- Gorgeous 4k screen
- Comfortable typing
- Decent performance
- Poor battery life
- Needs a large flat surface
Dell Latitude 12 7000 Series (7275) 2-in-1 Tablet Review: We test Dell’s Surface Pro rival, the powerful-but-pricey Latitude 7275 tablet that boasts a 4K screen and a fold-out keyboard cover, to convert into a Windows 10 laptop.
We’ve played with some seriously powerful Windows 10 convertibles lately including the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 from the granddaddy Microsoft, and now Dell is muscling onto the scene with the powerful Latitude 12 7000 Series 2-in-1 tablet. Like the Pro, this Dell tab converts into a makeshift laptop thanks to a bundled keyboard cover. But can the Latitude really reach the giddy heights of Microsoft’s machines?
Like most of Dell’s devices, the Latitude 12 7000 comes in a number of different SKUs. Our review model was the most expensive version of the Latitude 7275, packing a 4K screen and Intel Core M7 processor for £1249.
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Dell Latitude 12 7000 Series Review: Design and connectivity
In tablet form, the Latitude 12 is a bit of a beast. The 12.5-inch screen makes this one of the biggest slates we’ve handled in recent times, only just beaten by the mighty 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro.
As you’d expect, Dell’s tablet is quite chunky (just over 8mm thick) and heavy (700g). It can certainly be clutched with one hand in portrait mode, but like the iPad Pro it’s not terribly comfortable to use this way. You’re best off laying it flat on a desk or propping it up with the keyboard cover. The magnesium alloy frame flexes under pressure but feels quite durable, complete with a soft-touch rear to aid grip.
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We liked how the Surface Pro sported a fold-out prop on the back, so you could sit it upright on any flat surface – handy when you want to kick back with a movie, for instance. The Latitude 12 doesn’t have a built-in prop, so you’ll need to sit the tablet in its cover if you want it stood upright. Thankfully the cover has a similar prop to the Surface Pro, which can be adjusted to almost any angle for a comfortable viewing experience.
Of course, the fact that the Latitude uses a prop-up cover to convert into a laptop brings some serious limitations. You won’t be able to use it like this on your actual lap, for example; you really need a flat surface to rest on. And that flat surface needs to be quite big too, as the Latitude stretches just over ten inches from the base of the prop to the front of the keyboard.
Still, the board is as good as Dell’s rivals, offering a strong typing experience. Keys are well spaced and depress a couple of millimetres when pushed, with a firm, non-spongy action. Even the arrow keys are a good size, something rarely found on keyboard covers, while the well-sized touchpad is good for precision pointing when the touchscreen simply won’t cut it. And the tablet sits firmly in place when the two are connected, thanks to the strong built-in magnets.
Unfortunately you get less connectivity options than Microsoft’s Surface devices, with the only ports being two Type-C USB slots on the left edge. That means no full-sized USB ports for connecting extra bits like mice or printers. As few peripherals currently support Type-C, that’s quite limiting compared with rivals.
Dell Latitude 12 7000 Series Review: Screen and media
One of the highlights of the Dell Latitude 12 7000 Series is that 12.5-inch Ultra HD screen, a perfect way to take in 4K resolution movies on the move (if you can actually find any, that is). Photos, videos and documents all look fantastically sharp, but that crazy resolution isn’t the only great thing about this display.
Viewing angles are pleasingly wide, so two or three people can enjoy a film without having to cram their heads together. Colours really leap out at you too, packing quite a punch without appearing over-saturated. And on top brightness, you’ll have no trouble with glare.
Audio is also strong, only marginally beaten by the iPad Pro’s ridiculously powerful quad speakers. You get a pair of blasters positioned above the screen, one at either side, and they put out a strong sound. Movies have a suitable ‘oomph’ during action scenes and the like, while our music tests also impressed.
The tablet’s 256GB Solid State Drive is expandable via the microSD memory card slot on the tablet’s left edge, giving you a serious amount of storage for carrying around a decent media collection.
Dell Latitude 12 7000 Series Review: Features
Windows 10 Pro comes pre-installed on the Latitude 12 7000 Series and it runs like a dream. If you’ve got other Windows 10 devices then you’ll get a consistent experience across the lot, complete with automatic document syncing and the rest.
However, the Latitude doesn’t boast any exciting bonus features, like the fingerprint sensor found on the Huawei Mate Book. It’s just a straight-up tablet, without any kind of sparkle beyond that 4k screen.
You do however get an 8-megapixel camera on the rear of the tablet, plus a 5-megapixel front-facing snapper. The rear lens is perfectly fine for snapping random shots but the tablet isn’t exactly comfortable to use as a camera, so we’d be surprised if it gets much use. But at least the 5-meg front-facer does a solid job for Skype chats and the rest.
It’s also possible to buy a stylus pen for precision input, which can be stored in the loop strap on the side of the keyboard.
Dell Latitude 12 7000 Series Review: Performance and battery life
Dell has slipped an Intel Core M7 6Y75 processor inside this tablet, which is significantly less powerful than the Core i7 found in the similarly-priced Surface Pro 4. That said, the Latitude 12 is still perfectly capable of performing creative tasks like editing video. We even managed to get some proper gaming on the go, with relatively modern action games like Serious Sam 3 running impressively well (albeit with the graphics scaled back).
Unfortunately that 4k screen seems to put a serious strain on the Latitude’s battery life. If you’re fiddling around with office apps, you can generally expect a little under four hours of life from a full charge. And if you try streaming video, this drops to almost exactly three hours. That’s well behind the results we got from the Surface family.
Dell Latitude 12 7000 Series Review: Verdict
The Latitude’s advantage over rival Windows 10 2-in-1 devices is its 4K display, which is truly magnificent for getting productive or enjoying your media on the move. However, you’ll certianly need to pay up for those quality visuals, with a price that comes dangerously close to the excellent Surface Book (which offers a more travel-friendly experience overall).
Battery life and performance can’t compete with Microsoft’s devices, but the Latitude 12 7000 Series can still run office suites and even relatively modern games without a struggle. We’re also big fans of the cover keyboard, which provides a comfortable typing experience. It’s just a shame the Latitude wasn’t cheaper, to offer a more tempting alternative to the Surface family.
|Screen resolution||Ultra HD 4k|
|OS||Windows 10 Pro|
|Processor||Intel Core M7|
|Storage||256GB + microSD|