For a few years, sturdiness was the defining level for enterprise notebooks. Merchandise had been designed and constructed for fixed use, to face as much as literal knocks and unintentional drops, to simply hook up with networks and peripheral gadgets. That state of affairs modified considerably in 2006 and, once more, in 2008 when Apple launched the MacBook Professional and MacBook Air. The corporate’s design aesthetic helped breathe new life into Apple’s Mac enterprise and, for a time, made it appear to be a critical challenger to mainstream PC distributors.
However that state of affairs shifted at CES 2012 when Dell launched its XPS 13, a pocket book that basically modified the corporate’s fame as a maker of strong, if unsurprising, PCs. Together with fashionable beauty, the XPS 13 utilized Dell-developed supplies, together with a light-weight but inflexible and powerful carbon fiber composite. Later XPS 13 iterations launched different notable options and supplies, together with Dell’s close to bezel-less InfinityEdge show, NASA’s Silicon Aerogel (for warmth insulation), Dell Cinema for optimized multimedia efficiency and regularly bettering battery life.
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Over time, the XPS 13 turned Dell’s most profitable pocket book product, so it’s not stunning that most of the XPS line’s options and improvements had been seeded into the corporate’s different notebooks, together with the brand new Latitude 7400 2-in-1 convertible. The corporate just lately despatched me a 7400 2-in-1 analysis unit, so let me inform you about my hands-on expertise with the product that occupies the excessive finish of Dell’s industrial pocket book portfolio.
Latitude 7400 2-in-1 by the Numbers
The system Dell supplied is the topline Latitude 7400 2-in-1 mannequin, that includes an eighth Technology (Whiskey Lake) Intel Core i7-8665U processor (with Intel vPro), 16GB of LPDDR3 reminiscence and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD. Different options embrace a 14-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) contact show, IR Digicam and Proximity Sensor (extra on that later). The unit consists of an optionally available 6 cell 78 WHR ExpressCharge succesful battery (a 4-cell, 52 WHR ExpressCharge battery is commonplace).
The MSRP of the analysis unit is $2,802.00 however the beginning worth of the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is $1,599.00.
Although the Latitude line doesn’t supply Dell’s InfinityEdge show, the 7400’s slim bezel is 25% thinner than the earlier era 7390 2-in-1. It additionally highlights what Dell calls “the world’s smallest 14-inch industrial 2-in-1” with a modest footprint (12.59″ x 7.87″) and weight (2.99 lbs) that’s wider, shallower and lighter than the Latitude 7390’s 12 x 8.26” and three.12 lb.
How about connectivity? That’s one place the place industrial notebooks stand properly aside from shopper merchandise that are more and more shifting towards USB-C as a typical for energy and information. That’s nice from a design perspective, enabling ever thinner and lighter merchandise but it surely additionally means dongles or different adapters for connecting with non-USB-C peripherals are a should.
Accordingly, the 7400 2-in-1 consists of two USB 3, two USB Sort-C (Thunderbolt3 with Energy Supply & Show Port), one HDMI 1.Four and one uSD 4.zero Reminiscence card reader. Choices embrace an exterior uSIM card tray (WWAN solely), a contacted SmartCard reader and a Contact Fingerprint Reader constructed into the ability button. Intel’s twin band wi-fi (802.11 a/c) comes commonplace, however optionally available Cat 16 Gigabit LTE can be accessible.
Together with supporting contact and Dell and third-party mouse gadgets, the 7400 2-in-1 leverages Dell’s Lively Stylus Pen (each edges of the case characteristic sturdy magnets for conserving the pen helpful) for inputting information. A 360° drop hinge allows the system for use in tent and pill modes.
Dell additionally recommends different optionally available equipment for the system, together with its WD19TB Enterprise Dock, PW7018LC Energy Financial institution Plus and DA300 USB-C cell adapter and the U2719D UltraSharp 27-inch monitor.
Utilizing the Latitude 7400 2-in-1
So, what’s the person expertise like? Total, superb. The Latitude 7400 has the nice appears and strong really feel that you just anticipate in knowledgeable grade laptop computer. The case is finely completed brushed aluminum (with a significantly totally different really feel than the recycled carbon fiber used within the prior gen 7392). The trackpad, keyboard and scalloped keys work crisply and constantly—a degree to understand, given the notable points some rivals’ merchandise (notably Apple’s MacBook Professional) have these days suffered.
A number of evaluations have dinged the Latitude 7400’s FHD (1920 x 1080) show compared to different premium industrial notebooks, together with the Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga’s HDR WQHD (2560 x 1440) and the Macbook Professional’s Retina (2560-by-1600). That’s an inexpensive nit to select, however its significance relies upon completely on what duties and purposes the system will help. Whereas some graphics professionals will want finer-grained pictures, paying a premium for larger decision is a waste for the overwhelming majority of enterprise purposes. Higher to allocate your sources on extra necessary options.
Like what? How about battery life? The 7400’s comparatively large 6-cell 78 WHR battery undoubtedly delivers the products, providing as much as 12 hours of runtime for fundamental net browsing duties. Not surprisingly, that smokes most comparable programs, which usually supply 4-cell batteries. Plus, the 52 WHR ExpressCharge succesful battery that comes commonplace within the Latitude 7400 delivers as much as Eight hours per cost, which is nice sufficient for many business-use circumstances.
If longer-than-average battery is a vital concern (as it’s for me), the 6-cell configuration is compelling. The identical may be stated for the system’s ExpressCharge capabilities, which allow the battery to be recharged as much as 80% in a single hour. The one downside is that ExpressCharge is just supported by Dell’s 90W energy adapter, which is a bit heavier than the usual 65W energy adapter.
The IR Digicam and Proximity Sensor talked about within the earlier part help Dell’s new Specific Signal-in perform. Utilized in live performance with Home windows Hey, Specific Signal-in places the system to sleep if it’s left for a couple of minutes, then wakes the system when the person returns. If the system doesn’t acknowledge the person, it requests a safety PIN or password. I used Specific Signal-in usually and, after a couple of coaching runs, it labored seamlessly.
A minor concern I bumped into was that Specific Signal-in additionally engaged if I turned away from the system for a few minutes, which I are inclined to do if I’m studying, consulting a reference, on the cellphone, and so forth. However the system would snap again on once I circled. Total, Specific Signal-in is a well-designed and executed characteristic, however it’s one whose worth is determined by the person’s habits and work setting. Thankfully, it’s simply turned on/off within the system Energy Settings.
Did I’ve any quibbles with the Latitude 7400? Simply two, and each are minor. The primary has to do with cooling the CPU, which resides under the left aspect palm relaxation. Because the system sports activities a Whiskey Lake Core i7 processor, warmth points in a slender pocket book type issue are hardly stunning. When the CPU was below load, the left aspect palm relaxation turned 5°F to 10°F hotter than the fitting. Whereas I didn’t encounter the numerous scorching spots famous in a couple of 7400 2-in-1 evaluations, it’s heat sufficient to note. Which may concern some customers, however I take into account it a suitable tradeoff for the Core i7 CPU.
The opposite concern is the unusually sharp fringe of the 7400 2-in-1’s base, together with the palm relaxation. It’s not an enormous downside, but it surely’s one which’s noticeable if you happen to’re utilizing the system on a tabletop or an airline seat tray. It’s additionally a difficulty that didn’t have an effect on the prior-gen Latitude 7392, primarily on account of recycled carbon fiber utilized in that system that has rounder corners and a softer really feel than the 7400’s brushed aluminum. Whereas not important, it got here as a little bit of a shock in a premium pocket book.
So, what’s the decision? Dell’s Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is a terrific addition to the corporate’s venerable industrial pocket book line that’s worthy of admiration and respect. Together with the pliability that’s native to convertible notebooks, the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 additionally consists of compelling options and choices which are significantly useful for enterprise customers, together with its spectacular design, the distinctive 6-cell ExpressCharge battery, full-blown PC efficiency and Dell’s Specific Signal-in.
Total, if you happen to’re available in the market for a topline business-class convertible pocket book, Dell’s Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is a greater than worthy candidate to contemplate.
Charles King is a principal analyst at PUND-IT and an everyday contributor to eWEEK. © 2019 Pund-IT, Inc. All rights reserved.