The Dell Latitude 9440 2-in-1 may be positioned as a business convertible (Latitude branding and all), but it borrows heavily from Dell's consumer XPS laptops. It's sleek, and well-built, with narrow screen bezels surrounding a bright vivid touchscreen. And unlike the XPS 13 Plus, the Latitude 9440 doesn't go overboard with experimental features that don't always work. However, it lacks some essential features (at least for me), such as a USB-A port or a microSD card slot. It's also expensive for what you get, though that's not surprising for a premium business PC.
- 14-inch 2,560 x 1,440 pixels touchscreen
- Intel Core i5-1345U processor with 16GB system memory
- From 1.54kg
- 60 watt-hour battery
Like some modern laptops, the Dell Latitude 9440 has a haptic touchpad. It takes some adjustment, but I'm fine with that. Unlike the XPS 13 Plus, there are clear lines to delineate the touchpad zone, which is MacBook-like in size. What's interesting here (and which Dell dubs as a world's first) is that Zoom and Microsoft Teams video conferencing functions, such as share screen, and microphone on/off, actually show up as LED touch controls on the touchpad. It's the same idea as the Dell Premier Collaboration Keyboard and Mouse. While it's certainly niche, this feature is handy for those who frequently take video calls, and fits the device's business and productivity slant.
Another useful feature in the Latitude 9440 that I would like to see in more laptops is what Dell calls SafeShutter. The camera shutter — shown as a red cover over the webcam — is always active. It only becomes unblocked when an app uses the camera, for example when the laptop is being unlocked via face recognition. A fingerprint reader is available if you prefer that instead. The webcam is also used for presence detection via the preloaded Dell Optimizer app. For example, it can automatically lock the Latitude when you walk away. I like typing on the Latitude 9440's zero-lattice keyboard, which I had previously tried in the XPS 13 Plus. It feels more tactile than it appears, with decent key travel, too. You get two levels of brightness for the keyboard backlight, which uses mini-LED backlight tech that is more power efficient, or so Dell says.
You'll need a dongle for your USB-A devices (one is included). The Latitude 9440 has only three Thunderbolt 4 ports, and an audio jack. No USB-A port, no memory card support. Dell does offer a 5G option (eSIM) for around S$200. You can't customise the display, though. I think it's fine for most users, seeing as this IPS display has a relatively crisp 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution, and tops out at 500 nits brightness. Performance-wise, I have no complaints about the Intel Core i5-1345U processor in my review unit. It scored a decent 5,285 in PCMark 10, which is similar to the 5,158 score for HP's ultra-slim Dragonfly G4 business laptop.
But at around 1.5kg, the Dell Latitude 9440 2-in-1 is not that portable for a business notebook. Perhaps that's the downside of its relatively large 60 watt-hour battery. The benefit, though, is the battery life, which was around 9 hours in our video-loop battery test. To sum up, I feel the Latitude 9440 would appeal to business users looking for something more consumer-friendly than your standard business notebook. But I think having a USB-A port or a memory card slot wouldn't hurt. The Latitude isn't cheap, either. My review unit is about S$3,800. Prices start at S$3,600 for the base hardware, and that's without frills like next business day onsite service. Get it now from Dell.
Note: Review unit provided by Dell.
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