This laptop was a pain in the neck to review. That's because the battery life is so gigantic that our traditional test was almost unusable. I've praised the battery life of several thin-and-light systems this year – Lenovo's IdeaPad Slim 7 is a monster. But nothing – and I mean nothing – I've ever used comes close to the lifespan of this device.
This is the Dell Latitude 9510 2-in-1. As is often the case with premium convertible business laptops, there are roughly a million different configurations with a variety of processors and other specifications. The base model, which is currently listed at $ 1,848.99, has a quad-core Core i5-10210U, 128GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM. Our test model, priced at $ 2,937, has a Core i7-10810U with six cores, 16 GB of RAM, and a 512 GB SSD. It has the same built-in Intel UHD graphics and a 15.6-inch (1920 x 1080) touch display that's available across the board.
Right now, $ 3,000 seems like a lot to ask for those specs. This also makes the Latitude an unrealistic option for many consumers. Business laptops tend to be more expensive than popular consumer laptops and often include a number of advanced security and remote management features to justify the price. (Plus, companies that buy these things in bulk don't typically pay a sticker price.) Unfortunately, this laptop costs more than most without offering drastically better benefits for most people – so I can only recommend it to a specific swath of Business users. That said, it's a remarkable technology.
- Incredible battery life
- Robust and slim
- Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
- Proximity sensor and other nice software features
- Too expensive to recommend to consumers (as configured)
- No options for 4K resolution or discrete graphics
- Inconspicuous display
- Bad webcam
Starting from the outside: I'm a huge fan of the peripherals on this thing. The keyboard is one of my favorites that I've used all year round. It's hard to explain why, since I actually clocked below my average typing speed – the keys are just very fluid and comfortable, with excellent travel and an absurdly satisfying click. I heard the occasional squeak on the spacebar and backspace.
The 4.5 x 2.6 inch touchpad is great too, with a really nice smooth glass and an effortless click. Windows Precision gestures worked as advertised. For other inputs, the 9510 has a very useful port selection, including HDMI 2.0, two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, a microSD slot and an optional SmartCard reader on the left, as well as a USB-A and a headphone jack. and a wedge lock on the right.
The USB type A supports PowerShare. The USB Type-C ports support Thunderbolt 3, Power Delivery and DisplayPort.
The 9510 is not going to win beauty pageants, but it's sturdy and feels exceptionally good, as I've come to expect from Dell. The chassis is made of aluminum with a professional silver finish. There isn't a flex anywhere. I would put this in a suitcase, briefcase, or backpack – I could use it on the bus or take it with me on a hike. And there is also no wobbling in the hinge when the laptop is in tablet or tent mode, which is sometimes a problem with thin and light convertibles.
On the other hand, at 3.7 pounds, I find this laptop a little too heavy to use as a tablet. It's just a lot to stay calm with one hand while navigating with the other. I was shaky a lot and got tired pretty quickly. Despite the heavy weight, it is on the small side for a 15-inch laptop – Dell claims it is the smallest 15-inch business PC in the world.
The 13.4 x 8.4 x 0.55-inch chassis has a smaller footprint than the company's other 15-inch models such as the XPS 15 (13.57 x 9.06 x 0.71) and the Precision 5550 (13.56 x 9.07 x 0.30). It's also quite thin – even thinner than some 14-inch models where portability is a major selling point, like the Dell Latitude 9410 (0.49 ") and the HP Specter x360 14 (0.67").
Dell Optimizer improves battery life by adapting settings (brightness, Bluetooth, etc.) to your power consumption and charging behavior.
Portability is really the goal of this Latitude because there is absolutely no way you can buy it if you don't plan on taking advantage of its ridiculous battery life. This thing took an average of 14 hours and 40 minutes. This was done with an office workload (about a dozen Chrome tabs and Slack), a few zoom calls and some Spotify and YouTube streams with a screen with 200 nits of brightness, the selected Quiet thermal profile and the Dell Battery Extender turned on . (The Battery Extender degrades the CPU's performance, but it didn't impact performance in my practice.)
Note that this was with continuous use; I didn't let the laptop fall asleep or dimmed the screen. If you pause this thing, you can probably do it for two days without touching a charger.
The lightest 2-in-1 configuration starts at 1.5 kg.
To put that into context, with this workload, which is very consistent between tests, I generally get seven to nine hours for good Windows laptops that aren't running a GPU. I spent 11.5 hours with HP's Elite Dragonfly, the gold standard for premium business laptops. The only other laptop I've tried this year that comes close to this result is Lenovo's IdeaPad Slim 7 – and the Latitude beats that by a good hour.
Another unusual praise: the sound was good. The Latitude uses what Dell calls a "smart amplifier" to improve bass and reduce distortion, as well as tuning through Waves Maxx audio software. I could actually hear the bass in the music (a rarity) and the drums were particularly strong.
People in my Zoom meetings commented on how dark and grainy I looked
The microphones (there are four) are pretty good too and picked up my answers perfectly on speech recognition tasks that other laptops sometimes have trouble with. The webcam is bad though – people in my Zoom meetings have commented on how dark and grainy I look.
Inside the Latitude is a new cooling system with two heat pipes, carbon fan blades and an insulating gel, which according to Dell was also used in NASA's Stardust probe. These claims sometimes market Gobbledygook, but I never felt much heat here (even in parts that would be expected to be toasted, like the area around the hinge).
This laptop doesn't have the latest Intel processors (business laptops probably won't get these until next year when vPro SKUs are released), but the 6-core 10th gen i7 works great. It handled my workload with no slowdown or fan noise. It has built-in graphics (Intel UHD), which means it's not a great choice for gaming or creative work.
It took 28 minutes to export a five-minute, 33-second video to Adobe Premiere Pro. This is slower than last year's XPS 13 with a Core i7-10710U (and UHD graphics) that took 24 minutes to run. It's also, of course, much slower than 11th generation systems that come with the latest Intel integrated graphics like the Asus Zenbook Flip S and got the job done in just over 11 minutes. Again, this isn't an unexpected result, but at the price it would be nice to see a discrete graphics option for people who have to deal with media from time to time.
Finally, the Latitude offers a number of customization options through its Dell Optimizer software. There is ExpressResponse, which allows you to choose your most frequently used applications for Latitude and optimize them for better performance based on your usage patterns. Intelligent Audio lets you toggle video calling features like noise cancellation and volume with presets based on your preferences: Quiet Room, Noisy Office, etc. There is ExpressCharge which is designed to speed up charging and extend battery life based on your usage, however i couldn't test this as it takes two weeks to learn your behavior.
The feature that I find most useful is called the proximity sensor. It automatically locks the laptop when you are not around and reactivates it when you return. If you set up Windows Hello facial recognition, you can also sign in again immediately. This worked very well during my testing phase. Not much is done for privacy when the laptop is in use, however, which can be important for business users. At this price point, I'd hope to see something like HP's SureView Reflect (which colors the screen so you can't sniff over someone's shoulder) or the software on the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 that blurs the display when you look away.
The Latitude has four top-firing speakers and four noise-canceling microphones.
Speaking of the screen, this really is the one part of this laptop that I found disappointing. The Latitude borrows the InfinityEdge bezels that Dell touted for its XPS models, and while the top and bottom rims are more visible than the XPS 15, the display still looks quite wide. But it only reaches 332 nits of brightness – that's sure bright enough for most people, but we're hoping to see more of a business flagship. Today's dragonflies, Thinkpads, Expertbooks, and Elitebooks offer 1000-nit options. The latitude is also 16: 9 with a resolution of 1920 x 1080; I'm surprised I don't see a 4K option at this price point, and the 16: 9 aspect ratio can get tight when multitasking in multiple windows.
Overall, battery life is the star of the show. The Latitude is top of the line there, and the solid build quality, AI features, and excellent keyboard and touchpad are good too. There are a few customers that this laptop might make sense to: people who need 17 hours of battery life at all costs, and businesses who need Dell's specific security features and business ecosystem.
It's built (and priced) like a premium business convertible.
For consumers and small business customers, the Latitude might be a good buy at a discount. However, without a 4K screen, discrete graphics, or a standout screen, it's not worth a sticker price tag. Those who do not need these components should get along well with the Elite Dragonfly or the Asus ExpertBook B9540. Both are on par with the Latitude in most regions (and better in some) while also being $ 1,000 cheaper.
Photography by Monica Chin / The Verge
correction:: This article originally stated that our test model is priced at $ 1,848.99. The model is priced at $ 2,937. We regret the mistake.