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Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 review: A stealthy 2-in-1 that keeps prying eyes out

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Dell's 13.3-inch Latitude 7390 2-in-1 combines all the stuff we liked about its consumer counterpart, the XPS 13 2-in-1, with fresh components along with the privacy and data protection options business users need -- all in a simple, small black body. 

8.0

Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1

The Good

The Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 puts a lot data protection features into an unassuming pen-enabled convertible design that's available in a variety of configurations to meet your work and budget needs. Battery life is excellent at more than 10 hours and it can be powered with an external battery pack via its Thunderbolt 3 port.

The Bad

Data protection hardware along with Dell's software and services quickly ratchet the price up. It seems slightly heavy for its size and its keyboard is on the small side.

The Bottom Line

If your primary concern is keeping your data private at all costs while you're in the office or on the road, the Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 has you covered.

Pricing starts at $1,149 for a barebones configuration, but it can easily break the $2,000 mark with all that Dell offers for it. For example, the one reviewed here came to $2,108 and there were still hardware and software options left to tack on. In the UK, the price starts at £1,359 with a similar configuration to ours running £1,899. Australian pricing starts AU$3,923, but will cost you $4,763 for the one reviewed here

Like the XPS 13 2-in-1, you can get the Latitude 7390 with both an IR camera for facial recognition and a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello sign-ins. But, since this is aimed at business users who might need even greater system protection, the 7390 also has a Smart Card reader in the side as well as a contactless NFC Smart Card reader in the body. On top of that, Dell has a bunch of optional threat protection services for malware, viruses, spyware and ransomware as well as options for backup and encryption.   

The 7390 is built tougher than Dell's consumer laptops, too, so you don't have to worry as much about it getting banged around. And if you spend more time in coffee shops and airports than an office, you can pop in a micro-SIM card for an always-on mobile broadband connection and stay off public Wi-Fi hotspots. Basically, the Latitude 7390 might borrow its design from the XPS 13 2-in-1, but the rest is a premium business PC. 

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Dressed in black, the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 is not office casual. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1

Price as reviewed $2,108
Display size/resolution 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 touch display
PC CPU 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-8650U
PC Memory 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz
Graphics 128MB dedicated Intel UHD Graphics 620
Storage 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Networking 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.2
Operating system Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)

Protection and productivity

Setting all the hardware, software and services Dell offers to keep the 7390 private and secure aside, it's a generally excellent two-in-one. It's all black and covered in a soft-touch texture that adds some grip for carrying around the office, but picks up fingerprints nearly as much as a glossy plastic would. At 3.1 pounds (1.4 kg), the system feels weighty for its small frame, though it does give it an air of sturdiness and reliability you really want in a business laptop.

Dell does make these to survive minor drops, vibration, humidity and dust, but if you're concerned about staying up and running, you can get its ProSupport Plus service -- for an additional cost, of course -- that covers you for accidental damage in addition to other support services. 

The extra heft does make it a bit heavy to use as a tablet and, unlike Lenovo's X1 Yoga, the keyboard doesn't retract into the body. With the configuration I tested, Dell includes an active pen for drawing and writing on the screen. It can't be stored in the chassis, but there are magnets on the left side to secure it well enough. 

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Strong magnets help keep the 7390's pen close by. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Even if you never use it as a full tablet, having the two-in-one design makes sense for professionals, letting you switch easily from creating presentations to giving them. Or if you just want to relax and watch a movie on a long flight, you can get the keyboard out of the way and focus on the nice, bright full-HD display. 

When you're not traveling and want to dock it at your desk, the 7390 has you covered with ports both old and new. While it has two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 optional, you'll also find two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI 1.4 output, a combo headset jack and a microSD card slot. The USB-C port is used for charging and works with the company's Hybrid Adapter + Power Bank, which can be used for powering the laptop off an outlet or its 12,800 mAh battery. 

Overall, I really like the design with maybe the exception of the keyboard which just felt small. Fast typists might need to slow down some for the sake of accuracy, at least until you adjust to the size. The touchpad is just fine, though, and has discrete mouse buttons instead of a big single clickpad. 

Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1

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You get back what you put in

Performance on my 7390 was excellent, but it was also loaded with the higher-end components Dell offers: 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-8650U vPro processor, 16GB of 2,133MHz RAM and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD. The base model, on the other hand, is decidedly low-end with an older seventh-gen Core i3 CPU, slower 4GB of 1,866MHz memory and 128GB SATA SSD. For day-to-day office chores like email and word processing, that entry-level config will be enough. However, you might find yourself slogging through any intensive tasks -- anything from working in large databases or spreadsheets to creating multimedia presentations -- and cursing not going with more memory, a faster processor or SSD. 

The same goes for your battery, too. The base model has a 45Whr three-cell battery while the one I reviewed has a 60Whr four-cell battery. The larger pack ran for 10 hours and 22 minutes on CNET's video streaming battery rundown test. It should be enough to get you through a day of work, but if you start to run low, the battery does support fast charging that will take its battery to more than 80 percent in an hour. 

Business you won't mind

As office systems go, the Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 is no clunker, giving you the flexibility and potential performance of a higher-end consumer PC with the durability and security options you'd expect in a modern business laptop. If your primary concern is keeping your data private at all costs while you're in the office or on the road, this should have you covered. But if your IT department offers you one, make sure you get something better than the base model. 

Geekbench 4 Multi-Core

HP EliteBook 1040 G4 (2017) 14120Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 12822HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, 2017) 12005HP EliteBook x360 1020 G2 8788Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2017) 7014
Notes: Longer bars indicate better performance

Cinebench R15 Multi-Core

HP EliteBook 1040 G4 (2017) 650Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 522HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, 2017) 464HP EliteBook x360 1020 G2 353
Notes: Longer bars indicate better performance

Online Streaming Battery Drain test (in minutes)

HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, 2017) 799Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 622HP EliteBook 1040 G4 (2017) 536Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2017) 536HP EliteBook x360 1020 G2 459
Notes: Longer bars indicate better performance

System Configurations

Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-8650U; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel UHD Graphics 620; 512GB SSD
HP EliteBook x360 1020 G2 Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7600U; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 620; 512GB SSD
HP EliteBook 1040 G4 (2017) Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 2.9GHz Intel Core i7-7820HQ; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 630; 512GB SSD
HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, 2017) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel UHD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2017) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.3GHz Intel Core i5-7Y75; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 615; 256GB SSD
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Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Performance 8Battery 8