Notebookcheck

Dell Latitude 5490 (i5-8350U, FHD) Laptop Review

Christian Hintze, 👁 Andreas Osthoff, Felicitas Krohn (translated by Christoph Wendler), 03/15/2018

Heavy on options. The Latitude 5490 by Dell is marketed as the notebook equivalent of a safe. The relatively high price tag of this 14-inch productivity device justifies itself with a large number of security options, making this laptop suited for security-conscious companies. We shall not only put its security features through its paces, but also compare it to other productivity-focused devices.

Working For Notebookcheck

Are you a techie who knows how to write? Then join our Team!

Currently wanted: 
News Editor - Details here

The Latitude series is Dells business class. Special attention is paid to security features, making this laptop suited for companies and their employees. But even the average user may find an advantage in a device like this. In this review, we will cover whether this notebook is worth its price and whether security-conscious users are going to be satisfied with the features on offer.

After the Latitude E5470 from two generations ago, Dell removed the "E" from their naming scheme and the successor was simply called the Latitude 5480. The Latitude 5490 has a rather long options list. Dell does list nine different configurations on its website, although we have to note that we believe some of the information present there to be incorrect, as even the most affordable model is displayed with the entirety of (officially optional) upgrades.

Differences in hardware start with the display, which is available in three variants, various processors and memory options and also include a plethora of storage, security, and graphics card options. It is possible, to add a dedicated GPU to your configuration. The specific options are covered in detail in their respective sections of this review. At the time of testing, Dell has decreased the price of the Latitude. The most affordable version, based on an i5-8250U, a HD display, 8GB of memory and a 500 GB HDD is currently available for only 839 Euros ((~$1040) excl. VAT). Unfortunately, the touchscreen variant is limited to English speaking markets.

It should be no surprise, that to compare the Dell, we have brought in some strong competition. Our selection contains the HP EliteBook 840 G4, the Acer TravelMate P648-G2, the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 and the Fujitsu LifeBook U747. Last but not least, we also take a look at its predecessor, the Dell Latitude 5480. The latter achieved an exceptional 86% in last year’s test, owing this score to a great battery life. We had gripes with the displays low brightness, however.

We will cover, whether Dell actually took our criticism seriously, or whether this is just a simple Kaby-Lake refresh.

Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X (Latitude 5490 Series)
Processor
Intel Core i5-8350U, Kaby-Lake refresh
Graphics adapter
Memory
8192 MB 
, 1x 8 GB, DDR4-2400, 2 slots, max 32 GB
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, optional, AU Optronics AUO263D, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U + iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
Storage
Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G, 512 GB 
, 449 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: headphone/microphone combo jack, Card Reader: full SD, Sensors: Acceleration
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-LM (10/100/1000MBit), Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2, empty Slot
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, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.694 kg ( = 59.75 oz / 3.73 pounds), Power Supply: 315 g ( = 11.11 oz / 0.69 pounds)
Price
1599 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Chassis - Stable but heavy on stains

The chassis has not improved radically compared to its predecessor. This was not really required anyway, since the simple, matte-black chassis still looks good. One disadvantage of the matte surface is that smudges and fingerprints are accumulated in a brief amount of time. The only real optical accent is the Dell logo at the top. While the material is plastic, both the base and lid are very stable. The bottom of the keyboard appears to have been slightly improved. One can still press it in, but much more force is required than in the previous version, improving the tactical feel of the keyboard.

Only the edge of the display is graced with softer plastic. Surrounding it is small lip made of hardened rubber that keeps the dirt out of the device when the lid is closed. The hinges enable the display to open up to 180 degrees. While the battery is screwed in, the manual does contain a replacement guide.

The 5490 with its 1.7 kg (~3.75 lb) is rather heavy for a business notebook. While offerings from Lenovo and Acer are similar in weight and the predecessor was even heavier, alternatives sold by HP and Fujitsu tend to be 200-300 grams (~0.45-0.66 lb) lighter. It should be noted that different configurations may also lead to fluctuations in weight.

The 5490 is similarly positioned in terms of thickness, being similar in depth to the Acer. Every other opponent is 1-2 mm slimmer (0.04 – 0.08 in). However, the overall  footprint is smaller than competitors. Compared to its predecessor, its size has decreased minimally, though usually only by less than 1 mm (~0.04 in). The only exception is the thickness which has gone down by 1.5 mm (~0.06 in).

Size comparison

Connectivity- Standard VGA, optional Thunderbolt

The connectivity is similar to that of the previous model. There is still a VGA port on the right, as well as an HDMI connector on the back. While this layout was criticized in previous reviews, it remains a matter of taste and one could argue that it is advantageous to have the more commonly used HDMI port at back, away from mouse inputs.

On the left, you will find a USB Type-C port with support for DisplayPort, but our configuration lacks a Thunderbolt 3, the latter being optional.

Aside from that, connectivity is good, but not great. Going for USB 3.0 instead of 2.0 is an admirable choice in our view, the headphone combo-jack being the standard in the business world. Notable is the external SIM slot on the back for a micro-SIM. All in all, connectivity is good, having ports at the back has advantages and disadvantages.

Independent journalism is made possible by advertising. We show the least amount of ads whenever possible but we intentionally show more ads when an adblocker is used. Please, switch off ad blockers and support us!

Left side: USB Type-C inkl. Displayport, USB Type-A 3.1, SD card reader
Left side: USB Type-C inkl. Displayport, USB Type-A 3.1, SD card reader
Right side: headphone combo-jack, USB Type-A 3.1, VGA, Noble Wedge Lock Slot
Right side: headphone combo-jack, USB Type-A 3.1, VGA, Noble Wedge Lock Slot
Back: RJ45, SIM card slot, HDMI 1.4, USB Type-A 3.1 inkl. PowerShare, power
Back: RJ45, SIM card slot, HDMI 1.4, USB Type-A 3.1 inkl. PowerShare, power
Front: no ports
Front: no ports

SD card reader - High speeds

The previous generation already included a great SD card reader giving excellent results in our testing. The new version can improve on that, showing an increase in our "JPG copy test" using a Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II reference SD card, by 27%. In this respect, the 5490 is twice as fast as any competitor.

A reading test with AS SSD shows even more dramatic results. However, the predecessor somehow managed a 21% better result. Otherwise, the SD card reader is great and far superior to anyone else's offering.

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%
Dell Latitude 5480
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
131.3 MB/s ∼79% -21%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
77.8 MB/s ∼47% -53%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
76.6 MB/s ∼46% -54%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
74.9 MB/s ∼45% -55%
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
72.6 MB/s ∼44% -56%
Average of class Office
  (10.2 - 191, n=232)
60.8 MB/s ∼37% -63%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell Latitude 5480
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
251.9 MB/s ∼100% +21%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
208.2 MB/s ∼83%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
88.74 MB/s ∼35% -57%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
87.3 MB/s ∼35% -58%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
83.7 MB/s ∼33% -60%
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
83.3 MB/s ∼33% -60%
Average of class Office
  (9.5 - 255, n=209)
78 MB/s ∼31% -63%

Communication - Optional LTE

While the predecessor contained a Qualcomm based wireless module, this has now been changed to an Intel Tri-band adapter. This shows a great improvement in signal strength and puts it on the same level as other offerings.

Reception quality, however, is poor and the new Dell managed only to get the second worst place. The Acer is about 13% faster in this respect.

Empty WWAN slot
Empty WWAN slot

Alternatively, you may use a SIM card to access the internet. However, despite the fact that a SIM slot can be found on our device, there is no integrated WWAN module. This means that if you want to use this feature, you will first have to buy and install a WWAN module. Fortunately, antennas are preinstalled.

We still tried putting a Micro-SIM card into the slot. However, we were not able to take it out again, as the inside of the SIM tray broke. This, despite using the official SIM removing tool is unacceptable.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
688 MBit/s ∼100% +13%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
657 MBit/s ∼95% +8%
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
655 MBit/s ∼95% +8%
Dell Latitude 5480
Qualcomm QCA6174
645 MBit/s ∼94% +6%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
607 MBit/s ∼88%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (jseb)
579 MBit/s ∼84% -5%
Average of class Office
  (5 - 688, n=174)
458 MBit/s ∼67% -25%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
512 MBit/s ∼100% 0%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
511 MBit/s ∼100%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (jseb)
509 MBit/s ∼99% 0%
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
509 MBit/s ∼99% 0%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
509 MBit/s ∼99% 0%
Average of class Office
  (34 - 688, n=174)
425 MBit/s ∼83% -17%
Dell Latitude 5480
Qualcomm QCA6174
314 MBit/s ∼61% -39%

Security - A lot of options

Dell has focused on the security aspects of the Latitude 5490. Unfortunately, most components are only available as options. Thus, our test device does not contain a FIPS 201 smart card reader, or a contactless Smart Card Reader NFC with Control Vault 2 FIPS 140-2 Level 3 Certification. The optional fingerprint sensor was also not included, making the device not Windows Hello compatible. This can be different depending on the configuration.

TPM 2.0 is on-board, but feels at this point almost like a standard feature. Still, if you are interested in any of these functions, you get a great number of options for multi-factor authentication.

A Noble Wedge Lock Slot is a standard alternative to the commonly used Kensington Lock, as to prevent physical theft of the device. Included also is a package of Dell security software for encrypting files among other things.

Accessories - Dell is a cheapskate

Dell sells a lot of accessories on their website, for example, the Dell Business Dock, which is powered via USB Type-C, delivers power to the notebook and adds ports for connectivity. Adding to that, there are multiple other docks, some based on Thunderbolt 3, none of which are device specific and quite expensive starting at 236.75 Euros (~$295). Not many accessories are included with the notebook, only a quick start guide is packaged with the device.

Maintenance - Removable base plate

Inside
Inside

This is another area where the 5490 stays true to its predecessor, it does not offer a maintenance hatch. The base plate is easy to remove though. Only eight screws need to be removed to take off the base plate of the chassis. Positive: The eight screws are fixed in such a way as to not fall out after being loosened. Afterwards, you get access to the battery, drive, RAM, fans and (for us at least) the unoccupied WWAN slot. As only a single 8 GB memory stick is used, an upgrade via the second RAM slot is easy.

Warranty - Brief, optionally longer

Cyberport offers the device with only one year of warranty, including limited on-site service. Dell offers an up to five years longer warranty on their website for those willing to pay.

Webcam - Usable

Webcam
Webcam

Because of Teleconferences and meetings via Skype, webcams are more in demand than ever, especially in the business sector. Despite that, most manufacturers do not focus on webcam quality. The Latitude 5490 is, unfortunately, no exception to this rule. Colors are decent, but details are washed out, leading to a blurry image.

Input devices - Solid performance

Keyboard

The keyboard
The keyboard

While the keys are small at 14mm (~.55 in), they are far apart and have good travel considering its class. The base appears sturdier than the one in the previous generation, even the center bends only slightly. The pressure point is soft but allows for quick and smooth writing. The small Enter key may require some getting used to. Typing is not too loud, although the space bar could be quieter, even though it is not distracting. The "quasi number pad" via Fn key is a very useful feature that is sadly still not standard on most laptops.

The backlighting for the keyboard is also optional, which is not to be found on our test device.

Touchpad

Touchpad
Touchpad

The touchpad was a pleasant surprise during our testing. The surface allows easy navigation, and gesture control worked flawlessly with up to four fingers. The dedicated keys make a muted clicking sound and offer long travel without feeling "spongy".

The Track- or PointStick offered in last year’s model is missing in our configuration, but can be found in other model variants. The Dell website, however, does not specify which models contain a TrackStick.

Display - Replaced, yet not improved

Subpixel
Subpixel
Screen Bleeding
Screen Bleeding

One of our main complaints of the predecessor was the display, based on a Philips panel, which we deemed not bright enough. With the current generation, Dell has changed the screen to an IPS model by AU Optronics. Sadly, this has not solved the issue: Instead of the previous 205 cd/m² the screen now reaches 211 cd/m², an almost imperceivable improvement. Furthermore, the distribution of brightness has worsened by 2%. Why Dell continues to fail in this discipline is beyond us.

In direct comparison, every competitor manages better results: While the Acer can at best be called acceptable, the models from LenovoFujitsu and HP manage more than 300 cd/m² each. The new panel does not appear to bring any improvement in this respect.

On top of that, screen bleeding was noticeable at the edges, though not too distracting during use.

216
cd/m²
213
cd/m²
216
cd/m²
200
cd/m²
227
cd/m²
201
cd/m²
209
cd/m²
207
cd/m²
210
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 227 cd/m² Average: 211 cd/m² Minimum: 14.5 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 223 cd/m²
Contrast: 1195:1 (Black: 0.19 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.6 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 2.4 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
54.4% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 34.5% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.44
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
AU Optronics AUO263D, , 1920x1080, 14
Dell Latitude 5480
LG Philips LGD0553, , 1920x1080, 14
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
AUO123D, , 1920x1080, 14
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
N140HCA-EAB, , 1920x1080, 14
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
LG LP140WF3, , 1920x1080, 14
Response Times
23%
22%
20%
1%
25%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
46.9 (23.6, 23.3)
32.8 (14, 18.8)
30%
39 (20, 19, Plateau)
17%
38 (20, 18)
19%
41.6 (20.4, 21.2)
11%
36 (16.4, 19.6)
23%
Response Time Black / White *
31.2 (18, 13.2)
26.4 (5.2, 21.2)
15%
23 (6, 17, Plateau)
26%
25 (14, 11)
20%
34 (9.6, 24.4)
-9%
23.2 (12.4, 10.8)
26%
PWM Frequency
Screen
-3%
-60%
14%
-9%
10%
Brightness middle
227
215.9
-5%
346
52%
275
21%
306
35%
291
28%
Brightness
211
205
-3%
317
50%
253
20%
287
36%
296
40%
Brightness Distribution
88
90
2%
86
-2%
85
-3%
88
0%
84
-5%
Black Level *
0.19
0.22
-16%
0.86
-353%
0.25
-32%
0.3
-58%
0.32
-68%
Contrast
1195
981
-18%
402
-66%
1100
-8%
1020
-15%
909
-24%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.6
5.1
9%
8.64
-54%
3.49
38%
6.2
-11%
4.3
23%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
22.4
15.6
30%
13.58
39%
6.77
70%
13.6
39%
7.5
67%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.4
4
-67%
11.24
-368%
4.91
-105%
5.8
-142%
4.3
-79%
Gamma
2.44 90%
2.41 91%
2.62 84%
2.39 92%
2.04 108%
2.31 95%
CCT
6506 100%
6856 95%
12530 52%
6271 104%
6277 104%
6529 100%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
34.5
41.96
22%
52
51%
59
71%
39.62
15%
55.46
61%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
54.4
61.15
12%
80
47%
91
67%
61.44
13%
84.77
56%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
10% / 1%
-19% / -47%
17% / 15%
-4% / -7%
18% / 12%

* ... smaller is better

However, the contrast and black level have improved slightly. The by 16-18% improved results in this area actually put it on top compared to the other alternatives. The bright display that HP offers on their notebook, for example, is abysmal in either category and competitors are much better in these aspects. These results can at least partly excuse the low brightness. Grayscale results are equally great; the new panel succeeds in this area as well.

In some respects, unfortunately, the display has actually worsened compared to its predecessor: Color deviations are significantly worse. Equally, the panel’s reaction time is abysmal. Adding to that, the color range has decreased as well. 54.4% sRGB and 34.5% AdobeRGB are not good results, designating the Latitude to the last place.

In conclusion, this new display is one of the weak points present in the Latitude 5490, despite the fact that Dell has actually changed the panel across generations. Our main gripe with the predecessor, i.e. the brightness, is unchanged. While contrast and black levels have improved, color deviation, reaction time and color range have worsened significantly.

Grayscale
Grayscale
Saturation
Saturation
ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Grayscale calibrated
Grayscale calibrated
Saturation calibrated
Saturation calibrated
ColorChecker calibrated
ColorChecker calibrated
sRGB
sRGB
AdobeRGB
AdobeRGB
Indirect sunlight
Indirect sunlight
Sunlight from the side
Sunlight from the side

Good brightness, high contrast levels, and a matte surface are required when using a notebook outside. Especially in the first aspect, the Latitude 5490 fails. And, while the good contrast and black levels can compensate this slightly, it is not enough. Other devices are better suited for use under sunlight. If you want to get work done using the Dell, you may want to find a shaded spot.

All in all, it saddens us to see that, while Dell have put a lot of effort into mobile use cases with a long battery life, the display hampers that effort. 

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
31.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 13.2 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 80 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
46.9 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 23.6 ms rise
↘ 23.3 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. » 75 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41 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: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8933 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

As is typical for IPS panels, the viewing angles are good. Slight discoloration is noticeable when viewing the display from the side. Furthermore, brightness deteriorates even more when looking at the display from some angles. Thus, viewing the screen from the optimal angle is important to make the most of the limited, available, brightness.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

Looking at the specifications, Dell does have a good office notebook on offer. The processor found in the predecessor has been replaced by a newer, slightly faster model while retaining efficiency. The integrated GPU is practically unchanged from the last generation. The 8 GB of memory is enough for most use scenarios and an SSD is used for storage. On paper, these components should result in good performance, ideal for a business laptop.

We do have to mention at this point that a lot of mentioned components are actually optional. It should thus be noted that both higher and lower performance variants are available. The base model is equipped with a slightly slower i5-8250U, as well as a mechanical hard disk. There is also a model with only 4 GB of RAM is on offer. This means that our results may deviate from those you could experience, depending on the configuration.

LatencyMon results show latency
LatencyMon results show latency

Unfortunately, we did notice latency when testing the hardware. LatencyMon tool assesses that the notebook may have difficulties processing audio files in real time. This may lead to dropouts and buffer underruns. The culprit for this is probably an excessively long DPC routine employed by a driver. Our device used the latest software updates available and therefore, Dell has to make improvements in this area. Deactivating the wireless module did not resolve the issues either.

Processor

The CPU in our device is an Intel Core i5-8350U. It is very efficient and should be suited for most business tasks, being part of the Kaby-Lake refresh and offering four cores with hyperthreading. The Latitude 5480 contained an i7-7600U, having only two hyperthreaded cores. This enables the new processor to tackle twice the threads at the same time. However, clock speeds have been decreased (3.6 GHz vs 3.9 GHz) slightly as a trade-off.

Looking at our Cinebench graph below, one can see that performance decreases quite sharply after the first run, decreasing continuously the longer the benchmark continues. The system is being throttled, the potential turbo is used less and less. One reason for this is that the power limit only permits maximum turbo for 28 seconds before restricting energy consumption to 25 W, limiting the processor to a theoretical 2.8-2.9 GHz. The difference is however not as problematic as the graph may make it appear, the notebook only loses about 6% in performance.

When relying on the battery, this difference widens of course. Once the 5490 gets unplugged, our multicore results decreased by about 45% and the single core results by 55%. Massive throttling is the case.

Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15 on battery
Cinebench R15 on battery
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

When compared to rivals, the performance is what one would expect. In single core testing, even its predecessor gets better results, thanks to its higher clock speed. The 5490 however, manages second place with the Acer in this category. Multi-core testing puts the 5490 right on top, the previous generation, as well as rivals, follow with 41-46% worse results. It can be concluded that overall, the performance is on a good level. Looking at the results from the older Cinebench R11.5, we get a similar picture: If the result is heavily linked to frequency, the predecessor edges out by a 15% lead, if multi-core performance is the focus, the 5490 manages to stay 46-50% ahead of the competition.

Cinebench R10
Cinebench R10
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R11.5
3DMark 2006
3DMark 2006
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel Core i7-7600U
161 Points ∼100% +13%
Average Intel Core i5-8350U
  (128 - 153, n=8)
147 Points ∼91% +4%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
Intel Core i7-7500U
142 Points ∼88% 0%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel Core i5-8350U
142 Points ∼88%
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
Intel Core i5-7200U
130 Points ∼81% -8%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel Core i5-7200U
126 Points ∼78% -11%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel Core i5-7200U
119 Points ∼74% -16%
Average of class Office
  (20 - 178, n=478)
108 Points ∼67% -24%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel Core i5-8350U
599 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i5-8350U
  (332 - 631, n=8)
536 Points ∼89% -11%
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel Core i7-7600U
355 Points ∼59% -41%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
Intel Core i7-7500U
341.43 Points ∼57% -43%
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
Intel Core i5-7200U
331 Points ∼55% -45%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel Core i5-7200U
329 Points ∼55% -45%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel Core i5-7200U
326 Points ∼54% -46%
Average of class Office
  (36 - 1050, n=482)
318 Points ∼53% -47%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel Core i7-7600U
1.87 Points ∼100% +15%
Average Intel Core i5-8350U
  (1.62 - 1.71, n=3)
1.673 Points ∼89% +3%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel Core i5-8350U
1.62 Points ∼87%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel Core i5-7200U
1.46 Points ∼78% -10%
Average of class Office
  (0.23 - 2.04, n=417)
1.122 Points ∼60% -31%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel Core i5-8350U
7.33 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i5-8350U
  (5.48 - 7.33, n=3)
6.25 Points ∼85% -15%
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel Core i7-7600U
3.98 Points ∼54% -46%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel Core i5-7200U
3.67 Points ∼50% -50%
Average of class Office
  (0.26 - 11.6, n=589)
2.73 Points ∼37% -63%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel Core i5-8350U
7593 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i5-8350U
 
7593 Points ∼100% 0%
Average of class Office
  (0.4 - 9027, n=430)
4229 Points ∼56% -44%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel Core i5-8350U
28684 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i5-8350U
 
28684 Points ∼100% 0%
Average of class Office
  (1.51 - 29780, n=427)
9658 Points ∼34% -66%
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
8441 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
19640
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6232
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5152
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
7593 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
28684 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
43.28 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.33 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.62 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
599 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
43.16 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
142 Points
Help

System Performance

To assess system performance, we look at PCMark 8's home and work-score. The Latitude 5490 does get respectable results in both, but the predecessor achieved better results. Either the higher processor frequency or other factors such as the employed SSD lead to the new Latitude managing only second place.

The Latitude is equipped to handle day to day usage, office software and web browsing are fluent and do not suffer from delays.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Dell Latitude 5480
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Toshiba SG5 256GB THNSNK256GVN8
4992 Points ∼100% +5%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
4774 Points ∼96%
Average Intel Core i5-8350U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (4200 - 4906, n=6)
4669 Points ∼94% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4667 Points ∼93% -2%
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung MZYTY256HDHP
4653 Points ∼93% -3%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
4639 Points ∼93% -3%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4572 Points ∼92% -4%
Average of class Office
  (1226 - 5428, n=303)
3953 Points ∼79% -17%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Dell Latitude 5480
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Toshiba SG5 256GB THNSNK256GVN8
3913 Points ∼100% +6%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
3695 Points ∼94%
Average Intel Core i5-8350U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3063 - 3776, n=7)
3566 Points ∼91% -3%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
3515 Points ∼90% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3507 Points ∼90% -5%
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung MZYTY256HDHP
3506 Points ∼90% -5%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3486 Points ∼89% -6%
Average of class Office
  (1169 - 4458, n=355)
3009 Points ∼77% -19%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3695 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4774 points
Help

Storage

Preinstalled software
Preinstalled software

In terms of storage, the notebook is equipped with a 512 GB SSD from Toshiba. Both Windows 10 and a few Dell specific programs come preinstalled, leading to 450 GB of usable disk space.

The M.2-2280 SSD is connected via SATA-III, leading to comparatively low transfer speeds. The SSDs found in the offerings by HP and Lenovo are connected via NVMe, leading to much better performance, the Latitude is only average. Equally average was the SSD found in the previous generation and the Acer while the Fujitsu is just marginally faster. The performance differences compared to the almost twice as fast offerings from HP and Lenovo are noticeable during benchmarking. However, during normal usage, this should not be noticeable unless one often transfers a large amount of data. Additional information may be found in our HDD/SSD-Benchmark table.

As the predecessor does not indeed utilize a vastly superior SSD, the worse result in PCMark 8 is not likely to be connected to this.

AS SSD
AS SSD
Crystaldiskmark 3
Crystaldiskmark 3
Crystaldiskmark 5
Crystaldiskmark 5
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
Dell Latitude 5480
Toshiba SG5 256GB THNSNK256GVN8
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
Samsung MZYTY256HDHP
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-6%
131%
1%
100%
6%
Write 4k QD32
300.2
207.2
-31%
410.2
37%
265.2
-12%
425.4
42%
249.7
-17%
Read 4k QD32
295.6
380.3
29%
512.9
74%
351.3
19%
496.2
68%
399.1
35%
Write 4k
88.96
114.8
29%
157.1
77%
85.55
-4%
134.6
51%
87.8
-1%
Read 4k
27.34
24.66
-10%
61.38
125%
32.88
20%
55.46
103%
35.73
31%
Write 512
360.7
265.5
-26%
803.5
123%
263.5
-27%
861.6
139%
283.4
-21%
Read 512
410.1
408.1
0%
921.8
125%
562.4
37%
810.6
98%
396.7
-3%
Write Seq
425
264.8
-38%
1263
197%
267.2
-37%
1076
153%
497.8
17%
Read Seq
465.1
469.4
1%
1819
291%
517.6
11%
1155
148%
504
8%
Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
Sequential Read: 465.1 MB/s
Sequential Write: 425 MB/s
512K Read: 410.1 MB/s
512K Write: 360.7 MB/s
4K Read: 27.34 MB/s
4K Write: 88.96 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 295.6 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 300.2 MB/s

GPU

Our configuration of the Latitude 5490 does not come with a dedicated GPU. An optional GeForce 930MX is available, however. Graphically intensive tasks are handled by an Intel UHD Graphics 620 in our test model. This integrated graphics unit is at best suited for light gaming at lower resolutions, though this is not really a use case for the Latitude 5490 anyway. The unit should suffice for occasional rendering or other graphics focused workloads.

During testing with 3DMark 2011 and 2013, the Latitude 5490 achieved admirable results, although it is beaten in all areas by the "old" Latitude 5480. All other notebooks in our line up are beaten by 4-6%. The minimally higher results of the predecessor may be linked to its dual-channel memory configuration. Utilizing the second RAM slot should improve GPU performance slightly in the 5490.

When relying on the battery, GPU benchmark results are reduced by about 10%.

3DMark 2011
3DMark 2011
3DMark 2013 Cloud Gate
3DMark 2013 Cloud Gate
3DMark 2013 Fire Strike
3DMark 2013 Fire Strike
3DMark 2013 Fire Strike on battery
3DMark 2013 Fire Strike on battery
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7600U
1685 Points ∼100% +4%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (1235 - 1979, n=104)
1680 Points ∼100% +4%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
1617 Points ∼96%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7500U
1462 Points ∼87% -10%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
1432 Points ∼85% -11%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
1413 Points ∼84% -13%
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
1409 Points ∼84% -13%
Average of class Office
  (185 - 4967, n=603)
1222 Points ∼73% -24%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (557 - 1336, n=84)
1083 Points ∼100% +10%
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7600U
1027 Points ∼95% +5%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
981 Points ∼91%
Average of class Office
  (138 - 4109, n=430)
941 Points ∼87% -4%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7500U
821 Points ∼76% -16%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
818 Points ∼76% -17%
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
799 Points ∼74% -19%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
738 Points ∼68% -25%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6910 - 11294, n=93)
8858 Points ∼100% +8%
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7600U
8740 Points ∼99% +6%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
8226 Points ∼93%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7500U
7264 Points ∼82% -12%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
6864 Points ∼77% -17%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
6824 Points ∼77% -17%
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
6803 Points ∼77% -17%
Average of class Office
  (1208 - 27117, n=474)
6562 Points ∼74% -20%
3DMark 11 Performance
1770 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
7903 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
918 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Gaming is usually not something business notebooks focus on and with no dedicated GPU, the 5490 is at best capable of light gaming with low settings and resolution. In "Rise of the Tomb Raider" for example, it manages only 18 FPS, even on the lowest settings.

"The Witcher 3" shows similar results. With 15 FPS on the lowest possible settings, it is unplayable.

The less demanding "Rocket League" is a slightly different story. A quick session in between work is possible, though only when dialling down the settings. At Full HD however, the game again becomes unplayable, even when reducing the settings as far as possible.

low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 14.619.63fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 18.6811.15.5fps
Rocket League (2017) 57.35421.4715.01fps

An in-depth comparison with the alternatives seems not to be necessary, as none of them offer significant graphical performance. Differences are insignificant and most games are hardly, if at all, playable.

"Rise of the Tomb Raider" gives the Latitude a one frame (as in 1) lead over the Lenovo, Acer, and Fujitsu on the lowest settings. Bumping the settings up to medium, the Lenovo managed a slight lead. Due to the pointlessness of the exercise, we did not try the game on higher settings.

In "The Witcher 3", the Dell edges out a 10-13% lead over the offerings from Lenovo and HP. The game is, however, in an unplayable state on all devices.

We concluded that gaming without a dedicated GPU is rarely, if at all possible in current times. This should however not be of grave concern on a business laptop. Adding to that, casual gamers with low expectations may not find the limited performance too troublesome.

Rise of the Tomb Raider
1920x1080 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x
Average of class Office
  (4.2 - 32.9, n=55)
11.4 fps ∼100% +107%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (4.9 - 32, n=27)
7.5 fps ∼66% +36%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
5.5 fps ∼48%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
5.216 fps ∼46% -5%
1366x768 Medium Preset AF:2x
Average of class Office
  (12.2 - 53.5, n=70)
17 fps ∼100% +53%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6.5 - 49.3, n=40)
12.8 fps ∼75% +15%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
12.6 fps ∼74% +14%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
11.1 fps ∼65%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
9.939 fps ∼58% -10%
1024x768 Lowest Preset
Average of class Office
  (6.2 - 111, n=95)
26.7 fps ∼100% +43%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (10.4 - 111, n=51)
21.5 fps ∼81% +15%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
18.68 fps ∼70%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
17.8 fps ∼67% -5%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
17.095 fps ∼64% -8%
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung MZYTY256HDHP
14.45 fps ∼54% -23%
Rocket League
1920x1080 High Quality AA:High FX
Average of class Office
  (13.2 - 29, n=11)
19 fps ∼100% +27%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (13.2 - 22.2, n=9)
18.3 fps ∼96% +22%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
15.01 fps ∼79%
1920x1080 Quality AA:Medium FX
Average of class Office
  (17.7 - 43.7, n=13)
27.9 fps ∼100% +30%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (13.1 - 34.8, n=11)
27.3 fps ∼98% +27%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
21.47 fps ∼77%
1920x1080 Performance
Average of class Office
  (39.6 - 80.4, n=5)
51.8 fps ∼100% +26%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (41.2 - 59.8, n=5)
48.4 fps ∼93% +17%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
41.2 fps ∼80%
1280x720 Performance
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (20.7 - 93.9, n=11)
63.3 fps ∼100% +10%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
57.354 fps ∼91%
Average of class Office
  (12.6 - 122, n=20)
57.1 fps ∼90% 0%
The Witcher 3
1366x768 Medium Graphics & Postprocessing
Average of class Office
  (5.8 - 50.3, n=43)
17 fps ∼100% +77%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (8 - 10.7, n=11)
9.75 fps ∼57% +1%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
9.63 fps ∼57%
1024x768 Low Graphics & Postprocessing
Average of class Office
  (8.3 - 81.7, n=67)
22.3 fps ∼100% +53%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (9.59 - 17.3, n=15)
14.9 fps ∼67% +2%
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
14.61 fps ∼66%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
13.3 fps ∼60% -9%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
12.9 fps ∼58% -12%

Emissions

System noise

The Latitude 5490 remains basically silent while idling, the fans rarely spin up. This changes, however, when under load. The device is not excessively loud under moderate load, although slightly noisier than the other competitors. Under full load, however, the fans spin up quite drastically, making the 5490 the loudest device in our comparison. Still, compared to its predecessor, which became eerily loud under full load, there have been significant improvements. The fans remain at high speed for quite a long time after closing a performance demanding application.

Aside from that, we did not notice any other noises emitted from the device. The sound emitted by the fan, however, can be quite taxing for some. During normal office operation, however, the fans rarely spin up.

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
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung MZYTY256HDHP
Noise
-7%
0%
1%
7%
8%
off / environment *
28.8
31
-8%
30.6
-6%
28
3%
28.2
2%
Idle Minimum *
28.8
29.6
-3%
31
-8%
30.6
-6%
28
3%
28.2
2%
Idle Average *
28.8
29.6
-3%
31
-8%
30.6
-6%
28
3%
28.2
2%
Idle Maximum *
30.9
29.6
4%
31
-0%
31
-0%
29.4
5%
28.2
9%
Load Average *
35.6
42
-18%
33.5
6%
34.5
3%
31.4
12%
31.2
12%
Load Maximum *
41.4
47.1
-14%
33.7
19%
32.4
22%
34.6
16%
33
20%

* ... smaller is better

Noise Level

Idle
28.8 / 28.8 / 30.9 dB(A)
Load
35.6 / 41.4 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.8 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2034.229.333.429.331.334.22528.628.429.728.43228.63131.331.432.128.732.131.34029.329.429.929.427.429.35027.32625.427.625.827.36325.82626.125.524.725.88029.825.626.325.124.729.810025.425.325.923.624.225.412523.924.125.124.523.423.916025.524.625.223.323.325.520026.425.324.523.722.826.425025.323.422.521.72125.331527.223.423.219.819.827.240029.924.4232018.529.95003227.22419.117.83263028.124.42217.81728.180030.425.621.317.31730.4100030.726.321.416.616.130.7125029.323.920.216.415.929.3160029.423.919.815.815.629.4200028.823.119.316.115.628.8250028.424.118.11615.628.431503223.617.916.31632400031.62318.216.616.431.6500028.320.717.516.816.728.363002720.118.518.116.927800025.219.218.818.317.225.21000022.519.920.319.417.422.51250019.119.519.819.317.419.11600017.918.218.418.117.117.9SPL41.435.63229.528.841.4N3.92.41.71.31.23.9median 28.1median 23.9median 20.3median 18.1median 17.1median 28.1Delta2.31.62.22.41.82.336.735.938.33736.733.333.936.13433.332.133.333.130.732.136.934.637.736.936.930.432.133.531.130.430.534.736.430.830.53232.630.5303232.332.229.528.532.326.126.426.425.326.126.725.727.325.526.72627.22725.92624.524.624.323.724.52424.624.823.92422.722.522.622.122.722.622.722.721.422.621.621.721.720.521.621.922.121.12021.922.122.22019.322.121.922.119.518.721.922.722.919.218.222.723.523.6191823.52221.818.717.9222019.818.417.82019.919.818.317.819.918.718.518.117.918.718.217.918.117.818.218.11818.117.918.118.217.817.917.718.218.417.817.917.518.418.817.817.917.618.833.533.531.931.133.5221.71.62median 22median 22.1median 19.5median 18.7median 222.12.62.92.22.1hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseDell Latitude 5490-TD70XHP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD

Temperature

One hour stress test
One hour stress test

Despite the fact that the fans are rarely employed while idling, the temperature of the device never exceeds 25 °C (77 °F). As mentioned, the fans spin up significantly under load which, looking at the surface temperature seems necessary. While the top of the chassis stays relatively cool, the bottom heats up to 45 °C (113 °F). This makes using it on one’s lap rather difficult. Under load, the Latitude should preferably be placed on a table anyway, as the fans suck in air from below.

Using the worst-case scenario of Prime95 combine with FurMark across one hour, we can witness the maximum of temperature and throttling. The core temperature settles down at around 60 °C (~15.6 °F) after an hour of testing, showing good cooling performance. For this, however, performance is sacrificed as the frequency drops to about 1.8 GHz of a theoretical maximum 3.6 GHz. Fortunately, such a scenario is rarely the case, during real-world use throttling should be limited.

Temperature on top during load
Temperature on top during load
Temperature on bottom during load
Temperature on bottom during load
Temperature at exhaust port during load
Temperature at exhaust port during load
Max. Load
 37.2 °C
99 F
34.9 °C
95 F
32.7 °C
91 F
 
 38.3 °C
101 F
34.8 °C
95 F
27.6 °C
82 F
 
 31.2 °C
88 F
26.9 °C
80 F
24 °C
75 F
 
Maximum: 38.3 °C = 101 F
Average: 32 °C = 90 F
27.1 °C
81 F
43 °C
109 F
43.3 °C
110 F
27.5 °C
82 F
40.2 °C
104 F
44.7 °C
112 F
22.2 °C
72 F
25.4 °C
78 F
25.5 °C
78 F
Maximum: 44.7 °C = 112 F
Average: 33.2 °C = 92 F
Power Supply (max.)  41.6 °C = 107 F | Room Temperature 20.2 °C = 68 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 32 °C / 90 F, compared to the average of 29.4 °C / 85 F for the devices in the class Office.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 38.3 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 33.9 °C / 93 F, ranging from 21.2 to 62.5 °C for the class Office.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 44.7 °C / 112 F, compared to the average of 36.4 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 22.9 °C / 73 F, compared to the device average of 29.4 °C / 85 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 31.2 °C / 88.2 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.3 °C / 82.9 F (-2.9 °C / -5.3 F).

Speakers

When comparing them with the offerings of other manufacturers, the speakers of the Dell are not that bad. Considering the laptop's size and the fact that most notebook speakers are not that great, to begin with, the ones found in the 5490 are actually very good. The high volume, as well as linear and balanced mids and highs are the reason for this.

Naturally, bass output is not exceptional, leading to, in combination with the high volume, rather "tinny" sound. Thus we would recommend the use of headphones or external speakers. A combo jack is available for this case, however, there is no separate microphone input.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.334.52532343132.136.34027.434.25025.834.36324.734.68024.737.710024.244.112523.447.916023.352.220022.859.12502158.631519.859.540018.565.250017.870.26301773.48001778.9100016.179.3125015.976.4160015.677.1200015.676.4250015.673.531501674.8400016.471.9500016.780.4630016.982.3800017.2811000017.476.71250017.4721600017.164.8SPL28.889.7N1.283.2median 17.1median 73.4Delta1.88.135.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseDell Latitude 5490-TD70XApple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (89.7 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 19.8% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (6.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.1% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (14.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 12% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 84% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 15% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 80% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 96% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked!)


Energy management

Energy consumption

The Latitude 5490 somehow manages both great and awful energy consumption. When idling, the device uses the least amount of energy, under load the most. The maximum power draw of 67 W is, however, the absolute maximum, achieved for only a few seconds. Afterward, the notebook’s power draw stays at about 43-45 W under high load. At that point the Latitude still consumes more than its competition, although it  offers more performance.

Power supply
Power supply

The power supply’s dimensions are pleasantly small and it is able to handle up to 65 W. As 67 W of consumption is reached only briefly and the maximum power draw is usually at around 45 W, there is still enough of a reserve to charge the device under load.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.34 / 0.96 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.3 / 5.54 / 6.59 Watt
Load midlight 42.4 / 67.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
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
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
7500U, HD Graphics 620, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
7200U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
7200U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung MZYTY256HDHP, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 14
Power Consumption
-12%
14%
-16%
14%
-4%
Idle Minimum *
3.3
6.64
-101%
2.9
12%
4.8
-45%
3.21
3%
4.11
-25%
Idle Average *
5.54
6.67
-20%
5.6
-1%
7.9
-43%
6.15
-11%
7.87
-42%
Idle Maximum *
6.59
7.78
-18%
8.15
-24%
10.7
-62%
6.82
-3%
8.74
-33%
Load Average *
42.4
30.83
27%
30.6
28%
35
17%
28.5
33%
30.2
29%
Load Maximum *
67.6
31.7
53%
31
54%
31.6
53%
34.5
49%
32.4
52%

* ... smaller is better

Battery life

Considering the two-sided energy consumption results, it should not come as a surprise that the battery life is going to depend very much on the use case. To analyze the battery life, we employed the following tests:

Idle/Readers-Test: This test tries to find the absolute highest achievable battery life using BatteryEater. The display brightness is set to minimum, all communication modules are deactivated and the energy profile "Power Saver" is used. In this test, the Dell reached an incredible 26 hours with little to no load; our highest score ever.

Browsing via WLAN: This test is closer to a real-life use case. The profile "Balanced" is used, the brightness is set to about 150 cd/m² and WLAN is enabled. A script is used to access various websites every minute, on occasion YouTube videos are being displayed. In this test, the 5490 reached almost 15 hours, which is very impressive.

Video playback: The profile "Power Saver" is enabled, the brightness is again set to about 150 cd/m² and all communication modules are disabled. An H.264 encoded movie is being displayed continuously. In this test, the Latitude manages 13 hours and 11 minutes, another great result.

Load: We try to establish the minimum battery life under high load. Again, we employ BatteryEater, this time using the "Classic Test". The brightness is set to its maximum, all communication modules are enabled and "High-Performance Mode" is enabled. In this test, the battery of the Dell Latitude 5490 is emptied in 97 minutes. This shows us that, under load, the energy consumption skyrockets.

In conclusion, the battery life of the Latitude in the real world seems very impressive, one of the main strengths of the Latitude. Too much strain should however not be put upon the device if you require a long battery life, as, while the device manages to reach the best results in our comparison when looking at Idle, video playback and browsing, the same cannot be said about our load scenario in which the Latitude falls to the last place.

Dell has integrated their own energy profile, striking a good balance between performance and battery life as an alternative to the "Balanced" mode. As we mostly test using the "Power Saver" mode, we are however not aware whether the mode Dell provides is very effective.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
25h 56min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
14h 57min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
13h 11min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 37min
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
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
7500U, HD Graphics 620, 54 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T470-20HD002HGE
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 48 Wh
Fujitsu LifeBook U747
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 50 Wh
Average of class Office
 
Battery Runtime
21%
1%
-12%
-20%
-30%
-41%
Reader / Idle
1556
1448
-7%
1155
-26%
1087
-30%
782
-50%
557 (101 - 1857, n=770)
-64%
H.264
791
591
-25%
623
-21%
490
-38%
413 (139 - 791, n=149)
-48%
WiFi v1.3
897
964
7%
571
-36%
672
-25%
438
-51%
430
-52%
404 (105 - 964, n=295)
-55%
Load
97
159
64%
184
90%
115
19%
110
13%
117
21%
101 (37 - 259, n=715)
4%

Verdict

Pros

+ stable chassis
+ rubber around display against dirt
+ 180° hinge
+ SIM slot
+ fast SD card reader
+ great input devices
+ quiet during Idle
+ efficient Idle
+ great battery life during light tasks

Cons

- rather heavy
- no standard Thunderbolt 3
- security features almost entirely optional
- no keyboard backlighting (optional)
- dark display
- high latency due to driver issues
- often not faster than predecessor
- SSD average
- energy consumption and noise under load
Dell Latitude 5490 test model provided by Cyberport
Dell Latitude 5490 test model provided by Cyberport

The Dell Latitude 5490 has a lot of plus points, especially for companies and their employees: During office usage, it is very efficient and, thanks to the mostly fanless operation, very quiet. The input devices are also of a high quality, but the biggest advantage of this notebook is its incredible battery life, allowing day long usage in less demanding tasks. The strong, optional, collection of security features can be an equally good argument for a purchase.

This is why it saddens us so much to see that Dell has not fixed the biggest point of criticizm found in the predecessor, the dark display. While it offers more contrast and better black levels than before, it is still not very bright. Adding to that, it suffers from terrible reaction times and discoloration. Fan noise under load could equally be improved.

The 5490 is clearly aimed predominantly at companies and their employees. One has to however carefully select the countless configurations on offer to get the desired feature set. For less security conscious customers, there are certainly lighter, smaller and under load quieter alternatives on offer, that often can be more affordable as well. Those interested, will get a secure, powerful and enduring business laptop with an unfortunately very dark display.

The 5490 is slightly slimmer than its predecessor, but the Kaby-Lake refresh only rarely results in improved real-world performance. In a lot of applications, the 5480 is actually slightly faster. Perhaps taking a look at the predecessor could thus be worthwhile, although it should be noted that the 5480 is even louder under load.

Dell Latitude 5490-TD70X - 03/04/2018 v6
Christian Hintze

Chassis
81 / 98 → 82%
Keyboard
85%
Pointing Device
83%
Connectivity
65 / 80 → 81%
Weight
67 / 20-67 → 99%
Battery
96%
Display
82%
Games Performance
51 / 68 → 76%
Application Performance
88 / 92 → 96%
Temperature
93%
Noise
93%
Audio
64%
Camera
46 / 85 → 54%
Average
76%
86%
Office - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

Read all 6 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Dell Latitude 5490 (i5-8350U, FHD) Laptop Review
Christian Hintze, 2018-03-15 (Update: 2018-05-15)