Hands-On With Dell’s Innovative Latitude 9420 And Impressive 7090 Ultra Modular PC For CES 2021

dell ces 2021 latitude 9420 and OptiPlex 7090 Ultra
This year's virtual CES 2021 is wrapping up today, but before we close out our coverage, we wanted to take you on a tour of a couple of rather innovative products from Dell. The Dell OptiPlex 7090 Ultra is a compact, modular PC that actually resides inside the monitor stand of this bodacious and gorgeous Dell UltraSharp 40, 40-inch monitor. And then there's the Dell Latitude 4920 2-in-1 laptop that has a few tricks up its sleeve as well. We got some in-studio hands-on time with these new Dell products that will launch either this month or soon in the Spring of 2021, so strap-in and let's take a gander.  

dell ultrasharp 40

First, an honorable mention for the Dell UltraSharp 40 is in order. This big, beautiful 40-inch display sports a native resolution of 5160 x2160 for super-crisp renderings and support of 100% of the sRGB and Rec 709 color gamuts. It's an IPS display, with a 60Hz refresh rate so it's not targeted for gaming per se. Instead, this expansive beast is just the ticket for content creation professionals that need excellent color accuracy and tons of working desktop real estate. Dell notes the UltraSharp 40 will be available starting January 28th at an MSRP of $2099.99.

However, what's inside the stand of this pretty panel is what might interest some of you; especially those of you looking for a clean home or office environment aesthetic.  

dell optiplex 7090 ultra in ultrasharp 40 stand

The stand that supports our UltraSharp 40 here is one of Dell's OptiPlex Ultra-optimized stands. And as you can see, there's some venting, USB Type-C and A ports here, as well as a combo audio out port. The panel is actually also delivering power to this stand and, as it turns out, receiving a 5K resolution Windows desktop signal from it as well, because this is where the new Dell OptiPlex 7090 Ultra modular PC resides - inside the stand. Check it out on our video walk-around here below...

dell optiplex 7090 ultra compute module removed
dell optiplex 7090 ultra compute module

This Dell OptiPlex 7090 Ultra is powered by Intel's Tiger Lake 11th Gen Core series platform CPUs, specifically a Core i7-1185G7 quad-core processor that turbos up to 4.8GHz and sports Intel's potent Iris Xe graphics engine. Also onboard can be up to 64GB of RAM and there's support for both NVMe SSDs, as well as standard 2.5-inch HDDs, in a little bump-out on the back, if you so choose to configure it that way. 

dell optiplex 7090 ultra compute module open

Probably the best feature of this pint-sized power plant are its easily accessed internals, including standard SO-DIMM sockets and M.2 2230 sockets for the tiny Kioxia SSD on board, and the combo Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 Intel NIC card. So, there's not only a fair amount of horsepower onboard here, but the ability for upgrades and expansion down the road, along with copious port options, as you can see on the bottom edge, all of which are neatly gather in cable guides inside the stand. Dell notes the OptiPlex 7090 Ultra will be available at retail starting at $769, with its fixed stand option but displays not included, on January 28th. 

dell latitude 9420
Dell Latitude 9420 Laptop

But of course, that isn't all that we have for you today. We also laid hands upon the Latitude 9420, which is Dell's premium 14-inch 2-in-1 convertible. There is a mixture of high-quality materials all around, including an aluminum top cover/keyboard deck that is married to a polycarbonate bottom tray. The keys have good travel and feel great under our fingers, and you'll find a fingerprint reader integrated into the power button.

The 14-inch display that we have on our example features a QHD (2560x1600) panel that is both touch-enabled and has an anti-reflective coating. Maximum brightness for the panel is rated at 500 nits, and it supports 100 percent of the sRGB color gamut. One other thing about the display that you will notice is that it has incredibly thin bezels all around, thanks to a low-profile IR camera.

dell latitude 9420 ports

But the relatively small size of the webcam isn't the only innovation here; it also has what Dell calls SafeShutter. With SafeShutter, the shutter is automatically closed any time the camera is not in use. Then, when you open an app that requires the webcam -- say, Google Meet or Skype -- the shutter will automatically open. It's basically automating the process of the manual webcam covers that are featured on many of today's business laptops, and it's a nice touch here on the Latitude 9420.

There's also a proximity sensor onboard which uses Intel camera sensing technology. Together with Express Sign-In 2.0, your presence is automatically detected to quickly log you in with Windows Hello as soon as you open the lid on your machine.

dell latitiude 9420 camera exploded
Latitude 9420 Web Camera (Exploded) With SafeShutter And Express Sign-In 2.0

Powering the Latitude 9420 is one of Intel's latest 11th generation Tiger Lake processors; in this case a Core i7-1185G7 (4-cores/8-threads) that features an integrated Iris Xe GPU. As for connectivity, Dell threw in everything but the kitchen sink with the Latitude 9420. Not only do you find the requisite Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, but our system was equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G modem. The modem has an embedded SIM (eSIM), but there's also an external nano SIM that you can use as well.

When it comes to physical connectivity, there's an HDMI 2.0 port, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a USB 3.2 Type-A port, and a microSD slot for storage. Throw in a 60WHr battery with 65W Express Charge support and you've got a machine that should satisfy any mobile warrior when on-the-go.

The Dell Latitude 9420 will be available in the Spring with a starting price of $1,949. Be sure to also check out our coverage of HotHardware picks for the best hardware revealed during CES 2021.