When you’re looking at a new laptop there is a good chance you have discovered the traditional format isn’t the only way to go. While Dell Latitude 2-in-1 laptops have been around for years, the rise of tablets has helped people consider a 2-in-1 may be their next laptop. The 2-in-1 form factor allows you to write, watch, and work on a laptop in a way that feels more like a tablet.
Unfortunately, a 2-in-1 isn’t always the best way to go for many people. As much as Dell hopes to attract people who want the best of a laptop and tablet, the result isn’t quite what many people expect. Even if you think that a detachable computer is the right product for you, there are still a few reasons why you might want to look elsewhere.
If you look at the Dell website for Latitude 2-in-1 laptops, you might have immediate sticker shock. At their lowest retail price, the Dell Latitude 9330 2-in-1 starts at $1,129. On the high end, the Dell Latitude 9440 2-in-1 has a starting retail price of $2,789. While these are both good computers, you can find a comparable laptop and iPad for less.
Of course, these prices are straight from Dell, but you won’t find much difference if you look at Amazon. In fact, Amazon hasn’t had a discount for the Dell Latitude 9330 2-in-1 in a while. Because of this, it’s difficult to make a recommendation for a Dell Latitude 2-in-1 when pricing feels inflated.
What’s worse is that the Dell Latitude 9330 only comes with a 256GB SSD, which is a disappointingly small amount even for home use.
To make the Dell Latitude 2-in-1 laptop lineup thinner and more attractive, sacrifices had to be made. Unfortunately, these sacrifices may mean the removal of important inputs and ports. Instead of having multiple USB-C, HDMI, DisplayPort, or even USB-A, Dell has had to limit the total number of ports altogether.
Additionally, because these laptops are made with business users in mind, a uSIM card slot is often available. While this can be a good thing for those who travel and want a cellular connection to stay online, it also means you are sacrificing another type of input. The good news is that Dell has transitioned most of its Latitude 2-in-1 lineup to USB-C, but it’s only USB-C ports you now have.
Said differently, if you’re not about the USB-C life quite yet, this is a challenging transition. Far too many people still have hundreds of different devices they regularly plug into a USB-A port in a laptop. Whether it’s charging a phone, speaker, or wireless mouse, this may force you into having to buy all new laptop peripherals.
Building on the uSIM idea above, the Dell Latitude 2-in-1 laptop is very much built with business users in mind. This means you can forget about gaming on these laptops. While you can do something light from the Microsoft Store, taking a stroll down the top games on the Steam Store will leave you wanting a graphics card.
On top of graphics, many of the Dell Latitude 2-in-1 laptop options don’t offer a whole lot of upgradeability. These laptops are very much what you see is what you get. The reality is that because these laptops are focused on business users, Dell assumes IT departments and professionals won’t care about increased RAM or storage.
For the average computer user, upgrades can help prolong the life of a laptop in a big way. By not having this as an option, you may be forced to buy a new laptop sooner than expected.
While laptop manufacturers may love the idea of marketing their laptops with touchscreens, the reality is touchscreens can be temperamental. In the case of the Dell Latitude 2-in-1, a temperamental touchscreen can be an awful discovery.
As this laptop form factor heavily depends on being able to use the device with touch, if your chosen model doesn’t offer an immediately responsive touchscreen, you’re going to be disappointed.
What you might find are ghost touches or inaccurate swiping that can turn a quick browsing session into a headache. None of this is to say the touch screens don’t work altogether, but the promise of the Dell Latitude 2-in-1 touchscreen that always works is a promise that’s hard for Dell to keep.
Even though they won’t be as slim, your money travels a lot farther with the Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 lineup. With strong processors, more RAM, and larger hard drives, you get far more value for your money. The same can be said with different laptop choices from HP or Acer as far as offering more for your money. HP has even tried something similar with 2-in-1 laptops and the result is that its more traditional laptops are more popular.
Where the notion of more options comes into focus is if you try and look at Dell’s website. On the Latitude 2-in-1 side, you have 7 different models to choose between. If you shift over to the Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 laptop side, you have 48 different models you can customize. It’s hard to argue with the idea that by giving up the 2-in-1 form factor most people will never use, you can get more CPU power, larger storage, and greater laptop longevity.
Building on the thoughts I’ve noted above, the Dell Latitude 2-in-1 feels like a laptop and tablet molded together. The result isn’t the best for most people, even if Dell tries to tout the professional argument. By making a thin form factor, Dell also has to focus on thermal management. Rest assured that these laptops can get hot, hot, hot. Battery life also suffers from the thinner form factor.
The bottom line is that the tradeoffs with the 2-in-1 form factor are not always worth the real-world sacrifices. What business users most want out of a laptop is battery life as they don’t want to worry about clunky chargers while traveling. The Dell Latitude 2-in-1 went the opposite and had to make some battery sacrifices in favor of trying to be more portable.
Best Alternatives to a Dell Latitude 2-in-1 Laptop
#1 Best Overall: Lenovo ThinkPad X1
Perhaps the brand best associated with the business laptop world, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 is the best choice.
Lenovo has been a staple of the business world and the ThinkPad X1 shows exactly why. With a price that falls right in the middle of the Dell Latitude 2-in-1 laptop lineup, you get 32GB of RAM with the Lenovo and a 1TB SSD. Better yet, the frame of the Lenovo is MIL-STD 810H, which means it’s tested against bumps and bruises. This is the perfect form factor for business people who frequently travel with a laptop.
Best of all, you get a rated battery life of 13.5 hours, which is well above what Dell promises with its Latitude 2-in-1 lineup. You also get a variety of ports including Thunderbolt 4, USB 3.2, and HDMI. There are also far fewer preloaded applications on the Lenovo when compared to the Dell.
Best Dell Alternative: Dell Latitude 5430
If you want to stay on the Dell side of business laptops, the Dell Latitude 5430 is a 14-inch powerhouse.
Powered by a 12th-generation Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage, you get a strong amount of power. There is no question the power here can outclass the Latitude 2-in-1 models and for hundreds less.
You do sacrifice by going to 4.7 pounds in weight, but you have the benefit of several different input types. There are also more than 9 hours of rated battery life as tested by users. This means you can confidently go a full workday without a charger. As a bonus, the 14-inch Full HD screen offers vibrant colors for both work and play.
6 Reasons I Would Avoid a Dell Latitude 2-in-1 Summary
|Pricing with the Dell Latitude 2-in-1 lineup can quickly run high.
|By trying to stay thin, Dell had to sacrifice ports and inputs.
|This is a laptop lineup built for business users, so it’s a poor choice for families.
|The touchscreen on the Dell Latitude 2-in-1 often suffers from ghost touches.
|You can easily find better alternatives from Dell and competitors with stronger performance.
|The thin form factor means Dell had to sacrifice battery life and thermal management.
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