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Dell Latitude 12 E5270 Notebook Review

Sebastian Bade (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 05/26/2016

Compact business companion. After recently testing the bigger Dell Latitude 14 E5470 extensively, the smaller scion is next in line. There is a big demand for compact devices that also always have enough computing power. Our test report reveals whether Dell successfully bridges the gap between computing performance and mobility.

For the original German review, see here.

Dell's Latitude 5000 lineup is very popular in the business-laptop category. The former Dell Latitude 12 E5250 already convinced in some aspects. Dell places special value on good quality that should satisfy the high demands of the target group. After testing Dell's Latitude 14 E5470 extensively, the somewhat smaller 12.5-inch Dell Latitude 12 E5270 is in line. The good balance of performance, mobility and price convinced us in the course of the tests.

Dell offers three different base configurations in its online shop. The cheapest device is priced at 975 Euros (~$1091) and comes with Intel's Core i3-6100U processor, 4 GB of DDR4 RAM and a 500 GB hard drive. Customers have to shell out 1295 Euros (~$1449) for Intel's Core i5-6300U processor alongside 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, which is also the configuration we are testing. The premium model of Dell's Latitude 12 E5270 starts at a base price of 1460 Euros (~$1634). Only the top model features a Full HD touchscreen. The entry-level device and our review sample unfortunately only have an HD panel (1366x768 pixels).

There are not many devices with a size of up to 13-inches to choose from. The first laptop is naturally the direct predecessor as it illustrates the technical development well. Lenovo's ThinkPad X260, which represents the classic ThinkPad business models that are new to the market, seems very obvious for comparison. HP has also upgraded its EliteBook 820 G3 and will compete with Dell's device here. The new Toshiba Portégé Z30-C-138 that we recently tested also fits into our list of comparison devices.

Overview of comparison devices:

Dell Latitude 12 E5270 (Latitude 12 Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 520, Core: 300 - 1000 MHz, 20.19.15.4390
Memory
8192 MB 
, 2 memory banks, 1 filled, DDR4 2133, Micron Technology
Display
12.5 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel 125 PPI, BOE05F4, TN, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Skylake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15, 500 GB 
, 5400 rpm, SATA, 403 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek High Definition Audio
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: stereo, front underside, Card Reader: MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: free fall
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-LM (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22.65 x 310.5 x 214.5 ( = 0.89 x 12.22 x 8.44 in)
Battery
47 Wh, 4090 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p HD
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, power supply, Dell Command, Dell Audio, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.659 kg ( = 58.52 oz / 3.66 pounds), Power Supply: 215 g ( = 7.58 oz / 0.47 pounds)
Price
1089 Euro

 

Case

Dell's Latitude 12 E5270 is made for longevity. That is particularly obvious in the build of the single components. The casing comes in a plain and rectangular design. The build is high-quality and impeccable. Everything fits tight, and nothing wobbles or creaks. No unduly sized gaps are visible. Plastic prevails as the choice of material. However, it has been carbon-fiber reinforced to increase the stiffness while keeping the weight low. We can definitely confirm this since it is virtually impossible to warp the base. However, the lid can be twisted with some effort. The base unit could be dented in the area of the multi-touchpad in the pressure test, but it was not possible to dent the edges or keyboard center. A minor wave formation can be seen when applying pressure to the lid's back.

The lid can be rotated wonderfully to the desired position thanks to its 180-degree hinge. The small hinges are additionally enclosed in an anodized metal cover. This small, colorful border frames the rear-sided Ethernet port and power-in socket as well as a part of the lid. The device has a premium feel and conveys a very high-quality impression to the person holding it. The lid's surface features a soft-touch finish that is, however, very receptive for fingerprints. A logo adorns the center of the outer shell. The base has a slightly roughened texture on the underside, which contributes to grip when carrying the laptop. The upper side is quite sleek and feels good when working with the device. The laptop weighs 1.6 kilograms and is thus heavier than all comparison devices in this test.

Connectivity

The diversity of interfaces in Dell's Latitude 12 E5270 is decent and clearly arranged. An HDMI and VGA out are on the rear and allow connecting external monitors. One of the three USB 3.0 ports and a LAN socket are also situated here. The other two USB 3.0 ports are on the left and right sides. This layout prevents obstructing a neighboring port when bigger USB flash drives are inserted. A SmartCard reader that could be a purchase criterion for a business device is also found on the left. Dell installs the card reader that supports all common formats (MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC) diagonally under the USB port. We tested its performance with our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II reference card. Using the AS SSD benchmark program, we achieved a sequential read rate of 216.39 MB/s and sequential write rate of 119.08 MB/s. Those are good outcomes, and that places Dell's Latitude 12 E5270 clearly above the average. We could not perform our reference test of transferring 289 JPEG files since the installed hard drive is too slow and would have a negative impact on the test result.

Like in all comparison devices, buyers of Dell's Latitude 12 E5270 will not find an optical drive. Dell also provides the option of configuring the Latitude 12 E5270 with an LTE wireless card by Qualcomm for an additional 87.10 Euros (~$97). A docking station port is on the underside.

Left: USB 3.0, vents, SmartCard reader
Left: USB 3.0, vents, SmartCard reader
Right: audio, card reader, USB 3.0, SIM-card slot (optional), Kensington lock slot
Right: audio, card reader, USB 3.0, SIM-card slot (optional), Kensington lock slot
Rear: Gigabit-Ethernet, VGA out, HDMI out, USB 3.0, power socket
Rear: Gigabit-Ethernet, VGA out, HDMI out, USB 3.0, power socket
Front: speakers, status LEDs
Front: speakers, status LEDs

Communication

Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260

Wireless communication is made possible by Intel's Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260. It also supports Bluetooth 4.2. This Wi-Fi module (2x 801.11ac) would theoretically enable a maximum gross transmission rate of 867 Mbit/s. We achieved a reception rate of 561 Mbit/s and a transmission rate of 463 Mbit/s in the test where ideal conditions are simulated with our reference router Linksys EA8500. The Ethernet port on the rear can also be used for connecting to networks. It operates at a maximum of 1000 Mbit/s. Dell's Latitude 12 E5270 did not have any difficulties copying large data volumes from an NAS.

Security

Touch-fingerprint scanner
Touch-fingerprint scanner

Security should be an important aspect in a business device, and Dell's laptop is very impressive here. Dell offers its customers a wide range of security features. Our review sample features a fingerprint scanner, TPM 1.2 chip, Kensington lock, Smartcard reader and an NFC module (FIPS 140-2 level 3). The fingerprint scanner is a touch sensor that enables fast identification.

Dell also optionally offers some software solutions, such as Computrace and DDP (Dell Data Protection) products.

Accessories

The accessories include a quick-start guide as well as driver and utility CD. Business devices are often connected to docking stations for keeping the desk tidy. It also provides additional interfaces. Dell presently does not offer a special docking station for its Latitude 12 E5270. The port replicator from the former lineup will likely also be supported by the current model. Depending on the interfaces, it will cost around 215 Euros or 260 Euros (~$240 or ~$291, for Dell's Latitude 12 E5250).

Operating System

Dell exclusively offers the Windows Professional 64 versions by Microsoft. The buyer can choose between Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 during the ordering process. We recommend the latest Microsoft Windows 10 Professional operating system. It was also preloaded on the review sample.

Maintenance

The entire base tray has to be removed for cleaning the fan. This undertaking is easily possible by releasing the screws. The battery, hard drive, RAM and Wi-Fi card can be accessed after removing the tray. The components' arrangement looks cleaned up, and it would be possible to replace single components without problems.

Warranty

Dell only includes a 12-month warranty (Pro-Support and on-site service on the next business day) on the Latitude 12 E5270 from date of purchase. This extensive protection can be upgraded to 48 months optionally. Dell charges a nonrecurring fee of 192 Euros (~$214) for this.

Input Devices

Dell Latitude 12 E5270: keyboard
Dell Latitude 12 E5270: keyboard
Dell Latitude 12 E5270: backlit keyboard
Dell Latitude 12 E5270: backlit keyboard

Keyboard

Dell does not make compromises with the keyboard and installs the same input device as found in the E5250 in its E5270. The keys have a pleasant size and a long, soft drop. Their surface is relatively sleek, but it still provides enough grip for fast and prolonged typing. The stroke noise is agreeably quiet so that neighboring colleagues will not be distracted. All keys fit firmly and do not clatter. Furthermore, the keyboard is spill-proof. The subtle backlight ensures good legibility in dark work environments.

Touchpad

Dell Latitude 12 E5270: touchpad
Dell Latitude 12 E5270: touchpad

Although Dell's Latitude 12 E5270 is a pure business laptop, Dell still does not install a TrackPoint. The touchpad is nevertheless a good mouse replacement. It has a gliding surface of 10 x 5.3 centimeters, and multi-touch inputs can be performed smoothly and accurately. The corners are still a problem zone. Two dedicated keys complete the touchpad. Like the keyboard, both keys have a soft drop and are pleasantly quiet when tapped.

Display

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid
Dark reproduction in the upper corners
Dark reproduction in the upper corners

Dell furnishes our review sample with a matte, 12.5-inch TN panel. The screen's illumination of 90% is relatively good. Both upper corners are visibly darker than the rest of the screen on a black image. That is not the disturbing factor in practical use. The panel has a native resolution of 1366x768 pixels, which equals in a pixel density of approximately 125 PPI. The panel has an average brightness of just 151.8 cd/m². That is particularly annoying in bright work environments. The IPS screen in Toshiba's Portégé Z30-C-138 is much brighter at 280 cd/m², and Lenovo also equips its ThinkPad X260 with an IPS panel that achieves a much better result. Dell also offers the Latitude 12 E5270 with a Full HD touchscreen, and we would recommend considering this upgrade when ordering. However, that also increases the base price to 1460 Euros (~$1634).

150
cd/m²
155
cd/m²
145
cd/m²
157
cd/m²
161
cd/m²
151
cd/m²
151
cd/m²
148
cd/m²
148
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 161 cd/m² Average: 151.8 cd/m² Minimum: 8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 161 cd/m²
Contrast: 555:1 (Black: 0.29 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 10.31 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 11.3 | - Ø
58.82% sRGB (Argyll) 37.32% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.57
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
TN, 1366x768
Dell Latitude 12 E5250
TN, 1366x768
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
IPS, 1366x768
HP EliteBook 820 G3
TN LED, 1366x768
Toshiba Portege Z30-C-138
IPS, 1920x1080
Response Times
-29%
-25%
-29%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
45.2 (22.4, 22.8)
42.8 (18.8, 24)
5%
58 (24.8, 33.2)
-28%
42 (18, 24)
7%
Response Time Black / White *
24 (6.8, 17.2)
27.2 (12.4, 14.8)
-13%
29.2 (12, 17.2)
-22%
28 (7, 21)
-17%
PWM Frequency
1000 (90)
220 (90)
-78%
217 (40)
-78%
Screen
-21%
45%
-7%
47%
Brightness
152
160
5%
251
65%
240
58%
280
84%
Brightness Distribution
90
83
-8%
88
-2%
84
-7%
87
-3%
Black Level *
0.29
0.586
-102%
0.26
10%
0.6
-107%
0.31
-7%
Contrast
555
304
-45%
1008
82%
407
-27%
968
74%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
10.31
10.42
-1%
3.55
66%
9
13%
4.9
52%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
11.3
11.57
-2%
3.36
70%
9.48
16%
6.69
41%
Gamma
2.57 93%
2.34 103%
2.39 100%
2.44 98%
2.33 103%
CCT
13574 48%
13931 47%
5985 109%
11116 58%
6487 100%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
37.32
40
7%
45.9
23%
37.18
0%
63
69%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
58.82
58.63
0%
98
67%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-21% / -21%
8% / 23%
-16% / -10%
9% / 26%

* ... smaller is better

AdobeRGB coverage (37.32%)
AdobeRGB coverage (37.32%)
sRGB coverage (58.82%)
sRGB coverage (58.82%)

The panel displays strong shifts in colors and grayscale levels, which are reflected in very high DeltaE 2000 rates. This can be improved with the adapted ICC profile that we provide for downloading as usual. A bluish tint is very visible without calibration.

The low color-space coverage of both AdobeRGB (37.2%) and sRGB (58.82%) emphasize that this screen is unsuitable for professional use.

Grayscale (pre-calibration)
Grayscale (pre-calibration)
Grayscale (post-calibration)
Grayscale (post-calibration)
ColorChecker (pre-calibration)
ColorChecker (pre-calibration)
ColorChecker (post-calibration)
ColorChecker (post-calibration)
Saturation Sweeps (pre-calibration)
Saturation Sweeps (pre-calibration)
Saturation Sweeps (post-calibration)
Saturation Sweeps (post-calibration)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
24 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6.8 ms rise
↘ 17.2 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 28 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (26.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
45.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22.4 ms rise
↘ 22.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 69 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (42.5 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 1000 Hz90 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 1000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 90 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 1000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 55 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8622 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Dell Latitude 12 E5270: viewing angles
Dell Latitude 12 E5270: viewing angles

The matte TN panel only provides limited viewing-angle stability. The colors and brightness clearly distort when looking from the sides. Dell tries to counter this problem with the 180 ° hinges, which allows rotating the screen to an ideal position. The low brightness of Dell's Latitude 12 E5270 is its downfall outdoors. Although the matte surface prevents annoying reflections, working with the laptop in sunlight is hardly possible. Therefore, a shadowy place should be chosen where possible for working efficiently outdoors.

Outdoors in sunlight
Outdoors in sunlight
Outdoors in the shade
Outdoors in the shade

Performance

Dell's Latitude 12 E5270 is a 12.5-inch business laptop of the upper mid-range. The installed components are designed for longevity. Our review sample is furnished with Intel's Core i5-6300U, 8 GB of RAM and a 500 GB hard drive. Thus, the laptop is ideal for office and multimedia applications. Dell does not offer a stronger processor. The entry-level device is shipped with Intel's Core i3-6100U and 4 GB of RAM. It is absolutely predestined for work in a productive environment thanks to its extensive security standards. However, a 12.5-inch device priced at 1295 Euros (~$1449) is definitely not a bargain.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWiNFO
DPC Latency
Intel Extreme Tuning Utility

Processor

Buyers have to decide whether they want an Intel Core i3-6100U or Intel Core i5-6300U beforehand. It is not possible to change them later as both CPUs are soldered.

Our review sample sports Intel's Core i5-6300U processor. It has two physical cores that can process 4 threads simultaneously via Hyper-Threading. The Skylake processor, with a TDP of 15 watts, ensures good battery runtimes. The base clock of Intel's Core i5-6300U is 2.4 GHz, which can be boosted to 3.0 GHz (1 core) and 2.9 GHz (2 cores) in Turbo mode. Our review sample is on par with HP's EliteBook 820 G3 that is also powered by Intel's Core i5-6300U when comparing the Cinebench R15 scores. The former model with Intel's Core i5-4310U based on Haswell is surpassed by approx. 15 to 20%.

Cinebench R10
Cinebench R10
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15
Jetstream 1.1
Jetstream 1.1
Octane V2
Octane V2
Mozilla Kraken 1.1
Mozilla Kraken 1.1
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400
121 Points ∼98%
Dell Latitude 12 E5250
Intel Core i5-4310U, 2000
107 Points ∼87% -12%
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
Intel Core i5-6200U, 2300
112 Points ∼91% -7%
HP EliteBook 820 G3
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400
123 Points ∼100% +2%
Toshiba Portege Z30-C-138
Intel Core i7-6500U, 2500
84 Points ∼68% -31%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400
305 Points ∼98%
Dell Latitude 12 E5250
Intel Core i5-4310U, 2000
252 Points ∼81% -17%
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
Intel Core i5-6200U, 2300
289 Points ∼93% -5%
HP EliteBook 820 G3
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400
311 Points ∼100% +2%
Toshiba Portege Z30-C-138
Intel Core i7-6500U, 2500
288 Points ∼93% -6%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400
1.38 Points ∼100%
Dell Latitude 12 E5250
Intel Core i5-4310U, 2000
1.06 Points ∼77% -23%
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
Intel Core i5-6200U, 2300
1.32 Points ∼96% -4%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400
3.34 Points ∼100%
Dell Latitude 12 E5250
Intel Core i5-4310U, 2000
2.73 Points ∼82% -18%
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
Intel Core i5-6200U, 2300
3.19 Points ∼96% -4%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400
6028 Points ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
Intel Core i5-6200U, 2300
5693 Points ∼94% -6%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400
13274 Points ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
Intel Core i5-6200U, 2300
12606 Points ∼95% -5%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400
199.06 Points ∼90%
HP EliteBook 820 G3
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400
188 Points ∼85% -6%
Toshiba Portege Z30-C-138
Intel Core i7-6500U, 2500
220 Points ∼100% +11%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400
30812 Points ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
Intel Core i5-6200U, 2300
26857 Points ∼87% -13%
HP EliteBook 820 G3
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400
29020 Points ∼94% -6%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400
1196.2 ms * ∼93%
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
Intel Core i5-6200U, 2300
1282.7 ms * ∼100% -7%
HP EliteBook 820 G3
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400
1202.6 ms * ∼94% -1%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
7939
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
10432
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4625
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
8011 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
13274 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
6028 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.34 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
30.97 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.38 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
305 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
121 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
38.17 fps
Help

System Performance

SD-card performance
SD-card performance

An SSD would improve system performance considerably. Although the installed hard drive spins at 7200 RPM, it cannot at all compete with the performance of an SSD. Installing a fast SSD would also utilize the performance of the very swift SD-card reader without speed losses. The PCMark 8 benchmark scores also illustrate a performance increase of 16% over the former Dell Latitude 12 E5250. Lenovo's ThinkPad X260 is on par with our review sample. Only HP's EliteBook 820 G3 has a slight lead in our comparison tests thanks to its fast PCIe SSD.

PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 7
PCMark 7
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
4273 Points ∼93%
Dell Latitude 12 E5250
Intel Core i5-4310U, 2000, Sandisk X110 SD6SF1M-256G-1022
3636 Points ∼79% -15%
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
Intel Core i5-6200U, 2300, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
4335 Points ∼95% +1%
HP EliteBook 820 G3
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4581 Points ∼100% +7%
Creative Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
3588 Points ∼93%
Dell Latitude 12 E5250
Intel Core i5-4310U, 2000, Sandisk X110 SD6SF1M-256G-1022
2996 Points ∼78% -16%
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
Intel Core i5-6200U, 2300, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3735 Points ∼97% +4%
HP EliteBook 820 G3
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
3845 Points ∼100% +7%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
3291 Points ∼97%
Dell Latitude 12 E5250
Intel Core i5-4310U, 2000, Sandisk X110 SD6SF1M-256G-1022
2696 Points ∼79% -18%
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
Intel Core i5-6200U, 2300, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3262 Points ∼96% -1%
HP EliteBook 820 G3
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
3400 Points ∼100% +3%
Toshiba Portege Z30-C-138
Intel Core i7-6500U, 2500, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ512G8NY
3271 Points ∼96% -1%
PCMark 7
Productivity (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
1889 Points ∼54%
Dell Latitude 12 E5250
Intel Core i5-4310U, 2000, Sandisk X110 SD6SF1M-256G-1022
3480 Points ∼100% +84%
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
Intel Core i5-6200U, 2300, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2620 Points ∼75% +39%
Score (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, 2400, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
3263 Points ∼80%
Dell Latitude 12 E5250
Intel Core i5-4310U, 2000, Sandisk X110 SD6SF1M-256G-1022
4067 Points ∼100% +25%
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
Intel Core i5-6200U, 2300, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3777 Points ∼93% +16%
PCMark 7 Score
3263 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3291 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
3588 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4273 points
Help

Storage Device

Dell relies on a conventional hard drive storage by Seagate. With 500 GB, it offers enough capacity for applications. The drive spins at 7200 RPM and thus has a marginal speed advantage compared with 5400 RPM drives. We ascertained an average transfer rate of 108 MB/s with the HD Tune tool. We would, however, recommend installing a fast SSD to eliminate the hard drive as the "bottleneck". Here, we also note that only one storage device can be installed. The 2.5-inch slot overlaps the M.2 2280 slot.

CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark
HD Tune
HD Tune
Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
Transfer Rate Minimum: 59.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 137.2 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 108 MB/s
Access Time: 16.7 ms
Burst Rate: 91.9 MB/s
CPU Usage: 12.6 %

Graphics Card

Intel's HD Graphics 520 graphics unit is installed in Dell's Latitude 12 E5270. It does not have a dedicated memory, and thus it has to share the system's RAM. The installed DDR4 RAM improves the GPU's performance compared with the older DDR3 RAM. One RAM module is installed in our review sample. Consequently, it only operates in single-channel mode. Installing a second RAM module would improve the graphics performance since it could then run in dual-channel mode. The graphics unit supports DirectX 12, and it can also decode videos with the modern H.265/HEVC codec.

Intel's HD Graphics 520 clocks at speeds of 300 MHz - 1000 MHz. The performance has increased by approximately 50% compared with the former model with Intel's HD Graphics 4400. Our Dell Latitude 12 E5270 review sample leads the 3DMark benchmark list.

3DMark Ice Storm
3DMark Ice Storm
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Sky Diver
3DMark Sky Diver
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark 11
3DMark 11
3DMark06
3DMark06
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, HD Graphics 520
764 Points ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
Intel Core i5-6200U, HD Graphics 520
688 Points ∼90% -10%
HP EliteBook 820 G3
Intel Core i5-6300U, HD Graphics 520
711 Points ∼93% -7%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, HD Graphics 520
5594 Points ∼100%
Dell Latitude 12 E5250
Intel Core i5-4310U, HD Graphics 4400
3697 Points ∼66% -34%
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
Intel Core i5-6200U, HD Graphics 520
4938 Points ∼88% -12%
HP EliteBook 820 G3
Intel Core i5-6300U, HD Graphics 520
5164 Points ∼92% -8%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, HD Graphics 520
56950 Points ∼100%
Dell Latitude 12 E5250
Intel Core i5-4310U, HD Graphics 4400
36234 Points ∼64% -36%
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
Intel Core i5-6200U, HD Graphics 520
45479 Points ∼80% -20%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, HD Graphics 520
1389 Points ∼100%
Dell Latitude 12 E5250
Intel Core i5-4310U, HD Graphics 4400
843 Points ∼61% -39%
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
Intel Core i5-6200U, HD Graphics 520
1210 Points ∼87% -13%
HP EliteBook 820 G3
Intel Core i5-6300U, HD Graphics 520
1280 Points ∼92% -8%
Toshiba Portege Z30-C-138
Intel Core i7-6500U, HD Graphics 520
1377 Points ∼99% -1%
1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
Intel Core i5-6300U, HD Graphics 520
1518 Points ∼97%
Dell Latitude 12 E5250
Intel Core i5-4310U, HD Graphics 4400
930 Points ∼60% -39%
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
Intel Core i5-6200U, HD Graphics 520
1332 Points ∼85% -12%
HP EliteBook 820 G3
Intel Core i5-6300U, HD Graphics 520
1408 Points ∼90% -7%
Toshiba Portege Z30-C-138
Intel Core i7-6500U, HD Graphics 520
1559 Points ∼100% +3%
3DMark 06 Standard
9187 points
3DMark 11 Performance
1518 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
56950 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
5594 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
764 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
349 points
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Gaming Performance

Despite the relatively good outcomes in the 3DMark benchmarks, not too much should be expected in the gaming sector. Compared with Intel's HD Graphics 4400, the performance of Intel's HD Graphics 520 has increased considerably. However, the performance is only enough to render older games in HD resolution using minimum presets. The installed HD panel does not allow for higher resolutions. Business laptops do not actually call for a stronger graphics solution. However, the performance of Intel's HD Graphics is enough for a small break in the form of basic casual games from the Windows Store.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 46.324.920.7fps
Battlefield 4 (2013) 42.624.819.1fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 18.212.3fps

Emissions

Fan: Frequency response (idle, full load)
Fan: Frequency response (idle, full load)

System Noise

Dell's Latitude 12 E5270 is agreeably quiet in idle mode with a noise of 32.9 dB(A). Only noises from the hard drive are always emitted. This produces 33.5 dB(A) and is audible depending on the selected energy profile. We measured a top rate of 34.9 dB(A) during load using the "High Performance" setting and running Prime95 and Furmark simultaneously. Only Lenovo's ThinkPad X260 is quieter than Dell's Latitude 12 E5270 in all test categories. The comparison with Dell's Latitude 12 E5250 shows only a better load outcome for the E5270. The predecessor with an SSD is up to 10% quieter in some idle cases. Our review sample is nevertheless quiet and not at all distracting. The small fan does not produce any unpleasant noises even during load.

Noise Level

Idle
32.9 / 32.9 / 32.9 dB(A)
HDD
33.5 dB(A)
Load
33.7 / 34.9 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   ECM8000 + Voltcraft SL-451 (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29.2 dB(A)
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
Dell Latitude 12 E5250
HD Graphics 4400, 4310U, Sandisk X110 SD6SF1M-256G-1022
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
HP EliteBook 820 G3
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Toshiba Portege Z30-C-138
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ512G8NY
Noise
3%
7%
4%
-7%
off / environment *
29.2
29
1%
29.2
-0%
31.2
-7%
Idle Minimum *
32.9
29.5
10%
29.4
11%
29.2
11%
31.2
5%
Idle Average *
32.9
29.5
10%
29.4
11%
29.2
11%
31.2
5%
Idle Maximum *
32.9
31.9
3%
29.4
11%
29.2
11%
31.2
5%
Load Average *
33.7
33.9
-1%
33.2
1%
35.6
-6%
43.3
-28%
Load Maximum *
34.9
36.5
-5%
33.2
5%
37
-6%
43.3
-24%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Stress test Prime95 + Furmark
Stress test Prime95 + Furmark
Stress test Furmark only
Stress test Furmark only
Stress test Prime95 only
Stress test Prime95 only
3DMark 11 after stress test
3DMark 11 after stress test

The temperature development of our review sample is pleasing. All idle rates remain more or less clearly below 30 °C and are not disconcerting. The temperatures increase during load and reach a maximum of 45.7 °C on the underside in the docking station port area. The laptop's upper side heats up to 43.5 °C in the keyboard center to the left edge where the vents for the fan's waste heat are situated.

The processor's maximum temperature is reached using Prime95. HWiNFO64 displays 83 °C at a frequency of 2.8 GHz, which is also maintained stably. The graphics unit's temperature climbs to 79 °C with the Furmark benchmark program. Its frequency fluctuates between 850 MHz and 950 MHz initially, and it settles to 900 MHz in the course of the test. However, we do not achieve the aforesaid rates in the actual stress test where Prime95 and Furmark both run simultaneously for at least an hour. Shortly after starting both programs, the CPU's speed is throttled from 2.9 GHz to 1.5 GHz, which is also evidently below the base clock of 2.4 GHz - the low TDP of just 15 watts is clearly responsible for this limitation. The GPU clocks consistently at 900 MHz. We rerun 3DMark 11 immediately afterward and achieve a score of 1448 points - an outcome that is approximately 5% lower than after a cold start. The stress test is performed identically in both AC and battery modes.

Max. Load
 43.5 °C39.8 °C32.5 °C 
 38.3 °C36.6 °C32.2 °C 
 25.6 °C28 °C29.4 °C 
Maximum: 43.5 °C
Average: 34 °C
44.5 °C45.7 °C32 °C
31.3 °C33.3 °C32.1 °C
27.3 °C29.8 °C30.2 °C
Maximum: 45.7 °C
Average: 34 °C
Power Supply (max.)  38.1 °C | Room Temperature 20.8 °C | Fluke 62 Max

Speakers

Speakers: Frequency response (off, half volume, maximum volume)
Speakers: Frequency response
Dell Audio - MAXX AUDIO PRO
Dell Audio - MAXX AUDIO PRO

The stereo speakers are situated on the front's left and right. They are installed at an angle, and the sound is reflected from the tabletop toward the user. They are especially suitable for videoconferencing. Trebles and mids are clearly audible into maximum volume, although mids indomitably prevail. Basses are suggested but they are barely perceivable. The volume for a device of this size is absolutely acceptable. The integrated sound system is definitely sufficient for short YouTube videos. The sound characteristics can be customized via predefined audio profiles or the equalizer in the MAXX AUDIO PRO software. However, users who want high-quality sound enjoyment should use headphones or other external devices. Audio output via the stereo jack functioned impeccably.

Energy Management

65-watt power supply
65-watt power supply

Power Consumption

Almost all review samples are on par in power consumption. The devices averagely consume around 30 watts in medium load. Only the much higher consumption of Toshiba's Portégé Z30-C-138 steps out of line. Dell's Latitude 12 E5270 can reach a short peak consumption rate of just over 40 watts. The E5270 is content with 6.6 watts in idle mode with enabled communication interfaces. That is a 17% improvement over the predecessor. The rates are within an acceptable range. The power supply with an output of 65 watts is sufficiently sized.

Dell Latitude 12 E5270
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Seagate ST500LM021-1KJ15
Dell Latitude 12 E5250
HD Graphics 4400, 4310U, Sandisk X110 SD6SF1M-256G-1022
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
HP EliteBook 820 G3
HD Graphics 520, 6300U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Toshiba Portege Z30-C-138
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ512G8NY
Power Consumption
6%
5%
7%
-15%
Idle Minimum *
3.9
3.6
8%
3.6
8%
3.5
10%
3.2
18%
Idle Average *
6
5.5
8%
5.9
2%
5.4
10%
7.8
-30%
Idle Maximum *
6.6
7.7
-17%
6.6
-0%
6.2
6%
8.7
-32%
Load Average *
28.9
28.9
-0%
28.5
1%
27.3
6%
42.2
-46%
Load Maximum *
41.7
29
30%
36.8
12%
39.5
5%
35.7
14%

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.21 / 0.65 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.9 / 6 / 6.6 Watt
Load midlight 28.9 / 41.7 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Runtime

47 Wh battery
47 Wh battery

The 6-cell lithium battery has a capacity of 47 Wh. That is a plus of 7 Wh compared with Dell's Latitude 12 E5250. This additional capacity is also reflected in a somewhat longer runtime. One battery charge is enough for 2:08 hours of full load. The battery lasted 6:38 hours in our real-world Wi-Fi test that opens different websites every 30 seconds.

Both Lenovo's ThinkPad X260 and HP's EliteBook 820 G3 have almost the same battery capacity as Dell's Latitude 12 E5270. Nevertheless, both devices can sometimes place themselves clearly before our review sample. Toshiba's Portégé Z30-C-138 with the biggest battery of 52 Wh cannot distance itself from the rivals.

Maximum battery life
Maximum battery life
Minimum battery life
Minimum battery life
Wi-Fi battery life
Wi-Fi battery life
H.264 battery life
H.264 battery life
Charging time
Charging time
Dell Latitude 12 E5270
47 Wh
Dell Latitude 12 E5250
40 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad X260-20F60041GE
46 Wh
HP EliteBook 820 G3
44 Wh
Toshiba Portege Z30-C-138
52 Wh
Battery Runtime
-22%
9%
14%
-13%
Reader / Idle
772
646
-16%
795
3%
826
7%
H.264
353
386
9%
495
40%
WiFi v1.3
398
396
-1%
373
-6%
345
-13%
Load
128
92
-28%
160
25%
144
13%
WiFi
331
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
12h 52min
WiFi Surfing v1.3 (Edge: 25.10586.0.0)
6h 38min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
5h 53min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 08min

Pros

+ decent build
+ rigid casing
+ good battery life
+ backlit keyboard
+ decent input devices
+ docking port
+ good SD-card performance
+ many security features
+ sensible interface distribution

Cons

- screen brightness
- viewing angle stability
- difficult to remove battery
- only 12-month warranty
- only HDD

Verdict

In review: Dell Latitude 12 E5270. Test model courtesy of Dell Germany.
In review: Dell Latitude 12 E5270. Test model courtesy of Dell Germany.

Dell's Latitude 12 E5270 is a business laptop with many security features that could often be decisive for purchasing. The new Skylake processors managed to slightly increase the performance compared with the predecessor. The battery life has also improved thanks to a somewhat stronger battery. The price of 1295 Euros (~$1449) for our review sample clearly surpasses the 1000-Euro (~$1119) limit. Thus, the price is definitely not a bargain for a 12.5-inch device. However, the laptop presents an all-over impeccable build and is rigid. Furthermore, everything is made for longevity and the selection of security features is vast. The interfaces are positioned sensibly and it is possible to expand them with a docking station. Buyers have come to appreciate these small details and are also prepared to invest money for them. Just the name of the Latitude lineup alone stands for quality and good manufacturing.

In further course, the very good first impression is clearly marred by the panel's rather poor quality.

We have to mention some points of criticism at this point. The screen that is absolutely outdated does not belong in a business laptop of this price range, even if the manufacturer offers better alternatives for a surcharge. The panel's low brightness makes working in bright environments difficult. We would wish for a fast SSD as system storage for use as a business device. The prices for SSDs have dropped drastically recently, continuously lessening the price difference to conventional hard drives.

We also like the basic, slim and yet rigid casing. The computing performance of Intel's Core i5-6300U is definitely enough for routine tasks. We can also confirm the good input devices, such as touchpad and keyboard. The latter also features a useful backlight with two brightness levels.

Dell Latitude 12 E5270 - 05/18/2016 v5.1
Sebastian Bade

Chassis
89 /  98 → 91%
Keyboard
87%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
63 / 80 → 78%
Weight
67 / 78 → 74%
Battery
87%
Display
67%
Games Performance
56 / 68 → 82%
Application Performance
76 / 87 → 87%
Temperature
90 / 91 → 99%
Noise
88%
Audio
55 / 91 → 60%
Camera
48 / 85 → 56%
Average
74%
81%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Dell Latitude 12 E5270 Notebook Review
Sebastian Bade, 2016-05-26 (Update: 2016-05-27)