the smoke surrounding Bucky appeared without any noise, and the oranges of the fiery explosion in Vienna looked vibrant. Unfortunately, an icy Siberian landscape rendered darker than it should have, and that Cap's armor had more blue in it than it was supposed to.
The tablet's touch screen display tracked my fingers accurately as I navigated the desktop. The Latitude 11 continued to keep pace with my digits as I sped up, rapidly doodling in MS Paint and using gestures to navigate Windows 10.
According to our colorimeter, the Latitude 11 5175's display can render 118 percent of the sRBG gamut, which beats the average for tablets (99 percent), the ThinkPad X1 Tablet (104 percent) and the Surface Pro 4 (100 percent). The 9.7-inch iPad Pro (122 percent) and Galaxy TabPro S (180 percent) do better.
The Latitude 11 5175 earned a poor score of 7.31 on the Delta-E accuracy test (where zero is best). Most competing devices are in the range of 0.4 to 2.7.
The Latitude 11 5175's panel is brighter than most of the competition, emitting up to 426 nits (a measure of brightness). That's greater than the displays on the ThinkPad X1 Tablet (335 nits), Galaxy TabPro S (341 nits), Surface Pro 4 (382 nits) and the average tablet (363 nits). The Latitude 11 offers a decent field of view, with color holding strong at 45 degrees to the left and right.
At the start of our testing, I noticed the display randomly flickered, but I fixed this by updating the BIOS from Dell's support site.
The Dell Latitude 11 5175's speakers pack enough volume to fill a large conference room with sound. The tablet produced a stellar rendition of Chance The Rapper's "All We Got," which featured booming bass, strong horns and clear vocals.
The Latitude 11 5175 includes the Dell Audio utility, which features sound adjustment presets. We suggest using the default MaxxSense option, which provides strong, loud audio without distortion. The Music and Movies presets only muffled its audio.
Armed with an Intel Core m5-6Y57 processor and 4GB of RAM, the Dell Latitude 11 5175 enables productive multitasking, but benchmarks show that its competitors offer more speed. When I split my screen between streaming video and a dozen tabs that included TweetDeck, Slack and Google Docs, I saw no lag or pauses when I scrolled through pages and tapped between tabs.
The Latitude 11 5475 earned an OK score of 4,521 on the Geekbench 3 general performance benchmark, which is worse than the 9.7-inch iPad Pro (5,151), ThinkPad X1 Tablet (6,497), Galaxy TabPro S (4,675) and Surface Pro 4 (6,811). The average tablet earned a much lower 2,780.
The Latitude 11 5175's 128GB SSD demonstrated decent speed on the Laptop Mag File Transfer Test, copying 4.97GB of multimedia files in 44 seconds, for a rate of 114.27 MBps. That's faster than the category average (104.67 MBps), near the Galaxy TabPro S (117.73 MBps) and slower than the ThinkPad X1 Tablet (152.37 MBps) and Surface Pro 4 (318.1).
The Dell Latitude 11 5475 also fared well on our OpenOffice macro test, which times how long it takes to match 20,000 names to addresses, finishing in 5 minutes and 14 seconds. The average tablet (9:38) and the Galaxy TabPro S (5:45) took longer, while the ThinkPad X1 Tablet (4:31) and Surface Pro 4 (4:11) posted shorter times.
The Latitude 11 5175's integrated Intel HD Graphics 515 GPU isn't capable of hardcore gaming, but should support a round of the preinstalled Candy Crush Soda Saga and other low-impact games. The Latitude scored a 39,531 on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark, which beats the 9.7-inch iPad Pro (32,413) and the average tablet (17,204). The ThinkPad X1 Tablet (61,799), Galaxy TabPro S (51,305) and Surface Pro 4 (60,424) notched higher marks.
Optional Keyboard with Stylus
We reviewed the Dell Latitude 11 5175 with its optional $199 Latitude 11 keyboard, and we suggest you do the same. This keyboard may be at least $50 more expensive than those sold with its competitors, but it offers a more comfortable in-lap typing experience than those detachable 2-in-1s, which wobble and accidentally detach.
The Latitude 11 keyboard's silver edges wrap around its deck and its 3.5 x 1.7-inch buttonless touchpad. The keyboard connects to the tablet with its two long silver prongs and dual eight-pin connectors, and you separate the two by pressing down on the button on the hinge and lifting the display.
Even though my hands were falling off the front of the deck, I typed comfortably on the Latitude 11 keyboard, hitting 72 words per minute on the 10fastfingers.com typing test. That's shy of my 80-wpm average, but not by much. Even though its keys have only 0.8 millimeters of travel and require only 50 grams of force to actuate (we hope to see at least 1.5 mm and 60 g), I wrote most of this review on the keyboard without any problems. That may be because the keyboard does not flex at all, and the keys have a bouncy, responsive feel to each click.
The touchpad felt a bit cramped, but it has a solid feel to each click. The surface accurately registered my touch input as I navigated the desktop, but it lagged when recognizing three-finger navigation gestures.
Dell's minipen stylus slots into the right side of the keyboard, and as I wrote and doodled on the tablet, it registered its input accurately and kept up when I doodled hastily. When I scribbled on the display with the pen, I noticed it supported only light and heavy amounts of pressure sensitivity. Unfortunately, I found the stylus far too thin to hold comfortably.
On its own, the Dell Latitude 11 5175 offers about enough battery life to make it through a workday, but the optional keyboard adds about 5 hours of juice.
The tablet portion alone lasted 7 hours and 49 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test (web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits), which beats the ThinkPad X1 Tablet (5:32), Galaxy TabPro S (6:46) and Surface Pro 4 (6:05). The iPad Pro 9.7-inch (10:53) and average tablet (8:55) posted longer times, as did the ThinkPad X1 with its $149.99 Productivity Module attached (9:14).
Docked to the keyboard, which houses its own battery, the Latitude 11 lasted an excellent 12 hours and 48 minutes on our battery test.
Software and Warranty
Dell gave the Latitude 11 5175 a relatively low amount of bloatware. Mostly, the tablet includes proprietary utilities like SupportAssist, which packages system checkup utilities, manuals and tech-support links, and the battery-optimizing Power Manager.
The tablet also comes with a Bamboo Paper drawing feature, which lets you draw with digital pencils, markers and pens on blank, ruled, grid or dot-matrix backgrounds.
Dell sells the Latitude 11 5175 in many configurations, starting with the $749 model, which offers a 6th Generation Intel Core m3 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. It costs $879 to get the tablet with a Core m5 processor, and $1,029 to get a Core m5 processor and an LTE modem. For twice as much storage and memory, the $1,099 Latitude 11 5175 comes with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Dell offers that model with LTE connectivity for $1,249.
Security-minded users should investigate the Latitude 11 5179 Secure Edition, which starts at $1,249 and offers a Core m5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, a fingerprint reader and a smart card reader. For $1,299 you can upgrade that model's storage to a self-encrypting drive.
The $1,649 top-of-the-line model offers a Core m5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, LTE connectivity, and fingerprint and smart card readers.
The Latitude 11 keyboard costs $199.99 and includes a minipen stylus. This is a hefty price, considering that its competitors' optional keyboards cost at least $50 less.
The Dell Venue 11 5175 is a solid midsize business tablet with fairly decent performance, tested durability, a bright display and good battery life. If you buy its optional keyboard, you can get a mini laptop with more than 12 hours of battery life, provided you don't mind using a smaller 11-inch screen. Unfortunately, the tablet is held down by its size and weight, which make the 2-in-1 feel less portable.
If you want a larger display and a lighter device, you can pay $90 more for a similarly configured 12-inch Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet with keyboard, but it doesn't offer as much battery life. Those who can work with Apple's iOS operating system should consider the slightly smaller and much lighter 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which offers faster performance and a finer display, all for $51 less than the Latitude 11 when both are sold with keyboards. If you need lengthy battery life, reliable durability and comfortable lapability from a business tablet, the Dell Latitude 11 5175 with its optional keyboard is a strong choice.