Dell Latitude 3490, a 14-Inch Laptop Featuring Intel Core i5, UHD Graphics


You want good computing? Let's talk about the Dell Latitude 3490, a 14-inch laptop steered towards the business public consumer. This is not a PC that will please everyone, however starts as cheap as just $499. For most, if you want good business computing, something very important is portability, as is a good LCD screen (to be able to perform presentations, etc), and a CPU processor that can handle clear Skyping, as well as multiple open, running tabs.

There are so many Dell laptops, 2-in-1s, and ultraportables to talk about, you would think it to be often that we complain about some serious flaws and letdowns. But Dell usually has it in the bag when it comes to a really decent business laptop. This isn't to say the Latitude 3490 is completely worth shortlisting, but it does have a bit of a design flaw that's worth pondering, “Why, Dell? Why?”. To start, the 14-inch device comes standard with an anti-glare LCD screen, featuring either a touch and non-touch version- the non-touch sporting a limited 1,366 x 768 pixels. That right there isn’t a too much of a risky move, but it leaves a lot to be desired, as stodgy screen resolutions are no longer the norm. In fact, nearly every laptop has adopted the full HD, or higher, resolution by default. Additionally, another unfortunate truth is, this old-school pixel count does not even improve once the dollar signs go up nearly double the base ($499) configuration. To get full HD, touch support, and IPS core display technology, the 3490 would cost you about $1,100.

This Latitude model from Dell has a pretty basic plastic exterior, not making it the best for traveling from desk to desk, not to mention an accidental drop. Speaking of traveling, manhandling this 3.79-pound laptop might get irritating. This is because, just like display configurations, adding things like a fingerprint reader, and other helpful features will only add extra bulk. We can’t completely knock the Latitude 3490 because of its weight, as there are other quite popular laptops, competitors actually, such as Lenovo’s ThinkPad T470, that weigh nearly the same. What makes the difference here, is a multitude of things, actually. While the rivaling ThinkPad has a soft grayish exterior, Dell stuck with a plasticky black. Also, the 3490 has chunkier proportions- measuring 0.82 x 13.34 x 9.52 inches. The 0.79 x 13.25 x 9.15 inch ThinkPad competitor has a narrower, thinner, and overall more appealing physique.

As far as ports and connectivity go, the first lovely thing I can say is the Latitude 3490 features a VGA port, which, as far as a staple in mainstream laptops, has been on the decline. For things that usually would require an adapter, this kind of port is handy for a conference room presentation, or any business itself that hasn’t upgraded their own monitors yet. The rest of the ports are as follows- a USB 2.0, USB 3.1, USB-C, SD card slot, Ethernet jack, HDMI, audio in/out, and power port. Additionally, there’s built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, and the option of an accessorized LTE modem.

Sorry to hate on you, Dell, it's very rare, and I don’t mean anything by it. There are just things about this Latitude laptop that don't make the most sense, and a few tweaks could have really fixed it. Having a business laptop in the mainstream market weigh that much is pretty much out of the ordinary these days. Sure, many competing models cost a lot more than what Dell priced its device, but they generally bring more to the table. From Lenovo, with its ThinkPad X1 Carbon ( basically an even better version of the ThinkPad T470), or Acer, with its feather-light Swift 1, why bring out something old school? At least you'll have that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on call whenever you need it, as well as many storage and memory options to configure to your liking. This can range to 256GB of SSD, and 8GB to 16GB of memory. Because I want to end on a good note, think about this. Because the Latitude 3490 has a pretty dim screen resolution, it actually performs a lot better than many serious competitors on the market. Yep, the Intel Core i5-8250U does a great job, with 1.6GHz running for up to over 12 hours on one battery charge. Okay, that’s kind of a fib, considering the machine only runs faster because other specs are lower-ranged. I’m just trying to make light of the situation. However, and overall, if you are intrigued by the idea of a VGA output to connect to an older monitor, or to use this via a conference room display, the Latitude 3490 could find its niche somewhere out there (over the rainbow).

Topics: Technology News Dell Laptops & Ultrathin Ultrabooks Tech Reviews

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