Shopping for a laptop is like car shopping; if you make a bad decision you are pretty much committed to it for the next three to five years. I’m a fan of Dell if you steer clear of their less than desirable line of products. Fortunately, we’ve spent some time playing around creating our own Dell laptop reviews so you don’t have to. We have five priorities when looking for a laptop:
Does the track pad work well? Way too many people have RSS and carpal tunnel syndrome due to bad ergonomics and or hardware. Make sure the laptop works well or at the very least buy an external mouse.
Does it come with a Solid State Drive with 256 gigs or better? SSD’s are necessary for laptops. The laptop gets knocked around and you are guaranteed to lose your standard SATA drive. SSD do not have this problem. They have no moving parts.
Is it 16 Gigs of RAM or greater? Every iteration of operating systems requires more RAM. NOTE: The smaller lines like the Dell XPS series of laptops solder RAM on. Check with the manufacturer or get the proper amount before committing to a purchase.
Processor, RAM, HD specs sheet.
What Computer to Buy:
Google “Dell Outlet store” for purchases based on our recommendations here:
The rest of the specs depend on your work situation. We consolidated the top concerns when purchasing into one ten minute video. Below the video is a nice narrowed down list of laptop options. All contain solid web reviews.
NOTE: The business version of the XPS line is the Dell Latitude 7400 series
15” big screen but small everything else, very light and beautiful design.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB GDDR6
Check out the ports!
USB A is a big thing. This laptop has no USB A but you can’t get an annoying adapter to convert from USB C to A. Review the illustration to the right for port guidance. Yes, the USB C and Thunderbolt look the same size but do not produce the same speeds. Plug in your ThunderBolt dock into the left side of the XPS 15 9500.
Note: ’21 version of Dell Latitude is 5510 for 15″ or 5410 for 14″
7400 is the newest model for 2019 -2020. It’s a little lighter than the previous year and the battery performance may have improved. The 7000 series is equivalent to the popular XPS laptop. However, the XPS is not a business laptop.
Dell Outlet store has the 7000 series with 16 gig, 256 SSD drive at $1000 or $800 on Black Friday sale.
ports on 7400: Universal audio port (Headset Jack + microphone-in + line-in support)
micro-SD 4.0 memory card reader
SIM card slot
USB Type-A 3.1 Gen 1 ports (PowerShare capable)
Noble wedge lock slot
Power adapter port
USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 2 port (Thunderbolt)
HDMI 1.4a port
USB Type-A 3.1 Gen 1 port
Smart card slot
Dell Latitude 7400 is a 14 inch clamshell laptop, which offers the following:
8th Gen Intel Core Whiskey Lake processors.
100% Solid-state drive computer.
14 inch FHD wide viewing angle touch display.
1x Thunderbolt 3 with Power Delivery (PD) and DisplayPort (USB Type-C).
Bluetooth 4.2LE, 5.0.
Optional face IR camera (Windows Hello compliant) with proximity sensor.
Adaptive thermal performance.Note: Dell 452-BCYT D6000 Universal Dock is the most reliable dock for this computer.
Dell Latitude 14″ 7490 (last year’s model)
7490: Headset or mic combo jack
uSD 4.0 Memory card reader
DC-in 7.4 mm barrel, DisplayPort over USB Type–C with optional Thunderbolt™ 3, 3 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (one with PowerShare), HDMI 1.4,RJ-45, external uSIM card tray option
3 x M.2 expansion slots: 1 SSD, 1 WWAN and 1 WLAN
Optional SmartCard Reader and Touch Fingerprint Reader
Noble Wedge Lock slot
Plus ethernet port
Dell Latitude E5570 (4 year Old laptop with dock)
NOTE: The E series is no longer being sold. Carrying the E means it is equipped to dock from the serial base of the computer. The Lenovo Thinkpad T480 is the only PC manufacture still equipped with a legacy docking feature.
15” screen, a little more bulky but definitely not a nuisance
How do I dock if no manufacturer is making a decent docking station or laptops no longer feature an input for a dock?
The Dell D6000 and Dell Thunderbolt Dock WD19TB are universal (works with any laptop manufacturer) docks. The laptop doesn’t really dock though. The cable from the “dock” plugs into the side of the laptop. This dock has a significant amount of outputs for multiple displays. Requirements: You have to go into “personalize” in Windows 10 to tell the laptop to be active when the laptop screen is closed though. Also, some drivers are required. It’s a safe bet any laptop will work with this dock that was made within the last two years.
I have a Mac… What’s the recommended port replicator for that?
Hopefully, this decreased this time consuming tasks to under 30 minutes. The next item is how to set it up for us or your favorite tech to your liking. Please read our post on Windows 10 support for more information.