Review

Dell Latitude 7320 review: The ultimate work from home laptop

Last summer, I reviewed Dell's Latitude 7310 laptop, and I truly enjoyed it. When Dell offered the newer Latitude 7320, I couldn't resist, despite the fact that little has changed. Indeed, the fact that so little has changed is part of the charm. I just love the form factor of this tiny little PC,

The main thing that has changed, of course, is that it now comes with Intel's 11th-generation processors. The new chips come with Iris Xe graphics, and they're a massive upgrade from 10th-gen, especially for business PCs like this one. It's also a bit thinner, a bit lighter, has a 1080p webcam, and more.

These days, Dell does offer a higher tier, the Latitude 9000 series, but honestly, I like the Latitude 7000 series a bit more, even though it lacks some key features like 5G support (you can get it with 4G though).

Specs

CPU Intel Core i7-1185G7
GPU Iris Xe
Body 306.5x202.81x16.96mm (12.07x7.98x0.67in), 1.17kg (2.57lbs)
Display 13.3” FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-glare, Super Low Power, Non-Touch, ComfortView Plus Low Blue Light, WVA, 400 nits, sRGB 100%
Memory 16GB LPDDR4 SDRAM (on board) 4266MHz
Storage 256GB SSD M.2 2230 PCIe Gen 3 NVMe
Input Single Pointing Non-Backlit Keyboard, Spill Resistant
Single Pointing Backlit Keyboard, Spill Resistant
Microsoft Precision Touchpad
Ports

(2) USB Type C Thunderbolt 4.0 with Power Delivery & DisplayPort
(1) USB 3.2 Gen 1 with Power share
(1) HDMI 2.0
(1) external uSIM card tray (optional)
(1) uSD 4.0 Memory card reader

Battery 4 cell 63 WHr ExpressCharge2.0 Capable Battery & Long Life Cycle capable
Webcam 1080p
Connectivity Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 2x2 .11ax 160MHz + Bluetooth 5.1
Material Carbon fiber
Color Black carbon fiber weave
OS Windows 10 Pro
Price $2,149


Day one

Design

Dell's Latitude 7000 series comes in a variety of styles. The 7300 series is 13-inch, the 7400 series is 14-inch, and the 7500 series is 15-inch; on top of that, you can choose between the 7320 clamshell like the one I'm reviewing, or the 7320 2-in-1 if you want a convertible. Moreover, there are options between carbon fiber and aluminum.

Top-down view of Dell LAtitude 7320

The clamshell that Dell sent me is carbon fiber, allowing it to weigh in at just 2.57 pounds. The lid has a carbon fiber weave design, something that not a lot of companies are doing, especially in the mainstream space. Lenovo does it for premium, but that's it. It's a nice look, and it's something that's different from the rest of the pack.

What I really love about the Latitude 7320 is just how light and small it is. Being a 13-inch laptop and having small bezels, it has such a small footprint that it's just so easy to carry. When I reviewed the Latitude 7310 last year, I described it as the perfect laptop for around the house. If I had to get work done on the couch, this would be the first machine I'd grab because it just feels so comfortable to carry, and it's a laptop that feels good on a lap.

Left side view of Latitude 7320

Being a business laptop, it's also got a solid array of ports, not skimping out on USB Type-A. On the left side, there's a lone Thunderbolt 4 port, which you can use to connect dual 4K monitors, an external GPU, and so on. There's also a 3.5mm audio jack on that side.

Last year's Latitude 7310 supported a single 4K display on each Thunderbolt 3 port, as Dell used the base spec. That means that Thunderbolt 4 is actually a big improvement, offering double the bandwidth.

Right side view of Latitude 7320

On the right side, you'll find a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port for 5Gbps speeds, an HDMI 2.0 port that supports 4K output, a microSD slot, a SIM slot that's filled with a slug if you get the cellular model, and a second Thunderbolt 4 port.

I really want to commend Dell for putting Thunderbolt 4 ports on each side, and that's actually one thing that did change in the chassis since last year. So few OEMs do it, but it really makes life easier when you can charge your laptop from either side. It's really rare in the Windows world.

Like I said, I really do like the design of this laptop, particularly just the shape and size of it.

Display and audio

The Latitude 7320 has a 13.3-inch 1080p display, and unfortunately, there's no option for 4K resolution. There are four display options, including non-touch options that come in at 250 nits or 400 nits, and two 300-nit touch options, one of which has Dell's SafeScreen privacy display.

Front view of Latitude 7320 display

Dell sent me the 400-nit non-touch screen, which is pretty good. It's easily bright enough to work from anywhere, which is something that I always appreciate. You should never have to use anything at 100% all of the time in order to be comfortable. You can use this screen at 50% brightness or less without an issue.

Close up of Latitude 7320 webcam and IR camera

While is has narrow side bezels, the top bezel is a bit bigger, and as you can see, there's a lot to unpack there. First and foremost, the webcam is 1080p this time around, and that's super important. We're in an age where working from home is super popular, and while webcam quality wasn't nearly as important a couple of years ago, it's important now. So many companies are still using 720p webcams, so this is another thing I'll commend Dell for.

As you can see, there's also a privacy guard over the camera that you can use if you want to. Of course, that means that a bunch of other stuff won't work, the least of which is the IR camera for facial recognition.

Dell also has a bunch of AI features included, and there are some extra sensors in that are in that top bezel, all of which can be controled in the Dell Optimizer app. Those sensors can tell when you sit in front of the PC or when you walk away. When you sit in front of the PC, it can wake up, and then Windows Hello will light up to know that it's you that sat down, logging you in without you ever touching the PC. And then it can lock your PC when you walk away after a determined amount of time.

This is a security feature if you're working in an office or if you're working in public, but it's also great if you're working from home. When your computer automatically locks a minute after you walk away, you don't have to worry about your little kids messing up your important work. Moreover, you just don't have to think about this stuff.

And then there's audio, as the dual speakers are located under the base as usual. The audio gets louder than I thought it would, which is great for listening to music. But I once again want to focus on working from home, as both the speaker and microphone are great for meetings. I really feel like this is the ultimate work from home PC.

Keyboard and touchpad

While there have been some subtle changes to the rest of the PC, I don't think that the keyboard has changed at all. It's a backlit, Chiclet-style keyboard that you'll find on all of Dell's Latitude laptops, which is fine. Dell's keyboards are good, and in fact, I'd probably say I like the Latitude ones even more than the consumer ones.

Top-down view of Latitude 7320 keyboard

The only problem is that they're not the best. This is never the highlight of the review because Lenovo's ThinkPad and HP's Elite laptops simply have better keyboards. Again, this is good, but those are better. Of course, I don't think you'd ever think that this is lacking in any way if you didn't compare the two.

Close-up of Latitude 7320 touchpad

The touchpad uses Microsoft Precision drivers, as you'd expect. It's also a bit larger than it was last year, taking advantage of more of the real estate on the keyboard deck. This is always nice to see. I much prefer a larger touchpad to wasted space.

Performance and battery life

The Latitude 7320 that Dell sent me includes a Core i7-1185G7, 16GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD. Strangely enough, when I went to price it out on Dell.com, there were no configs on there with over 256GB of storage. That's just an interesting fact though; businesses can get PCs through other channels that no doubt have additional customization options.

The performance improvement over the last generation is significant. Here's the long story. Last year, Intel's 10th-gen processors had two families: Ice Lake and Comet Lake. Ice Lake moved to 10nm, but it also included Iris Plus Graphics, a significant improvement over the integrated graphics in previous generations. Comet Lake pretty much existed because Intel couldn't make enough 10nm chips, so it was another 14nm lineup, once again including UHD Graphics.

This year's 11th-gen 'Tiger Lake' is a big step forward. The 10nm process has been refined, but also, these chips come with Iris Xe graphics. While last year's Iris Plus was nearly double the performance as before, this is nearly double the performance of Iris Plus.

Here's where it gets even better. Since Intel was so short on Ice Lake chips, all business PCs came with Comet Lake. The company didn't even make a vPro variant of Ice Lake. So while Tiger Lake is a big improvement on Ice Lake, it's an even bigger improvement over Comet Lake, which is what was in the Latitude 7310.

Intel's U-series processors, now called UP3, have been great at productivity for a long time, but now you can do more creative work on them. There's some actual graphics power here. Photo editing is no problem, nor is FHD video editing. It's a great product.

Battery life on this laptop is phenomenal too. I can easily get over a dozen hours of battery life on here, with the battery slider on one notch above battery saver and the screen on about 25% brightness. Dell has been making some bold battery life claims, and it's nice seeing it deliver.

For benchmarks, I used PCMark 8, PCMark 10, Geekbench, and Cinebench.

Latitude 7320
Core i7-1185G7
Latitude 7310
Core i7-10610U
XPS 13
Core i7-1065G7
PCMark 8: Home 4,478 3,639 3,899
PCMark 8: Creative 4,655 3,693 4,253
PCMark 8: Work 4,099 3,845 3,797
PCMark 10 4,743 4,253 4,402
Geekbench 1,540 / 5,181
Cinebench 1,230 / 4,428


As you can see, there's a big improvement over the last generation.

Conclusion

While all of the changes that Dell made on this generation seem small, they're meaningful changes. I love that there are charging ports on either side for convenience, and of course, the FHD webcam is a must in 2021. Seriously, the amount of companies that have ignored that just baffles me.

Front view of Dell Latitude 7320

My biggest complaint is that it doesn't have a 4K option again. This is something that's competing with the EliteBook 800 and ThinkPad T-series of the world, just like the Latitude 9000 should be competing with EliteBook 1000 and ThinkPad X1. A 4K option would be nice.

Of course, that would affect the sweet, sweet battery life that I'm getting from this thing. Seriously, it's wild. It's hard to not look at the Dell Latitude 7320 and call it the ultimate working from home PC, because it checks those boxes. It has the proper webcam, which is a rarity, and it's also light and small. It's easy to work from anywhere in your home, whether that's at a desk or on the couch.

This really is just such a good PC, and this year's improvements are really meaningful. If you want to check it out on Dell.com, you can find it here.

 

Report a problem with article
A row of six GPUs which are being used to mine cryptocurrency
Next Article

Entry-level CMP 30HX ASUS variant will reportedly be priced at an astounding $799

Microsoft Weekly - April 18 2021 - weekly recap
Previous Article

Microsoft Weekly: New Surface devices, April Patch Tuesday, and game updates

19 Comments - Add comment

Advertisement