As 2017 comes to a close at the CRN Test Center, we're reflecting back on the fact that many of the laptops we tried this year were developed to be great for business productivity while also providing a consumer-focused design flair.
The Dell Latitude 7280 isn't necessarily one of those laptops, but we are fans of it anyway, thanks to its combination of portability, horsepower, and battery life.
Plus, unlike on the more consumer-oriented Dell laptop, the XPS 13, the webcam on the Latitude 7280 is located in the ideal place (i.e., above the display).
The black design of the laptop is appealing in its own way, even if it's not quite as sleek as the XPS line or the Lenovo Yoga and HP Spectre laptops.
However, you can't argue with the portability: the Latitude 7280 weighs just 2.61 pounds and measures 0.67 of an inch thick. The 12.5-inch FHD non-touch display and modest bezels mean the laptop is pretty small all around, and we found it to be a very manageable laptop option for transporting on a recent trip between Boston and New York.
Besides portability, the other most-endearing quality of the Latitude 7280 is its speed. This is a laptop meant for multitaskers and anyone who wants to get a lot done in their web browser and apps, with a seventh-gen Intel Core i7-7600U as its processor (one of the fastest chips in Intel's Kaby Lake line).
The battery life was great, too, as we were able to get a full day's worth of usage with room to spare on the battery. Our unit contained the optional four-cell battery, which no doubt helped boost the usage time over what you would get with the entry-level three-cell battery.
Other great features on the Latitude 7280 include a Windows Hello-enabled infrared camera for facial recognition log-in, a touch fingerprint reader, strong durability ratings, and a comfortable keyboard.
Our one big nitpick is that the Latitude 7280 doesn't use Microsoft's Precision Touchpad, so there's a bit more latency in the touchpad usage than we would like.
On price, our model originally was priced at $1,830, but the configuration is currently available for a more reasonable $1,599.
Ultimately, if portability and speed are your primary considerations, this might be a smart time to consider Dell's Latitude 7280 for your next business laptop.