If Dell’s Latitude 5300 2-in-1 is The Best convertible you can buy now, the Latitude 5300 2-in-1 is The Best convertible for professional users. We have seen a lot of 2-in-1 designs that are trying to emulate Microsoft Surface. The disadvantage is that many of them are not practical to replace a tablet or a dedicated laptop. These devices often lack the right keyboard. Or, they suffer from other limitations that will surely go against those who try to work on the machine. This is our Dell Latitude 5300 Review.
From the moment we unpacked the Dell Latitude 5300, we realized that this 2 in 1 did not fall into most of the most apparent design pitfalls for convertible systems. Dell has provided an exciting design that offers a tablet capacity without harming the laptop side of the equation.
Dell Latitude 5300 Review – Design
This device is quite light – it exceeds the scales at 1.24 kg and has a profile of 16.9 mm. Dell was able to achieve this goal through the use of primarily carbon fiber for the construction of Latitude 5300. We must note that we find the laptop extraordinarily sturdy and hard to fold when you insist on both sides. Based on the Latitude 5300, you will find a backlit keyboard with a few clicks and correct comments.
It’s not the best, but it certainly does the job. On its right, you will see the fingerprint reader, which is extremely fast. Under the keyboard, on the other side, is the touchpad. It has a beautiful rough texture, very reactive and precise. The appearance is virtually identical to any other 13-inch business notebook, with a center touchpad, and all ports are placed on the left or right edge of the chassis.
On the left, you will find a single USB Type-A port, a USB Type-C connector, an HDMI output, a proprietary power port, and a smart card reader (but this is optional). While we welcome the addition of a Type C port, the fact that this machine only has this one is uninteresting, without a docking station, as this is the only way to load or feed the device directly.
Depending on the Latitude 5300 you purchase, this type C port may be a USB 3.1 Gen 2 or Thunderbolt 3 port. Regardless of the version used, these ports support Power Delivery and DisplayPort through the interface.
The Dell Latitude 5300 is equipped with a Full HD IPS panel, AUO B133HAN05.6 (AUO562D). Its diagonal is 33.78 cm (13.3 inches) and its resolution – 1920 × 1080p. Also, the screen ratio is 16: 9, the pixel density – 166 dpi, their height – 0.153 × 0.153 mm. The screen can be considered as a retina when viewed from a minimum of 53 cm. The viewing angles are excellent. Dell uses Corning Gorilla Glass to protect the panel in all its convertible modes: laptop, tablet, tent, and presentation.
The touch screen is sensitive to your fingertips and stylus, but the shiny Gorilla Glass means you’ll see glare and glare. The image is clear, and the viewing angles are broad, but the brightness is not excellent. I would not go so far as to say that the screen is dull, but in a sunny room, I wanted to push the display beyond its maximum brightness.
The password that gives the Latitude 5300 its 2-in-1 status is relatively well hidden. This is the double hinge that folds the screen until it goes under the frame to facilitate the transformation into a tablet. The first time we did that, we thought we had accidentally broken the machine. Indeed, the screen did not flush the bottom of the main housing when folded.
Further investigation revealed that the device was not destroyed and that the keyboard and parallel screen surfaces were very slightly curved. It is an excellent design choice, which has preoccupied us for some good reasons. One of these is that, in tablet mode, the screen is only supported in a few restricted places. Another problem is that the screen is convex, placing the tablet face down on any surface puts pressure on the top and bottom edges, leaving the middle of the screen unsupported.
We did not dare to determine the level of pressure needed to break the screen. In tablet mode, the machine has a thickness of 22.44 mm, which makes it much more significant than any dedicated tablet. If you’re wondering, the keys do not retract into the case to help make it look slimmer. With the majority of its total weight of 1.43 kg in the case, the machine is very stable to type laptop mode, but for tablets, it is rather heavy.
Above the screen is a 720pixel webcam. It produced well-balanced photos and videos with accurate skin tones, but it lacked the clever Latitude 7400 2 in 1 proximity sensor that wakes up the system as you get closer. Also, the webcam on my test system wasn’t an infrared camera, but it is an optional upgrade if you want to be able to connect via Windows Hello facial recognition.
Dell Latitude 5300 Review – Performance
Our unit is equipped with the rare Whiskey Lake-U Core i5-8365U. Compared to Core i5-8265U, their base clock rate (1.6 GHz), cache size, and integrated UHD Graphics 620 graphics processor are all identical. The only noticeable difference is that the i5-8365U offers a maximum Turbo Boost clock rate of 5% faster than the i5-8265U (4.1 GHz vs. 3.9 GHz).
Compared to the Dell Latitude 7200, this system produced a slightly lower performance with identical processor and chipset. The difference is minimal, and most users will not notice that this device is a bit slower for processor-intensive tasks.
What helps to restore balance is that the Latitude 5300 SSD is much better than the Latitude 7200. It measures 1 GB/s faster in reading, although a little slower in writing.
Dell Latitude 5300 Review – Battery
After fully recharging the laptop, we set the machine to power saving mode (as opposed to balanced or high-performance way), if necessary, and we make some additional changes to save the battery for our disconnected video reduction test. In this test, we loop a video whose screen brightness is set to 50% and the volume to 100% until the system disappears.
The screen represents the highest power consumption on the battery of a laptop. Therefore, one of the advantages of not having the brightest display is the ability to operate longer. The Latitude 5300 2 in 1 lasted more than 14 hours in our unplugged trial, an impressive result, right after the HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3 in this group. The 5300 should stay with you during the longest days of work with a single charge.
On the right side, you can see the enormous jack-type power socket. It looks like it can go to these old cylindrical firecrackers. Anyway, still on the left, you can also find a USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen 2) (Thunderbolt 3 optional), an HDMI connector, a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen 1) and an optional smart card reader.
On the other side, you can see an RJ-45 connector, another USB Type-A 3.1, closely followed by the stacked MicroSD card reader above the LTE pop-up tray, and socket audio.
Keyboard & Touchpad
The backlit chiclet keyboard keys provide reduced background noise, moderate movement, and smooth feedback for a typically quiet typing experience. Users who prefer firmer or sharper keys will find The Best keyboards on HP Specter 13 or EliteBook x360 1030 devices.
A notable disadvantage is its keyboard configuration. The arrow keys, the Page Up key, and the Next Page key are half the size of the primary QWERTY keys for a more spongy and less satisfying return when you press it. Also, these smaller keys are very closely grouped, so accidental entries can be problematic, especially for users with more giant fingers.
The trackpad is small compared to the trackpad of the Dell’s XPS 13 (~ 10.5 x 6.0 cm) or the Elitebook x360 1030 G3 (11.1 x 6.5 cm). Even so, we still prefer the Latitude 5300 2-in-1 trackpad because of its dedicated mouse keys. Clicks are more accurate and reliable than embedded keypad keys, which tend to make drag and drop more difficult.
Slip-on, the surface of the slightly rough touchpad, is smooth when moving at fast or moderate speeds. There is a slight adhesion if you run at lower speeds, but we do not find it inconvenient when using.
Dell Latitude 5300 Review – Conclusion
The Dell Latitude 5300 offers many benefits by providing a system that gives tablet functionality without making the laptop much less useful as a portable computer. Where the Dell Latitude 7200 is a tablet that can also be a laptop, the 5300 is a laptop that will serve as a tablet if you wish, although it comes with several ergonomic warnings that we have already talked about.
Given the usefulness of a Windows laptop over a Windows tablet, we think the 5300 has the right balance. Because we believe that the number of times it is a notebook useful for most users far exceeds that of using a tablet. The Dell Latitude 5300 2 in 1 does not have the Latitude 7400 2 in 1 wow factor (lightweight, aluminum design, and futuristic proximity sensor).
Many business users (or, more specifically, IT managers) are willing to put aside these subtleties to improve their results. And the 5300 convertible does just that: it drops the flashy aspects of its more expensive brother to deliver a stable and well-balanced hybrid at a more affordable price. It offers Intel’s latest silicon in a robust and compact design that offers outstanding performance and considerable battery life.
The Dell Latitude 5300 2 in 1 covers the basics to provide businesses with a functional and flexible convertible laptop at an affordable price.
- Excellent battery backup
- Compact, sturdy design
- Comfortable, responsive keyboard
- Fastest fingerprint reader
- Plastic enclosure lacks sleekness of metal
- The display could be brighter