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Review: 5 Top Features On Dell's Amazing Latitude 7400 2-in-1

The CRN Test Center gives high marks to Dell’s Latitude convertible for its outstanding battery life, overhauled design and useful new features.

No question about it: Dell's Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is the most enjoyable experience I've had with a Latitude model in my three years at the CRN Test Center.

Upon unveiling the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 at CES in January, Dell pointed to the notebook’s design and features as the future of where the business-focused Latitude line is going.

[Related: The 10 Coolest New Laptops Of 2019 (So Far)]

If this is the new direction, I fully welcome it: The Latitude 7400 2-in-1 has just about everything business users could want in a notebook, plus a few things they wouldn’t think to ask for—but will appreciate anyway.

The Latitude 7400 2-in-1 has a starting price of $1,599. The review unit I tested—configured with a primo battery and processor, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage—is priced at $2,802.

What follows are my picks for the top features on the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1.

Battery Life

There's a lot to like about the new Latitude. But the standout feature—to this reviewer, whose biggest fear in life is a drained battery on his device—is the outstanding battery life.

This is the battery life we've been waiting for. It's a true "all-day" machine.

While using the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 over the past few weeks, I've consistently been able to get between 12 hours and 14 hours of battery life on a charge. That is by far the best result for a laptop that I've tried to date at the CRN Test Center. That was with heavy usage; with the brightness set to full (the display goes up to 300 nits); and with the "better battery" setting selected in Windows 10.

Typically, based on my testing approach, I consider anything above eight hours to be a strong result. Notebooks that have gotten high marks from me on battery life in the past included last year's Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, which pulled off far less than the Latitude in question—with nine hours of battery life.

The battery life results on the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 are certainly aided by the inclusion of the larger battery option in my tryout mode, that being the six-cell 78 WHr battery. There's also a four-cell 52 WHr battery configuration.

However, it's also worth emphasizing that this is battery life for a 2-in-1 notebook. Often, it's the clamshell versions of notebooks that see the better longevity for their batteries than their convertible counterparts.

Design

The most noticeable change with the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is of course its external design.

Instead of the traditional black carbon-fiber body of the Latitude line, the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 is encased by gray-machined aluminum with a brushed-metal finish. The notebook looks fantastic—much more stylish than the typical business notebook.

The notebook's 14-inch display is also surrounded by very thin bezels on all four sides, especially on the left and right sides—for a nearly "edge-to-edge" display. That's another rare business notebook feat.

All in all, the Latitude line is approaching the look and feel of the much-loved XPS 13 design with the 7400 2-in-1.

Portability 

The slim-bezel design of the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 goes a long way toward helping to reduce the overall size of the notebook.

Dell has touted the notebook as the smallest 14-inch 2-in-1 on the market by volume—and as 25 percent smaller than predecessor models.

Looking at the compact size of the notebook, you definitely would expect that this is a 13-inch device rather than a 14-inch. The notebook's thin form factor—measuring just 0.59 of an inch thick—helps on limiting the size, too.

Meanwhile, the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 weighs a very portable 2.99 pounds at the base level.

New Features

Along with a revamped design and enhanced battery life, Dell also introduces some useful new features with the Latitude 7400 2-in-1.

First and foremost is Express Sign-In, which makes it easier and more secure to use the notebook. Using sensors, the 7400 2-in-1 locks the notebook when you walk away. When you return, the notebook automatically wakes up and then logs you back in using Windows Hello facial recognition.

The feature worked flawlessly in my tryout. It's a small thing, but it adds up to a major reduction in hassle—and a boost to security—when you consider how much effort it takes to do this process manually.

The Latitude 7400 2-in-1 also solves another issue that plagues many laptops by making it easier to open the notebook with one hand. Again, it seems like a minor thing, but anything that makes the notebook experience more pleasant is a welcome addition in my view.

Performance

As mentioned, the review unit I tried featured top-of-the-line specs, including a quad-core Intel Whiskey Lake processor (Core i7-8665U) and 16 GB of RAM.

Performance was terrific in my tryout, with everything loading speedily, as you would expect for a machine of this premium caliber.

Benchmark results from Geekbench 4 revealed a single-core score of 5,174 and a multi-core score of 13,649—a bit above its predecessor Latitude 7390 2-in-1 model and significantly above HP's EliteBook x360 1030 G3.

Overall, it's impressive to see Dell adding so many upgrades all at once in a single new model.

The Latitude 7400 2-in-1 represents not only a design overhaul for the Latitude line, but also a big leap forward in capabilities and features for Dell's commercial notebooks.

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