Technophile

Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1: Work away to glory

Mirza Mohammed Ali Khan | Updated on July 10, 2019 Published on July 10, 2019

The latest professional machine from Dell delivers on all fronts

When we met Dell officials at the launch of the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 laptop, they told us that convertibles are doing well. That’s exactly what the new Latitude is, giving users touch-and-type functionality. According to Dell, users are looking for features they generally find on smartphones, on their other machines too. That makes sense, given how we’re so used to swiping, flipping and pinching our screens to get work done. We sometimes find ourselves inadvertently reaching for the screen of our laptop, only to realise that more often than not, it isn’t a touchscreen.

The new Latitude 7400 is a work powerhouse. The way it has been designed and built is itself testimony to its professional credentials. And when setting it up, it gives you the option of setting it up for personal use as well as enterprise use, so you know where the target audience for this device lies.

Cool and composed

The brushed metal finish of the Latitude looks sleek and no-nonsense. It doesn’t glint too much and has a very under-stated, yet posh and polished look and feel about it. It is also very slim and Dell has done a great job with the form factor. It can easily be slipped into a formal messenger bag. However, it is on heavier side and that’s probably the only negative about its build.

On flipping it open, a neat keyboard is revealed, with the touchpad below it and the power button/fingerprint sensor to the top right, in a familiar position. The keys are well-spaced and offer good travel, so typing on the go was easy. We used it in cabs to see how it would work out for someone doing official work on the go, and apart from the weight on the lap, it was quite smooth. The keyboard is also back-lit, as is expected at the premium end of the laptop ladder. Placing the laptop flat down in tablet mode didn’t result in the keys getting pressed because they are placed in a slight depression. However, they do get pressed when holding the device in tablet mode, which isn’t very advisable thanks to its weight.

The screen has thin bezels, going by the current trends. Dell has managed to squeeze in a 14-inch screen in a 13-inch body, helping keep things compact. The screen’s resolution is a crisp, lucid 1920x 1080 and it is protected by Gorilla Glass 5. The 16:9 aspect ratio helps watch videos on streaming in their natural habitat of sorts. The display looks especially good in tablet mode.

The screen responds very well to touch and with the stylus that Dell offers at an extra cost, the screen is great for doodling, taking notes, etc. The speakers are good too, considering this is primarily a professional-use machine. They fill up a small, quiet room, and should be enough for video calling, but most of us use headphones for that anyway.

Coming to the laptop’s performance, we reviewed it mostly from an office-use standpoint, which is a lot of MS Office, browser, and some programming (considering we don’t code as much). With an 8th-gen i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, and a 256 GB SSD, our review unit handled everything very easily and with no hiccoughs at all. Multiple tabs open on Google Chrome streaming video also did nothing to hamper the Latitude’s functioning. Thanks to the SSD, wake up times were minimal. We didn’t play any games on this laptop, because, well, it isn’t meant for that use case, but we did try photo and video editing software on it, considering that a lot of professionals dabble in it and it handled them very easily, given the powerful specs it packs.

In fact, along with the stylus, sketching and colouring and other such activities to blow off steam are quite a lot of fun to do, on this machine. This is very much a professional device than a creative one, but thanks to its processing power, one can always use it to get their creative juices flowing.

Staying on

Battery life on this laptop left us very impressed. It lasted us a cool day-and-a-half with regular to moderate use, and this included update packages getting installed. The charging port is USB Type C and the laptop also got juiced up pretty quickly. The laptop gets two USB C ports, a memory card reader, regular USB ports, and also an HDMI out port, which you don’t see a lot. It also gets a headphone jack. Overall, the input/output options on the Latitude impressed us and Dell seems to have kept various use-case scenarios in mind when putting them there.

The Latitude 7400 also gets something called Express Sign-in, which is basically facial recognition for locking/unlocking the laptop. There is a proximity sensor at work here, which can detect when you move away from the device and lock it, and vice-versa. There is also the fingerprint sensor, for lock-unlock. Talk about getting smartphone features to a laptop! The price is obviously at a premium, but Dell is making no bones about the fact that this is a professional machine for serious users. When some MacBooks can set you back by over a lakh, why shouldn’t a very good Windows laptop demand a premium for what it provides?

Price: ₹1,35,000 onwards

Pros: Top specs, smooth performance, posh looks, face unlock

Cons: On the heavier side

Published on July 10, 2019
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