Dell Latitude 11 5179 review – a versatile business tablet

 

Processor: Dual-core 1.1GHz, Intel Core m5-6Y57, RAM: 8GB, Dimensions: 280x177x14.3mm, Weight: 0.76kg, Screen size: 10.8in, Screen resolution: 1,920×1,080, Graphics adaptor: Intel HD Graphics 515, Total storage: 256GB SSD

Buy the Latitude 11 5179 now from Dell

Just as the Latitude 13 7370 borrowed elements from Dell’s excellent XPS 13, so too does the Latitude 11 5179 feed off the company’s XPS 12. It’s a 2-in-1 hybrid aimed primarily at business users, and it’s compatible with a generous selection of extra features, including fingerprint and smartcard readers, docks and two different types of detachable keyboard.

However, whereas the XPS 12 came with a keyboard as standard, you have to pay extra for it on the Latitude, so you’ll need to be prepared to add another £121 for the Slim Keyboard or £166 for the regular keyboard (both prices are ex VAT) onto the tablet’s overall price if you plan on using it to work on. We weren’t sent a keyboard with our review sample, so I’ll mainly be focusing on the Latitude 11 5179’s tablet capabilities in the rest of this review.

At 760g, it’s certainly not the lightest tablet around, but at least its weight is evenly distributed, so it doesn’t feel too uncomfortable to hold during extended use. It’s reasonably bulky, but its sturdy magnesium alloy chassis and Gorilla Glass screen should provide more than enough protection to survive a trip in your bag or rucksack.

Performance

As with all Dell products, there are several specs on offer in the 5000 series, but there are also two distinct model numbers to contend with as well – the standard 5175 which costs between £549 and £819 ex VAT, and the 5179 reviewed here, which starts at £839 ex VAT and goes all the way up to £939.

It’s a bit of a mess to pick through, but in terms of pure specs, you’ve essentially got a choice of either an Intel Core m3-6Y30 processor or an Intel Core m5-6Y57 processor, 4GB or 8GB of RAM, and 128GB or 256GB of SSD storage.

Our sample came with a 1.1GHz Core m5-6Y57 chip and 8GB of RAM, but sadly even the m5 proved rather sluggish in our 4K benchmarks. It’s the same processor you’ll find in the Latitude 13 7370, and the Latitude 11 5179 scored an identical 22 overall. This is fine for everyday tasks such as basic word processing, but it will struggle with more demanding tasks such as video-editing and intensive media applications.

Naturally, with just its integrated Intel HD 515 graphics chip on board, it’s not particularly cut out for 3D games either, but you still should be able to fit in the odd bit of gaming around meetings if you work with its limitations. It’s fine for a quick blast of Hearthstone on your lunch break, for example, and I even managed to get a decent 35fps in Dirt Showdown on Low graphics settings and the anti-aliasing turned off, although you’ll either need to buy a keyboard or a wireless gaming pad to play these types of games properly.

Display

The 10.8in, 1,920×1,080 IPS touchscreen doesn’t have Dell’s gorgeous InfinityEdge display, sadly, but it’s nevertheless one of the tablet’s highlights. With a peak brightness of 466cd/m2, it’s almost twice as bright as the screen on the Latitude 13 7370, and its sRGB colour gamut coverage of 84.9% produces vibrant, crisp colours.

Black levels leave a little to be desired on max brightness, but a contrast ratio of 1,118:1 is very respectable, giving images plenty of detail in dark shadow areas. It’s worth noting that the glossy finish is very reflective, so working under bright lights can be a little distracting, but its high screen brightness more than makes up for it.

Battery life

The 2 cell 35WHr battery in the Latitude 11 5179 was also impressive, lasting just over nine hours in our continuous video playback test with the screen brightness set to 170cd/m2 brightness level. This is pretty good as far as Windows tablets go, and a full charge should last you most of the working day as long as you don’t whack the screen brightness up to full for extended periods. If you do get low on charge, though, Dell’s charger is, thankfully, nice and compact, so it shouldn’t take up too much space in your bag if you need to take it with you.

Ports and speakers

There are plenty of connectivity options on offer with the Latitude 11 5179, too, including a microSD card slot, micro HDMI for connecting it to an external display, a full-sized USB3 port and a USB3 Type-C port as well. The Latitude 11 5179 also has the added benefit of a smartcard reader and fingerprint scanner on the back, which isn’t available on the regular 5175 model.

Both, however, support 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1, and you can configure each model with a SIM card slot as well, adding in a mobile data option. It’s also worth mentioning that you get Dell’s business support with the Latitude 11 5179, with 1 year ProSupport and next business day on-site service if anything goes wrong.

The Latitude 11 also comes with dual side-facing speakers. These are decent and relatively punchy, but bass is rather lacking. They are incredibly loud, though, and they have a pleasing amount of depth, so you should easily be able to fill a large room for presentations.

Conclusion

Dell’s Latitude 11 5179 has a lovely screen, great battery life and plenty of features and accessories, but at this kind of price, it’s let down by its rather lacklustre performance. At over £1,000 inc VAT, it’s very expensive for what it is – and that’s without the extra cost of a keyboard, don’t forget – and you’d be much better off spending that money on something more practical like the XPS 13, which has much better performance across the board as well as Dell’s gorgeous InfinityEdge display.

Of course, the Latitude 11 5175 is admittedly much cheaper than the 5179 model reviewed here, but when you’ve still got to factor in the cost of a keyboard, it pales in comparison to its equally business-minded cousin, the Latitude 13 7370. If you’re adamant on getting a Latitude, the 13 7370 is a much better buy than the Latitude 11, but for the best overall value, the XPS 13 remains our premium laptop of choice. Looking for something a bit different, then check out our best laptop 2016 guide.

Buy the Latitude 11 5179 now from Dell

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