Dell Latitude 13 7370 review: A high-quality business ultrabook

dell-lat-13-7370-main.jpg
  • Editors' rating
    8.0 Excellent

Pros

  • Small and light
  • Solid construction
  • Good battery life
  • Two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Edge-to-edge 13.3-inch screen
  • Mobile broadband option

Cons

  • Expensive (especially the touchscreen model)
  • Only one USB 3.0 slot
  • Awkwardly located webcam

Dell's Latitude 13 7000 Series has undergone a complete refresh (as have the 3000 and 5000 Series), bringing some design cues from the popular consumer-focused XPS series to the business range, according to Dell. This has resulted in slimmer and sleeker Latitude devices.

In fact, Dell claims that the Latitude 13 7000 series is "the world's smallest business-class ultrabook". Our review model, the Latitude 13 7370, has a starting price of £1,367 (ex. VAT) rising to £1,641 (ex. VAT), so it isn't cheap. But does it deliver?

It's certainly a good-looking 13.3-inch ultrabook. Slate-grey on the top and black on the bottom, its minimalist appearance should sit well in the office. It's also thin and light, with a footprint of 304.8 by 210.5mm -- barely greater than a sheet of A4 paper -- and 14.32mm thick at the back edge. There's a slight taper, so the front thickness is about 10mm. You'll barely notice the laptop's 1.12kg weight in a travel bag.

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Carbon fibre is used in the chassis and lid for the more expensive variants of the Latitude 13 7370.

Image: Dell

The chassis materials include carbon fibre -- brought across from the XPS line. This is also used to form the lid in our £1,455 (ex. VAT) review model, and it's exceptionally tough. We had to work pretty hard to flex it at all -- it's probably one of the most solid constructions we've come across outside the rugged category.

Check the specifications carefully, though, because carbon fibre isn't standard across all models. The two less expensive of the four preconfigured options available from Dell's UK website use aluminium for the lid, and you can't upgrade this. All other things being equal, we'd go for the carbon fibre option every time.

The black base has a soft-touch coating that helps with grip when toting the laptop between meetings. Long rubber feet run almost all the way along the base and help to anchor it to a table.

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Inside, the pleasant surprises continue. The area around the keyboard is soft-touch black rather than cold, shiny metal, making it comfortable to rest the hands on. That said, we did find this surface a little more attractive to dust than other finishes.

The backlit keyboard is a little cramped -- you can't really expect anything else in such a small laptop, and the keys themselves are mostly a good size. Our main gripe is that the double-height Enter key is very narrow -- we kept missing it at first. The keys have a fairly large amount of travel and a slightly 'clacky' feel to them.

The touchpad is a decent size and very responsive, and it's nice to see real buttons sitting beneath it rather than the much more usual embedded buttons. Like the keyboard keys, these have plenty of travel and are nice and wide, making them an easy target.

dell-lat-13-7370-screen.jpg

The Latitude 13 7370's 13.3-inch Infinity Edge display has FHD (166ppi) resolution, except for the top-end touchscreen variant, which delivers 3,200 by 1,800 pixels (276ppi). Note the webcam location in the bottom left corner of the screen.

Image: Dell

The screen is superb. Its edge-to-edge design -- which Dell calls InfinityEdge -- is something XPS owners will be familiar with. This design feature allows Dell to squeeze a 13.3-inch screen into an overall chassis size that, the company points out, you'd more usually associate with a 12-inch laptop. The bezels measure just 5mm at the sides, and 7mm at the top.

Of the five preconfigured models available at the Dell UK website, all but the most expensive have a 1,920 by 1,080 pixel resolution (166ppi). The top-end model offers 3,200 by 1,800 pixels (276ppi), and is also the only one with touch support. Our review unit had the lower-resolution, non-touch display.

The display looks stunning in its narrow bezel. If you're not used to edge-to-edge screens, it's difficult to explain quite how much difference they make to the working experience. Viewing angles are very good too, and the matte finish makes this a great laptop for use where light reflection may be an issue.

This is not a convertible laptop: you can push screen back to lie flat on a table, but it's likely to be used primarily in old-fashioned laptop mode.

The narrow top bezel means there's no room for a webcam above the screen, so Dell has put it in the bottom left corner. This isn't quite as convenient a location as the traditional position: the screen needs to be tilted a little further back than with a top-mounted webcam to set the camera at a good angle, and there's a tendency to stare at the screen rather than the camera which makes video calls seem a little awkward and lopsided.

There's a fingerprint reader on the wrist rest as well a touch point for a contactless card reader. This is in addition to TPM and a range of Dell security features.

The five iterations of the Latitude 13 7370 offer either Windows 10 Pro or Windows 7 Pro. Dell has opted for Core M 6th Generation Intel (Skylake) processors throughout. Those with particularly demanding workloads may take a sideways glance at this choice, but we didn't encounter any serious performance issues during the review period. For comparison, here are the headline features of the five preconfigured versions of this laptop:

  • Intel Core m5-6Y57 1.10 GHz, Windows 10 Pro, 1,920 x 1,080, Intel HD Graphics 515, 8GB RAM, aluminium cover, 128GB SSD.
    £1,367 (ex. VAT)
  • Intel Core m5-6Y54 1.10 GHz, Windows 10 Pro, 1,920 x 1,080, Intel HD Graphics 515, 8GB RAM, aluminium cover, 128GB SSD.
    £1,369 (ex. VAT)
  • Intel Core m5-6Y57 1.10 GHz, Windows 10 Pro, 1,920 x 1,080, Intel HD Graphics 515, 8GB RAM, aluminium cover, 256GB SSD.
    £1,447 (ex. VAT)
  • Intel Core m7-6Y57 1.10 GHz, Windows 10 Pro, 1,920 x 1,080, Intel HD Graphics 515, 8GB RAM, carbon fibre cover, 256GB SSD.
    £1,455 (ex. VAT)
  • Intel Core m5-6Y75 1.20 GHz, Windows 10 Pro, 3,200 x 1,800, Intel HD Graphics 515, 8GB RAM, carbon fibre cover, 256GB SSD.
    £1,641 (ex. VAT)

Dell has taken care to provide the latest connectivity options. The right edge has a full size USB 3.0 port, a headset jack and a MicroSD card reader, while the left edge has a pair of USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports and a Micro-HDMI port. There's also a Micro-SIM card slot for optional mobile broadband and a smartcard reader on the left side.

The stereo speakers, on the bottom of the chassis towards the front, deliver rather harsh, treble-rich sound at maximum volume. But even at 50 percent there's enough volume to deliver presentations to a small room, and the audio quality is better at this level.

Dell doesn't quote battery life, but having used the Latitude 13 7370 for five hours off a full charge -- with wi-fi on all the time, some streaming and some writing -- we still had 65 percent of the 4-cell, 34Wh battery remaining. This laptop should keep you going through a day away from mains power.

Conclusion

If money is not a concern and you're looking for a capable small-format business laptop, Dell's Latitude 13 7370 could fit the bill nicely. Good battery life, a non-reflective screen that's relatively large for the overall size and weight of the chassis, optional mobile broadband, and even a touchscreen option if you can afford it, are all attractive features.

It's a pity the webcam is awkwardly positioned, and that there's only one USB 3.0 port, but with two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports and Micro-HDMI there are plenty of alternative ways of hooking into peripherals.

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