Today, with us is another laptop that went through Dell’s recent Latitude numeric overhaul. Its called the Latitude 5400 and can be considered as a more budget alternative to the Latitude 7400. Despite being a few hundred bucks cheaper than the latter, the Latitude 5400 is also made out of carbon fiber and embodies the Whiskey Lake CPU line-up of Intel. Moreover, if you need additional security features, you can get it with the vPro versions of the Whiskey Lake processors.

Screenwise, you get basically three options – a 768p TN panel, a 1080p IPS panel and what would be the most expensive option – the 1080p IPS touchscreen display. Price-wise, the laptop starts at $823, but something more competitive, for example with the Core i5-8265U, a Full HD IPS display and a 256GB SSD is going to set you back around $360 more.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/dell-latitude-14-5400/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Dell Latitude 14 5400 – Specs


OS


Windows OS, Windows 10 Pro, Linux


Dimensions


323 x 216 x 19 mm (12.72″ x 8.50″ x 0.75″)

Ports and connectivity

  • 1x USB Type-C 3.1 (3.1 Gen 2), DisplayPort
  • 3x USB Type-A 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1)
  • HDMI 1.4b
  • Card reader Micro SD
  • Ethernet LAN 10, 100, 1000
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Audio jack 3.5 mm combo

Features

  • Fingerprint reader
  • Web camera
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone
  • Speakers 2x 2.5W
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot
  • IR face recognition (optional), fingerprint reader (optional), backlit keyboard (optional)

What’s in the box?

Latitude 5400’s packaging includes only the paper manuals and a 65Wh charging unit.

Design and construction

As we’ve cleared that the Dell Latitude 5400 is definitely not a budget laptop, let’s take a look at how did they do it. As we mentioned, they have used a carbon fiber composite for the body, and (as stated by Dell) it consists of 16.96% of post-consumer recycled material. Something we see on the XPS series. In terms of measurements, the laptop weighs 1.48 kg and has a profile of 19.6mm.

Ultimately, you can open the lid with a single hand, however, the hinges are a little stiff and they lift the base of the laptop as you open the lid so you might want to use your other hand to press it against the desk. While Dell has used a somewhat baseless design there are significant top and bottom bezel, that house the logo and the optional IR face recognition, respectively.

Looking at the base you see a more Latitude-y design, in comparison to the Latitude 7400. It features the significant nipple above the “B” key, while the keyboard itself is a little short traveled. On the bright side, the feedback is relatively clicky and quiet – something common for the business-oriented devices. Additionally, we find the keycaps to be a little too small. On the right of the keyboard is to be seen the On/Off button, which would house the fingerprint reader, should you pick the model that features it.

Below the keyboard, you can see the touchpad that not only has dedicated buttons on the buttons but also has ones at the top. They are, of course, dedicated to the nipple. As of the responsiveness of the touchpad, it is pretty good but the area is a little too small, especially after we’ve just reviewed the ASUS VivoBook S15 S532, which has a huge one.

On the bottom plate, there is a huge area, dedicated to ventilation. Additionally, the speaker cut-outs are placed on the closest to the user place of the bottom panel.

Ports

On the left side, you can see the barrel-style charging plug. After that, there is a Thunderbolt 3 port and a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1), the ventilation grill and after that would sit the SmartCard Reader. On the right, there is a lot more happening – a Noble Wedge lock, an RJ-45 connector, an HDMI 1.4b port, followed by two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) ports, an audio jack, a MicroSD card slot, and an LTE SIM card slot beneath it.

Display quality

We are going to soon be ready with the Display segment of this review, stay tuned!

Drivers

All of the drivers and utilities for the Dell Latitude 5400 can be downloaded from here: https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/product-support/product/latitude-14-5400-laptop/drivers

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. Depending on the configuration you get, you can receive the Latitude 5400 with a 42Wh pack, a 51Wh one or a behemoth 68Wh unit. We were lucky enough, and our device was equipped with the biggest one.

Because we got 17 hours of Web browsing and 18 hours an a half of video playback.

CPU options

The Latitude 5400 is available with the dual-core Core i3-8145U and the quad-core Core i5-8265U and Core i7-8565U. You can also buy the laptop with the vPro versions of the aforementioned CPUs.


GPU options

Usually, the notebook comes with only the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620. However, you can get it with the AMD Radeon RX 540X discrete GPU.


Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Intel Core i5-8265U (15W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
Dell Latitude 5400 3.38 GHz (B+111%)@ 92°C 2.67 GHz (B+67%)@ 93°C 2.08 GHz (B+30%)@ 78°C
Dell Latitude 14 7400 3.05 GHz (B+91%)@ 97°C 2.44 GHz (B+53%)@ 93°C 1.97 GHz (B+23%)@ 79°C
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s 2.76 GHz (B+73%)@ 75°C 2.74 GHz (B+71%)@ 84°C 2.11 GHz (B+32%)@ 74°C
Lenovo ThinkPad T490s 3.43 GHz (B+114%)@ 91°C 2.69 GHz (B+68%)@ 91°C 2.19 GHz (B+37%)@ 80°C
ASUS ZenBook 13 UX333 3.12 GHz (B+95%)@ 89°C 2.50 GHz (B+56%)@ 95°C 2.27 GHz (B+42%)@ 83°C

As it can be clearly seen from the results above, the Latitude 5400 is able to manage its internal temperatures a lot better than its more premium cousin – the Latitude 14 7400. At the first checkpoint, it ran at the whopping 3.38 GHz. Well, this resulted in a pretty high temperature of the CPU – 92C. Expectedly, the temperatures dropped as the frequencies plummeted. By the time the torture test ended, the Core i5-8265U settled at 2.08 GHz and 78C.

Comfort during full load

On the outside, the maximum temperature we measured was around 40C, so basically, the laptop doesn’t heat up too dramatically. What we should note is that the hot air comes out of the left side, so if you are using a dedicated mouse and you are left-handed… well, sorry for you.

Verdict

We were exceptionally happy with the Dell Latitude 5400. Usually, the 5000-series of the Latitude line up is one of the most refined and balanced, since they are not crazy expensive, but still, provide the best of everything. For starters, let’s say that the cooling is far better than the one on the Latitude 14 7400. Not only the insides were cooler and it managed higher frequencies but it also stood quiet and by no means hot on the outside. However, we should note (for the external mouse users) that the hot air exhaust is placed on the left side and the majority of the I/O selection is on the right so, it would be a little difficult for them.

As this laptop comes with one of three different types of batteries we can’t really tell you the battery life of all of them, but we can surely tell you that of the larger one (since our device came with it). Obviously, a 68Wh capacity is pretty big for a 14-inch business device. This is exactly why we were able to get an enormous amount of time only on a battery – 17 hours of Web browsing and 18 hours and a half of video playback.

Additionally, we were left with mixed feelings from the keyboard. While it is pretty comfortable to use, it has relatively small keycaps and has a short travel, the feedback is clicky and the spacing is decent. Moreover, the touchpad is excellent and it has two pairs of buttons – one on the bottom and one on the top side.

We were also happy with the build quality of this laptop – one of the most recent laptops from Dell that comes in a carbon fiber chassis. Add the great performance to the security features from the manufacturers as well as the optional vPro processors. The result of that is a very good business machine that has a great I/O selection and Thunderbolt support and optional LTE card slot, IR face recognition and fingerprint reader. Expensive laptop, but totally worth it.

Pros

  • Great performance from a ULV processor
  • I/O features everything you need + optional LTE connectivity
  • Build from carbon fiber
  • Optional IR face recognition and fingerprint reader
  • Monstrous battery life (for the 68Wh version)
  • (Optional) IR face recognition and fingerprint reader

Cons

  • Price gets realtively high with the more adequate configurations
  • Keycaps are on the smaller side

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/dell-latitude-14-5400/





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