The small bezels on Dell's XPS are certainly eye-catching, but for taking care of business on the go, the Texas-based PC builder's Latitude portables have developed a reputation that rivals Lenovo's ThinkPads. The company has updated its Latitude 5000 and 7000 lines with Intel's newest 15 W four-core, eight-thread Core U-series processors in time for CES. The manufacturer touts performance improvements as high as 72% in some workloads when compared to last year's machines.
Specifically, Dell says the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 is 72% faster in SYSmark 2014 when compared to a similar model with a Kaby Lake two-core chip. Those results aren't going to be typical of most productivity workloads for this class of machine, but purchasing managers can feel good knowing the potential is there. The speed claims are even higher when it comes to Wi-Fi, where Dell says the active steering antenna in the Latitude 7000 series is 155% faster than before.
Speed isn't everything when it comes to PCs, and Dell has worked on other aspects of its Latitude machines. The company says the Super Low Power 1920×1080 screen available in the Latitude 7490 Notebook requires half the power of a standard screen. AnandTech says the screen's power savings come from the use of low-power LED backlights that use less than 2 W, compared to the 3.8-to-6.5 W draw of a typical backlight.
Dell claims that laptops with that special screen can go as 22 hours without topping up with a fresh supply of electrons. The company is also proud of the materials used in the refreshed Latitudes, including carbon fiber weave, machined aluminum, and magnesium alloy.
The full Latitude lineup includes a staggering number of configurations. There are 5000-series notebooks with 12", 14", and 15" screens, plus 12" 2-in-1 models. The Latitude 7000 notebooks come in 12", 13", and 14" sizes in addition to 12" and 13" 2-in-1's. That's all before getting into screen resolution and panel type, processor speed, graphics setup, memory size and storage configuration.
Dell says its new Latitude 5000 and 7000 portables are available today. The Latitude 5290 2-in-1 starts at $899 and the 7390 2-in-1 begins at $1149. Notebook Latitude 5000 models are available from $779, and 7000-series machines start at $1049. We'd be remiss if we didn't note that most of those "starting at" prices are for configs with older, slower Kaby Lake chips. The updated machines do look nifty, though.