Dell Latitude 7400 2-In-1 Review: A Lethal Weapon For Road Warriors

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Dell Latitude 7400 2-In-1: Experience, Design, And Build Quality

latitude 7400 2 in 1 keyboard trackpad
Crafted from machined aluminum with diamond cut edges and weighing a hair under 3 lbs., the Dell 7400 2-in-1 is solid, sturdy, and built to last. Nothing about this machine feels shoddy, flimsy, or thrown together on-the-cheap. From the touch- and ink-enabled glossy display, to the backlit keyboard (which rests in a shallow, scalloped cutout), to the gesture-enabled trackpad, everything about the Dell 7400 2-in-1 is crisp and well-engineered. Even the stylus is solid and precise, and it's magnetized, so it simply clicks into place on whichever side of the machine you like, and the touchpad, while nothing fancy, does its job just fine and is more comfortable than most.

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The full-size keyboard rests comfortably in a scalloped cutout.

It took a minute or two to train Windows Hello and another 30 seconds to configure the Dell ExpressSign-In (which mainly involves telling the machine how long it should wait before shutting down after you step away from it), and that was about it. There's virtually no pre-installed bloatware, other than a 30-day Microsoft Office trial. Several business and security utilities are available from Dell, as is appropriate with a business-oriented machine, but they don't show up on the desktop or nag the user. These include remote management and configuration tools suited for IT roll-out and diagnostics.

latitude 7400 2 in 1 left side edge

latitude 7400 2 in 1 right side edge sd tray
The inclusion of multiple, full-sized USB 3.1 ports is a nice plus in this day and age of USB-C and Thunderbolt, but it makes a good deal of sense in this case. Most business users still have legacy devices they need to keep using: accessories like graphics tablets, external drives, even USB-driven secondary monitors for travel. And of course, the 7400 still boasts two Thunderbolt ports and an HDMI output, so the 7400 is not lacking in connectivity.

latitude 7400 2 in 1 back edge open angle

latitude 7400 2 in 1 flat
The display is a perfectly serviceable 14" FHD (1920X1080) touchscreen, protected by glossy Corning Gorilla Glass. It has good contrast and saturation, and the FHD resolution no doubt contributes to the 7400's excellent battery life. If you're after something a bit flashier, you're out of luck: There is no 4K display option for this unit. Honestly, though, we felt the FHD display on the 7400 was more than acceptable; the pixel density on a 14" panel was fine, blacks were deep and dark, the whites were relatively bright and even, and everything in between was sharp and crisp. The reality is that if you're going to be doing serious high-res imaging or video work, where everything has to be calibrated and color-matched to perfection, you're probably going to be using a different monitor, not the 14" display that comes with the system. The display doesn't disappoint, though, especially with the thinner bezels on this latest model and it is great for day to day productivity.

latitude 7400 2 in 1 display
As is the case with any glossy display though, you'll want to avoid glaring lights (or direct sunlight), which you can usually do simply by changing the angle of the display. Though, working outdoors was difficult. Any direct sunlight at all will tend to wash things out or cause so much glare that it's nearly impossible to do very much. Again, though, that's the deal with almost any glossy display. Those of us who like the high-gloss look just learn to live with these little issues.

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The ExpressSign-In functionality deserves some extra attention here. We found it to be extremely reliable and convenient. Configured with Windows Hello, ExpressSign-In auto-magically locks the 7400 when you walk away from the machine. Then, when you approach again, it will wake up and, once it sees your smiling face, quickly log you back in, all in a second or two. It's pretty slick. It's also a handy security measure, especially if you're the type that forgets to lock your machine anytime you step away.

Keep in mind that Windows itself has a similar built-in functionality called Dynamic Lock, but it requires that you pair the system with a phone. It works via Bluetooth, rather than IR, so the range is somewhat longer and thus may take quite a bit longer to register that you have walked away from the system. All in all, Dell's ExpressSign-In is slicker and more seamless in our opinion.

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