Dell’s Latitude 7400 2-in-1 tries to ship a little bit little bit of all the pieces for each potential use case, leading to a 14-inch ultraportable with a 360-degree hinge, with lively stylus enter.

Hands-on evaluation: Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1
Dell’s Latitude 7400 2-in-1 tries to ship a little bit little bit of all the pieces for each potential use case, leading to a 14-inch ultraportable with a 360-degree hinge, with lively stylus enter.

Dell’s Latitude line of notebooks for enterprise is positioned in opposition to Lenovo’s ThinkPad and HP’s EliteBook and ZBook collection. The Latitude 7400 2-in-1 tries to ship a little bit little bit of all the pieces for each potential use case, leading to a 14-inch ultraportable with a 360-degree hinge. Some customers want that kind issue for the bigger battery or greater energy—although this design does add bulk compared to detachables such because the Surface Book 2, which has different drawbacks. Specifications (as reviewed) CPU: eighth Generation Intel Core i7-8665U (4 Core, 1.9 GHz Base / 4.8 GHz Turbo) RAM: 16GB LPDDR3 2133MHz (soldered) SSD: M.2 512GB PCIe NVMe Display: 14″ FHD (1920×1080) Touchscreen, Anti-reflective & Anti-smudge Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 Ports: 2x USB Type-A 3.1 Gen 1, 2x Thunderbolt 3 / DisplayPort (USB Type-C), 1x HDMI, microSD Card Reader Networking: Wireless Intel® Dual Band Wireless AC 9560 (802.11ac) Dimensions: 12.59″ x 7.87″ x .34″ (entrance) / .59″ (rear) (319.77 x 199.9 x 8.53 [front] / 14.89 [rear] mm) Starting weight: 2.99lb  Battery: 78Whr Price: $2802 (as configured) Hardware and design impressions Designing any finished product requires difficult decisions for component use and placement, more so with 2-in-1 systems that prioritize lower weight and higher portability. Dell’s taken quite a lot of heat in the past for the “nostril cam” discovered on earlier fashions of their consumer-focused XPS techniques, a apply the corporate has—fortunately—moved away from in recent times. On the Latitude 7400 2-in-1, the webcam is positioned within the middle of the (fairly small) bezel, and an unobtrusive white LED activates when the digicam is activated.  The webcam in contrast favorably to my 2015-era ThinkPad on the identical community and utilizing the identical functions I take advantage of recurrently for video calls, likewise, I’ve acquired optimistic feedback concerning the high quality of the microphone on the Dell from folks I converse to regularly. As a business-focused gadget, the shortage of a shutter for the digicam might irk some, although that will undoubtedly add some bulk to the highest bezel. SEE: 16 prime laptops for enterprise customers in 2019 (free PDF) (TechRepublic)The display screen is fairly typical—it presents multitouch and helps stylus enter. The hinge is sufficiently sturdy sufficient to require some drive to push the display screen again when utilizing the stylus in laptop computer mode. The show is crisp and acceptable vibrant off-the-shelf 1080p panel, which appears actually acceptable at 14 inches, although pales compared to a HiDPI (Retina) show. The quantity of engineering expended to cram a panel this dimension in a body this small is laudable, and there is no Dell emblem on the display screen bezels, which is a welcome omission.

The pen is significantly nice to make use of, if for some cause you might have a necessity to make use of it. I’ve discovered myself utilizing the pen as an alternative of my finger for utilizing the touchscreen very often when utilizing the system. It attaches fairly strongly to both aspect by way of magnets when not in use. Unless you might have a have to for pen enter (signing paperwork, drawings, notes, and so forth.,) it’s unlikely to be a very sturdy promoting level Handwriting-to-text conversion in Windows 10 is sometimes barely shaky, although this may very well be as simply defined by (my) poor handwriting.  Dell did not produce a customized prime case for keyboards with a single-row Enter key, as is widespread for US keyboards. As a consequence, the keys prolong to fill that area.
Image: James Sanders/TechRepublic
The chiclet keyboard is quiet to sort on, has respectable key journey, and two backlight settings. It is unobtrusive, although the left Control and Function keys are swapped in comparison with ThinkPad techniques, although it is a fault of muscle reminiscence greater than the system itself. Dell did not produce a separate keyboard prime bezel for keyboards with a single-row Enter key, making that and the Vertical Pipe key look peculiar so as to fill that area. It’s a minor grievance, although for this asking worth, it is not an unreasonable one.  The touchpad feels equally unobtrusive, although unremarkable.The energy button is remoted from the keyboard, and requires a extra forceful press than a typical key to activate. Being a 14″ system, it is naturally going to feel heavier than an iPad Pro when held with one hand. This is unavoidable. When in tablet mode, the angle of the chassis feels slightly jagged, making it moderately unpleasant to hold. Worse, for all of this weight, the Latitude 7400 doesn’t feel particularly durable, despite the use of aluminum for part of the bezel. While 2.99 lbs is not an encumbrance, it feels more awkward to hold than other systems. Storage, performance, and ports Being a 2-in-1, the Latitude 7400 has somewhat more constraints for space. There’s an understandable need to maximize space where possible, leading to the—truthfully, industry standard—practice of soldering down RAM. This review unit is equipped with an ample 16 GB LPDDR3, which should serve well for a normal lifespan of the system. Likewise, it is equipped with a PCI Express-linked 512 GB Toshiba SSD (M.2 2280), which is user serviceable. The port selection is generous, with two USB Type-A 3.1 Gen 1, two Thunderbolt 3/DisplayPort (USB Type-C), one HDMI, and one 3.5mm headphone jack, plus a microSD Card Reader. It’s nearly enough to not need dongles—users with a need for Ethernet connectivity will find themselves out of luck, though I’d be at pains to point to a 2-in-1 with onboard Ethernet. Starting with 8th generation Intel Core processors, the number of cores included has increased, which brings with it obvious performance improvements—essentially 45-55%, averaged out. That said, the advertised 4.8 GHz turbo is perhaps not the most meaningful figure, as thermal limits will prevent the CPU from operating at that frequency for more than a few seconds. Likewise, turbo clock speeds apply only to one core.  As a business-focused PC, it is equipped with vPro for remote configuration through Intel AMT, allowing for the system to be re-imaged while the power is off. There’s some concern about the security of this, though AMT is used with relative frequency for mass imaging corporate-deployed systems. Likewise, Intel’s VT-x and VT-d extensions are practically required for virtualization tasks—this can be handy for running Linux on top of Windows, or a Windows 10 insider build on top of a stable release. The bottom line On price, the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is difficult to recommend. Dell’s list price is $2802, which is the height of optimism relative to the parts inside it. To make the requisite MacBook comparison, the 2018 Macbook Pro includes a (newer) faster hexa-core processor, and a discrete GPU, and still a $200 savings when upgrading to a 512 GB SSD to match the Dell.  That—for any number of reasons—can be dismissed as a less than equitable comparison, not the least of which is Dell’s own website listing this configuration for $2489, which is better, if only just. Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 4 is likely the most direct competitor, and when configured for the same vPro-compatible CPU, RAM, SSD, and screen, comes up at $1975.  In comparison to Microsoft’s Surface Book 2, the 13.5″ mannequin with an i7-8650U, 16 GB RAM, and SSD is a close to match at $2499. This is a removable 2-in-1 that features an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050, which is substantively extra highly effective than the built-in Intel UHD graphics on both the Dell or ThinkPad, when it really works. Ultimately, there is a lacking wow issue with the Latitude 7400 2-in-1, which can sting given the value tag. On a technical foundation, it is a decently strong performer, and the webcam and microphone do impress. 

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