Is it just me, or do laptops that are classified as “business laptops” just look plain and simple boring? Bereft of any personality, colour and look like their entire existence is meant for a purpose of being slaves in the corporate world? Much like the companies that bought them and the human slaves that use them? If you agree with me, chances are you would appreciate of the way the Microsoft Surface computing devices and the Apple MacBook do the blend of the best of both worlds, without leaning too much to one side. They are not boring. Simple. Perfect time then, for the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 convertible computing device to make its presence felt. And it is absolutely fantastic that the inspiration comes from the gorgeous Dell XPS 13 laptop and its equally beautiful iterations over the years. The Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 simply takes a bucket load of inspiration, adds a few more of goodies and what you have is a very capable business laptop. There are three variants on sale right now—with prices starting at around Rs 1,14,810 and going all the way to around Rs 1,38,368 depending of which variant you pick.
Dell offers the options of the 8th generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 vPro processor options. There are also configurations that offer 8GB RAM and 16GB RAM. There is the Intel Core i5-8265U and the Intel Core i7-8665U. One may argue that 8th generation is perhaps a tad older than ideal, but then again, business users wouldn’t necessarily feel the need. You can choose between 128GB SSD, a 256GB SSD or a 512GB SSD. What we have here is the top spec variant, with a Core i7, 16GB RAM and 512GB storage. The performance is nothing short of buttery smooth, as one would expect from such a powerful configuration. But what does that mean for the battery life? The Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is a battery life monster. There is no other way of putting it. Dell claims as much as 26 hours of battery backup. While you may really have to be incredibly frugal with your usage to get that sort of battery backup time, it is very much a reality that this laptop is not going to give you any battery anxiety either. A fully charged Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 will easily last you two regular days at work without you having to plug in the charger at all. And that is the sort of luxury that Dell has been able to extract from the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 even without having switched to the newer 9th generation or 10th generation Intel processors.
As a business laptop, there is a lot of smartness working overtime in the background. For instance, we have something called adaptive thermal performance, which notices the environment and adjusts the performance of the machine accordingly. Dell says this features the ultra-thin GORE Thermal Insulation, which provides thermal conductivity levels lower than air. Safe to say, this laptop remains cool.
The party piece of the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 convertible is most definitely the SIM card slot. Oh dear, there really is a God! What you can do is simply slot in a SIM card, get LTE connectivity as you travel, and you don’t really have to scour for a Wi-Fi network at every stop in your perilous journey. Now isn’t that as simple as getting a SIM card to work in a tablet or a phone? We really wish more laptops adopt the SIM card functionality. The mobile connectivity magic is delivered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 LTE modem. It should work with pretty much any mobile service provider in India. I hope this becomes a trend in the coming days with newer laptops.
Back to the personality bit, and the design has a lot to do with it. The machined aluminium finish gives this a very premium look, yet the business-like balance is maintained. If you look closely, this is a slightly darker shade than the Dell XPS 13, at least on the lid. In a way, this will be equally comfortable in an office environment as you use this as a laptop, as it would be at your home when you flip this over into a tablet that holds within it the experience of Netflix. Dell retains the trademark design elements, and you’ll know from a mile away that this is a Dell laptop. The aluminium chassis looks good to hold, and to look at. There is that reassurance that it’ll withstand some of the pressures of daily life, the physical and the emotional!
The Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 convertible does not compromise on the connectivity ports either. There are USB-C ports, one of which can also be used for the power delivery. There are two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI out and a headphone jack. The HDMI out port could be very essential while connecting this with a projector or a second display—both important usage scenarios for a typical corporate slave.
Open the lid, and you’ll immediately notice this is quite simply the closest we have come to an edge-to-edge display on a business laptop. Yes, there is still the slight black border framing it, but switch this on to start using, and that frame pretty much melts away seamlessly. The bezels are 25% thinner than the predecessor. This 14-inch display has the Full HD resolution, and there is a Gorilla Glass 5 layer which should protect against scratches and dings. In fact, this is a new lower power consumption display and the peak brightness tops out at around 300nits. The great battery life stats that I mentioned earlier, are also because of the frugal battery stats that this new display adheres to. That is more than enough for indoor usage. Since this is a business laptop, the matte-ish display does well to restrict the reflections from the ambient lighting and the harsh lighting that usually dot the ceiling in a typical office. Colours are subdued and not exactly very vivid, which is a good thing.
Business laptops aren’t for everyone. But the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is one of those masterpieces that really define what a business laptop and convertible device can and cannot do. In this case, the perfection of the attempt made by Dell is commendable.