When it comes to Dell’s Latitude series, they are not made for general consumers like you and me. However, we can still buy it a la carte if we want to. There are good reasons to buy it – mostly because these laptops have special security features like the Intel vPro and Dell’s excellent warranty service and also the customizable extended warranty that Dell offers if you choose to buy it.
But before we get into the extensive warranty coverage and whatnot – we need to know if this is a good laptop or not – and this video is aimed to answer that question.
Okay, if you’re familiar with the Dell XPS series of laptops with its redesign in 2020, then you’ll immediately recognize this design. It looks similar if not identical to the Dell XPS 9500. However, instead of using a full metal build, this Latitude 9430 has a mix of materials – but Dell didn’t list out what those materials are.
One thing I can confirm is that the backplate of the laptop is coated in a rubbery soft-touch material which is an interesting choice as this can prevent the laptop from sliding around. However, I’m not sure if this coating will eventually become sticky over time since that happens to all soft-touch material.
Once we open up the lid, we’re presented with a pretty familiar look. It’s a 14-inch screen with a resolution of 1920×1200 – which is a 16:10 aspect ratio display, nice. The bezels are also just as thin as the XPS but this laptop doesn’t have a touch screen. You can customize it with a touch screen, though.
This screen is indeed excellent as it covers nearly 100% of sRGB color gamut with a very low Delta E number. Its maximum brightness is also slightly above 500 nits – which isn’t quite enough to be used outdoors on a sunny day but is definitely better than many other laptops on the market.
We can also connect the laptop to an external display using an HDMI cable or USB-C since it supports Thunderbolt 4 with DisplayPort Alt Mode.
There is actually a good amount of ports – though I’d like one more USB-C cable at the right side so I can plug in either side to charge the laptop.
One thing I have to at least mention is the audio issue that I encountered. I tried playing some music from YouTube previously and it says “audio renderer” and wouldn’t play it. There was audio from Windows itself so I had no idea what was going on. I reinstalled the audio drivers and surprisingly, after a couple of restarts, it worked. Apparently, It’s quite a common issue with the Intel SST – no idea why.
Okay, the keyboard. I think this boils down to personal preference as I prefer something with a lesser actuation force The travel distance per key is surprisingly deep and combined with the stiffer keys, this keyboard is rather fatiguing to type on for me personally. It does have a backlight, though.
The trackpad works fine though the palm rejection could’ve been better. When I’m using an external mouse with my left hand placed around the WASD keys, the mouse cursor jumps around the screen.
In terms of performance, at least here in Malaysia, we have the Core i5-1245U vPro alongside the Iris Xe integrated graphics with 16GB of LPDDR5 at 5200MHz and also 256GB of SSD.
The performance is actually quite… well, I don’t know how to summarize it. The bootup speed is quick – and you get into Windows real fast but you can’t immediately start to use it. It still needs a bit of time to get everything else loaded – particularly the new Intel Arc Control driver for its integrated graphics.
Once everything is loaded, the speed is quite decent. My usual workload of web-browsing with Spotify and a bit of YouTube works great but the fan will always be audible. I presume it’s working quite hard.
There are a few special Dell Latitude features like the Dell Optimizer that has an option for presence detection. We have a privacy filter that detects if there are any onlookers and then it’ll censor the screen. There is another presence detection feature that automatically sleeps the laptop when you’re away, and then wakes up when it detects you. Combined with Windows Hello, this feature is actually very convenient.
This laptop also has something called Dell SafeBIOS which is essentially a way for us to compare whatever BIOS we have running with Dell’s master copy of the BIOS. This is great as it protects your laptop from any sort of attacks or tampering via the BIOS.
As for the upgradability of this laptop, well, there’s nothing much we can do. It’s using what I think is an mSATA SSD out of the factory. There is another SSD slot beside it – which I think is an M.2 2260 slot? Nothing else can be done to upgrade the laptop.
I do want to highlight the battery life here. Our version in particular has a 39.7Wh. To put things in perspective, my usual workload can only last about 3-4 hours. But that doesn’t matter since Dell’s website listed that this laptop is supposed to come with a 60Wh battery – and that should last for 5 hours easily.
Should you buy the Dell Latitude 9430?
Either way, this laptop starts at the price of RM10,449. The price is obviously very high – but it’s made for enterprises and for those who need security and the best support they can get because downtime means revenue is not generated.
There are a bunch of customization that you can choose on Dell’s website, and one of them adds a 4G modem inside so you can pop in a SIM card and work anywhere. You can also add the duration of ProSupport and Next Business Day Onsite Service to the exact number of months you want. It caps off at 5 years, though.
So that’s all we have to share with you about this laptop. It’s an interesting laptop for sure, but again – it’s a Latitude. It’s mostly for enterprises. Even though we can just order one from Dell.com, it comes with a lot of features that the average consumers don’t need.
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