You won't find many devices quite like this one. The Latitude 7350 is one of the biggest detachable laptops out there, combining a whopping 13-inch tablet with a snap-on keyboard dock. You also get a sharp, bright display; snappy performance; and long battery life.
But due to its relatively large size and weight, this isn't the device for someone who wants a tablet first. Instead, it's for business users who want a solid 13-inch notebook with a screen that can detach occasionally, whether it's for digital note taking with Dell's optional stylus, or maybe just to watch Netflix after work. If that's what you want out of your next work laptop, the Latitude 7350 is your best bet.
But think hard about how much you want that detachable screen. When combined with the keyboard, the Latitude is thicker and heftier than some more traditional notebooks that have similar specs, including several hybrid models with screens that fold backward 180 degrees instead of detaching.
If you didn't know any better, you wouldn't realize that the Latitude 7350 was a hybrid at all. When docked with its keyboard, the Latitude looks like any other slim laptop, and that's a good thing. The machine's matte plastic design is understated but attractive, and metal trim adds a touch of sophistication.
The 13-inch display, while a great size for a laptop screen, makes for a really hefty tablet. Alone, the slate weighs a whopping 2.05 lbs. For context, that's more than twice as much as the 9.7-inch, 0.96-lb. iPad Air 2, and even significantly more than the 12.2-inch, 1.75-lb. Surface Pro 3. Unless you're using the Latitude as part of your workout routine, you won't want to hold this device aloft for long, even without the keyboard attached.
Snapping on the keyboard makes the Latitude even heftier, as it comes in at 3.73 lbs. Since there aren't many 13-inch detachables to compare this device to, let's see how it stacks up to folding hybrids in its size range. The featherweight Yoga 3 Pro is one of the lightest of these hybrids, weighing just 2.62 lbs. The HP Spectre X360 is also lighter than the keyboard-equipped Latitude, weighing 3.17 lbs. Both the Yoga and Spectre have specs and prices in the same ballpark as the Latitude.
When combined with its keyboard, the Latitude is also bit chunky, measuring 0.79 inches thick. The Yoga 3 Pro is just a half-inch thick, while the Spectre X360 measures 0.63 inches. The Surface Pro 3, which has the most powerful processor among these machines, is also very thin with its cover attached: just 0.56 inches, thanks to its super-thin keyboard cover.
Don't get me wrong — the Latitude 7350 is still extremely thin and light for a 13-inch laptop. But if you're going to pay this much for your next work machine, there are more portable options out there. That's something to consider if you plan on lugging the device around on your daily commute.
Other 13-inch laptops boast much higher resolutions, but the Latitude's 1080p display is more than adequate for a machine of this size. It's on par with the HP Spectre X360, which also sports a 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080-pixel screen. Most importantly, the Latitude's screen renders sharp, readable text, and images are bright, with good contrast and color accuracy.
Some competing machines push more pixels. The Yoga 3 Pro has a 13.3-inch, 3,200 x 1,800-pixel screen, while the Surface Pro 3 sports an impressive 2,160 x 1,440 pixels. On the other hand, the Latitude's native 1080p resolution makes it more likely to play nicely with your desktop monitor if you plan on docking the laptop to your desktop.
It's also pretty bright, with a max brightness of about 309 nits. That beats out the category average of 255 nits, making the Latitude 7350 easier to use outdoors or in direct sunlight.
Compared to most flimsy tablet keyboards, the Latitude's snap-on deck feels sturdy and luxurious. Pairing the tablet with the keyboard could be easier, since it requires you to blindly align three connector pins with the bottom of the tablet. Once they're connected, though, opening the tablet lid feels buttery smooth. Disconnecting the tablet is as easy as sliding a small button on the side of the hinge.
The keys themselves are well-spaced and offer good feedback when pressed. They also provide a good amount of travel, which is a big plus; deeper keys are more comfortable for extended typing sessions. The generous wrist wrests are another perk. Plus, you can turn on a backlight for the keys to keep working in dim lighting. Overall, the Latitude's keyboard is a winner.
It also includes a large, responsive touchpad. Mousing around feels precise, and gestures like two-finger scrolling work well. There are no discrete buttons, but the pad delivers satisfying clicks when pressed.
Like other hybrids of its kind, the Latitude is top-heavy; most of the weight is in the tablet portion, not the keyboard. As a result, you can't tip the Latitude's display back quite as far as you can on a traditional laptop, or else it would tip over. When connected to the keyboard, the Latitude's screen can be opened about 40 degrees past the straight up-and-down position.
When using the device in your lap, you might occasionally wish that you could tilt the display back just a little farther, but overall it's not a big issue. And it's a lot more generous that the 15 degrees of freedom afforded by Dell's smaller hybrid, the Venue 11 Pro, which is practically unusable in your lap. Plus, the Latitude's gorgeous IPS display provides wide viewing angles, so colors don't get washed out when viewing the screen from above or to the side.
The Latitude tablet itself offers only a charging port and headphone jack, but the keyboard dock adds all the ports you'd expect from a basic notebook. That includes a pair of USB 3.0 ports for connecting accessories like a mouse or external hard drive, a Mini DisplayPort connector for linking your device to a larger monitor and a full-size SD card slot for expanding the tablet's storage.
There's no Ethernet port, which might be an issue if your company's network security policy requires a wired Internet connection, though not many convertible notebooks offer that option. You can buy a USB-to-Ethernet adapter, if you don't mind it hogging one of your two USB slots.
One of the best reasons to own a hybrid like this, as opposed to a traditional laptop computer, is so you can pair the laptop with a stylus to take notes right on the screen. Digital note-taking apps like OneNote and Evernote are great because they save your notes to the cloud, so they're backed up and accessible on any device.
The Latitude 7350 doesn't come with a stylus or a pressure-sensitive display, but Dell does sell an active stylus separately. Dell's stylus works pretty well for basic note taking. It has a pressure-sensitive tip, an important feature to make digital handwriting feel accurate and natural. But note taking with this Dell doesn't feel as smooth or precise as tablets with pressure sensitivity built into the display, like the Surface Pro 3 or Lenovo ThinkPad 10. Compared to the Surface Pro 3 pen, the Dell stylus produces lines with a bit of wobble.
The Dell pen was used with the Venue 11 Pro in this comparison shot, but it should produce similar results on the Latitude.
One other point to note: The Latitude's narrow, 16:9 aspect ratio is a bit awkward for note taking. I prefer the Surface Pro 3's wider, 3:2 aspect ratio, which is closer to the dimensions of a standard sheet of paper.
While Dell offers a snap-in docking station for its Venue line of tablets, the Latitude line doesn't get that special treatment. Instead, Dell offers a dock that plugs into the Latitude 7350 via the notebook's USB 3.0 port. Regardless, the dock does add a huge array of extra ports, including two USB 2.0 ports, three USB 3.0 ports, two HDMI-out ports, one DisplayPort, an Ethernet port for wired Internet and a headphone jack. That's a lot of connectivity options, which is great for business users who want to use their devices at their work desks with a larger monitor (or three) and peripherals like a desktop keyboard, mouse or external hard drive.
Our Latitude 7350 review unit is powered by Intel's Core M-5Y10c processor, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of solid-state drive (SSD) storage. The Core M processor provides good performance without the need for a loud, spinning fan inside, but it's not as powerful as Intel's Core i-series chips.
Still, Core M gives the Latitude 7350 good performance for everyday tasks. On the Geekbench 3 benchmark test, which measures overall performance, the Latitude scored a solid 4,541, which is higher than the 4,291 ultraportable notebook category average. The score also puts the Latitude on par with the Yoga 3 Pro (4,571). The Spectre X fared slightly better, with a score of 5,614.
The bottom line is that the Latitude 7350 provides more than enough processing power for daily business activities. During my testing time, I noticed that apps opened and closed quickly, and multitasking felt snappy. Other notebooks are better for more intensive tasks like serious photo or video editing, though.
The Latitude's long battery life helps justify its relative heft. Dell's hybrid actually has two batteries: one inside the tablet itself and an extra battery in the keyboard. Together, they let the notebook run for 8 hours and 35 minutes, which is longer than the 7:57 average in the ultraportable category. It also far outlasted the Yoga 3 Pro (6:08). The HP Spectre x360 has better longevity, though, running for an amazing 9 hours and 28 minutes.
As a standalone tablet, the Latitude ran for just 7 hours and 10 minutes. That's less than the Surface Pro 3, which lacks a secondary battery and ran for 7:27, though it has a smaller display.
The Latitude isn't the longest-lasting hybrid out there, but its secondary battery gives it very good battery life if you plan to use the device primarily as a notebook instead of a tablet.
Pricing and configurations
The Latitude 7350 isn't cheap, starting at $1,200 with an Intel Core M-5Y10c processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. You can get a slightly faster processor for $1,349, and upgrade to 8GB of RAM for $1,419. If you can afford it, I recommend going for 8GB of RAM to future-proof your machine. If you need more storage, your only option is the top-end model, with 256GB of SSD storage for $1,550.
The Yoga 3 Pro is a slightly better deal. Although it starts at $1,300, the base model comes with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The Spectre x360 starts at a significantly cheaper $900, though you'll have to spend $1,150 to upgrade to 8GB of RAM. The most comparable Surface Pro 3 model, which comes with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256 of storage, also costs $1,150.
The Latitude 7350 is an extremely well-rounded package. It offers most of the features you could want in a premium notebook, including a gorgeous display, long battery life and good performance for daily business tasks.
But the machine is more notebook than tablet. That's because the display, while detachable, is a bit large and bulky to carry around. But it's a great size for a laptop screen, and the ability to use it separately on occasion, especially for digital note taking, is a nice bonus.
The Latitude is pricey, though, especially if you want more memory than the baseline model offers. It's relatively heavy compared to its premium competitors. I recommend considering folding laptops like the Yoga 3 Pro or Spectre X360, since they offer a similar user experience in a lighter package. But if you really want a big detachable hybrid, Dell's Latitude 7350 offers plenty of bang for your buck.