Everyone likes their laptops to be thin, light and compact but most users buy a laptop gauging the type of work they're going to do using the laptop. For IT professionals and enterprise users, security and peace of mind takes precedence and that's exactly the market at which the Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 is aimed at.
It's a no-nonsense business laptop, made bearing mobility and durability in mind. For regular consumers looking for a sleek and light yet powerful laptop, Dell offers the XPS 13. However, with a price tag of Rs 1,35,000, does the Latitude 7390 convertible do enough to impress those who need a 2-in-1 workhorse on the go? Let's find out.
Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1: Build and Design - 8
Design-wise, the Dell Latitude 7390 is small and compact but looks like a dull black slab with a soft plastic finish and a Dell logo in the middle. Open it up and you'll notice that the display itself is as thick as the lower encasing. Touchscreen panels are usually thick but the 7390 is a tad too thick to my liking.
The side bezels are quite slim but the top and bottom bezels do look large and dated. The top bezel does house a 720p webcam, but Dell could perhaps consider a move to a 3:2 aspect ratio, seen on Microsoft's Surface Laptop, to make better use of the extra space.
Build quality is otherwise great and Dell claims that machine is MIL-SPEC 810G-tested to survive extreme temperatures, dust, shocks and vibrations, so it should have no issues when it comes to durability.
The soft plastic finish overall does make the laptop grippy, but over time, the body does tend to pick up a lot of oil and dust. The laptop isn't as light as the XPS 13 at 1.43 kg but is comfortable to move around with it.
Talking about movement, the laptop features two rubber strips at the bottom which help hold the laptop in position while using it on top of a table or any other flat surface.
As with other 2-in-1 devices, the display hinge on the Dell Latitude 7390 rotates back 360-degrees to allow the notebook to be used as a tablet. 13-inches, to me, seems to be an ideal size for both notebook and tablet work and the Latitude 7390 is no exception here. The hinge in itself is sturdy enough to hold the display in any position you would want it to be in.
Though this is a convertible, Dell does not include a pen in the package, but you can buy one separately, which is a shame because the device supports Windows 10 Ink, which means you can sketch or take notes. However, Dell did send us an optional dock which can be hooked into one of the USB-C ports to connect to up to two Full HD displays and other peripheral devices. The dock is powered by a 130 W adapter, which in turn powers the laptop. You can also opt for Dell's USB-C Mobile Adapter while buying the laptop, which would be ideal if you intend to travel around with it. I tried to charge the Dell with the 27 W OnePlus adapter and I could actually charge the laptop. It was painfully slow at 27 W, but it's a great option in a pinch.
Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1: Keyboard and Trackpad - 7.5
I thought the backlit keyboard was great and had decent spacing and ample key travel. I do type a lot on a typical working day, and though the keyboard did seem a bit cramped at first, it wasn't long before I got used to the size.
Dell managed to fit in a full-size number row and also ensured that the arrow keys are wider than what you would expect in a laptop this size. The key themselves are tactile and feel great to use. If you are used to a full-sized desktop keyboard though, typing fast will be an issue for a while because of the smaller size.
The Latitude 7390’s keyboard is also backlit with two brightness levels and the backlighting can also be toggled off if desired.
The 3.6 x 2-inch trackpad was also comfortable and responsive to basic gestures. The inclusion of recessed physical right and left click buttons is something I've commonly seen on business laptops. It's not something I personally care for, but hey, the buttons are present if you want to use them.
Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1: Features - 8
Dell has equipped the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 with an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8650U vPro processor with integrated UHD Graphics 620 GPU. It's a very powerful CPU for this class of device and is the same one that Microsoft uses in the Surface Book.
The unit we were handed for review featured 16 GB of RAM paired with a 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD, which I think is a great choice for any laptop.
Moving on to the display, the 7390 2-in-1 comes with a 13.3-inch touchscreen display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 which runs at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.
As far as ports are concerned, on the left edge of the Latitude 7390, we find two USB Type-C (Thunderbolt-3 compliant) ports, a full-size HDMI 1.4 output, a USB 3.0 Type-A and a Smart Card slot for security.
The right side provides a Noble Wedge lock slot, another USB 3.0 Type-A port, micro-SD and micro-SIM card slots and a 3.5 mm headphone jack, along with a volume rocker and power button, which keeps them accessible even while in tablet mode.
There's also a recessed fingerprint scanner below the keyboard.
Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1: Display - 7.5
The Latitude 7390 2-in-1's 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 display is both bright and vibrant. I watched the Avengers: Endgame trailer on the laptop and the colours just popped to life. I subsequently streamed a number of Netflix shows and Premier League matches on the laptop and was very pleased with what I saw overall.
Again, the display isn't as good as, say, the one on the Dell XPS 13, but it's still a good display and the colours appear to be accurate enough.
The overall brightness level isn't anything to write home about either but I once did find myself working from the inside of a car under bright sunlight and the display did well enough to let me view what's on my screen without having to squint.
Reading is a non-issue as well. The screen is pleasant and quite sharp, which makes it quite comfortable for reading through long PDFs and responding to email.
Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1: Performance - 7.5
For office use, the laptop handled everything I could throw at it and with relative ease. The 8th gen Intel i7 8650U quad-core CPU is a powerful chip and perhaps even overkill for what I expect the average business user needs. Nothing slowed it down, and the fast SSD just made things all the more pleasurable.
With 16 GB RAM onboard, I could have 40 Chrome tabs, two Word documents, Slack, Telegram, a video on VLC paused and still be able to able to colour correct images without a hiccup. In our standard CrystalDiskMark test, the SSD returned with one the fastest read speeds we've seen in recent times, with only the Lenovo Yoga 920 pipping it by a small margin.
The fans do kick in when you push the device hard, but this is a rare occurrence. When the fans do spin up, they're quite loud, but the way the fan profile is set, it seems like the laptop wants to cool itself as fast as possible and then revert to silent mode. The air intake and release vents are located at the back, which ensures that your thighs aren't getting roasted when you have the laptop on your lap. That said, never did the laptop heat to the point where I would get worried.
There's no graphics card on the laptop so gamers, stay away. I tried Fortnite and the machine barely managed 18-19 fps at the lowest settings which in practice is quite unplayable.
As far as speaker output goes, they do get loud for a quiet living room, but there's not much depth to the sound.
Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1: Battery LIfe - 7
Battery life on the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 was just as expected. Dell claims a battery life of 8 hours here, but I could get through close to seven hours of use consistently, draining the battery from a hundred to about 8-10 percent. This was while using the laptop as my daily driver at work which involves a lot of web browsing, a certain amount of basic colour correction and image editing, emails and loads of typing. Seven hours is a commendable figure for any laptop, but it's certainly not the best. The Dell XPS 13 and Lenovo Yoga 920 can outpace this Latitude in some scenarios.
If you're streaming movies and listening to music on the laptop and using it for other casual work, the 7390 will last you even longer.
Our heavier PCMark 8 Battery Life test returned an estimate of 3 hours and 27 minutes. This is fairly standard for a laptop with a 65 Wh battery inside. Considering the laptop is meant for working on-the-go, I was expecting better battery life.
Verdict and price in India
A 2-in-1 does seem like a novelty of sorts for a business user, but you can easily imagine a number of use-cases where a convertible laptop would be a great fit. The Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 offers plenty for leisure activities or even for students, but then again, you wouldn't be looking at this laptop specifically if you're a casual user. For such users, an XPS 13 or 15 should suffice.
Dell definitely plays it safe when it comes to design, which is expected of a business laptop. It's a bit boring to look at, but it will meld into the background in a workplace, which is part of its job.
This is a very sturdy laptop and isn't too heavy. The internals are quite capable of handling heavy workloads and the battery life is just about alright.
The inclusion of a Smart Card reader, a fingerprint sensor and a display should make this appealing for those seeking a computer for pro use. At Rs 1,35,000, it is expensive, but the hardware is also exceptional. You could opt for something like a Dell XPS 15 or even a MacBook Pro, but those are consumer-grade laptops and don't have mil-spec ratings.
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