Dell Lat­i­tude 5290

The 2-in-1 that might re­place your busi­ness lap­top... if you can af­ford it.

APC Australia - - Contents -

Now that 2018 is go­ing to be an­other year with­out a new Sur­face Pro, Mi­crosoft’s com­peti­tors are putting out new top-of-the-line 2-in-1s with the idea of mak­ing 2018 their year in­stead. En­ter the Dell Lat­i­tude 5290 lap­top, a de­tach­able de­vice that the Texas man­u­fac­turer hopes will cap­ture some of that 2-in-1 ter­ri­tory.

The Lat­i­tude fol­lows the typ­i­cal tem­plate: it has a de­ploy­able kick­stand, so the tablet por­tion can stand on its own, along with a mag­ne­tised type cover for easy tablet/lap­top con­ver­sion, and an ex­tralarge bezel and tac­tile rear panel for easy grip­ping.

That said, the Lat­i­tude 5290 does bring some wel­come wrin­kles to the 2-in-1 blue­print. It has a nifty take on the kick­stand — the leg auto-de­ploys by hold­ing the tablet at a 90° an­gle and press­ing it into a flat sur­face. Fur­ther­more, the kick­stand flexes a full 150°, al­low­ing for cus­tom view­ing an­gles and easy ac­cess to the mi­cro-SIM and mi­croSD card slots, which are dis­creetly lo­cated around the back. It also boasts a No­ble Wedge lock, smart card reader, NFC and a pair of Dis­playPort over USB-C con­nec­tors. A mag­net on the right side se­cures the Dell Ac­tive Pen (sold sep­a­rately for $69) to the tablet, al­though the mag­net isn’t strong enough to sur­vive a medium bump, so we rec­om­mend teth­er­ing the old-fash­ioned way.

Un­for­tu­nately, the 5290 also suf­fers from some of the same flaws in­her­ent in all de­tach­able de­vices. Non-flat sur­faces will send your Lat­i­tude top­pling un­less it stays per­fectly still. The screen is also a finger­print mag­net, de­spite the pres­ence of anti-smudge tech­nol­ogy.

The Lat­i­tude’s 8th-gen In­tel Core i5 pro­ces­sor helps it achieve ex­cel­lent scores in our bench­mark tests. Less ex­cit­ing is its 8GB of DDR3 mem­ory — that’s only just enough — but the 256GB of PCIe NVMe stor­age is a solid amount of ca­pac­ity and it’s a quiet and fast drive.

With in­te­grated graph­ics, the Lat­i­tude isn’t try­ing to court the gamer crowd. It’s a work­horse: it gal­loped through our bench­marks. It gets top marks for its vi­brant dis­play, too. The screen’s sharp con­trast and great view­ing an­gles are real eye-savers.

How­ever, there are a few ar­eas where the 5290 fails to make the grade. Its bat­tery only lasted 2 hours, 49 min­utes. Dell sug­gests in­vest­ing in its Power Bank Plus ($214) to ex­tend the longevity away from power.

The Lat­i­tude’s key­board is not as dys­func­tional as the bat­tery, but its small keys and shal­low lev­els of travel make long typ­ing ses­sions dif­fi­cult. The touch­pad and touch­screen, by con­trast, are in­tu­itive and pre­cise.

Even as de­tach­able 2-in-1s go, the Lat­i­tude 5290 isn’t cheap. But Dell’s the­ory is that your busi­ness will pick up the tab be­cause of this lap­top’s great value. In terms of per­for­mance and pro­fes­sion­al­ism — a chintzy de­vice it most cer­tainly isn’t — the Lat­i­tude de­liv­ers.

But is it com­fort­able to use? The key­board is shal­low, and its coolest fea­ture — the de­tach­a­bil­ity of the tablet — makes it un­wieldy to use on non-flat sur­faces. The Lat­i­tude isn’t un­com­fort­able to use, then, but it could be more lap-friendly.

Any­one should con­sider the Lat­i­tude 5290. Even if it doesn’t re­place a tra­di­tional lap­top, it’s ideal for life on the road.

2-IN-1 FROM $3,696 | WWW.DELL.COM/EN-AU

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