Dell Latitude 13 7370 review: Dell’s straight-laced XPS 13 alternative is the bee’s knees
Somewhere deep inside Dell’s R&D labs, white-coated workers have toiled day and night to splice the DNA of Dell’s Latitude and XPS families. The fruit of those labours is one of the finest Latitude ultraportables ever to see the light of day: the Dell Latitude 7370.
As a starting point, you really couldn’t ask for any better: the XPS 13 is an Ultrabook to aspire to, all carbon fibre, metal and classy understated design. It’s fast, light, beautiful and well-equipped in every category. The Latitude 7370 takes those strengths and moulds them into a more business-friendly form.
Dell Latitude 13 7370: Design
It gets off to a great start. The base is cast from perfectly smooth, gently rounded plates of carbon fibre, while the silver, metal lid of the XPS 13 has been exchanged for a less ostentatious charcoal-coloured sheet. The build quality is stupendously good. Pick it up, twist it, abuse it and you’ll get nowhere: the slender lid barely budges more than a couple of millimetres, and the base only flexes to and fro once you start to exert the kind of force that would snap a lesser device. Dell says the Latitude 7370 is strong enough to survive the barrage of MIL-STD-810G tests, and I’m inclined to believe it.
For a 13in laptop, the Latitude 7370 is unusually tiny. It’s easy to see how Dell’s done it, however: the “InfinityEdge” display has a bezel no more than a few millimetres wide. Short of getting rid of the bezels entirely, which is sadly not yet a possibility, Dell couldn’t have made the Latitude 7370 any smaller. It’s also light. At 1.12kg, it’s less hefty than any 13in business laptop I can think of. And, if you can find another £12 hiding in the IT budget, you can shave a few more grams by opting for a carbon-fibre lid.
Thankfully, this shrinking process hasn’t led to any major compromises. In fact, it doesn’t seem to have had any impact at all. The keyboard is a touch small, but you won’t be able to tell in everyday use. The Scrabble-tile keys have just enough scoop in them to grip the finger, and the feel is superlative, every key dipping down with a delicate, light action. And, if you’re the type that curses the fashion for touchpads with integrated buttons, you may rejoice freely: the Dell’s touchpad has two separate buttons, which your work colleagues will be pleased to hear are absolutely silent.
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