Notebookcheck

Dell Latitude 5490 (Core i7-8650U, Touchscreen) Laptop Review

Faster, yet dimmer… Today’s Core i7-8650U and NVMe SSD Latitude 5490 configuration offers even faster performance than before—but it doesn’t come without its drawbacks. We’ll navigate the situation with expertise and care in our full review.

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A couple of months back, we reviewed the Dell Latitude 5490, which is the 14-inch mid-range business laptop from the manufacturer. Compared with the magnesium/carbon fiber 7000 series, 5000 series machines are constructed from predominantly heavy-duty plastic and are a bit larger and more conventional in terms of their form factor and port selection. They’re the most common fit for employees at many organizations, not least because they are simple to maintain and provide powerful security options.

In our previous review, we praised the device’s stable build, great input devices, quiet and efficient operation, and long battery life. However, we also relented that it was a bit on the heavy side, lacked Thunderbolt 3, possessed no keyboard backlighting, and was saddled by a merely average SSD and an unfortunately dim display. Today’s alternate configuration sees a few notable changes: a faster Core i7 CPU, an NVMe solid-state drive, a backlit keyboard, new security features (fingerprint reader, smart card reader, and IR camera), and a (glossy) touchscreen. At $1,788, this is no inexpensive device—so can these changes help to further justify the asking price, or will this remain merely another “good” choice for businesses equipping their workforce?

Dell Latitude 5490 (Latitude 5490 Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Core: 300-1150 MHz, 22.20.16.4799
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, yes; 10-point multi-touch, AUO133D, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Sunrise Point-LP
Storage
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Realtek ALC256 @ Intel Sunrise Point-LP PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo audio, Card Reader: full SD, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-LM (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac)
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 21 x 333 x 229 ( = 0.83 x 13.11 x 9.02 in)
Battery
68 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Primary Camera: 1 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo 2.0, down-firing, Keyboard Light: yes, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.694 kg ( = 59.75 oz / 3.73 pounds), Power Supply: 315 g ( = 11.11 oz / 0.69 pounds)

 

Preliminary Notes

As mentioned above, there are just a few differences between this month’s configuration and the one we reviewed back in March. The rest of the specifications and design remain consistent with the previous unit—and as such, our existing impressions still apply. For a much more detailed breakdown of the initial topics, please reference our previous review.

However, to quickly summarize, although the case is plastic, it is indeed very sturdy nevertheless. We appreciate the basic, no-frills design, but we do regret the prevalence of fingerprints and oils on the matte black material coating the surfaces. The machine is also a bit heavy for its class. Connectivity is good overall, with a solid number of ports to choose from and a subjectively good organization. The missing security options from our previous review unit are present in today’s, including a fingerprint reader, a smart card reader, and an IR camera. Maintenance is easy thanks to the removable bottom cover. Finally, both the keyboard and touchpad are excellent overall.

One other item we’d like to mention that we didn’t cover in our previous article is that the Latitude 5490 BIOS Setup remains one of the most elaborate and feature-rich of any laptop around. Within, you’ll find practically every option you could imagine, along with a host of other extras—such as the ability to force a BIOS downgrade or schedule an automatic wipe of the internal storage drive upon the next boot.

BIOS options (1/3)
BIOS options (1/3)
BIOS options (2/3)
BIOS options (2/3)
BIOS options (3/3)
BIOS options (3/3)

Next, let’s dive into what separates this device from the previous configuration.

BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF) (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 5490
10 fps ∼4%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
6.4 fps ∼2% -36%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
6.4 fps ∼2% -36%
1366x768 High Preset (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 5490
29 fps ∼9%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
19.8 fps ∼6% -32%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
19.9 fps ∼6% -31%
1366x768 Medium Preset (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 5490
35 fps ∼10%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
24.3 fps ∼7% -31%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
23.9 fps ∼7% -32%
1280x720 Very Low Preset (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 5490
64 fps ∼16%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
40.5 fps ∼10% -37%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
40.5 fps ∼10% -37%

Legend

 
Dell Latitude 5490 Intel Core i7-8650U, Intel UHD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
 
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X Intel Core i5-8350U, Intel UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
 
Dell Latitude 5480 Intel Core i7-7600U, Intel HD Graphics 620, Toshiba SG5 256GB THNSNK256GVN8
 
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD Intel Core i5-7200U, Intel HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
 
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE Intel Core i5-7200U, Intel HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
166.4 MB/s ∼100% +7%
Dell Latitude 5490
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
154.92 MB/s ∼93%
Dell Latitude 5480
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
131.3 MB/s ∼79% -15%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
76.6 MB/s ∼46% -51%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
74.9 MB/s ∼45% -52%
Average of class Office
  (16.5 - 191, n=203)
61.7 MB/s ∼37% -60%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell Latitude 5480
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
251.9 MB/s ∼100% +22%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
208.2 MB/s ∼83% +1%
Dell Latitude 5490
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
206.83 MB/s ∼82%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
88.74 MB/s ∼35% -57%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
83.7 MB/s ∼33% -60%
Average of class Office
  (9.5 - 255, n=182)
79.6 MB/s ∼32% -62%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
657 MBit/s ∼100% +1%
Dell Latitude 5490
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
653 MBit/s ∼99%
Dell Latitude 5480
Qualcomm QCA6174
645 MBit/s ∼98% -1%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
607 MBit/s ∼92% -7%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (jseb)
579 MBit/s ∼88% -11%
Average of class Office
  (5 - 688, n=137)
469 MBit/s ∼71% -28%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell Latitude 5490
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
524 MBit/s ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
512 MBit/s ∼98% -2%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
511 MBit/s ∼98% -2%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (jseb)
509 MBit/s ∼97% -3%
Average of class Office
  (34 - 688, n=137)
433 MBit/s ∼83% -17%
Dell Latitude 5480
Qualcomm QCA6174
314 MBit/s ∼60% -40%

Display

As compared with the model we reviewed in March, today’s unit features a very similar display, identical in resolution (1920x1080) and obviously still 14 inches in size. However, there is one major difference: it’s now a touchscreen, and unlike the impressive panel we encountered in our 7390 review unit a few days ago, it’s fully glossy. Since the 5490 display brightness was never great to begin with, the transition from matte to glossy isn’t a positive move—but we’ll come back to that in a moment.

Subpixel array, Latitude 5490 touch
Subpixel array, Latitude 5490 touch
Minimal backlight bleed
Minimal backlight bleed
211.9
cd/m²
210.4
cd/m²
203.8
cd/m²
214.8
cd/m²
200.6
cd/m²
198
cd/m²
209.8
cd/m²
201.3
cd/m²
187.8
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 214.8 cd/m² Average: 204.3 cd/m² Minimum: 12.35 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 200.6 cd/m²
Contrast: 1254:1 (Black: 0.16 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 8.36 | 0.8-29.43 Ø6.3, calibrated: 4.6
ΔE Greyscale 7.7 | 0.64-98 Ø6.6
54.2% sRGB (Argyll) 34.5% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.773
Dell Latitude 5490
AUO133D, IPS, 14, 1920x1080
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
AU Optronics AUO263D, IPS, 14, 1920x1080
Dell Latitude 5480
LG Philips LGD0553, IPS, 14, 1920x1080
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
AUO123D, TN, 14, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
Lenovo LP140WF6-SPB7, IPS, 14, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
N140HCA-EAB, IPS, 14, 1920x1080
Response Times
-35%
-3%
-7%
-4%
-31%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
30.4 (16.8, 13.6)
46.9 (23.6, 23.3)
-54%
32.8 (14, 18.8)
-8%
39 (20, 19, Plateau)
-28%
35.6 (17.6, 18)
-17%
41.6 (20.4, 21.2)
-37%
Response Time Black / White *
27.2 (16.4, 10.8)
31.2 (18, 13.2)
-15%
26.4 (5.2, 21.2)
3%
23 (6, 17, Plateau)
15%
24.8 (13.2, 11.6)
9%
34 (9.6, 24.4)
-25%
PWM Frequency
Screen
11%
11%
-28%
14%
11%
Brightness middle
200.6
227
13%
215.9
8%
346
72%
307
53%
306
53%
Brightness
204
211
3%
205
0%
317
55%
295
45%
287
41%
Brightness Distribution
87
88
1%
90
3%
86
-1%
90
3%
88
1%
Black Level *
0.16
0.19
-19%
0.22
-38%
0.86
-438%
0.25
-56%
0.3
-88%
Contrast
1254
1195
-5%
981
-22%
402
-68%
1228
-2%
1020
-19%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
8.36
5.6
33%
5.1
39%
8.64
-3%
5.7
32%
6.2
26%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
25.63
22.4
13%
15.6
39%
13.58
47%
21.3
17%
13.6
47%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.6
4.7
-2%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
7.7
2.4
69%
4
48%
11.24
-46%
3.7
52%
5.8
25%
Gamma
2.773 87%
2.44 98%
2.41 100%
2.62 92%
2.11 114%
2.04 118%
CCT
6397 102%
6506 100%
6856 95%
12530 52%
7353 88%
6277 104%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
34.5
34.5
0%
41.96
22%
52
51%
37.4
8%
39.62
15%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
54.2
54.4
0%
61.15
13%
80
48%
58.7
8%
61.44
13%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-12% / 3%
4% / 9%
-18% / -25%
5% / 12%
-10% / 4%

* ... smaller is better

We measured a brightness of just 204.3 cd/m², which is really quite low, especially for a glossy display. In spite of the 1254:1 contrast ratio, the screen appears dim and dreary in comparison to almost any other competitor; the HP EliteBook 840 G4 and ThinkPad T480 don’t exactly pack bright panels, either, but at (give or take) 300 cd/m², they’re far more palatable than the 5490’s subpar display.

The topic of color coverage is no kinder to the 5490: we measured a measly 54.2% and 34.5% of sRGB and AdobeRGB respectively, which is vastly inferior to the Elitebook’s 80%/52%, but only marginally worse than the ThinkPad T470’s 58.7%/37.4%.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. Latitude 5490 non-touch
vs. Latitude 5490 non-touch
vs. HP EliteBook 840 G4
vs. HP EliteBook 840 G4

Our CalMAN measurements reveal that the panel is also quite a bit less accurate than even the one we evaluated previously: a Greyscale DeltaE of 7.7 and Colorchecker DeltaE of 8.36 are not great numbers. Still, it’s fine for office work or anything where color accuracy isn’t mission-critical. Last year’s model with the LG panel fared considerably better here.

Color analysis (pre-calibration)
Color analysis (pre-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (pre-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (pre-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (pre-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (pre-calibration)
Color analysis (post-calibration)
Color analysis (post-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (post-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (post-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (post-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (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
27.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16.4 ms rise
↘ 10.8 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 55 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (26.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
30.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16.8 ms rise
↘ 13.6 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. » 15 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41.7 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 not detected

In comparison: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 10570 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 588200) Hz was measured.

We measured no PWM from the display. Response times are on the slower side, but this is no surprise for a machine of this class. Viewing angles are good, forgiving any ancillary reflections that might apply. Outdoors, the machine is unfortunately largely unusable, crippled by the combination of the display’s woefully inadequate luminosity and highly reflective finish.

In the sun
In the sun
In the shade
In the shade
Viewing angles, Latitude 5490
Viewing angles, Latitude 5490

Performance

The model we evaluated in March was powered by a Core i5-8350U, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 512 GB M.2 SATA SSD. Today’s review unit notches the processor up to an i7-8650U and swaps the storage drive for a faster NVMe model of smaller capacity. While we didn’t have any major complaints about performance to begin with, how will these adjustments affect the overall capability of the laptop?

LatencyMon once again reported some minor issues with driver-level DPC Latencies.

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Processor

The quad-core Core i7-8650U that powers today’s configuration is certainly faster on paper than the Core i5-8350U that resided in our previous test machine, but as we’ve seen time and time again, just how much faster is directly dependent upon how well the machine handles the significant thermal developments that accompany these latest-gen Intel SoCs. Under ideal conditions, the i7-8650U can theoretically reach 4.2 GHz; it carries a 1.9 GHz base clock rate and maintains a 15 W TDP with capability of cTDP Up/Down to further adjust the power requirements.

Throughout our tests, the Core i7 Latitude 5490 is anywhere from 6 to 49% faster than its Core i5 counterpart. Multi-threaded applications only see premiums on the lower end of the spectrum (around 6 to 8%), whereas single-threaded applications tend to benefit much more heavily (closer to 40 to 50%). Performance is consistently above the Core i7-8650U total average (6 total samples as of this writing) by a few percentage points.

Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15
ComputeMark
ComputeMark

Our Cinebench R15 multi-CPU loop test showed relatively stable performance throughout its duration. The first (and highest) result we received was 660, after which the machine hovered near the 650 mark for the next dozen or so runs before eventually retreating a bit further into the low 640s where (barring a couple of outliers, the lowest of which came in at 629) it effectively remains for the rest of the testing period. This is only around a 5 percent drop in performance, which is a very good result for an 8th-generation Core i7 CPU.

Is it worth the extra cost to upgrade from the Core i5? In this case, if the primary use is single-threaded applications, the answer is a resounding yes. A 40%+ performance premium is absolutely substantial, so even for $170 it’s probably worth it. On the other hand, if it’s multi-threaded applications, the case is harder to make for the Core i7, since our testing shows a much smaller performance advantage over the already very capable i5-8350U. As we’ll see in a bit, apart from cost, there are some other drawbacks associated with the faster CPU as well.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell Latitude 5490
Intel Core i7-8650U
178 Points ∼86%
Average Intel Core i7-8650U
  (137 - 178, n=8)
171 Points ∼83% -4%
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel Core i7-7600U
161 Points ∼78% -10%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
Intel Core i7-8550U
161 Points ∼78% -10%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel Core i5-8350U
142 Points ∼69% -20%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel Core i5-7200U
126 Points ∼61% -29%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel Core i5-7200U
119 Points ∼58% -33%
Average of class Office
  (20 - 178, n=443)
106 Points ∼51% -40%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
Intel Core i7-8550U
657 Points ∼22% +1%
Dell Latitude 5490
Intel Core i7-8650U
651 Points ∼22%
Average Intel Core i7-8650U
  (506 - 675, n=10)
612 Points ∼21% -6%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel Core i5-8350U
599 Points ∼20% -8%
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel Core i7-7600U
355 Points ∼12% -45%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel Core i5-7200U
329 Points ∼11% -49%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel Core i5-7200U
326 Points ∼11% -50%
Average of class Office
  (36 - 736, n=447)
302 Points ∼10% -54%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell Latitude 5490
Intel Core i7-8650U
2.04 Points ∼87%
Average Intel Core i7-8650U
  (1.7 - 2.04, n=6)
1.943 Points ∼83% -5%
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel Core i7-7600U
1.87 Points ∼80% -8%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel Core i5-8350U
1.62 Points ∼69% -21%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel Core i5-7200U
1.46 Points ∼62% -28%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
Intel Core i7-8550U
1.43 Points ∼61% -30%
Average of class Office
  (0.23 - 2.04, n=411)
1.113 Points ∼48% -45%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel Core i5-8350U
7.33 Points ∼31% +5%
Dell Latitude 5490
Intel Core i7-8650U
6.97 Points ∼29%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
Intel Core i7-8550U
6.92 Points ∼29% -1%
Average Intel Core i7-8650U
  (5.77 - 7.24, n=6)
6.67 Points ∼28% -4%
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel Core i7-7600U
3.98 Points ∼17% -43%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel Core i5-7200U
3.67 Points ∼15% -47%
Average of class Office
  (0.26 - 8.16, n=583)
2.67 Points ∼11% -62%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
Average of class Office
  (206 - 4269, n=378)
847 s * ∼10% -153%
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel Core i7-7600U
465.67 s * ∼6% -39%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel Core i5-8350U
355.162 s * ∼4% -6%
Dell Latitude 5490
Intel Core i7-8650U
334.6 s * ∼4%
Average Intel Core i7-8650U
  (268 - 335, n=3)
302 s * ∼4% +10%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
Average Intel Core i7-8650U
  (8 - 7939, n=16)
1954 Seconds * ∼9% -290%
Average of class Office
  (-1 - 107890, n=5948)
1573 Seconds * ∼7% -214%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel Core i5-8350U
693.93 Seconds * ∼3% -39%
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel Core i7-7600U
511.67 Seconds * ∼2% -2%
Dell Latitude 5490
Intel Core i7-8650U
501 Seconds * ∼2%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
2.04 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
6.97 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
54.5 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
178 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
651 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
56.16 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

System Performance

Today’s Latitude 5490 configuration offers absolutely blistering general application performance. In PCMark 10, we received a very good result of 4066. PCMark 8, meanwhile, placed our test machine at the top of the comparison field, some 8 to 10% faster than March’s 5490 Core i5 configuration and about 4 to 6% faster than the Latitude 5480 from last generation. We’re certainly at the point where diminishing returns are in play, so suffice it to say that any of these machines in today’s test field is more than enough to meet the needs of the modern businessperson.

PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Dell Latitude 5490
UHD Graphics 620, 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5200 Points ∼80%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ-000L7
5025 Points ∼77% -3%
Dell Latitude 5480
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Toshiba SG5 256GB THNSNK256GVN8
4992 Points ∼77% -4%
Average Intel Core i7-8650U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3926 - 5200, n=5)
4891 Points ∼75% -6%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
4774 Points ∼73% -8%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4667 Points ∼72% -10%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4572 Points ∼70% -12%
Average of class Office
  (1226 - 5200, n=280)
3897 Points ∼60% -25%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Dell Latitude 5490
UHD Graphics 620, 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5225 Points ∼55%
Average Intel Core i7-8650U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (4572 - 5225, n=5)
4983 Points ∼52% -5%
Dell Latitude 5480
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Toshiba SG5 256GB THNSNK256GVN8
4923 Points ∼52% -6%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4352 Points ∼46% -17%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4347 Points ∼46% -17%
Average of class Office
  (869 - 5275, n=222)
3306 Points ∼35% -37%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Dell Latitude 5490
UHD Graphics 620, 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4065 Points ∼67%
Dell Latitude 5480
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Toshiba SG5 256GB THNSNK256GVN8
3913 Points ∼64% -4%
Average Intel Core i7-8650U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3216 - 4065, n=5)
3791 Points ∼62% -7%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
3695 Points ∼61% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ-000L7
3675 Points ∼60% -10%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3507 Points ∼58% -14%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3486 Points ∼57% -14%
Average of class Office
  (1169 - 4458, n=321)
2973 Points ∼49% -27%
PCMark 10 - Score
Dell Latitude 5490
UHD Graphics 620, 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4066 Points ∼52%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ-000L7
3686 Points ∼47% -9%
Average Intel Core i7-8650U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2403 - 4066, n=5)
3494 Points ∼45% -14%
Average of class Office
  (803 - 4066, n=67)
3095 Points ∼40% -24%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4065 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
5225 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5200 points
Help

Storage Devices

While the storage capacity of our test machine is only half of the Core i5 unit we evaluated previously, the type of solid-state drive has been upgraded to an NVMe/PCIe SSD (from the M.2 SATA drive before). This move carries obvious performance implications, though the PM961 isn’t nearly as fast as, say, the newest-gen PM981 that we recently encountered in our ThinkPad X1 review machine. Still, sequential read/write speeds of 768.44 MB/s and 541.43 MB/s are perfectly acceptable, and for most uses they will prove more than quick enough.

As always, swapping out the drive is a cinch thanks to the removable bottom cover. With the proper adapters, a standard 2.5-inch SATA drive is also supported.

AS SSD
AS SSD
CrystalDiskMark 5.2
CrystalDiskMark 5.2
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
HD Tune
HD Tune
Dell Latitude 5490
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ-000L7
Average Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
 
AS SSD
-20%
64%
-457%
-53%
Copy Game MB/s
273.57
504.95
85%
355.12
30%
675.5
147%
542 (269 - 1115, n=31)
98%
Copy Program MB/s
214.01
212.96
0%
269.68
26%
254.84
19%
327 (121 - 569, n=31)
53%
Copy ISO MB/s
514.39
426.58
-17%
735.23
43%
921.19
79%
1016 (420 - 1912, n=31)
98%
Score Total
1834
1067
-42%
3006
64%
2348
28%
2522 (35 - 4653, n=50)
38%
Score Write
449
381
-15%
767
71%
147
-67%
551 (48 - 1029, n=50)
23%
Score Read
916
455
-50%
1524
66%
1480
62%
1384 (363 - 2545, n=50)
51%
Access Time Write *
0.037
0.052
-41%
0.027
27%
2.515
-6697%
0.556 (0.023 - 4.15, n=50)
-1403%
Access Time Read *
0.067
0.07
-4%
0.044
34%
0.041
39%
0.0679 (0.04 - 0.49, n=50)
-1%
4K-64 Write
300.86
259.55
-14%
510.02
70%
96.18
-68%
390 (15.3 - 1652, n=50)
30%
4K-64 Read
793.16
383.56
-52%
1214.58
53%
1277.96
61%
1112 (199 - 2280, n=50)
40%
4K Write
93.58
91.72
-2%
140.21
50%
1.76
-98%
92 (1.16 - 161, n=50)
-2%
4K Read
45.99
23.75
-48%
49.21
7%
58.03
26%
46.2 (21.5 - 54.1, n=50)
0%
Seq Write
541.43
300.62
-44%
1166.63
115%
487.08
-10%
922 (223 - 1392, n=50)
70%
Seq Read
768.44
473.11
-38%
2602.67
239%
1441.21
88%
2029 (768 - 2834, n=50)
164%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 875.4 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 796 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 268.8 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 443.3 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 764.3 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 564.4 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 39.46 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 98.69 MB/s

GPU Performance

GPU performance from the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 (clocked at 300 – 1150 MHz when paired with this CPU) sees a sizable boost in performance by anywhere from 8 to 15 percent over the Core i5 configuration. We received a score of 1062 in 3DMark Fire Strike and 1989 in 3DMark 11; both of these are quite decent for a machine lacking a dedicated graphics adapter. Regardless, the Latitude 5490 is hardly a gaming machine; only older games would be possible to play at lower settings.

3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
4211 Points ∼24% +145%
Dell Latitude 5490
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8650U
1722 Points ∼10%
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
1536 Points ∼9% -11%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (959 - 1891, n=71)
1464 Points ∼8% -15%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8350U
1284 Points ∼7% -25%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1207 Points ∼7% -30%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1141 Points ∼6% -34%
Average of class Office
  (169 - 4566, n=565)
1079 Points ∼6% -37%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
4300 Points ∼8% +144%
Dell Latitude 5490
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8650U
1761 Points ∼3%
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
1685 Points ∼3% -4%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (1366 - 1915, n=71)
1653 Points ∼3% -6%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8350U
1617 Points ∼3% -8%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1432 Points ∼3% -19%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1413 Points ∼3% -20%
Average of class Office
  (185 - 4967, n=566)
1160 Points ∼2% -34%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
3585 Points ∼9% +214%
Dell Latitude 5490
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8650U
1141 Points ∼3%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (819 - 1336, n=64)
1061 Points ∼3% -7%
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
1027 Points ∼3% -10%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8350U
981 Points ∼2% -14%
Average of class Office
  (138 - 4109, n=404)
889 Points ∼2% -22%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
818 Points ∼2% -28%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
738 Points ∼2% -35%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
21893 Points ∼12% +127%
Dell Latitude 5490
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8650U
9663 Points ∼5%
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
8740 Points ∼5% -10%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6910 - 10493, n=66)
8640 Points ∼5% -11%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8350U
8226 Points ∼4% -15%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
6864 Points ∼4% -29%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
6824 Points ∼4% -29%
Average of class Office
  (1208 - 27117, n=448)
6286 Points ∼3% -35%
3DMark 06 Standard
11732 points
3DMark 11 Performance
1989 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
8914 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1062 points
Help
BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF) (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 5490
UHD Graphics 620, 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
10 fps ∼4%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
6.4 fps ∼2% -36%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
6.4 fps ∼2% -36%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6.2 - 11, n=58)
8.67 fps ∼3% -13%
Average of class Office
  (5.3 - 39.6, n=183)
9.6 fps ∼4% -4%
1366x768 High Preset (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 5490
UHD Graphics 620, 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
29 fps ∼9%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
19.8 fps ∼6% -32%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
19.9 fps ∼6% -31%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (15.6 - 34.3, n=62)
25.6 fps ∼8% -12%
Average of class Office
  (12.9 - 107, n=277)
24.6 fps ∼8% -15%
1366x768 Medium Preset (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 5490
UHD Graphics 620, 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
35 fps ∼10%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
24.3 fps ∼7% -31%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
23.9 fps ∼7% -32%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (19.8 - 40.4, n=62)
30.7 fps ∼9% -12%
Average of class Office
  (9.11 - 119, n=297)
28.3 fps ∼8% -19%
1280x720 Very Low Preset (sort by value)
Dell Latitude 5490
UHD Graphics 620, 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
64 fps ∼16%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
40.5 fps ∼10% -37%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
40.5 fps ∼10% -37%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (32.6 - 80.3, n=62)
56.1 fps ∼14% -12%
Average of class Office
  (12.2 - 185, n=292)
49.5 fps ∼12% -23%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 64352910fps

Stress Test

When full CPU stress is applied to the machine, clock rates initially begin at 3.9 GHz, but within seconds, core temperatures have rocketed to 98 °C, and performance correspondingly is reduced to a near-permanent 3.1 GHz instead (and temperatures drop to 79 °C).  Full GPU stress, on the other hand, proves to be no problem for the Latitude 5490; it consistently pumps out 1150 MHz clock rates from the GPU with average temperatures hovering around the 77 °C mark.

Combined CPU and GPU stress sees frequencies of 1.8 GHz for CPU and 1150 for GPU, with occasional drops of the GPU to 0 MHz on our graph (represented by hiccups in actual performance).  Core temperatures are stable at 72 °C.

Full CPU stress
Full CPU stress
Full GPU stress
Full GPU stress
Combined CPU and GPU stress
Combined CPU and GPU stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 3.1 - 79 -
FurMark Stress - 1150 - 77
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 1.8 1150 72 72

Emissions

System Noise

Like many modern laptops, the Latitude 5490’s fan doesn’t even run most of the time while idling. It’s consequently completely silent except for rare circumstances where we measured just a couple of decibels above environmental noise levels. Under load, the device is not much louder than its predecessor; at the very worst, we recorded 42.7 dB(A), which (after adjusting for discrepancies in ambient noise) is just 2.3 dB(A) louder than the i5 model. Compared with its competition, these are acceptable levels, though the load noise level is quite a bit higher at the top end of the spectrum (some 20% or so versus the HP Elitebook and Lenovo ThinkPad T480).

Noise Level

Idle
27.8 / 27.8 / 31 dB(A)
Load
34.2 / 42.7 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 27.8 dB(A)
Fan noise profile
Fan noise profile
Dell Latitude 5490
UHD Graphics 620, 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
Dell Latitude 5480
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Toshiba SG5 256GB THNSNK256GVN8
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ-000L7
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Noise
-2%
-8%
-2%
1%
5%
off / environment *
27.8
28.8
-4%
31
-12%
29
-4%
28
-1%
Idle Minimum *
27.8
28.8
-4%
29.6
-6%
31
-12%
29
-4%
28
-1%
Idle Average *
27.8
28.8
-4%
29.6
-6%
31
-12%
29
-4%
28
-1%
Idle Maximum *
31
30.9
-0%
29.6
5%
31
-0%
29
6%
29.4
5%
Load Average *
34.2
35.6
-4%
42
-23%
33.5
2%
35.6
-4%
31.4
8%
Load Maximum *
42.7
41.4
3%
47.1
-10%
33.7
21%
35.6
17%
34.6
19%
Witcher 3 ultra *
32.5

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Under load, temperature development of the Core i7 Latitude 5490 configuration is hardly any more than its Core i5 predecessor. Discrepancies in measurements between the two units are entirely attributable to differences in ambient air temperatures of nearly 3 °C. The top left side of the machine (bottom-left underside) still rises to a rather significant 43.4 / 47.8 °C under heavy load, but yet again, these conditions are unrealistic in practice, and the machine would likely be resting on a surface anyway to help facilitate airflow under such circumstances.

There are notable differences while idling, however. Even after adjusting for ambient temperature discrepancies, the top and underside averages of 26.3 °C and 28.4 °C (respectively) are a few degrees higher than the Core i5 model, and some regions (such as the bottom-right center quadrant) are several degrees above room temperature. This is sure to become irritating during lap-based usage to anyone with temperature sensitivities.

Max. Load
 39.6 °C39.8 °C34.2 °C 
 43.4 °C39.4 °C29.4 °C 
 28.2 °C28.2 °C27.4 °C 
Maximum: 43.4 °C
Average: 34.4 °C
28.4 °C39 °C41.8 °C
27.8 °C40 °C47.8 °C
26.8 °C28.6 °C31 °C
Maximum: 47.8 °C
Average: 34.6 °C
Power Supply (max.)  41 °C | Room Temperature 23 °C | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
Thermal profile, idle, top
Thermal profile, idle, top
Thermal profile, idle, underside
Thermal profile, idle, underside
Thermal profile, max load, top
Thermal profile, max load, top
Thermal profile, max load, underside
Thermal profile, max load, underside
Thermal profile, max load, side
Thermal profile, max load, side

Speakers

The speakers have not changed since our previous review of the notebook; that is to say, they remain quite decent across the spectrum at most volume levels, excepting low frequencies, which are (of course) mostly absent—hardly a surprise given the machine’s size and class.

Speakers output
Speakers output
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2037.139.837.12534.834.734.83135.13335.14033.634.233.65032.733.432.76331.231.931.28032.530.632.510039.13139.112544.129.244.11604928.8492005228.45225053.927.853.93155326.95340055.42655.450060.125.360.163067.525.367.580073.424.573.4100067.524.267.5125064.923.664.9160065.223.965.220006423.46425006423.46431506423.264400064.423.264.4500066.52366.5630065.623.165.6800067.123.267.11000067.123.267.11250060.523.160.5160006223.262SPL78.33678.3N43.82.643.8median 64Dell Latitude 5490median 23.9median 64Delta6.11.86.13336.432.635.528.436.629.234.626.23225.934.926.138.325.936.924.339.922.741.62245.324.550.52159.519.262.21862.218.668.618.573.420.369.216.56814.66614.962.814.466.514.771.315.160.214.867.11569.915.357.215.257.614.960.914.953.828.879.71.247.3median 16.5Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGEmedian 62.23.17.1hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Dell Latitude 5490 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (78.32 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 15.5% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.9% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.5% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (1.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (15.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 16% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 80% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 17% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 79% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (80.44 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 16.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.3% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.4% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (13.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 28% of all tested devices in this class were better, 10% similar, 62% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 28% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 66% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Power consumption under Prime 95 stress
Power consumption under Prime 95 stress

Average power consumption has only climbed slightly over the Core i5-8350U Latitude 5490 model; we measured 6.2 W average while idling and 43.9 W under max load (versus 5.54 W / 42.4 W previously). The load differences are absolutely insignificant, but the idle numbers calculate to a nearly 12 percent increase in power consumption—which will likely affect the battery life results in our next section somewhat.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.25 / 0.74 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.9 / 6.2 / 7.7 Watt
Load midlight 43.9 / 47.7 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Dell Latitude 5490
8650U, UHD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
8350U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Dell Latitude 5480
7600U, HD Graphics 620, Toshiba SG5 256GB THNSNK256GVN8, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
7200U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, TN, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
7200U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Power Consumption
0%
-3%
19%
19%
Idle Minimum *
3.9
3.3
15%
6.64
-70%
2.9
26%
3.21
18%
Idle Average *
6.2
5.54
11%
6.67
-8%
5.6
10%
6.15
1%
Idle Maximum *
7.7
6.59
14%
7.78
-1%
8.15
-6%
6.82
11%
Load Average *
43.9
42.4
3%
30.83
30%
30.6
30%
28.5
35%
Load Maximum *
47.7
67.6
-42%
31.7
34%
31
35%
34.5
28%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

As we anticipated, we do see lower battery life numbers as a result of the marginally higher power consumption we measured in the previous section—though the results are still extremely positive overall. We recorded a battery life of 11 hours and 35 minutes during our standardized websurfing battery benchmark, some 3 hours and 22 minutes below that of the Core i5 configuration. Still, a result in excess of 10 hours is a very long runtime, and it’s extremely unlikely that anyone will be truly bothered by this shortfall.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
11h 35min
Dell Latitude 5490
8650U, UHD Graphics 620, 68 Wh
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
8350U, UHD Graphics 620, 68 Wh
Dell Latitude 5480
7600U, HD Graphics 620, 68 Wh
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 51 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 48 Wh
Battery Runtime
29%
39%
-18%
-37%
Reader / Idle
1556
1448
1155
WiFi v1.3
695
897
29%
964
39%
571
-18%
438
-37%
Load
97
159
184
110

Pros

+ extremely fast CPU performance
+ good storage speeds from NVMe SSD
+ strong build in spite of plastic construction
+ great input devices
+ fast SD card reader
+ relatively quiet operation
+ very good battery life
+ robust security options

Cons

- dreary, dim screen is nigh-unusable in brighter environments
- somewhat heavy for its size and class
- no standard Thunderbolt 3
- fairly loud under load

Verdict

In review: Dell Latitude 5490. Test model provided by Dell US
In review: Dell Latitude 5490. Test model provided by Dell US

For a no-frills productivity-centered machine, the Latitude 5490 certainly meets most requirements. It features strong application performance, a sturdy, well-built case, wide port selection, excellent input devices, and exceptionally long battery life. It’s also largely quiet and unobtrusive during typical use—so it’s well-suited to an office environment. The advantages that this $1,788 configuration brings over the one we evaluated in March are much faster single-core and marginally faster multi-core performance, a better-performing NVMe SSD, more security features, a backlit keyboard, and a touchscreen. All of these are welcomed (cost notwithstanding—which we’ll discuss in a moment) except for the touchscreen, which makes a bad screen even worse by converting it from a dim, dreary anti-glare panel to a dim, dreary, sometimes nigh-unusable highly-reflective glossy panel. We’ve said it before, but the 5490 desperately needs a much brighter display with an anti-glare finish.

No machine is perfect, and at least in terms of performance and battery life, the Latitude 5490 has few competitors in its class. If only the display were better, we could wholeheartedly recommend it.

Apart from this primary complaint, there are a few other issues: the machine is fairly heavy, it lacks Thunderbolt 3, and the power consumption and surface temperatures are less than ideal. Some competitors—such as both the HP EliteBook 840 G4 and Lenovo ThinkPad T480—handle these items more effectively. Dell’s own Latitude 7490 and 7390 are also excellent (albeit pricier) alternatives to this device which possess very few shortcomings indeed. However, no machine is perfect, and at least in terms of performance and battery life, the Latitude 5490 has few competitors in its class. If only the display were better, we could wholeheartedly recommend it.

Dell Latitude 5490 - 05/12/2018 v6
Steve Schardein

Chassis
81 / 98 → 82%
Keyboard
92%
Pointing Device
Connectivity
63 / 80 → 79%
Weight
67 / 20-67 → 99%
Battery
94%
Display
70%
Games Performance
64 / 68 → 94%
Application Performance
94 / 92 → 100%
Temperature
89%
Noise
92%
Audio
64%
Camera
46 / 85 → 54%
Average
76%
86%
Office - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Dell Latitude 5490 (Core i7-8650U, Touchscreen) Laptop Review
Steve Schardein, 2018-05-20 (Update: 2018-05-22)
Steve Schardein
Steve Schardein - Review Editor - @othersteve
In grade school, my first computer—an Apple IIGS—started it all for me. Later, in the nineties, if I wasn’t repairing computers for family and friends, I was busy cooking up nifty Visual Basic projects and playing PC games like Command & Conquer and Heroes of Might and Magic. Soon, much of my free time was spent moderating popular gaming forums and covering the industry for various websites. All the while, I never stopped repairing computers, and in 2006, I started a technology consulting company in Louisville, KY—Triple-S Computers—which I have been fortunate to nurture to great success by specializing in not only repairs, but also new machine consultations and purchasing, data recovery, and malware/security. And since 2012, I have proudly contributed many dozens of reviews to Notebookcheck, a site which I have long considered to be the ultimate authority on laptops and related technology. Today, I am truly living my dream: still a child at heart, ever-curious, constantly learning, and thankful to you, our readers.