Laptops

Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 Review: The complete business laptop

Yet another great business laptop from Dell

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It’s not every day that I get to review devices designed for business. If you haven’t noticed, there are laptops meant for average consumers while others are for enterprise. What I have here is part of the Latitude lineup from Dell, which is basically their business-oriented series.

I’ve always loved using a ThinkPad (when it was still under IBM) back in the day when bulky and heavy laptops were a common sight, and the Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 kinda gives off the same vibe but with a modern kick, of course. Since the name already implies it, this business laptop has a 360-degree display hinge. That means it can all do the usual modes we’ve seen on other 2-in-1s in the market.

Right off the bat, the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 is not the most interesting laptop you’ll see. Let me run you through the physical aspects of the laptop starting with the display.

This 2-in-1 laptop has a 13.3-inch IPS screen with a 1080p resolution, multitouch input, and Active Pen support. According to Dell’s specs sheets, it’s got Gorilla Glass 4 which explains why the display feels so smooth when I use it as a touchscreen, yet it’s tough and scratch-resistant.

You can also see that it has pretty slim side bezels — a trend not only found on smartphones. The top and bottom portions of the display are about the same size as with most regular laptops, which means you get a webcam that’s in a proper position. The extra bezel real estate also acts as resting place for your thumb when using the 2-in-1 in tablet mode.

As for the ports, the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 has plenty! This is what I love about business laptops, they don’t compromise ports and they stay away (as much as possible) from dongles. On the left side, we have two USB 3.1 Type-C ports (with DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 3 support), a full-size HDMI 1.4, and a USB 3.1 Gen 1.

To the right is another USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, a microSD card reader, 3.5mm combo jack, and a Noble Wedge Lock slot. The power button and volume rocker are also on the right side, making them accessible even if the laptop is positioned differently. There’s also a SIM card slot in select models (like mine) if you want to put a data SIM for LTE connectivity.

For a modern and sleek laptop, the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 has a plethora of ports. It’s not that bulky either and I find its size to be just right for my lap. Most ultra-portable notebooks I’ve used lately only have a couple of USB-Cs, so having full-size ports brings back the convenience I missed. No dongles, no adapters.

Another business-like trait of this laptop is its keyboard. If you’re already accustomed to short-travel keys, typing on the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 is a breath of fresh air. It’s not as great as I’d like it to be because it’s a bit on the mushy side; I want a more positive response when typing like what I get from mechanical keyboards, but without the clicky noise. Having said all that, the keyboard is still a joy to type on.

The trackpad, on the other hand, is so-so. It’s a two-button touchpad using Windows Precision Drivers with a smooth yet textured surface. I definitely prefer glass touchpads, but this ain’t bad either.

The overall color of the device is black which makes the laptop look stealthy yet appealing. Even my colleagues prefer the look of the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 over some of the other laptops we’ve reviewed. But, as the one who used the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 as a daily computer for three weeks now, there’s more to the looks of it.

Built from magnesium and coated with soft-touch matte black paint, the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 feels solid and sturdy. The matte coating certainly helps with the grip and overall feel of the laptop. There’s no creaking and I never had an issue with the display’s hinge — no wobbling whatsoever. Perhaps, the only gripe I have about having an extra firm hinge is not being able to open the laptop with one finger.

A business-minded design is not necessarily blunt

When we went to Taipei for Computex 2018, the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 was my daily driver, and I was thankful for having it with me. The particular model I have has an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 with 8GB of memory and 256GB SSD. That’s more than enough to keep the laptop from slowing down when I have multiple programs open.

I’m not exactly a heavy-user of laptops since my work is mostly done online, but imagine having Google Chrome with multiple tabs opened and pinned at the same time. I didn’t have to worry about lags and I never had a single issue in performance.

Above is a photo of me remotely working on a bench in one of the spacious streets around Taipei. This is a typical scenario where I have to pull out my laptop and get some quick work done while roaming around. This is when I noticed that the display’s maximum brightness is not enough to battle the sun but if it’s cloudy, the anti-reflective coating of the display (Dell’s claim there is) helps with the visibility of the screen’s content.

Since it’s a 2-in-1, I have to take advantage of the 360-degree hinge. For business, setting the laptop in stand mode (pictured above) puts it in an ideal position for presentations. Or, if you’re like me, you can use it to binge-watch shows on Netflix and enjoy GadgetMatch videos on YouTube.

Before I used the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 as my main laptop, I had been using an ultra-portable notebook and a tablet convertible. The limitations of the two, especially with the ports, were a deal-breaker for me. Maybe that’s why I love using the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 — it has all the ports I need plus I can rely on its robust (but not bulky) body.

It can last the whole day

To be honest, I’d recommend the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 to anyone looking for a laptop that can last on the road. With its built-in 60Whr battery, I can work and play on the laptop for almost 10 hours before it automatically puts itself to sleep. When it’s time to plug it in, the included 60W charger fills up the laptop in just an hour and 45 minutes.

Did I already mention that the laptop charges through USB-C? This means you can use your laptop’s charger for your phone, so you’ll need to bring only one charger for all your USB-C devices.

Charging via USB-C doesn’t only simplify things, it also brings new possibilities. Throughout my usage of the Latitude 7390 2-in-1, I seldom brought its charger. Instead, I carried a pretty big power bank that’s capable of charging laptops through USB-C ports.

If you think power banks are just for smartphones, you’re mistaken. Dell also sells a power bank called Notebook Power Bank Plus with a high 65W power delivery, so it’s capable of charging laptops including the new MacBooks.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Obviously, it’s my GadgetMatch, but my needs and preferences are not the same as yours. If you’re looking for a laptop that complements office lifestyle, the Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 will surely be a perfect companion priced at PhP 76,000 for this configuration in the Philippines.

Even if you want a laptop you can use every day that doesn’t limit your productivity, the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 is still a great choice. This isn’t a multimedia or gaming laptop, but light gaming and common editing software (e.g. Adobe Photoshop and Premiere) will work fine.

SEE ALSO: HP Spectre X2 Review: Form over function?

Laptops

MacBooks move on from traditional keyboard and USB ports

Time to embrace the newer MacBooks

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It’s time to let go of the past, I suppose.

With the release of new MacBook Pro models, the MacBook Pro of 2015 has effectively been discontinued by Apple.

Why is this such a big deal? If you’ve been following Apple’s yearly refresh of its laptop line, you’d know that they’ve gradually let go of full-size USB ports and longer-travel keyboards in favor of slimmer designs.

This means the MacBook Pro that was released in 2015 is the last model to feature these legacy features.

In effect, if you’re going to buy a new MacBook Pro, you’ll have to embrace the dongle life, because your usual flash drives, external hard disks, and SD cards won’t fit into the USB-C-only ports of the newer models.

Of course, there are numerous accessories that simplify the need for dongles, but they’re still not as convenient as the slots that came built into MacBooks of old, including SD card readers, ports for USB-A, HDMI, and Thunderbolt, as well as the much-loved MagSafe power connector.

9to5Mac points out that Apple is still selling some 15-inch 2015 MacBooks in clearance sales for those who can’t let go just yet. Models from 2016 onward already have the updated design.

On the bright side, this year’s MacBooks are worth looking into. Not only do they come with the latest Intel Core processors and generous helpings of memory and storage, there are also improvements in the butterfly keyboard and signature Touch Bar.

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Laptops

Apple updates MacBook Pro line with new processors, quieter keyboard

They also get more expensive

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Image credit: Apple

Apple has updated the MacBook Pro line with newer processors, more configuration options, a quieter keyboard design, and True Tone displays. Although, only the top-tier variants or those with Touch Bar get the latest features.

The new MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar now feature eight-generation Intel Core processors, with the 15-inch variant getting the more impressive bump. It’ll have six-core Intel Core i7 or Core i9 options with up to 32GB DDR4 memory and 4TB SSD for storage. Discrete graphics still draw power from Radeon Pro with 4GB of memory.

Image credit: Apple

As for the 13-inch variant, it gets new quad-core Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processors paired with Intel Iris 655 integrated graphics. Storage can be configured up to a 2TB SSD.

Both the 13- and 15-inch variants also receive an Apple T2 chip which brings enhanced system security and “Hey, Siri” voice-command support. Both the Retina Display and Touch Bar now have True Tone technology that allows the screen to change color temperature automatically. The third-generation butterfly keyboard is also quieter, but it still has less travel than the older MacBook Pro models.

Image credit: Apple

In addition, Apple is releasing official leather sleeves for the MacBook Pro lineup similar to the 12-inch MacBook last year. The sleeves will come in black, brown, and dark blue.

A fully specced-out 15-inch Touch Bar model is priced at US$ 6,699, but the base model remains at US$ 2,399. Pricing for the 13-inch Touch Bar model still starts at US$ 1,799. The new MacBook Pro models are now available through the Apple website and in select retail stores and authorized resellers next week.

SEE ALSO: Apple’s cheaper 2018 iPhone X will come in a variety of colors

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Gaming

Dell G7 and G3 gaming laptops launch in Singapore

Dell steps up its gaming series

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The newest gaming laptops of Dell, specifically the Dell G3 and Dell G7, are reaching more consumers with another Southeast Asian launch shortly after its formal announcement in the Philippines.

Both Dell G-series notebooks officially launched in Singapore. They feature 15-inch IPS displays packed in a gaming-forward chassis. The new laptops are powered by eight-generation Intel Core processors with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10-series graphics.

The Dell G3 is the company’s thinnest gaming laptop to date with a slim 22.7mm profile for gaming on the go. It comes with SmartByte software that prioritizes gaming and video performance over Wi-Fi networks. It’ll be available in three color options: Licorice Black, Recon Blue, and Alpine White.

Dell G7 in Alpine White

The Dell G7 is a more powerful option and has a distinct design compared to other gaming notebooks in the market. It features a GeForce GTX 1060 with Max-Q design and 6GB of DDR5 memory. It even has an option for an eight-generation Intel Core i9 processor and a UHD display if you want to have the best-possible configuration. The Dell G7 is available in either Licorice Black or Alpine White.

As for pricing, the Dell G3 (15-inch) starts at SG$ 1,199 while the Dell G7 (15-inch) is from SG$ 1,699. Both G-series gaming laptops are now available through Dell stores and authorized partners in Singapore.

SEE ALSO: Dell’s new laptops offer a lot of customization for office work

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