Dell Latitude 3400: An affordable 14-inch business laptop with a significant shortcoming
The Dell Latitude 3400 impressed us during our recent tests, principally because of its long battery life and decent input devices. The 14-inch laptop is also affordable at between €550 (~US$601) and €600 (~US$656), a price that should appeal to students and those who are looking for a compact device to use at home. Incidentally, the inclusion of keyboard backlighting helps distinguish it from other comparably priced laptops.
The Latitude 3400 should have all the ports you need too. Dell has included four USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet and a full-sized SD card reader, along with HDMI and a Kensington lock slot. There is even a VGA port despite the device's compact dimensions. Strictly speaking, there are three video outputs too, as the USB Type-C port supports HDMI and DisplayPort out with the appropriate adapter.
Better still, the Latitude 3400 supports USB Power Delivery (PD), allowing you to charge it via USB Type-C rather than just the proprietary charger that Dell includes in the box. We would recommend buying at least a 65 W USB Type-C charger, as the Latitude 3400 consumed up to 47 W during our stress tests. A 65 W Type-C charger will be able to charge most modern Android smartphones too, so you could take one charger with you when travelling for both devices.
However, a major shortcoming of the Latitude 3400 is its display, which is a shame. While Dell has equipped the device with a matte, 1080p and IPS panel, the one in our review unit has a high black level and low maximum brightness, which results in a weak contrast ratio. Dell factory calibrates the display too, but it has low colour space coverages, making the device unsuitable for any colour critical work. Its low maximum brightness means that you will also struggle to use the device outside too.