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Dell Latitude 9510 review: Incredible mobility with a big screen

Designed with Intel's help, the 9510 is an engineering feat wrapped up in an unassuming slim, light and sturdy body made to get down to business anywhere at any time.

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Josh Goldman/CNET

The Dell Latitude 9510 is a rare business laptop that will be able to meet your work needs even if they change next week or a year from now. Maybe right now you're working from home and you want a laptop with lots of connections, good audio for crystal-clear conference calls, a larger display and seamless background updates to your email, calendar and notifications. But eventually you might also need a device made for mobility with the best possible battery life, great wireless that includes 4G or 5G mobile access and reliable performance that's the same whether or not it's plugged in. That's what you get with the Latitude 9510 -- a laptop for now and the future.

9.0

Dell Latitude 9510

Like

  • More than 25 hours of battery life
  • 15-inch display in a small, 3.5-pound package
  • Available as a laptop or 2-in-1

Don't Like

  • Features, build quality mean a high starting price

A complete mobile office

The Latitude 9510 was developed as part of Intel's Project Athena, a co-engineering program focused on innovations to help the most demanding users who need to be incredibly mobile. At the time Dell approached Intel about it, though, the program was focused on 13- and 14-inch laptops. Dell's goal was to give you the same mobility as those smaller models but with a 15-inch display. The result is a device you can use just about anywhere -- from your desk or couch to a park bench or airplane tray table -- without the constraints of a small screen. 

Dell Latitude 9510 2-in-1

Price as reviewed $2,749
Display size/resolution 15-inch 1,920x1,080-pixel touch display
Processor 1.1GHz Intel Core I7-10810U vPro
Memory 16GB LPDDR3 2,133MHz (dual channel)
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics
Storage 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD
Ports 2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), USB-A (3.2 Gen 1), HDMI 2.0 out, audio/mic jack, microSD card slot, optional SmartCard reader
Networking Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 2x2 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1
Operating system Windows 10 Pro
Weight 3.5 pounds (1.6kg)

However, Dell also wanted the 9510 to be a complete premium experience, akin to its XPS notebook line but with features designed to appeal to business users. It was actually announced alongside the updated XPS 13 at CES 2020. That premium experience comes with an equally premium price. Available as a traditional clamshell or as a two-in-one like I tested, the pricing starts at $1,849 but was $2,749 for my configuration. It starts at £1,252 in the UK and AU$3,385 in Australia. While that is expensive compared with a consumer laptop, business laptops like the 9510 are built to handle rougher treatment while also being serviceable by your IT department. 

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There are a bunch of other little things that locate the Latitude 9510 a step ahead. It has a fingerprint sensor in the power button for secure sign-ins. But it also has an IR camera for signing in with facial recognition and a proximity sensor so it knows when you leave your computer and automatically locks it and then unlocks it when you return. 

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Dell rerouted antennas and wiring so the base of the 9510 could be used for a clamshell laptop as well as a two-in-one.  

Josh Goldman/CNET

Then there's Dell's Optimizer software, which learns to adjust performance and battery based on your usage habits. It starts to pick up on your patterns after as little as an hour, but once you work with it for a few weeks, it learns how you use your apps and will keep the performance of your five most-used apps the snappiest. It also learns when you're usually plugged in and for how long, to help with power management. 

Battery life is amazing: It ran for more than 25 hours in our video streaming test. More importantly, though, I can work an entire day on it, shut it down and come back the next day and start working again without worrying about charging in between. It charges quickly, too, through USB-C ports (both of which are on the left side). It wakes instantly when I lift the lid and, with facial recognition, it unlocks, the Wi-Fi connects and I'm ready to work in seconds.  

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Both the keyboard and touchpad are excellent on the 9510, and the two-in-one's display is pen-enabled (although the pen isn't included).

Josh Goldman/CNET

Because battery life and consistent performance were the priority when designing the 9510, Dell doesn't offer discrete graphics or a UHD-resolution display. The components you do get are by no means disappointing when it comes to performance, though. Plus, with Intel's vPro platform, the 9510 gives IT departments better tools for all the security and remote management that's now even more necessary with the increased remote workforce. 

Basically, if you're willing and able to pay for the Dell Latitude 9510 (or your company is), you'll be rewarded with a top-flight work experience. It's a great fit if you're working from home right now, but still small enough and light enough to be a travel companion down the road.