Dell Latitude 5490 review

Latest Latitude comes with Intel 8th-gen cream center

Dell Latitude 5490 Hero

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Unless you are used to a gaming laptop, the Dell Latitude 5490 will seem very responsive across a wide range of applications. This design showcases the Intel 8th-generation processors well, being both strong in a single task scenario and also impressive when the problem is multi-threaded. 

The only caveat to this is that the system automatically gears the CPU and memory down when running on battery, where you can often find that the machine is only half as powerful as it is on mains power.

Dell Latitude 5490 benchmarks


Here’s how the Dell Latitude 5490 performed in our suite of benchmark tests

Passmark: 2838.4 

Passmark CPU: 8413 

CPU-Z: 395.3 (single-thread); 1963 (multi-thread) 

Geekbench: 3903 (single-core); 12402 (multi-core); 16970 (compute) 

Cinebench: OpenGL: 44.25 fps; CPU: 642 

CrystalDiskMark: 541.3 MBps (read); 528.9 MBps (write)

Novabench: 1326

Atto:  541 MBps (read, 256mb); 464 MBps (write, 256mb) 

Sisoft Sandra (KPT): 7.99 

There are two common themes to the benchmark results: decent processing power and drive speeds. However, the drive performance could have been so much better, had Dell offered NVMe. Or, if the firm had used 2.5-inch SATA SSDs, the notebook might have had 4TB of storage inside. 

That large - and heavy - battery does at least offer some operational longevity if mains power isn’t handy, with the PCMark08 Work test showing a continuous operating time of 7 hours 14 minutes.

That’s more than respectable and should get the majority of users through a standard working day.   

Dell should be pleased that its Kaby Lake U-class machine is a little quicker than most that we’ve tested so far, but only marginally.

What might have boosted some of these numbers is NVMe storage, although that might have elevated the cost by at least £200 ($230). 

Having an Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU doesn’t propel the graphics performance to gaming level, but it can play back HD video very nicely and is sufficient for presentation work. 

Final verdict 

The Dell Latitude 5490 is a rather odd combination of solid design with some head-scratching storage choices. The level of power and battery life should make it a pleasant experience for most users, presuming that those ordering the machine choose a model with sufficient drive space to use it in anger. 

Mark Pickavance

Mark is an expert on 3D printers, drones and phones. He also covers storage, including SSDs, NAS drives and portable hard drives. He started writing in 1986 and has contributed to MicroMart, PC Format, 3D World, among others.