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CES 2017: Dell's Latitude 5285 2-in-1 is serious competition for Microsoft's Surface Pro

It's hard to tell the difference between Dell's new Latitude 5285 2-in-1 and the Microsoft Surface Pro. But there is one crucial difference.

Dell's Latitude 5285 2-in-1 is serious competition for Microsoft's Surface Pro

Dell Latitude 5285

If Dell's new Latitude 5285 2-in-1 seems familiar to you, that's because it is. It looks and sounds an awful lot like Microsoft's Surface Pro. But there is one crucial difference.

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The Latitude 5285 2-in-1 features a 12.3-inch, 3:2 aspect ratio display, comes with a 1TB SSD option, 16GB of RAM, and there's an option of seventh-generation Intel Core processors - just like the Surface Pro 4.

There's also a built-in kickstand, a soft keyboard, and stylus support. Again, just like the Surface Pro 4.

There is one place where the Latitude 5285 deviates away from the Surface Pro, and that is the display. Microsoft opted for a pricy high-resolution 2736 x 1824 panel, while Dell went gone for a more traditional - and cheaper - 1920 x 1080 option. It's an interesting corner for Dell to cut in order to scrape in some additional revenue.

On the connectivity front there are two USB Type-C ports, a single USB 3.0 port, one microSD card reader, a micro-SIM slot (in selected models), and a connector for a keyboard.

For business users optional security features for the Dell Latitude 5285 2-in-1 include an FIPS 201 Smartcard reader, touch Fingerprint reader, contactless SC Reader/NFC, Control Vault 2.0 Advanced Authentication with FIPS 140-2 Level 3 Certification, TPM2.0 FIPS 140-2 Certified, TCG Certified, as well as optional DellData Protection and Management Software such as Endpoint Security Suite Enterprise, Threat Defense, Protected Workspace, Secure Lifecycle, MozyPro, and MozyEnterprise.

The Latitude 5285 will go on sale February 28th with a price tag starting at $899. And therein lies a problem. There's no cost benefit to choosing the Latitude 5285 over the Surface Pro 4. Perhaps the company doesn't expect users to notice the difference, or perhaps it wants to appeal to a different crowd?

Either way, for anyone looking closely at the specs, they're probably going to favor Microsoft's offering.

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