Laptops designed for everyday computing are two-a-penny (just pop into your local electronics retailer), but secure mobile computers designed for corporate workspaces are a different breed. Dell is one of a few computer manufacturers who knows the needs of business users really well (it’s been making laptops like this for over 20 years), and its new Latitude family gives users and IT managers pretty much everything they need.
10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE LATITUDE 7370
- Taking a design cue from Dell’s attractive XPS line, the Latitude 7370 (from £1,439 ex. VAT) is one of thinnest and lightest (305 x 211 x 14.32mm, 1.12kg) business-class laptops on the market. But it’s not so dainty that you’ll worry about placing it down or scuffing its case. Its hard-wearing matte black and grey aerospace-grade chassis doesn’t leave any fingerprints and can easily take everyday knocks and bumps from frequent travelling. There’s even a choice of aluminium or carbon fibre(additional charge of £10 ex. VAT) LCD back for additional protection and it’s rated for resistance to altitude, temperature, humidity, shock, sand and dust, vibration, and drop
- It might not be as visually exciting as the XPS 13 (from £1,149 ex. VAT), but the Latitude 7370 is the only business-class laptop with a 13.3-inch InfinityEdge display. The ultra-thin bezel around the screen adds a modern touch and also creates an enjoyable viewing experience for presentations, documents and videos at resolutions up to 1920×1080. And as it’s a non-touch anti-glare screen, it won’t suffer from reflections in artificially-lit environments.
- The 13.3-inch InfinityEdge is a real highlight. It’s non-touch and has a miniscule bezel to ensure a maximum of screen real estate beneath the Gorilla Glass coating, but its Full HD resolution falls short of 4K available on some other business systems. There’s still plenty of space for arranging work windows and enough pixels to guarantee sharp images. The Web camera is also unusually located in the lower-left corner, which can make Skype calls a little fiddly.
- Connectivity isn’t comprised as a result of the machine’s diminutive size. The Latitude 7370 includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports for 8x faster data transfer than USB 3.0 (one Type A with PowerShare also included), allowing you to power two 4K displays simultaneously. There’s also a Micro HDMI port, microSD card slot, audio jack, and Kensington Lock slot. The port selection is comprehensive and future-proof, but you will more than likely require several adapters and cables as there are too many peripherals with a USB Type-A connector.
- A perfect fit for on-the-go employees, the laptop offers 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2, a micro SIM card slot and advanced security features including a smartcard reader, fingerprint reader, RFID reader, security and encryption software. Battery life is good for around 7 hours from the 4-Cell (34Wh) battery, which is a touch disappointing as other business-class machines can go for over 10 hours.
- Raw power is respectable for a machine of this type, but it’s not a good choice for heavy video or photo editing. The top-of-the-line model (£1,569 ex. VAT) boasts a dual-core 1.1GHz Intel Core m5-6Y57 processor (fanless and almost silent) with Intel HD 515 integrated graphics, 8GB system memory, a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD), and Windows 10 Professional. This is all perfectly reasonable for a sensible workhorse, allowing you to easily edit Office documents in a coffee shop or load up multiple Windows 10 apps. But by forgoing the use of Intel’s higher-end Core i3, i5 or i7 in favour of a Core M processor due to size constraints, Dell has hampered the system’s performance.
- You’re never going to get the best typing experience on an ultra-portable laptop, but the 7370’s backlit keyboard is a joy to use. It’s a touch on the small side and doesn’t include a number pad or dedicated media keys, but the keys provide a comfortable amount of travel without too much noise. The 2-button touchpad is responsive and large enough for even the most clumsy of users.
- The biggest draw of the Latitude 7370, however, is its industry-leading security, manageability and reliability features that mobile business professionals and IT managers demand. Dell’s world-class support service is backed by its innovative SupportAssist technology, while ProSupport Plus is a complete support service combining 24×7 priority access to expert support, accidental damage repair, and proactive, predictive monitoring for automatic issue prevention and resolution. In addition, businesses with 1,000 or more ProSupport Plus systems receive a dedicated Technical Account Manager who serves as a single point of accountability and provides monthly reporting.
- In addition to a 45-watt power adapter, Dell ships the Latitude 7370 with Windows and driver DVDs for a clean installation of the operating system. It’s a wonder why a USB flash drive isn’t preferred due to the lack of an optical drive. There are also some software additions such as the ‘Dell Command Power Manager’, which can be used to configure the charging settings for the battery. A range of useful accessories are available from Dell including a USB-C to HDMI/VGA/Ethernet/USB 3.0 cable to connect to devices in a meeting room, hotel room, or at your desk without the hassle of multiple dongles to carry. There’s also a Dock that lets you charge your Latitude and connect to up to two Full HD displays and other peripheral devices with a single DisplayPort over USB Type C cable, as well as a Wireless Dock to wirelessly expand your workspace with Intel WiGig and connect to multiple accessories and displays.
- The Latitude 13 7000 won’t appeal to everyone. It’s a general-purpose system made for typical business computing duties. Its all-black design could be regarded as boring, it can’t run exciting games or edit 4K video, and it doesn’t have a detachable screen that doubles as a tablet. It’s a standard business-class laptop that gets the job done, securely, making it a solid choice for corporates with a healthy budget.