Dell Latitude 7285 2-in-1 review

A great tablet experience is undermined by poor design choices

Display

So far the Latitude has been a machine of confusing design choices. Fortunately, its display is nothing short of excellent.

The Latitude comes with a 12.3in, 2,880 x 1920 screen, which is actually a slightly higher resolution than the Surface Pro. It's also built with Gorilla Glass for some added protection from scratches and drops and features super slim bezels around the front and sides of the display, which always produces a fantastic looking effect.

It's incredibly good when it comes to performance too. With an sRGB coverage of 97.8%, it rivals the excellent iPad Pro and exceeds the Surface Pro when it comes to colour production, while its 453cd/m2 maximum brightness means it can be used comfortably outdoors in all but the brightest sunshine. It also boasts an excellent contrast ratio of 1,455:1, offering deep blacks and bright whites.

Overall, it's a screen that's on par with, if not slightly better than, the displays found on the iPad Pro and Surface Pro, and by extension, most of the devices on the 2-in-1 market.

Hardware & performance

Our review unit came with a core i5-7Y57 clocked at 1.2GHz, with the option to boost to 1.6GHz, supported with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD - a fairly modest spec for a 1,300 machine. We've seen similar Y-series processors in recently reviewed ultrabooks, and while they offer lower power consumption than standard chips, we've yet to see the benefit.

The Latitude is no different. The i5-7Y57 produced an overall score of 32 in our benchmark tests, which is unsurprisingly slightly lower than 2-in-1s of the same price using standard processors, such as the Asus Transformer Pro. Unfortunately, that power efficiency doesn't translate into a longer battery life, achieving just 5 hours and 54 minutes in our battery tests. Normally, that would be pretty average for a device like this, but with a Y-series you'd want more from the battery.

The Asus Transformer Pro, for example, lasted almost as long as the Latitude in our tests, yet its i7-7500U processor produced a score of 39. Although both the Y and U series are designed for the slender frames of 2-in-1s and ultrabooks, the former just can't quite match the numbers of the latter.

Despite this, you're still getting a perfectly capable machine in the Latitude 7285. It's more than capable of handling word processing and multi-tab web browsing, but don't expect it to do much more than that.

In fact, when pushed, this machine will get incredibly hot. While running dual-screen mode across its USB-C connector, with five tabs open and Spotify running in the background, we recorded temperatures of 58 degrees on its frame. If the frame wasn't protected by a rubberised coating, it would likely be too hot to touch.

Verdict

The aesthetics of the Dell Latitude 7285 will be a deal breaker for many, as it's not the prettiest-looking machine on the market. However, if that was its only problem, you could look past some old-fashioned design choices.

Its biggest issue is it's simply outclassed by many similarly-priced rivals on the market. For the same price, you could get an i7 version of Microsoft's newest Surface Pro, with a keyboard thrown in, which offers one of the best 2-in-1 experiences on the market. If you're after something a little cheaper, for 300 less you can get an Asus Transformer Pro, which not only looks much nicer than the Latitude, but performs better too.

The Latitude is certainly robust, but in reality, it's not exactly a compelling selling point, and there are simply more attractive and better performing options on the market.

Verdict

While the Latitude offers a great tablet experience with one of the best screens available, it ultimately breaks the fundamental rule of 2-in-1s: it's simply too awkward and heavy to use as a complete package. At this price, there's simply more compelling alternatives on the market, that are not only prettier, but offer better value for money.

CPUIntel Core i5-7Y57 1.2GHz
RAM8GB
GPUIntel HD 615
Screen12.3in, 2,880 x 1,920, Gorilla Glass
Dimensions275 x 209 x 7mm, 0.7kg (1.35kg w/ keyboard)
PortsUSB Type C + Thunderbolt support x 2, SIM x1, SD card x1
Storage256GB SSD
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