Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 review

The hybrid that might actually replace your laptop, if you can afford it

Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1

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Usage and performance

With integrated graphics, the Latitude isn’t much of an esports choice, but it’s not trying to court the gamer crowd anyway. It’s a workhorse: the Latitude galloped through our benchmarks and – thanks to its PCIe NVME SSD – made an especially good showing on CrystalDiskMark and Atto’s drive performance tests.  


Here’s how the Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

Passmark: 3,015

Passmark CPU: 8,791

CPU-Z: 420 (single-thread); 2,148 (multi-core)

Geekbench: 4,284 (single-core); 14,005 (multi-core); 21,821 (compute)

Cinebench: Open GL: 49.39 fps; CPU: 579 cb

CrystalDiskMark: 1,758 MBps (read); 1,067 MBps (write)

Novabench: 1,449

Atto: 1,738 MBps (read, 256mb); 806 MBps (write, 256mb)

Sisoft Sandra (KPT): 8.86

Windows Experience Index: 6.9

UserBenchmark (higher is better): 83

The Latitude gets top marks for its vibrant display, too. The screen’s sharp contrast and great viewing angles are real eye-savers, especially during marathon work sessions. And while other devices deliver more pixels, that doesn’t necessarily make them more impressive: higher resolutions are wasted on a 12-inch screen.

However, there are a few areas where the Latitude fails to make the grade.

Its battery only lasted a paltry 2 hours 49 minutes. Even Dell is a little red-faced about this, as the company suggests investing in its Power Bank Plus to extend the Latitude’s longevity away from a power socket. Of course, that adds more to the price tag (£97/$150) of an already costly device.

The Latitude’s keyboard is not as dysfunctional as the battery, but its small keys and paddling-pool-shallow levels of travel make long typing sessions difficult, a no-no for such an enterprise-oriented device. The touchpad and touchscreen, on the other hand, feel intuitive and precise.


The Latitude’s obvious competitor is Microsoft’s Surface Pro. It has a display with more pixels, and definitely has more of a marketing budget than Dell’s new 2-in-1, but its older CPU (7th-gen) and limited selection of ports and card slots make it less appealing to business users.

Microsoft’s detachable device is meant for the mass-market and its lower-end configurations are priced as such (it starts at £624/$799). However, note that buyers do have to purchase the Type Cover (£149/$130) separately.

The Latitude’s closest competitor could be HP’s Elite x2 1012 G2. Also built for business, the Elite x2 has similar port and card reader offerings, as well as security features, and is a bit cheaper (£1,109/$1,439). The Elite x2, however, is missing the Latitude’s clever kickstand and 8th-generation Intel processor.

At £1,011 ($1,250) the Lenovo Miix 720 is another (relatively) cheap alternative to the Latitude, but it has last year’s hardware (7th-gen processor), a larger form factor, less options when it comes to ports and no fingerprint reader or micro-SIM card slot.

Our business take

The Latitude’s enterprise value proposition is its security features. The device is FIPS 140-2 and TCG certified, offers multiple biometric methods for logging in (facial and fingerprint recognition), plus it encrypts and sequesters data via Dell’s Data Protection and ControlVault.

Sales staff will find the Latitude 5290 particularly appealing: its detachability is perfect for intimate presentations, the brushed aluminum finish and auto deploy kickstand ooze a cool professionalism, and its security will keep private client information under wraps.

Final verdict

Even as detachable 2-in-1s go, the Latitude 5290 isn’t cheap. But Dell’s theory is that your boss will pick up the tab because of the great value the device brings to businesses. And in terms of performance and professionalism – a chintzy device it most certainly isn’t – the Latitude delivers.

But is it comfortable to use? The keyboard is shallow, and its coolest feature – the detachability of the tablet – makes it unwieldy to use on non-flat surfaces. On an overall level, the Latitude isn’t uncomfortable to use, but it could be more lap-friendly considering its cost.

Any business with a lot client-facing staff should consider the Latitude 5290 2-in-1. Even if it won’t replace the good old traditional laptop completely, Dell’s 2-in-1 is perfect for the travelling professional.