Dell Latitude 13 3000 (3379) Review: A Better Business Class Notebook

by Reads (9,243)
  • Editor's Rating

    Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

      • Software & Support
      • 8
      • Upgrade Capabilities
      • 5
      • Usability
      • 6
      • Design
      • 8
      • Performance
      • 5
      • Features
      • 6
      • Price/Value Rating
      • 8
      • Total Score:
      • 6.57
      • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10
  • Pros

    • Touch display with 360-degree hinge
    • Attractively thin metal chassis
    • Good value for the price
  • Cons

    • Average battery life
    • Average overall performance
    • Excessively glossy screen

The Dell Latitude line of business notebooks has long been synonymous with affordable workplace PCs. The Dell Latitude 13 3000 (3379) attempts to combine affordability with a sleek design that looks just as much at home in first class as it does in business class. 

Dell Latitude 13 3000 (3379)

Dell Latitude 13 3000 (3379)

Dell Latitude 13 Build and Design

At its heart the Dell Latitude 13 3000 series 2-in-1 aims to deliver a workplace PC that businesses can afford and employees will actually want to use. It’s no secret that an increasing number of businesses around the globe want to project the image of being “tech savvy” and it’s hard for a company to project that image if employees are using 15-pound work laptops that an IT manager purchased back in 2009. The Dell Latitude 13 3000 walks the fine line between a traditional business laptop and a lightweight Windows tablet while also keeping the starting price at $700 or less.

The 13.3-inch touch screen delivers full HD resolution at 1920 x 1080 pixels and the 360-degree flip hinge design lets you use the notebook as a laptop, a tablet, or turn the keyboard back to present slides or videos on a desk without the keyboard getting in the way.

The brushed aluminum alloy chassis wraps the notebook in a layer of added protection and helps to make this budget-priced hybrid device look and feel more like a premium product. The back of the screen lid also has a polished metal rim that adds an additional touch of class. That being said, the best design features that the Latitude 13 has going for it are the dimensions of 0.74 – 0.76 x 12.69 x 8.82 inches and a weight of just 3.86 pounds. This isn’t as thin or light as the 12-inch Apple MacBook, but the touchscreen and 360-degree hinge arguably make the Dell more useful than a MacBook in a workplace environment … at about half the price.

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As with most 2-in-1 notebooks, the Latitude 13 3000 series sacrifices the traditional quick access panels on the bottom of the chassis. This means that your IT department can’t replace the internal storage drive or make any repairs without removing the entire bottom half of the notebook. On the bright side Dell used nine standard Philips head screws to secure the bottom panel to the rest of the chassis … so it isn’t too painful to get inside the Latitude 13 if you need to.

Dell Latitude 13 Ports and Features

The latest generation of Dell thin-and-light notebooks successfully manage to deliver a reasonable variety of ports despite their thin design. The left side of the Latitude 13 features the AC power jack, USB Type-C port with support for mini DisplayPort, a full-size HDMI v1.4a, a single full-size USB 3.0 port and a combo audio jack for headphones, headset or microphone. The right side of the laptop is where you’ll find the power button, volume up/down rocker button, full-size SD card reader, a second USB 2.0 port and a security cable lock slot.

DSC04370DSC04371

 

Dell Latitude 13 Screen and Speakers

Thankfully most PC manufacturers have figured out that 720p resolution isn’t acceptable anymore. Dell only offers the Latitude 13 3000 series with a single display panel option; the 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) touch screen. This display is an IPS panel that delivers exceptionally wide viewing angles with rich colors, excellent contrast and acceptable brightness for indoor use.

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Our only significant criticism about this display is that the screen’s LED backlight isn’t bright enough to overcome the reflections from the highly glossy touch screen surface. The screen is bright enough indoors, but as soon as you take this notebook outside the sunlight typically washes out the screen and all you see clearly are the reflections on the glossy surface. This is something you’ll want to keep in mind if you’re buying notebooks for a mobile workforce that typically works outdoors.

As with most business-oriented notebooks the built-in speakers on the Latitude 13 3000 are “serviceable” but not particularly impressive. The stereo speakers embedded within the chassis get adequately loud with minimal distortion even at maximum volume, but the audio sounds somewhat flat and tinny with almost no bass. We recommend quality earphones or external speakers if you care about sound quality while using this 2-in-1.

Dell Latitude 13 Keyboard and Touchpad

The full-size Chiclet-style keyboard features LED backlighting and is quiet in operation with a soft and short throw to each press of the keys. The individual key movement or throw is quite shallow (perhaps too shallow) but the feedback is good so touch typists should still be able to tell if they pressed a key or not.

DSC04369The keyboard backlighting has three settings (off, low, and high) but the difference in brightness between the low setting and the high setting was almost indistinguishable to our eyes. The LEDs are well centered behind the keys with minimal light “bleed” around the keyboard.

The large multi-touch “clickpad” (a touchpad surface which lets you press down anywhere to produce a left click) uses generic Microsoft drivers and proved to be exceptionally accurate with smooth movement and minimal errors recognizing gestures or distinguishing between left and right clicks. The use of generic touchpad drivers is worth mentioning because manufacturers often use custom touchpad drivers with varying degrees of success. If the latest generic drivers from Microsoft work this well then Dell might be able to stop investing in custom touchpad software going forward.

Dell Latitude 13 Performance

Although this work laptop looks like a higher-priced premium notebook the internal hardware reveals the unfortunate truth that we’re talking about a value-priced PC here. The 6th generation Intel Core i3-6100U in our review unit of the Dell Latitude 13 (3379) delivers reasonable performance for a 15W processor and is only a modest step down from the Core i5-6200U we tested in the Dell XPS 13 and Inspiron 13 7000. The Core i3 processor in our review unit won’t win any awards for best-in-class performance but it is a step up from the 2.1 GHz Intel Pentium 4405U in the base configuration of the Latitude 13. The Intel HD 520 integrated graphics are enough to handle playing 1080p video and should be more than enough for basic video conferencing or streaming a corporate webcast.

The processor and graphics inside the Latitude 13 are “middle of the range” and so too is the included solid state drive (SSD). The 256GB SanDisk X400 M.2 SATA drive delivers data transfer speeds that might have been considered “high-performance” to some users a year or two ago but now we expect to see NVMe drives inside anything that needs to get work done as quickly as possible.

DSC04376Our Dell Latitude 3379 review unit has the following specifications:

  • 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) touch display
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • Intel Core i3-6100U (2.3 GHz, 3MB cache)
  • Intel HD Graphics 520
  • 8GB (2x4G) 2133MHz DDR4
  • 256GB M.2 Solid State Drive (SanDisk X400 M.2 2280)
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 2.4/5GHz + Bluetooth4.0
  • Built-in 720p webcam with infrared sensor for Windows Hello
  • 3-cell 42Wh battery
  • 45 Watt AC Adapter
  • Dimensions: 0.74 – 0.76 x 12.69 x 8.82 inches (18.7 – 19.2 x 322.4 x 224.0mm)
  • Weight: 3.86lb (1.75kg)
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Starting Price: $699
  • Price as configured: $899

While the starting price of the Dell Latitude 13 is just $699, our review sample includes a better processor, twice the system RAM and twice the internal storage capacity with a 256GB solid state drive (SSD). These upgrades significantly improve the overall performance and usefulness of the Latitude 13, but $900 puts this system in the same price range as the Dell XPS 13, and most people would rather have the entry-level configuration of the XPS 13 if the price isn’t an issue.

Dell Latitude 13 Benchmarks

wPrime 32M processor comparison results (listed in seconds – lower scores mean better performance):
Latitude13_wprime32chart

PCMark8 Home (Accelerated) measures overall system performance in Windows 8 for general activities from web browsing and video streaming to typing documents and playing games (higher scores mean better performance):
Latitude13_pcm8homechart

PCMark8 Work (Accelerated) measures overall system performance in Windows 8 for work-related productivity tasks (higher scores mean better performance):
Latitude13_pcm8workchart

3DMark 11 measures the overall gaming performance of the GPU (higher scores mean better performance):
Latitude13_3dmark11chart

CrystalDiskMark storage drive performance test:
latitude13

Dell Latitude 13 Heat and Noise

DSC04382The Latitude 13 keeps cool thanks to a system fan that rarely needs to run with the low-voltage processor. When the fan does turn on it’s quiet with an almost inaudible hum.

After extensive benchmark testing the hottest spot on the bottom of the Latitude reached 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 C) and the keyboard temperature peaked around 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44 C). 

You won’t need to worry about the exterior of the notebook getting too hot if you’re just browsing the internet, typing up work document or navigating slides in a PowerPoint presentation. Heat was a non-issue for us regardless of when we used the Latitude 13 in notebook or tablet modes.

Dell Latitude 13 Battery Life

The Latitude 13 includes a relatively meager 42Wh battery compared to the 56Wh battery used in the XPS 13. Despite the lower capacity battery the Latitude managed to fall in the middle of the pack among other 13-inch notebooks. That being said, Dell could have easily made the Latitude 13 one of the best performing notebooks in terms of battery life if they just stuck the same 56Wh battery from the XPS 13 inside this system. The extra battery capacity combined with the modest power needs of the Intel Core i3-6100U would have significantly increased the amount of time this laptop can spend unplugged. As it is now, the Latitude 13 simply delivers “average” battery life for a notebook with a 1080p display.

Powermark battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):
Latitude13_powermarkchart

Dell Latitude 13 Final Thoughts

At the end of the day the Dell Latitude 13 3000 (3379) is best described as a budget business laptop that looks and feels more like a premium business notebook. If your company demands affordably priced hardware but your workforce demands thinner, modern-looking devices for use in the field, then the Latitude 13 3000 series 2-in-1 makes perfect sense. 

The extremely glossy 1080p display might be frustrating to use outdoors under bright sunlight and the keyboard isn’t the best for typing lengthy documents or number-crunching data entry, but this is an attractive and reasonably durable notebook that won’t break the corporate budget. The starting price of just $699 means you will probably learn to live with the average battery life and equally average system performance. If your business has the budget to afford better displays and even better performance then the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga, Dell XPS 13 or the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon might be a better choice.

Dell Latitude 13 3000 (3379)

Dell Latitude 13 3000 (3379)

Pros:

  • Touch display with 360-degree hinge
  • Attractively thin metal chassis
  • Good value for the price

Cons:

  • Average battery life
  • Average overall performance
  • Excessively glossy screen



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  1. sooomitin

    You are calling it a better business class notebook, but 2 of your cons don’t support it:
    Average battery life
    Excessively glossy screen
    Moreover, it looks like Dell is using the same material here as they do in E5470 (I have it). If yes, I must say this material is not solid enough for the business travelers (highly susceptible to scratches, chipping, etc.).
    E5470 doesn’t have the above 2 cons though.