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Dell Latitude 3450 Notebook Review

Nino Ricchizzi, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 04/20/2015

First business contact. Dell wants to show us what equipment an affordable laptop for business routine needs with its Latitude 3450. The laptop lures with an IPS screen and a good battery life. However, minor shortcomings have to be accepted for a price of 915 Euros (~$981).

For the original German review, see here.

Dell describes its new Latitude 3450 as an entry-level business system. The manufacturer offers the basic configuration that is to cope with the conditions of the working world for 680 Euros (~$729). We will examine the 915-Euro (~$981) model (incl. tax), which is the flagship of this lineup. Dell installs an Intel Core i5-5200U from the Broadwell architecture alongside the internal Intel HD Graphics 5500. An 8 GB working memory that operates in dual-channel mode supplements that. A Full HD IPS screen is in charge of visualization in the 14-inch Latitude. Furthermore, it is possible to add a fingerprint reader for an extra 4.20 Euros (~$4.50) during the configuration. Other configuration options can be found on the manufacturer's website.

A look at the competition reveals how much business the buyer can expect for this price. Acer's TravelMate P246 is an interesting comparison model priced at 650 Euros (~$697). Our tested model featured an Intel Core i5-4210U, 4 GB of working memory, a 500 GB hard drive, and a TN screen with a resolution of 1366x768 pixels. This configuration is very similar with that of the mid-range Latitude 3450 for just below 800 Euros (~$858).

Dell Latitude 3450-9723 (Latitude 3000 Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 5500, Core: 300 MHz, 10.18.10.3960 WHQL / Win8.1 64
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR3, dual-channel
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, AU Optronics AUO133D B140HAN M1WHV, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Broadwell-U PCH-LP (Premium)
Storage
Toshiba MQ01ABD100, 1000 GB 
, 5400 rpm
Soundcard
Intel Broadwell PCH-LP - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combo audio, Card Reader: SD
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 (a/b/g/h/n/ac), Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 21 x 341 x 245 ( = 0.83 x 13.43 x 9.65 in)
Battery
58 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: stereo speakers, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes
Weight
2.05 kg ( = 72.31 oz / 4.52 pounds), Power Supply: 340 g ( = 11.99 oz / 0.75 pounds)
Price
915 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case & Connectivity

The choice of materials is limited to plastic parts, which only differ slightly in color. The display's back and base unit feature a dark gray color. Another, darker gray is used for the keyboard and display area when opened. Almost invisible blue dots glitter on the otherwise matte surface. The review laptop's feel is mostly satisfactory. As is often seen, the spacing between the display and the bezel is, unfortunately, too big, and thus very nasty dust will accumulate there. Opening the casing always produced a loud creaking noise. Beyond that, the keyboard and display back were easy to dent. We did not find any major flaws in terms of gaps or other processing issues. Dell's laptop is not a disagreeable companion with a weight of 2050 grams. Its maximum height of 25 mm is on par with Acer's device.

The manufacturer has chosen the positioning for the interfaces well. All ports are in the rear on the right and left side edges. Consequently, connected cables will not obstruct the work space on the desk. The only drawback is that only two of the three USB ports support the USB 3.0 standard.

Although Dell's Latitude does not have any dedicated maintenance covers, the large base unit can be lifted off after removing only two screws. The cover should, however, be removed with extreme care because many of the plastic clips might break. The battery, working memory, hard drive and Wi-Fi module are easy to take out after removal.

Input Devices

Focus is on the office field
Focus is on the office field

Keyboard

The keyboard has to fulfill a certain standard particularly in the office sector. Dell is also exemplary in its entry-level here. The soft yet crisp drop convinces. The pressure points are throughout even, and the keys do not yield at the corners. Hardly palpable, the space bar features a slightly softer drop. Dell installs a two-level keyboard backlight for working in the dark. The noise level does not climb into unpleasant regions even when typing more energetically but stays consistently muffled and quiet.

Trackpad

The trackpad's size of 10.5 x 8.1 cm is generously sized and has two incorporated buttons. Its surface has been roughened slightly, which results in a decent sleekness. The left button occasionally stuck in our review sample, which interrupted the workflow. We cannot say whether that was a hardware or software error. Inputting and gesture control functioned smoothly and without problems otherwise.

Display

Direct sunlight
Direct sunlight
Indirect sunlight
Indirect sunlight

A high-quality, matte IPS screen with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels has been installed in our review sample. Like Acer, the lower priced models of this Latitude lineup rely on a 1366x768-pixel TN model. The average brightness of 273 cd/m² is quite decent and 50 cd/m² higher than that of the TravelMate. The contrast of 681:1 is also good but does not lead to a rich black alongside the resulting black value of 0.445 cd/m².

262
cd/m²
278
cd/m²
280
cd/m²
266
cd/m²
303
cd/m²
283
cd/m²
250
cd/m²
277
cd/m²
262
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 303 cd/m² Average: 273.4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 303 cd/m²
Contrast: 681:1 (Black: 0.445 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.94 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 4.28 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
Gamma: 2.5

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The CalMAN assessments confirm the positive color and grayscale level reproduction common for IPS screens. However, the shift is sooner located in the midfield for this model type. We are speaking of a DeltaE rate of 4.28 in the grayscale and 3.94 in the colors.

Thanks to the matte screen and high brightness, nothing stands in the way of outdoor use. As long as direct sunlight does not impair the view, Dell's Latitude 3450 can be used as a permanent companion.

CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale

Performance

Maintenance friendly
Maintenance friendly

Our review sample wants to fulfill the demands of the office world. An Intel Core i5-5200U provides the needed computing power and will not falter even in multimedia applications and some programs with higher requirement. Two 4 GB working memory modules operate in dual-channel mode, which enables a decent system performance. There is enough storage available in the form of a 1 TB magnet hard drive. Dell regrettably does not offer an SSD option.

Processor

The installed Intel Core i5-5200U CPU operates with a clock speed of 2.2 GHz, which can be increased up to 2.7 GHz via Turbo Boost. The "U" in the name indicates an energy-efficient processor. Intel specifies a TDP of 15 watts for it. We will analyze how the dual-core CPU fares compared with its contenders based on Cinebench R15. In contrast to the precursor CPU from the Haswell line, Dell's laptop achieves a 9% better score in the multi-core sector.

There are no performance losses when AC mode cannot be used. Cinebench R15 clocked stably with 2.6 GHz in battery mode and achieves the same score in the multi-core test.

More comparisons and details can be found in the corresponding article in our FAQ.

Cinebench R15 - CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 3450-9723
260 Points ∼8%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
304 Points ∼10% +17%
HP Probook 645 G1
118 Points ∼4% -55%
Acer TravelMate P246-M-598B
239 Points ∼8% -8%
Acer TravelMate P645-MG-74508G75tkk
234 Points ∼8% -10%

Legend

 
Dell Latitude 3450-9723 Intel Core i5-5200U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
 
Fujitsu Lifebook E544 Intel Core i5-4210M, Intel HD Graphics 4600, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
 
HP Probook 645 G1 AMD A6-5350M, AMD Radeon HD 8450G, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
 
Acer TravelMate P246-M-598B Intel Core i5-4210U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
 
Acer TravelMate P645-MG-74508G75tkk Intel Core i7-4500U, AMD Radeon HD 8750M, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.23 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.74 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
22.01 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
105 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
260 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
29.35 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Help

System Performance

Working with Dell's Latitude 3450 was always speedy. SSD users will, however, notice the difference to a HDD. The PCMark 7 system benchmark confirms exactly this subjective impression. Dell's device reaps in an approximately 19% higher score with 2856 points than our previously tested Acer TravelMate. We have to point out that this difference will be marginally lower when selecting a Latitude configuration with a price closer to that of Acer's laptop.

PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 3450-9723
2856 Points ∼33%
Acer TravelMate P246-M-598B
2405 Points ∼28% -16%
Acer TravelMate P645-MG-74508G75tkk
5159 Points ∼60% +81%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
3439 Points ∼40% +20%
HP Probook 645 G1
1908 Points ∼22% -33%

Legend

 
Dell Latitude 3450-9723 Intel Core i5-5200U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
 
Acer TravelMate P246-M-598B Intel Core i5-4210U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
 
Acer TravelMate P645-MG-74508G75tkk Intel Core i7-4500U, AMD Radeon HD 8750M, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
 
Fujitsu Lifebook E544 Intel Core i5-4210M, Intel HD Graphics 4600, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
 
HP Probook 645 G1 AMD A6-5350M, AMD Radeon HD 8450G, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
PCMark 7 Score
2856 points
Help

Storage Device

As to the storage device, Dell's Latitude 3450 uses a 1 TB magnet hard drive that spins with 5400 rpm. Lower-priced models of the lineup utilize a 500 GB hard drive. Users who want more speed will have to organize a hard drive on their own because Dell does not list any options. CrystalDiskMark records normal rates for this model type.

Dell Latitude 3450-9723
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
Acer TravelMate P246-M-598B
HD Graphics 4400, 4210U, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
HP Probook 645 G1
Radeon HD 8450G, A6-5350M, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
49%
2%
11%
Write 4k QD32
0.799
1.428
79%
0.716
-10%
0.807
1%
Read 4k QD32
0.698
1.229
76%
0.733
5%
0.786
13%
Write 4k
0.797
1.368
72%
0.721
-10%
0.82
3%
Read 4k
0.376
0.478
27%
0.314
-16%
0.323
-14%
Write 512
27.48
54.29
98%
50.63
84%
44.12
61%
Read 512
32.27
38.59
20%
26.97
-16%
31.71
-2%
Write Seq
94.95
108.2
14%
101.3
7%
110.5
16%
Read Seq
103.6
108.5
5%
74.2
-28%
112.8
9%
Toshiba MQ01ABD100
Transfer Rate Minimum: 10.4 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 111.3 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 84.7 MB/s
Access Time: 17.6 ms
Burst Rate: 95.4 MB/s
CPU Usage: 5.1 %

Graphics Card

An Intel HD Graphics 5500 serves as the graphics unit. The processor graphics card supports important standards like OpenCL 2.0 and DirectX 11.2. A clear performance advantage over the former version becomes obvious here. Acer's laptop with an Intel HD Graphics 4400 achieves an approximately 30% lower performance than our office laptop.

Like with the CPU, the performance remains constant in battery mode, and thus the same scores were achieved in 3DMark 11.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 3450-9723
1100 Points ∼4%
Acer TravelMate P246-M-598B
794 Points ∼3% -28%
Acer TravelMate P645-MG-74508G75tkk
1854 Points ∼6% +69%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
838 Points ∼3% -24%
HP Probook 645 G1
789 Points ∼3% -28%

Legend

 
Dell Latitude 3450-9723 Intel Core i5-5200U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
 
Acer TravelMate P246-M-598B Intel Core i5-4210U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
 
Acer TravelMate P645-MG-74508G75tkk Intel Core i7-4500U, AMD Radeon HD 8750M, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
 
Fujitsu Lifebook E544 Intel Core i5-4210M, Intel HD Graphics 4600, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
 
HP Probook 645 G1 AMD A6-5350M, AMD Radeon HD 8450G, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
3DMark 11 Performance
1100 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
47312 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
4842 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
702 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Intel's HD Graphics 5500 provides a decent boost particularly compared with the Haswell generation. However, it does not yet enable enjoying newer games. Some older games from 2013 are rendered smoothly. We selected Tomb Raider from 2013 to acquire a comparison rate with Acer's device. Intel's HD Graphics 4400 in Acer's TravelMate P246 laptop only managed a smooth frame rate of 37 fps using minimum settings. The stronger graphics card in Dell's device benefits here and achieves 54 frames per second. The advantage over the TravelMate is that the review sample achieves playable conditions even when using medium quality settings.

Tomb Raider
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 3450-9723
28.1 fps ∼5%
Acer TravelMate P246-M-598B
18.2 fps ∼3% -35%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
20.2 fps ∼4% -28%
1024x768 Low Preset (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 3450-9723
54.6 fps ∼9%
Acer TravelMate P246-M-598B
37.1 fps ∼6% -32%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
40.6 fps ∼6% -26%

Legend

 
Dell Latitude 3450-9723 Intel Core i5-5200U, Intel HD Graphics 5500, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
 
Acer TravelMate P246-M-598B Intel Core i5-4210U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
 
Fujitsu Lifebook E544 Intel Core i5-4210M, Intel HD Graphics 4600, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 54.628.118.18.9fps

Emissions

System Noise

The fans are never active in idle mode. Solely a subtle HDD noise is audible every now and again. The Latitude does not really get loud under load, either. The noise changes in a perceptible range that, however, is quickly drowned out by ambient noise.

Noise Level

Idle
32.7 / 32.7 / 32.7 dB(A)
HDD
32.7 dB(A)
Load
34.4 / 41.9 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test

The review sample does not heat up in idle although its fans are inactive. Maximum temperatures of around 30 °C during use are not perceptible. Dell's laptop heats up noticeably during load although the hot spot of 41 °C is still uncritical. This peak rate is reached on the upper side and underside. The power supply heats up to 44.3 °C then, which is not disconcerting either. However, contenders like Acer's TravelMate P236 stay 6 °C cooler.

We analyze the inner temperatures via the stress test. The programs Furmark and Prime95 run for one hour. The clock rate of 2600 MHz drops to 1.1 GHz right from the start. It settles to 1600 MHz after a few minutes and occasionally reaches peaks of 1700 MHz. The CPU's temperature reaches a temperature of 71 °C in the beginning but drops to averagely 67 °C. The clock rate instantaneously climbs to 2.5 GHz after stopping the test and 3DMark 11 records an almost identical score as in a cold start with 1050 points.

 24.6 °C
76 F
28.3 °C
83 F
28.5 °C
83 F
 
 24.2 °C
76 F
27.3 °C
81 F
28.1 °C
83 F
 
 23.6 °C
74 F
24.3 °C
76 F
27.8 °C
82 F
 
Maximum: 28.5 °C = 83 F
Average: 26.3 °C = 79 F
30.1 °C
86 F
28.7 °C
84 F
25.6 °C
78 F
29.1 °C
84 F
27.4 °C
81 F
24.2 °C
76 F
29.5 °C
85 F
24.8 °C
77 F
23.7 °C
75 F
Maximum: 30.1 °C = 86 F
Average: 27 °C = 81 F
Power Supply (max.)  30.8 °C = 87 F | Room Temperature 22.7 °C = 73 F | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

The installed speakers correspond to the minimum standard of modern laptops. The rather medium volume limits music enjoyment when turning up the speakers. External devices will have to be used for a really pleasing sound spectrum. The balance of the existing mids and trebles nevertheless ensures very clear playback.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

It ultimately becomes evident that Dell's Latitude is stronger than the TravelMate in power consumption. The review sample guzzles 2 watts more already when idling. The biggest difference between minimum and maximum power consumption is seen during load. Our office device demands between 32.2 watts and 33.6 watts. Acer's laptop requires 23.7 to 34.7 watts.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.2 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 6.1 / 8.4 / 9.4 Watt
Load midlight 32.2 / 33.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

The manufacturer treats its Latitude to a 4-cell lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 58 Wh. We ascertain a real-life runtime in our Wi-Fi test. Details about our test procedure can be found here. Dell's laptop lasts approximately 8 hours and will thus even manage a normal workday without external power. A direct comparison with the contender is not possible because its Wi-Fi runtime was analyzed using a former test procedure.

Battery Runtime - WiFi Websurfing 1.3 (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 3450-9723
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
484 min ∼18%

Pros

+ IPS screen
+ Maintainability
+ Battery Life
+ Emission rates
+ Keyboard

Cons

- Manufacturing flaws
- Trackpad

Verdict

Dell Latitude 3450
Dell Latitude 3450

The manufacturer demands 650 to 915 Euros (~$697 to ~$981) for entering the office world. We were now allowed to closely examine the strongest version. Dell sticks to its design concept, which is unobtrusive yet elegant. Only minor shortcomings have to be accepted in terms of build. Both the display's back and keyboard in the plastic casing are easy to dent. However, we noticed the simple and quick maintainability favorably. Only two screws have to be removed to access all important components. The only drawback is that the battery cannot be taken out before removing the base tray. The screen is still first rate in our configuration: A matte, Full HD IPS screen has been installed in the Latitude 3450. Lower-priced models have to be satisfied with a lower resolution and viewing-angle dependent TN screens. The brightness and contrast are also good.

An energy-efficient and at the same time high-performance Broadwell CPU, which more than just fulfills office requirements, clocks inside. Alongside the 8 GB working memory that operates in dual-channel mode, our review sample made a speedy impression. Various benchmarks confirmed this subjective evaluation. Dell's laptop also largely does an exemplary job in terms of emissions and temperatures. Our real-life Wi-Fi test presented a maximum battery life of 8 hours, which is particularly important for routine use.

Dell's Latitude 3450 is exactly what the manufacturer advertises: An entry-level device for the business sector. The potential buyer should carefully consider whether the price for the first contact with this laptop category is justified.

Dell Latitude 3450-9723 - 03/25/2015 v4(old)
Nino Ricchizzi

Chassis
75 / 98 → 77%
Keyboard
83%
Pointing Device
75%
Connectivity
64 / 80 → 80%
Weight
63 / 20-67 → 91%
Battery
89%
Display
84%
Games Performance
66 / 68 → 97%
Application Performance
70 / 92 → 76%
Temperature
89%
Noise
87%
Audio
30%
Camera
50 / 85 → 59%
Average
71%
78%
Office - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Dell Latitude 3450 Notebook Review
Nino Ricchizzi, 2015-04-20 (Update: 2018-05-15)