he first thing you’ll notice about the Dell Latitude 7390 is its matte touch-screen display, with its thin bezels and vivid colors. You’ll also be impressed by its long battery life and fast performance. However, the Latitude ($1,199 to start, $1,899 as tested) is a mixed bag. The computer’s keyboard and speakers both leave much to be desired, the rest of the design is feeling dramatically old, and the fans sometimes run for seemingly no reason at all.
If you can accept these drawbacks, you’ll be rewarded with a powerful, long-lasting business laptop. Competitors, however, offer much better design and usability for around the same price or less.
Our review model, which was provided by Dell, wobbled. Specifically, the left-hand side on the wrist rest and the right-hand side by the display acted like a seesaw, especially while typing. Dell confirmed that the one we received was a production model, just like what’s out there for people to buy, but said that this is a rare occurrence and is sending a second model to prove it.
It has a standard selection of ports for a business notebook. On the left side are a Thunderbolt 3 port, an HDMI output, a USB 3.0 port and a Smart Card reader. There’s also a barrel-shaped power connector, which is a shame, since the 2-in-1 version of this notebook uses USB Type-C to charge.
At 2.9 pounds and 0.7 inches thick, it’s both heavier and thicker than several of its competitors. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon (6th Gen) is 2.5 pounds and 0.6 inches thick, the EliteBook x360 G2 is 2.8 pounds and 0.6 inches thick and the Dell XPS 13 is 2.7 pounds and 0.5 inches thick.
Security and Durability
Aside from our issue with a wobbling review unit, Dell claims the Latitude is quite durable. It’s MIL-STD 810G tested against extreme temperatures, humidity, vibrations and shock, so it should be fine in a carry-on during a bumpy flight.
On the security front, you can log in to the computer with Windows Hello using either a fingerprint or with facial recognition, thanks to infrared cameras (I personally prefer the latter). The Intel Core i7 CPU includes support for vPro for remote management of the device by IT professionals.
The 13.3-inch, 1080p touch screen on the Latitude is vivid, though some others are brighter. When I watched the trailer for Venom, I could see the faint red flush in Tom Hardy’s cheeks, accentuatedby the blue light coming from New York storefronts reflected on him during a nighttime scene.
The Latitude covers 132 percent of the sRGB color gamut, easily surpassing the 108 percent premium-laptop average as well as the EliteBook (109 percent), the X1 Carbon (129 percent) and the XPS 13 (118 percent).
But at 286 nits it’s not as bright as some competitors. It’s better than the average (284 nits) and the EliteBook x360 (239 nits), but the X1 Carbon (293 nits) and the XPS 13 (an astounding 372 nits) are far more luminous.
I appreciate that Dell has switched to a matte touch screen, as I hate how glossy displays show reflections.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Dell’s keyboard tired me out. With a shallow 1.3 millimeters of travel and 76 grams required to actuate, I often bottomed out and found myself shaking out my hands after typing because my fingers needed a rest. Even though they have a tactile, clicky feel, I hit the end of the switches too often to be comfortable. On the 10fastfingers.com typing test, I reached 111 words per minute, which isn’t unusual for me, but my error rate hit 3 percent, just over my usual 2 percent read more.