Premium Ultrabooks are generally priced on the higher side of things, but curiously enough, the same does not apply to Dell’s latest business-minded Ultrabook: the Dell Latitude 13 3000. Retailing from RM3,499 (without GST), a Dell representative mentioned to us that the Latitude 13 is meant to take on Lenovo’s higher-end Yoga series as well as HP’s Spectre x360, which are priced higher than Dell’s offering.
However, just how good is the Latitude 13? After spending some time with it, I have to say: it’s a pretty darn good Ultrabook, especially for its asking price.
First up, specifications. The Latitude 13 comes with a 14-inch 1080p IPS touch display, a Skylake-based Intel Core i5 processor paired with 8GB of RAM, as well as a 256GB SSD. Considering the fact that this laptop only retails at RM3,499, these are very respectable specifications – however, it’s worth noting that the quoted price excludes GST.
In terms of build quality, the Latitude 13 feels very, very solid; Dell definitely did not compromise in this aspect. The metal chassis feels good to the touch, and the wrist rest area is really comfortable to rest on. The Latitude 13 is definitely a premium laptop, but I was quite underwhelmed with its keyboard.
For one, the Latitude 13’s keyboard does not have as much travel as I would’ve hoped from a laptop this thick. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a pretty thin laptop, but there are other machines with better keyboards despite being even thinner, such as the HP Spectre. Fortunately, there’s quite a bit of tactile feedback from the keyboard, although I’m not really a fan of the keyboard’s “soft” nature – the keys feel particularly lighter than normal.
The trackpad of the Latitude 13, on the other hand, proved to be accurate and responsive. While I didn’t quite like the plasticky surface of the trackpad, it’s definitely very functional. The many new Windows 10 trackpad gestures worked well on the Latitude 13’s trackpad, and two-finger scrolling was smooth and accurate too.
One of the most interesting features of the Latitude 13 is its convertible nature, and I like it: the hinge is solid enough that the display does not wobble at the slightest movement. Speaking of the display, the 1080p IPS panel of the Latitude 13 looks…decent. Viewing angles are good, but it’s not the brightest laptop display I’ve seen, though I imagine it won’t be much of an issue when using the laptop indoors.
Size comparisons between the XPS 13 and Latitude 13.
All in all, the Dell Latitude 13 3000 is a budget-friendly (to an extent), premium Ultrabook that may appeal to both business users and regular consumers. Of course, it would’ve been better if the Latitude 13 is equipped with Kaby Lake processors instead, but Skylake chips are still very capable, especially for a productivity machine like this laptop.
On top of that, Dell has a particularly interesting accessory for the Latitude 13. Dubbed the Dell Power Companion, it is a power pack for Dell laptops. According to a Dell representative, the 12,000mAh power pack can charge up the Latitude 13 twice before running out of juice; it also works as a power adapter for the laptop. We imagine this neat little accessory is perfect for those who are always on the go.
If you’re in the market for a new slim and light Windows laptop, the Latitude 13 3000 is worth checking out. It’s a premium laptop with features many other machines cannot match in terms of value for money. Of course, the Latitude 13’s battery life and performance in general still remain to be seen, and only a full review can shed light on these aspects.