Removable review of the Dell Latitude 7320: a great but overpriced hybrid

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First, there was iPad. Then came Microsoft Surface and showed that real work can be done on a tablet. Or at least some people can. The hybrid design of a laptop-tablet is either the best of both worlds, or the worst, depending on what you need to do.

Whether you like it or hate them, hybrids remain, and Apple and Microsoft are no longer the only players. The new Dell Latitude 7320 joins the Surface lineup and Lenovo ThinkPad X12 (review expected) to round out a growing field of capabilities. The new removable Latitude is handy in most cases, but it doesn’t provide anything the Surface has yet to offer.

The best of both worlds. Probably

The appeal of a hybrid gadget for a laptop and tablet, at least as defined by Surface, is that you get the tablet along with the laptop. The main assumption is that the hybrid is first and foremost a good laptop, and this is where Latitude prevails over the surface.

It’s about as close to a copy of the Surface Pro 7 that you can get without a lawsuit. One small discrepancy is the stand that holds the screen, apparently the Surface wedding. The Dell version becomes a little less stable the more vertically you place the screen. I’ve rarely noticed this in everyday use, but if your lap screen is pretty vertical, it wobbles more than the Surface or Lenovo.

In terms of design, Latitude is very close to the Surface Pro 7, albeit with more rounded edges and slightly smaller panels. As with the XPS line of laptops, Dell has lowered the bezel to such an extent that you hardly notice them.

The 13-inch IPS display with a 3: 2 aspect ratio (1920 x 1280 pixels) is beautiful and bright, but lacks the clarity with the high resolution you get with a surface (containing 2880 x 1920 pixels with a smaller display size of 12.3 inches) . The Latitude display works best with color, but if you’re not a creative professional, it probably won’t matter. The screen is one place that Surface wins, but it’s something you are unlikely to notice without putting them next to each other.

Photo: Dell

These hybrid machines do not have a lot of space for ports. The Latitude 7320 offers two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support, one on each side of the screen. This is a plus to the surface, which lacks Thunderbolt support. There is also (thankfully) a headphone jack. There is a model with LTE support that includes a micro SIM card slot, but otherwise you only have two USB ports and a headphone jack.

The Latitude 7320 has 11th generation Intel Core processors. The model I tested has a Core i7 chip, 16 gigabytes of RAM and a 256 gigabyte PCIe SSD. Dell has a wide choice of options for the 7320. The lower-level models use Intel Core i3 chips, and the average-i5. RAM settings range from a paltry 4 gigabytes (not recommended) to a tested model with 16 gigabytes.

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