The latitude with the right attitude to set standards for 2-in-1 laptops.
If you fit the small group of people who actively search for 2-in-1 laptops without compromising on premium quality, it’s a good time to be one. The Latitude 9510 has all the bells and whistles of a perfect premium laptop whistle-bending over backwards for your touch.
The design is somewhat borrowed straight from its even-premium XPS series but here you have the option of penning down your best creations without snapping the thing in two.
There are a lot of improvements on the laptop from the previous gen that puts this a cut above the rest, starting with the build quality that is. The aluminium chassis here is more than just a checkbox for premium listings. Its fit and finish are what truly sets the Dell Latitude in a league of its own. Dell is known for premium build quality and you’re reminded of that commitment every time you hold the laptop. We didn’t even miss the carbon fibre finish which is reserved for XPS snobs.
Although it’s not possible to open the laptop with one finger, the hinge is as sturdy as it gets. You can get creative with how you want the screen to face you. A little tent shape? Only screen, full tablet-style? Flat 180 degrees? Take your pick. The hinge shows no signs of slipping up.
The base of the laptop has a rubberised finish which feels reassuring on the skin and even the heat won’t pinch as much. Now you can blame the laptop for not wearing pants during your Zoom calls. We really hoped that a rubberised finish makes its way to the palm rest area too but maybe it’s for one after the pandemic.
Screen and sound
It may be of service to suit and tie folks but Latitude’s entertainment offerings come beefed up for all the right reasons. The FullHD screen is sharp with punchy colours. A bit on the vibrant side but nothing too alarming. Winding up the day with a good Netflix session is essential to using this laptop. It has the audio nailed down for the job too.
Its top firing speakers are frankly very good. You’d struggle to find better Windows laptops with such good-quality speakers. Only the Microsoft Surface Book and Dell’s own XPS series can boast of a better audio standard.
They still pale in comparison to the MacBooks but it's got the recipe for separating frequencies for a clean listen. Play Move Me by Mura Musa & Octavian and it’s clear that the speakers hit the highs without colouring the mids and vocals. They don’t deliver the energy and emotion from Mumford & Sons’ Woman but the bass is tight. This is a step in the right direction for Dell laptops. It’s only the tinnie-tiny form factor that leaves no room for better things.
Albeit you won’t be missing much on this laptop in terms of audio and visual. The bezels bashing is up there in your 90s percentages, so whatever you look at is mostly a pixel staring back at you. We spoke to Scott Forester (Division Vice President) regarding Gorilla Glass Victus and he mentioned Dell Latitude laptops come with Gorilla Glass DX which reduces reflections. Dell says it offers up to 9% in glare reduction but in our everyday use, we found that to be a modest understatement. The screen is far better at reducing reflections or maybe 9% makes a hella difference from a non-DX glass. Whatever the number is, the screen is up to 2020 standards and even the brightness hits eye-searing levels.
Slapping timely hardware updates isn’t going to cut it. This time Dell’s approach is taming the software for its users and boy have they done a good job of it.
Everything starts from the time you lift the lid. A proximity sensor detects your presence and fires up the screen and the IR camera to get you in even without touching a single key.
After you’ve assigned your most-used applications to Dell Optimizer, the laptop learns your patterns and usage behaviours to optimize battery life and resources utilization efficiently. What felt like a marketing gimmick, slowly became a lightweight software that even tames the RAM hungry Google Chrome to some extent. We had two Google Chrome browsers, WhatsApp app and Apple Music running constantly meanwhile Photoshop and InDesign popping up now and then. All this and the battery lasted us a good 8 to 9 hours, sometimes pulling through an entire day of erratic use.
The laptop is also very quiet. Even under load the fans barely get noisy. You’ll only feel the heat and hear the fans while the laptop is charging. Something that’s not a recurring problem because the battery life is fantastic.
The Dell Optimizer is here for all the right reasons but it can be a bit aggressive on sleep cycles. We would often have to manually reconnect our WiFi after the laptop has been put on sleep. It’s probably one software update away from being fixed so not a big deal in our books. Cookie points if you have a Wi-Fi 6 connection at home/office. This utilizes the potential of Wi-Fi 6 routers too.
The laptop also has eSIM capabilities but sadly it doesn’t work with Indian telecom providers. This would’ve sealed the deal for a lot of people here in India.
Keyboard and trackpad
Cramming a 15in screen into a 14in form factor laptop has its downsides, you lose out on precious keyboard and trackpad real estate. The keyboard has fantastic key travel and key resistance but the keycaps are a bit small for my taste. It’s only a matter of getting used to albeit, the trackpad too, demands your obedience like the keyboard.
It’s small for gesture control, something that is equally a fun experience on Windows as on macOS. The quality is top-notch, we only wish it was bigger.
For a 2-in-1 laptop, the Latitude needs to convince us that it’s an entertainment package ready for office duties. The pro-office benefits come with its industrial design, great microphones, a healthy list of ports (including HDMI) and great battery life. On the flip side, you also have an awesome screen coupled with fantastic audio and 2-in-1 acrobatics to kick back and call it a day.
There’s plenty to love here, especially in the new normal and for people with deep pockets. It balances the best of both worlds, work and personal. The insides and the outsides match its premium mindset, the only thing left for you is to put down that steep asking price to take this home.