From afar, the Latitude appears as if it were cut out of a single block of metal. The aluminum lid is a striking gunmetal gray with a brushed pattern, showcasing the Dell logo in the center. Lifting the lid reveals the 1920 x 1080 touch screen, surrounded by a thick bezel, an island-style keyboard and an aluminum deck.
At 3.6 pounds and 12.7 x 8.8 x 0.8 inches, the Latitude 13 3000 is not the lightest 2-in-1 in it’s category.
The Latitude’s 360-degree hinges allow for use in four modes: a laptop, a tablet (by folding it all the way back), a stand (with the keyboard facing down and the screen pointing up) and a tent (an upside-down “V”).
I appreciated the Latitude 13 3000’s mix of ports, which combines the bare essentials with a USB Type-C port that’s becoming standard. On the left side of the notebook, the power jack, USB Type-C with DisplayPort, HDMI output, a USB 3.0 port and the headphone jack can be found. The right side includes the SD card slot, another USB 3.0 port and a lock slot.
Durability and Security
The Latitude 13 3000 may be more fragile but it isn’t MIL-STD-810G tested against shocks, drops and dust. The only notable security feature is an infrared camera that works with Windows Hello. The camera can scan your face to log you into your computer. Fun and impressive, and certainly the future of security on laptops.
The 13.3-inch, 1080p display on the Latitude 13 is bright enough for indoor use, but it lacks brilliant, vivid colors found on other similar devices. The screen is sharp and allows the ability to make out details while viewing HD video content.
The Latitude’s screen covers just 68 percent of the sRGB color gamut. The Latitude 13 3000’s screen has a Delta-E color accuracy score of 0.9 (0 is best). While that’s much better than the category average (2.1), there are other laptops in this category that had even better scores.
The screen measured 234 nits of brightness; that’s lower than the category average (304 nits), but usable.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Latitude’s keyboard offers just 1.2 millimeters of travel and requires only 44 grams of force to press. The preference of comfortable force sits at around 1.5 mm and 60 grams for most. The result is a spongy keyboard that just isn’t responsive.
The trackpad is only a little better. The 4.1 x 2.5-inch surface is large and accurate enough to respond to Windows 10 gestures with ease, but the button is stiff and got tiring to press.
The Latitude 13’s speakers get nice and loud, but for the best quality, you’ll want to change some presets in the Dell Audio app. When listening to music, immediately filled a midsize conference room, and the guitars and drums were crystal clear. However, the vocals had a weird echo effect. This could be remedied by switching the audio program setting from MaxxSense to Music, though I did lose a bit of the volume when I made that swap.
Performance and Graphics
The Dell Latitude 13 that we reviewed included a 2.3-GHz Intel Core i3-6100U CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid-state drive. These specs proved to be suitable for multitasking with 21 tabs open in Chrome, one streaming a 1080p video on YouTube. There were some moments of stuttering when switching between tabs at this point.
The Latitude 13 notched a score of 5,512 on the Geekbench 3 overall performance test, falling just below the ultraportable category average of 5,579.
It took Dell’s notebook 43 seconds to transfer 4.97GB of mixed media files, which translates to a speed of 118.4 megabytes per second. It fell short of the category average (176.5) and other notebooks in its category.
The Latitude 13 3000 matched 20,000 names and addresses in 5 minutes and 29 seconds on the OpenOffice spreadsheet data transfer test.. That beat the average (6:36) but there are other comparable notebooks which came in faster.
3DMark Fire Strike
This is not the laptop for gaming. It earned a score of 58,204 on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited graphics benchmark. While it scored higher than the category average of 52,064, the scores aren’t high enough for strong performance while playing most games.
This Dell has the staying power to last through most, if not all, of your workday. The computer lasted 8 hours and 3 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous web browsing over Wi-Fi. However, it fell just a few minutes short of the ultraportable business laptop category average is 8:10.
If you make frequent video calls for business, you will not be impressed by the Dell Latitude’s camera. The 720p webcam records jagged, pixelated images. The background was blown out, and it was hard to make out any of the detail.
In our testing, the Latitude 13 3000 stayed nice and cool during use. After 15 minutes of HD video streaming from YouTube, the bottom of the notebook reached 94.5 degrees Fahrenheit (just under our 95-degree comfort threshold), the touchpad hit 81.5 degrees and the center of the keyboard measured 88.5 degrees.
Software and Warranty
Dell kept the preinstalled software light on the Latitude. The computer includes SupportAssist to perform system scans and contact technical support, and Dell Digital Delivery to keep software up to date.
Also included are some typical Windows bloatware, including Twitter, Netflix, Paradise Bay and some Microsoft Office trialware.
Dell sells the Latitude with a one-year warranty.
This review was on an $899 model of the Latitude 13 3000 with a 2.3-GHz Intel Core i3-6100U CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The base model costs $699 and comes with an Intel Pentium processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD.
Dell also offers two more powerful configurations: a $999 build with a Core i5-6300U CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD; and a $1,099 version with a Core i5-6200U CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.
The Dell Latitude 13 3000 2-in-1 is an affordable business convertible with support for USB Type-C, solid audio quality and decent performance. The keyboard and touchpad aren’t comfortable enough for using all day. Plus, this machine isn’t MIL-STD-810G tested for durability.
The Latitude 13 3000 is a better choice only for businesses that will refresh their peripherals for USB Type-C.