Dell Latitude 9440 Review: 14-Inch 2-In-1 Laptop Superiority

Dell's Latitude 9440 2-In-1 Exudes Thoughtful Design And Feature Decisions In A Powerful, Premium Ultralight Laptop

dell latitude 9440 with power brick

Dell Latitude 9440 2-In-1: As Configured - $2,789 (Starting $1919)
Dell's Latitude 9440 2-In-1, with its zero lattice keyboard, collaboration touchpad, solid build quality, solid performance and great battery life, is a 14" premium laptop to be reckoned with.

hot flat
  • Great Keyboard And Touchpad
  • Premium Build Quality
  • Excellent QHD+ Touch Display
  • Great Battery Life
  • Solid General Performance
not flat
  • Lackluster SSD Storage Performance
  • No Micro SD Card Reader
hothardware recommended 100px

Fourteen inch laptops are a tweener size that is growing in popularity, since 13-inch machines feel cramped for some users, while 15-inch machines sometimes pack a bit too much heft. It seems as though business-class machines tend to be what's on offer in this bracket, with understated designs, solid build quality and thoughtful features road warriors and work-from-home users can appreciate. And it's with this demographic and feature set in mind that Dell re-designed its new Latitude 9440 2-In-1 laptop

Dell's Latitude line-up of premium ultralights has been around for ages, but a few years back the company made design decisions to incorporate some of the premium look, feel and features of its highly acclaimed XPS line of premium consumer laptops. With the new Latitude 9440, though the design language is decidedly different than the new XPS 13 Plus in certain areas, it does borrow a few key optimizations, like Dell's new Zero-Lattice keyboard, for example.

The Latitude 9440 also brings with it other new innovations as well, but before we dig in too deep, let's look at the high level particulars and specs...

dell latitude 9440 rear lid view

Dell Latitude 9440 2-In-1 Laptop Specs

dell latitude 9440 2 in 1 specs 2
Find The Dell Latitude 9440 2-In-1 @

Intel's 13th Gen Raptor Lake platform powers the Dell Latitude 9440, and it's the 15 watt power envelope U-series Core i7-1365U we have in our machine. This is actually a very interesting chip with a high top-end boost of 5.2GHz and a relatively high base clock too of 3.9GHz. What this ultimately translates to is a very responsive machine, which we'll get to shortly in the benchmarks.

The platform is also Intel vPro ready and our machine came strapped with 32GB of DDR5-6000 memory for optimal performance. There's also WiFi 6E connectivity on board, but the star of the show for most folks could very well be Dell's 14-inch, 2560x1600 Infinity Edge touch display, with 500 nits brightness, low blue light technology and anti-reflective coating. More on that shortly too. 

Dell Latitude 9440 2-In-1 Design, Build Quality And Features

dell latitude 9440 keyboard

So there it is, what Dell calls the "world's first commercial product with a Zero Lattice keyboard." As you can see, the key caps are wider with no lattice spacers between them. The keys do have fairly deep travel and good tactile response too. Typing on this machine is very comfortable and dare we say "forgiving", when it comes to slightly missed key strokes. The deck has just a hint of flex but it does feel very premium and resists fingerprints well. The trackpad is spacious and responsive with a haptic click, and a trick up its sleeve...

dell latitude 9440 left side ports
dell latitude 9440 right side ports

We're treated to three total Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C ports, a headphone jack and a lock port on the edges of the machine, and the top (and bottom) firing speakers (4 total) delivers solid sound for a 3.25 lb laptop. The Latitude 9440's highs are crisp and tight, with good open mids for vocals. Low-end bass response is lacking as you might expect from a machine of this size, but it's at least somewhat present and spatialization is actually very good, delivering a relatively wide sound stage and volume that can fill a small room.

dell latitude 9440 hinge open wide
The Latitude 9440s also has a fingerprint sensor in its power button, adorned in a white LED ring, and a pair of 360-degree swing hinges that allow the machine to convert into tent or tablet mode. Using a device this large in tablet mode is rather awkward, but it's still serviceable if you're a tablet and pen type. The Latitude 9440 does in fact support Dell's Premier Rechargeable Active Pen as well, as an optional interface companion. 

latitude 9440 collab buttons
Configuring The Latitude 9440's Collaboration Touchpad For Video Conference Calls

And then there's the touchpad trick. Here you can see the Latitude 9440's illuminated collaboration and video conferencing controls. These controls currently are only visible when a Zoom call is detected, though Dell is also working on Microsoft Teams compatibility and Webex as well. This thoughtful feature inclusion offers the ability to activate/deactivate the camera and mic of the machine with a simple touch, as well as present your screen and fire up the application's chat functionality. When we tested it in a brief Zoom call the functionality worked well and was definitely a worthwhile addition for work-from-home folks and road warriors especially. Bravo on a simple innovation, Dell. We see this functionality potentially meeting with good adoption elsewhere in the market. 

Dell Latitude 9440 2-In-1 Display Quality

At the top of the Dell Latitude 9440's display is a tiny integrated Full HD 1080p webcam with a privacy shutter and IR for full Windows Hello and Express Sign-In capability. In fact, we fired up the presence detect software features on board the Latitude 9440 and it was kind of freaky how it sensed our gaze, going dim when we looked away and then going back to full brightness when we looked back at the machine when it was sitting on a desk next to us. It also will go to full dark when you walk away from the machine and lock it with Windows sign-in accordingly. This is a really great feature that is becoming more common on business-class laptops these days, and it can also help with extending battery life as well.

dell latitute 9440 display
The Latitude 9440's WQXGA Display Is Bright, Punchy And Touch-Enabled

Capping things off with Dell's display setup on this machine is a gorgeous 500 nits brightness WQXGA display with a 2560X1600 resolution and a 16:10 format. Not only does it have the perfect screen to body ration with Dell's InfinityEdge bezel configuration, but on a 14-inch laptop platform, it's our preferred resolution currently. The Latitude 9440's display is bright with an anti-reflective finish that resists glare and is a joy to behold with excellent color accuracy and pop. It's a touch-enabled display and though it's a shame to muck it up with your fingerprints, that feature can also come in handy at times, and of course supports the aforementioned optional Dell pen input as well. 

Dell Latitude 9440 Software And Utilities 

Dell does a nice job of not loading down the Latitude 9440 with unnecessary bloatware and trial software. It's a clean installation of Windows 11 you're treated to, and even the wallpaper is a standard issue Windows backdrop. 

dell optimizer windows utility
The Dell Optimizer Utility

However, Dell does offer its Optimizer utility that does a nice job of offering tools and tweaks for the machine's specific feature set, beyond what Windows 11 offers. Here is where you can adjust things like the audio system, as well as the Presence Detection tech we spoke of earlier. You can toggle certain features like the laptop lock when you walk away, etc. This utility, along with Dell's included update utility for firmware and driver updates is all you really need to optimize your Latitude 9440 experience, and thankfully that's really all Dell loaded onto our machine's 512GB Solid State Drive.

Let's fire up the Latitude 9440 and take her around the benchmark test track, next...

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