The Dell Latitude 7410 (starts at $1,579; $2,189 as tested) boasts a redesigned chassis and the company’s first low-power, low-blue-light display. The new design isn’t a huge departure from the look of last year’s Dell Latitude 7400, but the chassis is a bit more compact because Dell narrowed the bottom bezel. Inside the four razor-thin bezels of our test unit is Dell’s optional 14-inch, 4K display. It looks gorgeous while still allowing the battery to last for an entire workday. While the aluminum enclosure is rugged and ready to take the abuses of daily business, the system is quite a bit heavier than the 14-inch Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7, our current Editors’ Choice pick for a business ultraportable. The Latitude 7410 is also more expensive than a similarly equipped ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7, making it all the easier for the Carbon to retain its crown as the laptop of choice for the business set.
The Latitude 7410 line starts at $1,579 for a system with a 10th Generation Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, an utterly skimpy 128GB solid-state drive, and a 14-inch FHD screen. Our $2,189 test system sits near the top of the line with an Intel Core i7-10610U processor, 16GB of memory, a 512GB SSD, and the 4K resolution display. There are also 2-in-1 convertibles in the Latitude 7410 series, but our test system is a standard clamshell with a display that can rotate 180 degrees. That’s the most adjustment you can get from a conventional laptop, but only half the flexibility you would need to rotate fully into tablet mode.
Dell trimmed down the Latitude 7410 by narrowing the bottom bezel. Now it’s no wider than the top bezel, while both side bezels remain wafer thin. At 0.7 by 12.7 by 8.2 inches, the Latitude 7410 shares the same dimensions as the Latitude 7400 but is 0.2 inch trimmer from front to back. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7 is deeper still, at 8.6 inches from front to back, but also thinner (0.59 inch) and lighter at 2.4 pounds.
The all-aluminum Latitude 7410 is rugged—passing MIL-STD 810G tests for shock, vibration, extreme temperatures, and other environmental hazards—but heavy for a 14-inch laptop at 3.1 pounds.
One model of the Latitude 7400 we looked at last year had Dell’s SafeScreen privacy feature, which narrows the viewing angle of the display to prevent nosy seatmates from seeing what you’re working on. SafeScreen is offered on some Latitude 7410 models, but our test system offers some different new screen tech—a crisp 4K display that was not offered on last year’s models.
Not surprisingly, images look incredibly sharp on this new panel, and the display also exhibits accurate colors. It’s not the brightest display for use in the field, but it has enough brightness for office work, and the Gorilla Glass covering not only protects the panel but does a fantastic job of fighting glare and reflections.
There’s more to like about the screen than its high pixel count. It’s a low-blue-light display that is intended to be easier on your eyes during long work sessions, and also a low-power panel. Usually 4K resolution has a severely adverse effect on battery life, but now you can have both clarity and unplugged life.
Thunderbolt 3, by Two
The Latitude’s tank-like construction creates a rigid surface for typing, with none of the flex that plagues flimsier chassis. I was immediately comfortable typing; the keys have a soft feel and are very quiet when pressed, though I would have liked a snappier response even if it meant I’d create more of a racket when typing. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon offers that snappy feel and remains the laptop keyboard champion—to my fingertips, at least.
Dell dropped the two mouse buttons from last year’s model and integrated them into the now larger touchpad. The pad felt roomy and accurate for mousing but a bit mushy when clicked. The front edge of the touchpad lets you click but sits a bit too low, creating a slightly uncomfortable lip against the keyboard deck. And it offers a bit too much travel for my taste, resulting in clicks that feel a half-step slow.
Dell has doubled the number of Thunderbolt 3 ports from last year’s model to two in the Latitude 7410. They sit on the left edge along with a full-size HDMI 2.0 port and a microSD card slot. Both Thunderbolt 3 ports offer charging for handheld devices, and the rear one is also the laptop’s own charging port.
On the right edge, you’ll find an audio jack, a security-cable lock slot, and a pair of USB 3.2 Type-A ports, one of which offers device charging. No Ethernet port, though; you’ll need to use a third-party USB-to-Ethernet adapter or Dell’s own DA-300 mini dock ($74.99), which adds Ethernet, HDMI, USB-C, USB-A, VGA, and DisplayPort.
The Latitude 7410 series has a number of secure login options, including a fingerprint reader integrated into the power button and facial recognition by way of an IR webcam. Our test system featured the latter, and it was easy to set up and use. The Latitude 7410 quickly recognized my mug and unlocked. And when I strayed from the laptop, it sensed my absence and locked the system.
The 720p webcam suffices for Zoom calls. Its image was fairly free of noise but tended toward the warm end of the color spectrum, resulting in reddish skin tones. The system’s stereo speakers provide enough audio oomph for videoconferences and watching Netflix and YouTube, but satisfactory music playback requires headphones or an external speaker. When not in use, you can flip a shutter to cover the webcam for privacy and peace of mind.
A Solid, But Not Spectacular, Performer
Our Dell Latitude 7410 test system features the 10th Gen, quad-core Intel Core i7-10610U CPU and 16GB of RAM. This tandem provides ample power for the majority of business users, and the processor features Intel’s vPro technology, which lets your office manage systems remotely even when they aren’t connected to your network.
The benchmark results, however, show the Latitude 7410 doesn’t offer much of a performance edge compared to business laptops with previous-generation Intel silicon. For comparison, I picked three business laptops with 8th Generation chips—last year’s Latitude 7400, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7, and the Lenovo ThinkPad T490. Rounding out the performance charts is the new 13.5-inch Acer Swift 3, which features a 10th Gen “Ice Lake” Core i7 and integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics.
Productivity, Storage, and Media Tests
PCMark 10 and 8 are holistic performance suites developed by the PC benchmark specialists at UL (formerly Futuremark). The PCMark 10 test we run simulates different real-world productivity and content-creation workflows. We use it to assess overall system performance for office-centric tasks such as word processing, spreadsheeting, Web browsing, and videoconferencing. PCMark 8, meanwhile, has a storage subtest that we use to assess the speed of the system’s boot drive. Both tests yield a proprietary numeric score; higher numbers are better.
The Latitude 7410 failed to clear the 4,000-point hurdle that we consider excellent for PCMark 10, something the Acer Swift 3 and last year’s Latitude 7400 were able to do. The ThinkPad T490 and its eighth-gen Core i7 chip also edged the 7410, and the X1 Carbon and its eighth-gen Core i5 were only 21 points lower. I would have expected the Latitude 7410 to finish higher. All five systems’ solid-state drives blazed through PCMark 8’s storage test.
Next is Maxon’s CPU-crunching Cinebench R15 test, which is fully threaded to make use of all available processor cores and threads. Cinebench stresses the CPU rather than the GPU to render a complex image. The result is a proprietary score indicating a PC’s suitability for processor-intensive workloads.
The Latitude 7410 finished in the middle of the pack on Cinebench. Surprisingly, the Acer Swift 3 finished last while the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7—the only Core i5-based system—took top honors.
Cinebench is often a good predictor of our Handbrake video-editing trial, another tough, threaded workout that’s highly CPU-dependent and scales well with cores and threads. In it, we put a stopwatch on test systems as they transcode a standard 12-minute clip of 4K video (the open source Blender demo movie Tears of Steel) to a 1080p MP4 file. It’s a timed test, and lower results are better.
Last year’s Latitude finished ahead of this year’s version as well as the rest of the systems, which were four or five minutes behind its pace. The Latitude 7410 finished a minute faster than the ThinkPad T490.
We also run a custom Adobe Photoshop image-editing benchmark. Using an early 2018 release of the Creative Cloud version of Photoshop, we apply a series of 10 complex filters and effects to a standard JPEG test image. We time each operation and add up the total. As with Handbrake, lower times are better here. The Photoshop test stresses the CPU, storage subsystem, and RAM, but it can also take advantage of most GPUs to speed up the process of applying filters, so systems with powerful graphics chips or cards may see a boost.
Last year’s Latitude 7400 again took top honors but the Latitude 7410 finished second in our Photoshop test. Any of the five laptops here will run Photoshop reasonably well, but creative pros engaging in daily design work will want to look for a system with dedicated graphics.
3DMark measures relative graphics muscle by rendering sequences of highly detailed, gaming-style 3D graphics that emphasize particles and lighting. We run two different 3DMark subtests, Sky Diver and Fire Strike, which are suited to different types of systems. Both are DirectX 11 benchmarks, but Sky Diver is more suited to laptops and midrange PCs, while Fire Strike is more demanding and made for high-end PCs to strut their stuff. The results are proprietary scores.
Next up is another synthetic graphics test, this time from Unigine Corp. Like 3DMark, the Superposition test renders and pans through a detailed 3D scene and measures how the system copes. In this case, it’s rendered in the company’s eponymous Unigine engine, offering a different 3D workload scenario than 3DMark, for a second opinion on the machine’s graphical prowess. We present two Superposition results, run at the 720p Low and 1080p High presets.
These scores are reported in frames per second (fps), the frequency at which the graphics hardware renders frames in a sequence, which translates to how smooth the scene looks in motion. For lower-end systems, maintaining at least 30fps is the realistic target, while more powerful computers should ideally attain at least 60fps at the test resolution.
With integrated graphics, these business laptops are designed to run productivity apps and handle the occasional media-editing task rather than playing intensive 3D games. The Latitude 7410 turned in predictably pedestrian results. The only system to stand out from the rest was the Acer Swift 3, which was able to flex its Intel Iris Plus graphics muscles.
Video Playback Battery Rundown Test
After fully recharging the laptop, we set up the machine in power-save mode (as opposed to balanced or high-performance mode) and make a few other battery-conserving tweaks in preparation for our unplugged video rundown test. (We also turn Wi-Fi off, putting the laptop in airplane mode.) In this test, we loop a video—a locally stored 720p file of the same Tears of Steel movie we use in our Handbrake trial—with screen brightness set at 50 percent and volume at 100 percent until the system conks out.
Usually, a 4K display heavily impairs battery life. Powering the display is the biggest drain on a laptop’s battery, and lighting four times as many pixels as a 1080p panel typically results in a short runtime. But not here! The Latitude 7410’s low-power 4K display allows the system’s four-cell, 52WHr battery to run for an entire workday on a single charge. It lasted 13.5 hours in our battery drain test.
It still came up short compared with the Acer Swift 3, Latitude 7400, and ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7, but those systems feature lower-resolution panels. And the Latitude 7410 lasted more than three hours longer than the ThinkPad T490, which has a 2,560-by-1,440-pixel display.
Still Second Behind the X1 Carbon
The Dell Latitude 7410 is not without its charms. The low-power, low-blue-light 4K display looks spectacular and doesn’t kill the battery life. This is the rare 4K laptop that will get you through even the longest workday without needing to find a wall outlet. The new chassis is sleek and durable, and while it’s a bit heavy for a 14-inch laptop, it’s very compact thanks to the razor-thin bezels on all four sides of the display.
Modern-looking with modern components, the Latitude 7410 is a capable laptop for business users, but it’s hard to recommend it when you can get a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7 for roughly $500 less. I found a comparable Carbon Gen 7 for only $1,700 with a 14-inch, 4K display powered by a 10th Gen Core i7 CPU and 16GB of RAM. And while that Lenovo model lacks vPro technology, it has twice the storage capacity with a 1TB SSD, boasts a better keyboard and touchpad, and is 0.7 pound lighter than the Latitude 7410. The X1 Carbon remains the business laptop to beat.
Dell Latitude 7410 Specs
|Processor||Intel Core i7-10610U|
|Processor Speed||1.8 GHz|
|RAM (as Tested)||16 GB|
|Boot Drive Type||SSD|
|Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested)||512 GB|
|Screen Size||14 inches|
|Native Display Resolution||3840 by 2160|
|Variable Refresh Support||None|
|Screen Refresh Rate||60 Hz|
|Graphics Processor||Intel UHD Graphics|
|Wireless Networking||802.11ax, Bluetooth|
|Dimensions (HWD)||0.7 by 12.7 by 8.2 inches|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro|
|Tested Battery Life (Hours:Minutes)||13:32|