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When buying a business laptop, you’ll want one that is powerful, with a comfortable keyboard and great battery life, that’s built to withstand anything you throw at it.
While Lenovo has a strong position in the business laptop market with their ThinkPad series, Dell has given Lenovo a run for it’s money with their Latitude 7400 2-in-1, the world’s smallest 14” commercial 2-in-1.
Specs As Tested
|Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1|
|Processor||8th Gen Intel Core i7-8665U Processor (1.90GHz, 8MB Cache)|
|Display||14″ FHD (1920x 1080) Touch AR+AS, IR Cam & Prox Sensor, Mic, SLP Narrow Bezel|
|Memory||16GB LPDDR3 2133MHz|
|Storage||512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Class 35 Solid State Drive|
|Graphics||Control Vault 3, vpro|
|Audio||Waves MaxxAudio® Pro|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro 64 bit|
2 x Thunderbolt 3
2 x USB-C 3.1
1 x HDMI 1.4
1 x uSD 4.0 Memory card reader
Headphone / mic combo
|Dimensions||12.59” x 7.87” x 0.34-0.59”|
Design & Hardware
The Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is a well-made machine with a bit of heft to it (it weighs 2.99lbs/1.3kg), so it’s not as light as some of the consumer models we’ve become accustomed to. The body of the laptop has an aluminum finish that gives it a premium feel.
The display is a 14-inch Full HD touchscreen which has very minimal bezels and keeps the webcam and infrared (IR) camera at the top of the display. The laptop comes with Dell’s Super Low Power Panel which the company says will optimize your viewing experience, without affecting your battery life.
The IR camera in the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 can be used for Windows Hello login, which lets you sign into your laptop using facial recognition. The Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is the first PC to come with a proximity sensor which uses Intel’s Context Sensing Technology for Dell’s ExpressSign-in.
ExpressSign-In will automatically detect your presence and will wake your laptop up and then sign in with Windows Hello making it completely seamless to sign in. One thing to keep in mind is that there is no privacy shutter or way to power off the webcam on the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 which may be a concern for some. More on ExpressSign-In later in the review.
One downside of the Latitude 7400 2-in-1’s display is that it seemed a little dim to me, even at the highest brightness.
The backlit keyboard on the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 feels great to type on. Each key has a good amount of travel. The trackpad also feels great to use with quite a bit of clickiness and the precision of it is superb.
Battery life on the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is rated at up to 26 hours and 45 minutes. Just like some smartphones these days, the laptop has quick charging capabilities with Dell ExpressCharge. You can charge the battery to 80% capacity in under an hour using the 90W USB-C charger. Excellent for those who are on the road or travelling a lot.
I’ve been building a new website and setting up web hosting using this laptop and I can first-hand say that the battery life is great.
For ports, there is 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (with power share), 2 Thunderbolt 3 USB-C with Power Delivery and DisplayPort, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A and HDMI 1.4.
There’s more – since the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is a convertible machine, you can use it in different modes including laptop, tablet, tent and stand!
In terms of specs, the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 I tested was powered by an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8665U (clocked at 1.9GHz), an Intel Control Vault 3 vpro, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD.
Through my testing, the fan on Latitude 7400 2-in-1 was super quiet, even under intense workloads. There were a few times, where I could hear the fans slightly but nothing distracting at all, which I was surprised by, as many of these machines used to get quite loud under intense workloads.
An optional extra for the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is the Dell Active Pen (for $129 CAD), which is a great stylus that can magnetically attach to the side of the laptop.
Using the Dell Active Pen on the screen was very smooth and sensitive when drawing and annotating on the screen. It’s definitely up there with the Surface Pen for Microsoft’s Surface devices.
The Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is available now from Dell’s website. It starts at $2,419 CAD but the model I tested costs around $4,875 CAD. That is a little expensive considering the competition like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga costs around $3,500 CAD for a similarly specced model as the Latitude 7400 2-in-1.
The Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is running Windows 10 Pro along with some pre-installed Dell apps.
Those Dell apps include Dell Command which is used to keep applications and drivers updated. Dell Digital Delivery allows you to download software purchases from Dell.
Dell Power Manager is where you can see your battery life and the health status and change settings like Advanced Charge (which optimizes battery life), Peak Shift (schedule battery and AC use), Thermal Management (lets you customize system thermal and fan settings), Battery Extender (minimizes battery consumption) and finally Alert Settings (restores alert settings).
As mentioned earlier, the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 has Dell ExpressSign-in which lets you login to the laptop when you approach it. There are two options to ExpressSign-in:
One is Near to have the PC Wake on approach.
The other is Away which lets you lock the PC and turn off the display when you move away to keep it secure.
Dell ExpressSign-in also can be enabled when you connect the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 to an external monitor.
When using ExpressSign-In, within a few seconds the laptop usually recognizes you and wakes up and then signs in. However, the system was a little finnicky and considering it’s Dell’s first application over it, I believe it will get refined over the coming years. I think it gets a little tricky for those who wear glasses and it seems best to do your facial recognition set up with your glasses off.
Overall, the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is a great business-oriented laptop with good specs, great keyboard but it comes at a high price tag.