Dell Latitude 5490 review

    The Dell Latitude collection has all the time been common with enterprise patrons. As they ship exactly the characteristic units that company IT needs at a worth the finance division can abdomen.

    The bottom rung on the Latitude ladder is the 3000 collection machines with 11” screens that use a Celeron CPU. On the reverse finish of that scale are the high-end Core i7 7000 collection programs with all method of refined options. And between these are 2-in-1 designs, ruggedised fashions, and what we’re investigating right this moment; the 5000 collection. 

    The Dell Latitude 5490 is the most recent 5000 collection design to be added and goals to maintain Dell effectively represented when the controversy turns to new productiveness instruments on the subsequent board assembly. 

    Worth, availability and worth 

    For these unfamiliar with the Dell strategy to promoting computer systems, a fundamental number of sub-models for any design and you may customise them to various levels from there. 

    The Latitude 5490 is available in eleven completely different configurations that begin at £709 (round $965) ex VAT and go as much as £1,109 (round $1,500) relying on processor, reminiscence, show and storage choices.

    You may as well make them value extra by including choices like a SmartCard reader, LTE modem and fingerprint scanner, or together with equipment just like the Dell Enterprise Dock. The Latitude 5490 reviewed right here replaces the 5480, a really effectively revered design, and a powerful competitor in a sector with spectacular choices from Acer, HP, Lenovo and Toshiba amongst others. 

    One vital distinction between the Dell US and Europe product choices is that the reviewed design isn’t one obtainable within the American vary. 

    The $799 (round £586)  model of the Latitude 5490 stateside has solely 4GB of RAM, a 500GB DATA drive and a decrease decision 1366 x 768 show. The inclusion of 1080p display is unique to these programs that include the Core i7-8650U or i5-8350U processors. 

    Dell Latitude 5490 side view


    As a result of this machine isn’t a Dell XPS, we anticipated plastic over a steel inside, and our assumptions weren’t contradicted.

    Regardless of the supplies, the Latitude 5490 feels effectively made, substantial and the floor texture makes it straightforward to deal with. That final level is necessary, because it weighs 1.6Kg and dropping it might need disagreeable penalties. 

    That’s somewhat on the heavy facet for the sort of machine, however there may be loads of laptop contained in the black exterior to compensate for carrying it. 

    The very first thing we observed about it was that the exterior ports are virtually evenly distributed between left, proper and the rear. With a full measurement Kind A USB port on all sides. As a rule, it is usually thought-about a poor plan to place ports on the hinge backbone, as that’s the place the best angular breaking pressure is usually utilized ought to the machine fall or tip over. 

    Dell acknowledged this to a level within the placement of the ability port and the LAN socket. They’re mounted in every of the hinge plates, offering them with a steel encompass that provides some safety from a calamity to those ports.   

    How a lot safety that provides is tough to foretell, however something is healthier than a damaged pocket book which you can’t energy, cost or can solely community utilizing WiFi. 

    The keyboard on the 5490 was a really nice shock, as has an honest spacing between the keys and a really constructive if barely bouncy motion. Additionally it is backlit, ought to you should work in low mild circumstances, like these in a projected presentation. 

    Dell Latitude 5490 keyboard

    Our solely dislike with the keyboard is how small Dell determined to make the cursor keys, that are tiny contemplating how typically a typical person might want to use them. On the centre of the keyboard is a ‘nipple’ for many who cherished their ThinkPad as soon as, although the touchpad is a a lot better choice for controlling the cursor for many customers.

    Dell touchpads have improved markedly, and the one on the 5490 is giant, has buttons at each the highest and the underside, and helps single, double, triple or 4 finger gestures.

    Most customers will in all probability cease at pinching and scrolling, however people who be taught these gestures can invoke Cortana or the motion centre with a single motion. A weak spot of machine constructed to a really precisely worth is usually the display, however the one used within the overview mannequin appeared completely serviceable to us.

    With a 1080p decision and a brightness of 200 nits, it really works effectively for typical workplace use, and at this decision, the interface doesn’t require any excessive interface scaling.

    We’ve seen brighter and extra vibrant shows on different manufacturers, most noticeably from Fujitsu, however the display on this PC shall be acceptable for many customers.   

    It isn’t a touch-capable show, and Dell doesn’t provide contact on any Latitude 5490 presently.

    As this technique isn’t a 2-in-1, its omission isn’t an enormous loss, until you’re hooked on placing smudgy fingerprints on the display. To this point, all the things in regards to the Latitude 5490 is sweet, or adequate.   

    Spec Sheet

    Right here is the Dell Latitude 5490 configuration despatched to TechSwitch Professional for overview:   

    CPU: Intel Core i5-8250U quad-core three.38GHz 

    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620

    RAM: 8GB DDR4 RAM (2400MHz)

    Display: 14-inch Full HD (non-touchscreen)

    Storage: 128GB M.2 SATA SSD 

    Ports: three x USB three.1 Gen 1 (one with powershare), 1 x DisplayPort over Kind C, 1 x HDMI, 1 x VGA, 1 x RJ-45 Ethernet, 1 x microSD card slot, headphone/mic jack

    Connectivity: 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth four.1 

    Digital camera: Digital camera with mic 

    Weight: 1.6kg (three.52lb) 

    Dimension: 332 x 229 x 16.9mm (W x D x H) 

    Battery: four cell Lengthy Life Cycle Polymer 


    The specification of this machine swings reasonably wildly from making good sense to virtually none in any respect.

    On the logical facet of that line is the Intel Core i5-8250U CPU, a wonderful Kaby Lake-U collection chip that may trundle alongside at 1.6GHz till the arduous work kicks it as much as three.38 GHz in turbo mode. It manages this with a most TDP of simply 15 watts, and the 4 cores can every deal with deal duties per core for a most of eight threads.

    That chip mixed with the 8GB of DDR4 reminiscence make for a clean expertise, and there are sufficient exterior ports for many customers.

    It irks us that Dell remains to be placating individuals who use VGA screens, however for these dwelling within the 21st century they’ll join by way of HDMI or use DisplayPort over the USB Kind C port. 

    The best specification fashions have this port upgraded to Thunderbolt three, however not on the reviewed spec. However the place the specs go fully awry is within the storage division, the place Dell confusingly used an M.2 drive that provides no sensible benefit over a SATA linked SSD.

    The logic seems to be that as a result of the 128GB module within the overview mannequin is M.2, then it’s value greater than the two.5-inch 500GB arduous drive on different fashions. Effectively, it is going to be faster, however with such little area left (88GB on the overview machine), it kneecaps what’s in any other case a really helpful piece of kit.

    What made even much less sense was why M.2 know-how was used for the drive. As a result of the machine clearly has the area for a 2.5-inch mechanism, as within the arduous drive fashions, subsequently why not use a much bigger SATA SSD? The argument about M.2 providing final efficiency doesn’t maintain any water both, as Dell selected solely to make use of solely SATA M.2 modules over the complete vary within the UK and never NVMe. 

    Dell Latitude 5490 internals

    There aren’t any straightforward person upgradable choices both, so until you fancy dismantling the Latitude, you’ll be able to’t utilise that vacant 2.5-inch drive bay ever. For many who don’t thoughts eradicating screws and cloning drives disappointment awaits. 

    The M.2 slot and the two.5-inch SATA bay occupy the identical bodily area, so you’ll be able to’t have each. And, the M.2 model of the machine can be lacking the cables and shroud to mount the two.5-inch drive. 

    Dell Latitude 5490 battery

    Based mostly on that revelation, we suspect that these fashions supplied with 2.5-inch drives are lacking the corresponding parts to make use of the M.2 slot. 

    Nonetheless, there’s a little mild on the finish of this tunnel. Within the handbook it mentions that the M.2 slot can take each SATA and NVMe drives, permitting you to purchase the 128GB overview model after which improve it to an NVMe drive of no matter measurement you’ll be able to afford (as much as 1TB). 

    The one caveat to this train is that the drives will must be cloned exterior the machine, ideally utilizing a desktop PC with two spare M.2 slots. Or, make a restoration drive, and do a complete rebuild on the outset.

    Opening up the 5490 additionally permits the reminiscence to be upgraded to 32GB filling each reminiscence slots offered, having first eliminated the only pre-installed 8GB module. One other oddity is that the machine has a SIM card slot, for these wishing to have community connections over cell phone know-how. However inserting a SIM gained’t present this, as you should purchase and set up a further WWAN module to allow this performance.

    Dell went to the difficulty of mounting the tray and the antenna by default in each 5490 however frustratingly unnoticed the WWAN module. The battery spec of this machine can range from a 42 to 51 or 68 Whr, and the overview had the most important of these for the longest working battery life.

    Sufficient technical particulars: how does it run? 

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