The Dell Latitude 5420 is a business-class laptop with great features and performance. It has a durable design, a long battery life, and a wide range of ports and connections. It’s perfect for users who need a robust and reliable laptop for work or school.
Dell Latitude 5420 Review
Millions of people worldwide have decided to upgrade their home offices with more powerful and professional-grade PC hardware due to remote work. The Dell Latitude 5420 (available from Dell) is a great fit. It promises business-grade features at an affordable price.
- Processor: Intel Core i7-10610U
- Intel UHD Graphics
- Memory: 16GB
- Storage: 256GB SSD
- Display: 14-inch 1920 x 1080 non-touch matte display
- Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 4 and Power Delivery, DisplayPort mode, 2x USB 3.2, HDMI 2.0 with Power Delivery, 2x USB 3.2, Gigabit Ethernet. 3.5mm audio combination jack, SDcard reader. SmartCard slot
- Wireless: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.
- Battery: 63 watt-hour
- Charger: 90 Watts
- Weight: 3.03 pounds
- Dimensions: 12.675×8.5x.76 inches
- Warranty: Limited warranty of one year
1. Solid Dell Laptop Case
The magnesium and carbon fiber reinforced chassis is highly resistant to twisting. It feels solid and heavy. The hinges are strong, so the lid must be lifted by holding the base unit down. The clickpad has an indentation that can lift off the top. However, the base must be secured after a few inches.
The 2020 Latitude 5410’s chassis is identical to the original: drop-down hinges and an understated silver-gray finish. The most significant visual changes are due to the changes made to the input devices, which directly impact usability. This will be discussed in more detail in the section on input devices.
The power button has been moved from the corner to the keyboard. It now looks like a black button. It also doubles as a fingerprint scanner for Windows Hello.
The thick base unit on the Dell Latitude 14 5420 is strong and resists pressure. The lid also feels solid. The LCDs have no color distortions when pressure is applied to the lid’s back. Only the right side yields slightly.
The Latitude 14 5420 weighs 1.5 kg (3.31 pounds), which is considered moderate compared to the ThinkPad L14G2 AMD (see more of our reviews about Lenovo Thinkpad E58 ) and Acer Enduro Urban N3. These laptops are considerably heavier at 1.5 kg (3.31lbs). The Latitude, however, is thicker than the other models. It measures 20.9mm (0.82in) without feet. The Asus ExpertBook B1, Dynabook Tecra A40, and HP ProBook 440 G8 are lighter and thinner. (see more of our reviews about 17 inch Asus laptop)
2. Connectivity: Notebook with lots of security features
The Latitude can stand out from other Laptops by this feature. Thunderbolt 4, a traditional Ethernet RJ45 port, smartcard reader NFC, and a SIM slot for web access make this a compelling list.
SD Card Reader
The right edge is equipped with a microSD card reader. It can transfer data quickly with our reference memory card Angelbird AV Pro V60 at speeds of 188 MB/s and 183 MB/s, respectively, for copying and writing.
The Dell laptop comes with an AX201 Wi-Fi adapter and RJ45 Ethernet port. It also has a SIM card slot underneath the display that can be accessed via the back. The Latitude can also be retrofitted to a compatible LTE module.
Even when you consider peak values, the transmission speeds of Intel AX201 are not up to our expectations. The peak receive speeds, however, are close to the 1500-Mbps mark.
It is not worth mentioning the 720p camera inside the lid. The camera captures blurred images that are immediately apparent artifacts. This may be enough for video conference calls, but a better quality solution is desired for any other use. The wide bezel would have allowed for a premium camera, especially since it could not hold as much. It isn’t up to the task of competing with high-end cameras, but it offers a decent experience. Our test chart revealed significant image noise and poor color accuracy.
Dell takes security seriously and adds a Dell Secure Port, a smart card reader, and a webcam shutter to the fingerprint sensor. The shutter seals the webcam by sealing it mechanically. An infrared sensor or IR camera accompanies the shutter. This allows facial recognition via Windows Hello. Since Windows 11 requires it, TPM 2.0 is standard.
There are no additional items except for the AC adapter of 65 watts.
This is as simple as it gets: Unscrew the Phillips screws and use a plastic spudger to pry open the hinges. The screws will not fall out of the bottom panel, which is convenient.
There are two RAM slots below it: the Wi-Fi module and an empty slot for an LTE modem. An M.2 slot holds the SSD. Although it looks like an M.2 slot, the LTE module slot cannot be used with an M.2 SSD.
Dell offers a standard 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. All other upgrades are available as an option. Third-party vendors offer a standard 12-month warranty with optional extras.
3. Dell with a Clickpad Disaster: Input Devices
The keyboard’s backlight has two brightness levels, which illuminates the critical letters. The symbols aren’t as distinct as the previous version. However, the backlighting compensates somewhat for this. The keys have a width of 15 mm (0.59in) and are medium in size and spacing. You can type quickly and comfortably with the keyboard.
The keyboard area isn’t uniformly stiff, so it can slightly yield to the right. Overall, the critical feedback is excellent: The actuation point is clearly defined, and the travel is moderate with soft vital presses. The keys of the Latitude have a rubberized coating, which is not the case with other models. The rubberized coating prevents fingers from sliding off the keys, allowing for more precise typing. The keys may become patchy over time as the layer is not easy to see.
The 5420 is now much more similar to a consumer laptop than before, removing the Trackpoint, dedicated mouse buttons, and the Trackpoint. Although the Trackpoint could have been cut, many Latitude users will miss the four mouse buttons.
This version does not offer the haptic feedback that many users are familiar with and love. Clickpads are a completely different beast and handle differently. It can take some time to get used to. Many buyers will not be impressed by Dell’s decision and instead choose Lenovo. The ThinkPad L14 G2 comes with a clickpad. However, it also has three mouse buttons and a Trackpoint.
Although the clickpad isn’t exactly top-notch, it does provide haptic feedback. It gives very little acoustic feedback, limited travel, and a tiny actuation point. This is an ideal touchpad for those who want to work quietly. This touchpad is a massive disappointment if you’re used to haptic feedback.
The touchpad measures 11.5 cm (4.53in) and is quite large for a 14-inch device. However, the surface is much rougher than many other devices we tested. The texture is slippery, and there is some drag. The buttons provide very insatiable clicks, even at the bottom of the touchpad.
4. Display: Matte 14-inch Panel in Few Colors
Dell uses a 14-inch 16:9 IPS display with 1920×1080 pixels. The pixel density of just 157 PPI and the 60-Hz refresh speed is not particularly impressive. The brightness is average at 281 nits and best at 311 nits. The luminance doesn’t decrease in battery mode, which helps the flat panel’s outdoor capabilities. PWM was not detected. The contrast ratio of 1115:1 is quite good. This iteration comes standard with an IPS panel, while low-cost TN versions have reduced resolutions.
The Dell 14-inch model doesn’t seem to be concerned with color spaces. At best, it covers 54 % of the sRGB color space. Competitors require prepress values close to 100 %. This means that they don’t tend to be much ahead of the Asus ExperBook, which is 64 % closer nominally. Acer Enduro Urban N3 is an exception. It has a brighter display and covers 92 percent of sRGB.
ColorChecker shows a DeltaE value of 4.65. This is a low value and can be seen by the naked eye as large color deviations. Our calibration was unsuccessful, and our DeltaE improvement to 4 is minimal. However, grayscale does improve a lot after calibration. The difference in grayscale from 3.2 to 0.66 is almost worth the cost of using our spectrophotometer. The box below contains the color profile.
5. Performance: Laptop with 2-minute Core I5 Boost
This laptop was kept running smoothly by the 16GB RAM and Intel Core i7-8650U processor inside the Latitude 5420. I had 20 Google Chrome tabs open, four of which were HD videos. I didn’t feel any lag when switching accounts, and the graphics were rendered before my eyes could blink.
The 5420 Rugged is loaded to the teeth by high-end components. It scored 16,054 in the Geekbench4.1 performance benchmarks. This strong result is well above the average premium laptop category score of 13,113 by a significant margin.
The Latitude 7424Rugged beats the premium laptop average (1.31 seconds) in our Excel Macro Test. This involves matching 65,000 names to their corresponding addresses.
Although its 512GB PCIe SSD Class 40 SSD could not keep up with the category average (5226.7 megabytes per seconds) in our File Transfer Test, it still duplicated 4.97GB mixed-media files in a reasonable time of 10 seconds at a rate of 508 MBps.
On our Handbrake test, which converts a 4K video to 1080p resolution within 21 minutes and 23 seconds, the Latitude 5420 beat out the average premium laptop (21.48). We found that it just beat out the other premium laptops.
The AMD Radeon RX540 GPU won’t cause any issues if you don’t plan to play at high graphics settings on this rugged laptop. The Latitude 5420 was able to run Dirt 3 at an impressive 146 frames per second. This is nearly double the average laptop speed (76 frames per second).
The Latitude 5420 did equally well in our synthetic benchmark test. It topped the premium laptop average score (88,502) and scored 117,381 on 3DMark Unlimited.
7. Battery Life
People who work outside don’t always have power outlets. The Latitude 5420 can last for an entire day on a single charge thanks to a swappable, 51Whr, 3-cell 51Whr lithium battery. Using our Laptop Mag Battery Test, this rugged machine survived 9 hours and 45 minutes of continuous web surfing at 150 nits brightness. It is crucial not to turn the brightness up too much as this could cause severe damage to your battery.
The Latitude 5420 Rugged is the perfect choice for soldiers stationed overseas or first responders. It has a brilliant display, durable chassis, and long battery life. The Latitude 5420 is an excellent value for the high price, but most importantly, it offers security and protection for your data within its rugged chassis.