Notebookcheck

Dell Latitude 7480 (7600U, FHD) Laptop Review

Business as usual. With its redesigned chassis, lighter weight and much-improved battery life, the upper-class Latitude once again ticks all the right check boxes when it comes to business notebooks. The 14-inch 7480 is equipped with current-generation hardware, offers great performance and features a top-notch keyboard. Coil whine is very noticeable, however.

Working For Notebookcheck

Are you a loyal reader of notebookcheck? Are you a techie who knows how to write? Then join our Team!

Especially wanted: 
Review Editor - 
Details here
News Editor - Details here

 

 

 

 

Mobility, security, manageability and reliability have long been the cornerstones of Dell's well-respected Latitude series. The 2017-version of the 14-inch model, which is now simply called Latitude 7480 - both the number 14 and the letter "E" have been dropped from the name - improves on the predecessor Dell Latitude 14 E7470 in several key areas, which will touch upon during the course of the review. 

Dell's business notebooks have always impressed us with their excellent build quality and great ergonomics, but it's probably safe to say that the company has neglected looks in the past. With the latest two iterations, we are happy to report that this is changing as well. The new Latitude is sleeker than before and looks decidedly upscale while not neglecting the core values that made the series so great for business in the first place.

As part of the "Premium" 7000-line, the review laptop picks - in some ways at least - up where the "Mainstream" Latitude 5000-series leaves off. Our review notebook - which sells for $1850 - comes with 14-inch FHD IPS display, dual-core i7 CPU, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD and is therefore, at least as far as the hardware is concerned, strikingly similar to the mid-level Latitude 5480 we reviewed less than a month ago. The competition is thus similar as well and includes the higher-end business notebooks from Lenovo like the ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017 or HP's EliteBook 840 G4, among others.

Dell Latitude 7480 (Latitude Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 620, Core: 1150 MHz, Memory: 1067 MHz, 21.20.16.4574
Memory
8192 MB 
, 2133 MHz DDR4
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 157 PPI, LG Philips LGD0557, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Intel SSDSCKKF256H6, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm headphone combo jack, Card Reader: Micro-SD, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-LM (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 17.05 x 331 x 220.9 ( = 0.67 x 13.03 x 8.7 in)
Battery
60 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Additional features
Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 36 Months Warranty
Weight
1.516 kg ( = 53.48 oz / 3.34 pounds), Power Supply: 294 g ( = 10.37 oz / 0.65 pounds)

 

Case

The semi-unibody chassis features a black soft-touch paint finish which not only looks very upscale, but also feels great to the touch and provides exceptional slip resistance as well. As it has been the case in the past with this type of soft-touch paint, fingerprints show up easily and are rather hard to remove. According to Dell, there's an optional woven carbon fiber back cover for the notebook as well, but we found that option only when selecting the high-end 14-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) touch display with Corning Gorilla Glass, which adds a hefty $315.00 to the already fairly high price. The body and the lid are in our case both constructed from aluminum alloy and as a result, the base unit doesn't flex much when pressure is applied and the torsional rigidity is very high as well, although we wouldn't say it's leaps and bounds better than the middle-class Latitude 5480. The display resists flexing quite well and even heavy pressure on the back does not cause any wave patterns on the display itself. According to Dell, the Latitude 7480 has undergone extensive military-grade MIL-STD 810G testing to ensures that the system can handle daily use without issues.

The single-hinge system - the predecessor had two separate ones - hold the display securely in any position through the full 180 degrees of travel. Just like the Latitude 5480, the 7480 has a thin rubber lip surrounding the entire display, which prevents debris from finding its way between the laptop and the lid when the display is closed. The build quality is extremely high and - thanks to the semi-unibody design - there are not gaps to speak off.

Even though Dell speaks of a "narrow border" display in their spec sheet for the Latitude 7480 with the optional 14-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) touch panel, this nomenclature is somewhat misleading, because the actual bezel isn't particularly narrow at 10 mm on the sides and 18 mm up top and on the bottom - the XPS 13 with the InfinityEdge display is still in a league of its own here. Nonetheless, the Latitude 7480 features a 6% smaller footprint than previous version and is - at 17.05 x 331 x 220.9 mm (0.67 x 13.03 x 8.7 in) - just about 25 mm (1 in) wider, 7 mm (0.25 in) deeper and thicker by one mm than the super-svelte ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017

The new Latitude is not particularly light at 1.52 kg (3.34 lbs), either, when compared to the ThinkPad X1 Carbon at 1.14 kg (2.52 lbs) or the ThinkPad T470s at 1.36 g (3.01 lbs), but it's not nearly as heavy as the predecessor or the mid-range Latitude 5480, which both get awfully close to 1.8 kg (almost 4 lbs). The Latitude 7480 is very easy to handle as well as stow in smaller bags designed for 13.3-inch laptops and makes for an excellent compromise between screen size and ergonomics when traveling. 

Connectivity

While the predecessor Dell Latitude 14 E7470 as well as the lower-end Latitude 5480 with their dual hinges have ports on the rear, the new single-hinge design forced Dell to relocate the ports to the side, which does improve ergonomics to a certain degree in our opinion. The Latitude 7480 lacks a physical docking connector, so users with older docking solutions are out of luck. VGA ports - the HP EliteBook 840 G4 is still equipped with one - are disappearing as well, so adapters are necessary should this legacy connector be required. Of course, Dell offers various updated docking solutions like the Dell Thunderbolt Dock TB16 with 180W power adapter for $300. The dock supports three displays and comes with 2 x USB 2.0, 3 x USB 3.0, a Thunderbolt / USB Type-C port, VGA, DisplayPort and HDMI, among others. Dell also offers the Wireless Dock WLD15, but this requires the optional WiGig-capable Intel Tri-Band Wireless-AC 18265 module, which wasn't available when we checked the online configuration tool.

Left side:power, USB Type-C Gen 2 w/ Thunderbolt, HDMI, 2x USB 3.0, smart card reader
Left side:power, USB Type-C Gen 2 w/ Thunderbolt, HDMI, 2x USB 3.0, smart card reader
Right side: 3.5 mm audio combo-jack, MicroSDXC, SIM card tray, USB3.0, RJ45, Nobel Wedge lock slot
Right side: 3.5 mm audio combo-jack, MicroSDXC, SIM card tray, USB3.0, RJ45, Nobel Wedge lock slot
Front: no connectivity
Front: no connectivity
Rear: no connectivity
Rear: no connectivity

SD Card Reader

One of the changes from the predecessor and a clear step backward is the omission of a full-sized SD card slot. The performance of the microSD card reader is still good though and beats out the full-sized SD reader in the HP EliteBook 840 G4 with AS SSD registering transfer rates of 92 MB/s and a jpeg copy test (~ 5 MB each; 1 GB total) taking place at 76 MB/s.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
183 MB/s ∼100% +141%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
79.3 MB/s ∼43% +5%
Dell Latitude 7480
(Toshiba (Exceria Pro SDXC UHS-II 64 GB)
75.85 MB/s ∼41%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
74.9 MB/s ∼41% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
(Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
61.2 MB/s ∼33% -19%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
206.6 MB/s ∼100% +125%
Dell Latitude 7480
(Toshiba (Exceria Pro SDXC UHS-II 64 GB)
91.96 MB/s ∼45%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
90.5 MB/s ∼44% -2%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
83.7 MB/s ∼41% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
(Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
82.88 MB/s ∼40% -10%

Communication

Wireless is courtesy of Intel's Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac) module with Bluetooth 4.2. The speed is as expected for this wireless card and quite good with send and receive rates of about 530 and 645 MBit/s when connected to test router Linksys EA8500 (one meter from the test system). LTE using a Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE (DW5811E) module is optional and costs about $140 extra. Wireless stability was excellent during the review period and the notebook maintained a stable connection at an impressive distance from the router. 

Security

As expected for a business notebook, the Latitude 7480 supports a host of security features. At the time of writing, Dell lists the following options:

  • Optional Hardware Authentication Bundle 1: FIPS 201, Contacted Smart Card with Control Vault 2.0 Advanced, Authentication with FIPS 140-2 Level 3 Certification
  • Optional Hardware Authentication Bundle 2: Touch Fingerprint Reader, FIPS 201 Contacted Smart Card, Contacless Smart Card, NFC, Control Vault 2.0 Advanced Authentication with FIPS 140-2 Level 3 Certification 

On the software side, Dell also offers a plethora of security and management software (note that some will require a subscription):

  • Dell Client Command Suite
  • Optional Dell Data Security and Management Software
  • Dell Data Protection | Endpoint Security Suite Enterprise
  • Dell Data Protection | Encryption (Enterprise Edition or Personal Edition)
  • MozyPro, MozyEnterprise
  • Dell Data Protection | Threat Defense
  • Dell Data Protection | Protected Workspace
  • Dell Data Protection | Secure Lifecycle
  • RSA NetWitness  Endpoint
  • VMware Airwatch
  • Absolute Data & Device Security
  • RSA SecurID Access

Our Latitude is equipped with the Hardware Authentication Bundle 2 and as such includes the touch fingerprint reader and the contacted/contactless smart card slot. The review notebook also includes the optional IR camera setup, which should allow Windows Hello to use facial recognition. In our case, this didn't work so well though, so we resorted to using the fingerprint reader instead, which unlocked the laptop reliably within a couple of seconds.

Accessories

Dell does not include any other items in addition to the notebook and the 65 W power adapter, but of course there are many additional (generic) accessories available, including power adapters, adapter cables and various docking stations. The Dell Wirless Dock - which requires the Tri-Band wireless adapter we mentioned earlier - costs $270 at the time of writing. The Thunderbolt-based Dock TB16 can connect up to three FHD displays, two 4K displays, or one 5K display at 60Hz in addition to offering a multitude of ports and sells for $300.

Maintenance

Just like on other Latitude notebooks, the entire bottom plate needs to be taken off in order to gain access to the internal components - quite an easy task compared to other notebooks which have crossed our test bench recently. Once the cover is removed, the M.2 SSD slot, the WWAN slot, the RAM slots, the cooling fan and the wireless module are easily accessible. We particularly appreciate that the screws (8 total) are secured, so they can't fall out and get lost.

Warranty

Unlike for their consumer products and the lower-end Latitudes, Dell offers a 3-year Hardware Service with In-Home/Onsite Service After Remote Diagnosis even for the lowliest i3-configuration in the 7000 series. Extending the warranty to 5 years costs $140; a 5-year ProSupport Plus with Next Business Day Onsite Service (with accidental damage protection) costs $260 extra.

Webcam

Fairly accurate colors, but high noise
Fairly accurate colors, but high noise

We took a test picture with the webcam in a room with a ceiling fan equipped with 3x 13W (60W equivalent) Soft White light bulbs above and to the left of the notebook. The color accuracy and tonal balance are both quite good, but color noise is evident particularly in the darker desk area and the yellow wall. For video conferencing, the camera is sufficient - and the picture quality of course improves markedly in better light. Even though this is an IR-capable camera, we weren't successful in using it to unlock the notebook (Windows Hello) even after several attempts. 

Input Devices

Keyboard

The chiclet keyboard with the familiar Dell layout seems to be identical to the one the company uses for the Latitude 5480, although this time there isn't an actual keyboard frame insert. Rather, the keys are integrated into deck itself, which should lead - at least in theory - to a stiffer typing platform. The flex is indeed well-controlled, so the keyboard never feels spongy even during spirited typing. Feedback from the 14 mm, slightly concave keys is excellent, the actuation force required just about perfect and the key travel of around 2 mm welcome advantage over Ultrabooks with much less travel - at least in our opinion. The sound the keyboard produces is very unobtrusive and the 2-stage backlight makes typing in darker environments much easier. As far as keyboards for typists are concerned, this is certainly one of the best ones available.

Touchpad & TrackPoint

The touchpad from Alps Electric Co. measures 10 x 5.4 cm (4 x 2.1 in) and works without major issues. The touch surface responds well to inputs even when the fingers are sweaty and gestures (up to four fingers) are recognized reliably. The dedicated mouse buttons seem to require more actuation force than they do on the 5480, which is a welcome change. The pointstick - still a standard on business notebooks, although the smaller Latitude 7280 lacks one - works flawlessly as well. There are three mouse buttons dedicated to the trackpoint near the upper edge of the touchpad. The distance between the touchpad and the buttons is much less than it is on the Latitude 5480, so clicking the buttons with the thumb while simultaneously resting the wrist on the palm rest is not nearly as uncomfortable, although ThinkPads still have the edge here with their more ergonomic design.

Pointing Devices - configuration
Pointing Devices - configuration
Alps touchpad
Alps touchpad
Outstanding keyboard
Outstanding keyboard
Pointstick ergonomics
Pointstick ergonomics

Display

Our Latitude is equipped with a 14-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) anti-glare panel from LG Philips (LGD0557) with a corresponding pixel density of 157 ppi. With an average brightness of 321 cd/m², the panel compares well to those of other, higher-end business notebooks, although the Latitude 14 E7470 with WQHD touch panel was a bit brighter still. Speaking of panels: Dell offers the i3-version of the 7480 with the 14-inch HD (1366 x 768 pixels) or the 14-inch FHD (1920 x 1080 pixels); the Core i5 and i7 models are available with the 14-inch QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) touch display with Gorilla Glass as well. Dell specifies a brightness of only 200 nits for the HD display, so we'd likely give it a pass considering the high-end status of the 7000 series.

The contrast ratio of 1075:1 is decent, but not great - the Lenovo ThinkPads perform a bit better. The HP EliteBook 840 G4 with its TN panel is severely disadvantaged compared to the colleagues with IPS screens and tops out at only 400:1.

322.2
cd/m²
320.7
cd/m²
302.1
cd/m²
331.2
cd/m²
344
cd/m²
301.5
cd/m²
333.3
cd/m²
344.4
cd/m²
291.2
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 344.4 cd/m² Average: 321.2 cd/m² Minimum: 16.08 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 344 cd/m²
Contrast: 1075:1 (Black: 0.32 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.6 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 2.6 | - Ø
92.27% sRGB (Argyll) 65.82% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.28
Dell Latitude 7480
LG Philips LGD0557, IPS, 14, 1920x1080
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
AUO B140QAN Dell PN F0WXVV, IPS, 14, 2560x1440
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
B140HAN03_1, IPS, 14, 1920x1080
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
AUO123D, TN, 14, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
B140QAN01.5, IPS, 14, 2560x1440
Response Times
-3%
-2%
15%
-3%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
40.8
48
-18%
41.6
-2%
39
4%
46.4
-14%
Response Time Black / White *
31.2
27
13%
31.6
-1%
23
26%
28.8
8%
PWM Frequency
Screen
-4%
-30%
-104%
-41%
Brightness
321
354
10%
288
-10%
317
-1%
311
-3%
Brightness Distribution
85
81
-5%
85
0%
86
1%
88
4%
Black Level *
0.32
0.26
19%
0.24
25%
0.86
-169%
0.25
22%
Contrast
1075
1462
36%
1296
21%
402
-63%
1308
22%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.6
3.11
-20%
5.5
-112%
8.64
-232%
6.1
-135%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.6
4.35
-67%
6.2
-138%
11.24
-332%
8.8
-238%
Gamma
2.28 105%
2.37 101%
2.02 119%
2.62 92%
2.18 110%
CCT
7050 92%
6771 96%
5950 109%
12530 52%
6172 105%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
65.82
62
-6%
55.96
-15%
52
-21%
61.56
-6%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
92.27
96
4%
85.77
-7%
80
-13%
94.88
3%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-4% / -3%
-16% / -24%
-45% / -80%
-22% / -34%

* ... smaller is better

Color space coverage is - at 93 % and 66 % for the sRGB and AdobeRGB standards, respectively - actually quite good. The panel of the Lenovo ThinkPad T470s covers 95 % of sRGB and is - after a calibration - the better choice for semi-professional photo or video editing. Still, for occasional photography work the FHD display is more than adequate.

Latitude 7480 vs. sRGB
Latitude 7480 vs. sRGB
Latitude 7480 vs. AdobeRGB
Latitude 7480 vs. AdobeRGB
Latitude 7480 vs. ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2017)
Latitude 7480 vs. ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2017)

We use a spectrophotometer and the CalMAN software to check the color accuracy of the panel. The average DeltaE values for greyscale and color are both 2.6, which is very decent. although the color red is the least accurate. Even so, the gamma (2.28; ideal: 2.2) and the Avg CCT (7050; ideal 6500K) are certainly good enough for normal use. A quick calibration improves those values further, although red still remains an outlier, particularly at high saturation levels. We didn't find that to be an issue though, since the panel appears to be free of color casts to our eyes.

ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Outdoors - in the shade
Outdoors - in the shade

A comparatively high brightness of 320 nits and a non-glare display coating: the Latitude 7480 is well-suited for outdoor use. Working in the shade is no problem and even indirect sunlight poses no significant restrictions. The predecessor Dell Latitude 14 E7470 with QHD display has a highly reflective touch display, which more than negates the brightness advantage (+30 nits) it has over the review candidate. Dell actually states a maximum brightness of 270 nits for the new Latitude 7480 with the high-res panel, which is lower than before, so that's important to keep in mind for those who want to venture outside a lot.

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↗ 18.8 ms rise
↘ 12.4 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. » 77 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (27.2 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
40.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19.2 ms rise
↘ 21.6 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. » 43 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (44.2 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: 60 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 1345 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 30860) Hz was measured.

Thanks to the IPS technology, the Dell Latitude 7480 has excellent viewing angle stability with no apparent changes in the colors or significant loss of brightness even at very shallow angles. TN panels - HP for example still uses this type for their EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET - tend to rapidly wash out and colors can invert even at fairly moderate angles.

Excellent viewing angle stability
Excellent viewing angle stability
Minimal screen bleeding
Minimal screen bleeding

Performance

Dell offers the Latitude 7480 with four different Kaby Lake ULV processor choices: Core i3-7100U, Core i5-7200U and i5-7300U, and Core i7-7600U. Other processors are not offered. Our particular SKU comes with the i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM (2x 4 GB 2133 MHz DDR4) and a 256 GB Intel SATA M.2 SSD, so it's well-equipped to handle the various workloads encountered in an office settings. The configurator allows the user to chose up to 32 GB of RAM (+$378) and a M.2 1TB PCIe NVMe Class 40 Solid State Drive (+$504), so if the QHD panel with carbon fiber lid is selected as well, the price can climb to above $3000 - very expensive for a notebook with integrated graphics.

 

Processor

Our review laptop is equipped with the fasted dual-core ULV CPU in Intel's lineup - the Core i7-7600U. The processor has a base clock of 2.8 GHz, but features a maximum Turbo Boost speed of 3.9 GHz for both cores. Performance is not quite as high as expected and trails other laptops with the same CPU according to the Cinebench benchmark multi-core tests by up to 9 %. A check with the tool HWInfo shows that the CPU reaches 95 degrees C within a 15 seconds and the CPU cores slow to 3.1 - 3.2 GHz for the remainder of the test with the temperature stabilized at around 76 degrees C. The results are particularly bewildering, since the smaller 12.5-inch brother Dell Latitude 7280 - equipped with the same CPU and only marginally noisier - scores a little higher. An extensive run of Cinebench 15 in a loop shows that performance drops initially after the first run, but subsequent performance is near constant. We should point out the difference in performance are quite slight and likely never noticed during normal operation.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell Latitude 7280
Intel Core i7-7600U
164 Points ∼74% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
Intel Core i7-7600U
162 Points ∼73% 0%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel Core i7-7600U
162 Points ∼73%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
Intel Core i7-7500U
143 Points ∼64% -12%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel Core i7-6600U
142 Points ∼64% -12%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel Core i5-7200U
119 Points ∼53% -27%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
Intel Core i7-7600U
368 Points ∼20% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
Intel Core i7-7500U
360 Points ∼19% +5%
Dell Latitude 7280
Intel Core i7-7600U
351 Points ∼19% +2%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel Core i7-7600U
343 Points ∼18%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel Core i7-6600U
334 Points ∼18% -3%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel Core i5-7200U
329 Points ∼18% -4%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell Latitude 7280
Intel Core i7-7600U
1.87 Points ∼85% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
Intel Core i7-7600U
1.86 Points ∼85% +1%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel Core i7-7600U
1.85 Points ∼84%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel Core i7-6600U
1.61 Points ∼73% -13%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
Intel Core i7-7600U
4.16 Points ∼21% +10%
Dell Latitude 7280
Intel Core i7-7600U
3.89 Points ∼19% +3%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel Core i7-7600U
3.78 Points ∼19%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel Core i7-6600U
3.58 Points ∼18% -5%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
Intel Core i7-7600U
6270 Points ∼82% 0%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel Core i7-7600U
6243 Points ∼82%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel Core i7-6600U
3260 Points ∼43% -48%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
Intel Core i7-7600U
13073 Points ∼32% +8%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel Core i7-7600U
12153 Points ∼30%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel Core i7-7600U
484.33 s * ∼6%
Dell Latitude 7280
Intel Core i7-7600U
482 s * ∼6% -0%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
Intel Core i7-7600U
441.7 s * ∼5% +9%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
Intel Core i7-7600U
564 Seconds * ∼3% -11%
Dell Latitude 7280
Intel Core i7-7600U
526 Seconds * ∼2% -3%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel Core i7-7600U
510.27 Seconds * ∼2%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
10167
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
12153
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
6243
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
43.3 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.78 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.85 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.7 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
47.98 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
343 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
162 Points
Help

System Performance

Overall system performance is very good according to the synthetic benchmark test PCMark 8: with scores of 5052, 4981, and 3985 in the Work, Creative, and Home subtests, the system sits either at or near the top in our comparison and outperforms the smaller Latitude 7280 with the same CPU by 2 - 8 % depending on the test. Systems with the slower Core i5-7200U CPU like the HP EliteBook 840 are 10 - 13 % slower than the review laptop.

Please note: after an initial run of PCMark 8 Creative resulted in an unexpectedly low score, we updated the graphics driver from version 21.20.16.4541 to version 21.20.16.4574. The score improved significantly. 

PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Dell Latitude 7480
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Intel SSDSCKKF256H6
5052 Points ∼78%
Dell Latitude 5480
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Toshiba SG5 256GB THNSNK256GVN8
4992 Points ∼77% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4978 Points ∼76% -1%
Dell Latitude 7280
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, SanDisk X400 M.2 2280 256GB
4957 Points ∼76% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
4856 Points ∼75% -4%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4572 Points ∼70% -10%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
4543 Points ∼70% -10%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
5050 Points ∼54% +1%
Dell Latitude 7480
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Intel SSDSCKKF256H6
4981 Points ∼54%
Dell Latitude 5480
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Toshiba SG5 256GB THNSNK256GVN8
4923 Points ∼53% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4874 Points ∼52% -2%
Dell Latitude 7280
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, SanDisk X400 M.2 2280 256GB
4662 Points ∼50% -6%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4352 Points ∼47% -13%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4025 Points ∼67% +1%
Dell Latitude 7480
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Intel SSDSCKKF256H6
3985 Points ∼67%
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
3968 Points ∼66% 0%
Dell Latitude 5480
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Toshiba SG5 256GB THNSNK256GVN8
3913 Points ∼65% -2%
Dell Latitude 7280
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, SanDisk X400 M.2 2280 256GB
3667 Points ∼61% -8%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3486 Points ∼58% -13%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
3344 Points ∼56% -16%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3985 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4981 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5052 points
Help

Storage Devices

The 256 GB M.2 solid state drive is sourced from Intel (SSDSCKKF256H6) and operates at SATA speeds. The performance of the drive (Dell calls it a "Class 20") does not quite live up to PCIe NVMe standards - the competitors equipped with this type are much faster - but is still very good: according to CrystalDiskMark, the drive is capable of read and write rates of 487 and 429 MB/s, respectively. The SanDisk X400 in the Dell 7280 has higher sequential writes but slightly slower reads than the Intel drive. The 256 GB Toshiba SSD in the less expensive sibling Latitude 5480 posted similar read, but much slower write rates (-37%). Alternatively, Dell does offer true PCIe NVMe SSDs ("Class 40") as well with an upgrade from the M.2 256 GB SATA SSD to the PCIe NVMe variant costing $91 at the time of writing. An upgrades to a M.2 512GB SATA or 512GB PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive costs $182.00 and $252.00, respectively. The performance of the SATA drive is in our opinion more than adequate for tasks encountered in an office environment.

AS SSD
AS SSD
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
Intel M.2 SATA SSD
Intel M.2 SATA SSD
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel SSDSCKKF256H6
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
Dell Latitude 7280
SanDisk X400 M.2 2280 256GB
Dell Latitude 5480
Toshiba SG5 256GB THNSNK256GVN8
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
163%
141%
168%
-2%
-1%
Write 4k QD32
252.8
495.6
96%
410.2
62%
532.8
111%
183
-28%
207.2
-18%
Read 4k QD32
280.2
601.2
115%
512.9
83%
629.8
125%
344.4
23%
380.3
36%
Write 4k
90.51
172.2
90%
157.1
74%
167.4
85%
59.51
-34%
114.8
27%
Read 4k
29.25
60.97
108%
61.38
110%
53.15
82%
30.23
3%
24.66
-16%
Write 512
306.8
1098
258%
803.5
162%
1064
247%
323.2
5%
265.5
-13%
Read 512
354.3
814
130%
921.8
160%
832.3
135%
370.1
4%
408.1
15%
Write Seq
418.6
1383
230%
1263
202%
1666
298%
477.4
14%
264.8
-37%
Read Seq
486.5
1827
276%
1819
274%
1760
262%
470.8
-3%
469.4
-4%
Intel SSDSCKKF256H6
Transfer Rate Minimum: 24.1 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 417.3 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 400.8 MB/s
Access Time: 0.071 ms
Burst Rate: 152.4 MB/s
CPU Usage: 6.5 %

GPU Performance

The Latitude 7480 makes use of the processor-integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 which in this implementation runs at clock speeds from 300 to 1067 MHz. Performance is mid-pack with the Lenovo T470s - which is equipped with same CPU/GPU combo - taking top honors. We should point out here though that Lenovo allows the CPU to consume up to 25 watts instead of the usual 15 watts. Since we've evaluated the HD Graphics 620 many times, please check our dedicated page for further details and benchmark results. Suffice to say, performance is decent enough for a business notebook, but of course limited when it comes to heavy 3D loads. The Latitude 5480 is thicker and heavier and equipped with a dual-fan cooling system to allow the use of an optional dedicated GPU (a Maxwell-based Nvidia GeForce 930MX). Graphics performance in that case should see a boost up to 30 % or more, so users requiring better 3D performance might consider the less costly sibling instead.

3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
1811 Points ∼11% +18%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1653 Points ∼10% +8%
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
1536 Points ∼10% 0%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
1530 Points ∼10%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6600U
1268 Points ∼8% -17%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1141 Points ∼7% -25%
Dell Latitude 7280
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
1104 Points ∼7% -28%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
1777 Points ∼3% +8%
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
1685 Points ∼3% +2%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
1648 Points ∼3%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1641 Points ∼3% 0%
Dell Latitude 7280
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
1442 Points ∼3% -12%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1413 Points ∼3% -14%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6600U
1264 Points ∼2% -23%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
1176 Points ∼3% +17%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1093 Points ∼3% +8%
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
1027 Points ∼3% +2%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
1008 Points ∼3%
Dell Latitude 7280
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
819 Points ∼2% -19%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6600U
744 Points ∼2% -26%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
738 Points ∼2% -27%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
9610 Points ∼6% +12%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
8971 Points ∼5% +5%
Dell Latitude 5480
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
8740 Points ∼5% +2%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
8555 Points ∼5%
Dell Latitude 7280
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
7032 Points ∼4% -18%
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
6864 Points ∼4% -20%
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6600U
5819 Points ∼4% -32%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7600U
48374 Points ∼13%
3DMark 11 Performance
1807 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
64798 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
6706 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
934 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
441 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Gaming performance is not a priority when it comes to business notebooks and the Latitude 7480 with its integrated GPU clearly isn't a candidate, either. Older games will run at low resolution and reduced graphic settings, but newer games are simply off limit. Bioshock Infinite from 2013, for instance, runs smoothly only at 1280 x 720 pixels and low settings.

low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 83.643.325.912.7fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 54.531.626.38.4fps

Stress Test

With Prime95 running, the CPU cores dropped from the initial 3.9 GHz to about 3 GHz within ten seconds as the temperature increased to 95 °C and the fan - before inaudible - started spooling up. The fan speed increased one more time about 5 minutes into the test, but the CPU speed essentially stayed the same with the cores hovering around 78 - 79 °C. With Furmark stress, the Latitude saw the GPU fluctuating between 950 - 1050 MHz before dropping to about 950 MHz within two minutes and the temperature stabilized around 72 °C. Besides a slight increase in fan speed at the four-minute mark, we didn't observer any other changes. Combined stress had the CPU cores drop to 1.4 GHz and remain there for the duration; the GPU maintained around 900 MHz. Temperatures never exceeded 74 degrees °C with an average of just 70 °C.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95 & FurMark stress
Prime95 & FurMark stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 3.0 - 79 -
FurMark Stress - 950 - 72
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 1.4 900 70 70

Emissions

System Noise

Fan noise (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Heaven, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Fan noise (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Heaven, Green: Prime95+FurMark)

With regards to the noise, the Latitude 7480 is decidedly a "mixed bag". On the plus side, the notebook is exceptionally quiet as far as the expected noise is concerned thanks to hinge-based exhaust fan location. At idle, the system is more or less inaudible at 28.6 dB. Even when experiencing heavy stress the notebook tops out at only 31 dB, which is whisper-quiet even by business notebook standards. Most other systems are louder: the two ThinkPads reach just under 40 dB, the dual-fan equipped Latitude 5480 tops out at a much more noticeable 47 dB.

There is also a negative aspect, however: like the smaller 12.5-inch Latitude 7280 and the middle-class 14-inch Latitude 5480, the 7480 suffers from very noticeable "coil whine" whenever the SSD is being accessed. While most noticeable during disk and other benchmarks, the noise is apparent even when the notebook is sitting there idling and background processes are active. Users who are sensitive to high-pitched noises are likely to be unhappy in the long run, unless Dell finds a way to alleviate the problem. 

Noise Level

Idle
28.6 / 28.6 / 28.6 dB(A)
Load
30.2 / 31.2 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1 (15 cm distance)
Dell Latitude 7480
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Intel SSDSCKKF256H6
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
Dell Latitude 7280
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, SanDisk X400 M.2 2280 256GB
Dell Latitude 5480
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Toshiba SG5 256GB THNSNK256GVN8
Noise
-11%
-9%
-13%
-3%
-20%
Idle Minimum *
28.6
29.3
-2%
31
-8%
28.9
-1%
29.4
-3%
29.6
-3%
Idle Average *
28.6
29.3
-2%
31
-8%
28.9
-1%
29.4
-3%
29.6
-3%
Idle Maximum *
28.6
32.2
-13%
31
-8%
30.1
-5%
30
-5%
29.6
-3%
Load Average *
30.2
34.3
-14%
33.5
-11%
39.2
-30%
30.6
-1%
42
-39%
Load Maximum *
31.2
39.3
-26%
33.7
-8%
39.2
-26%
32.7
-5%
47.1
-51%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

With a maximum of 47 °C on the bottom, the Latitude 7480 does get pretty warm when exposed to heavy sustained loads. Since the hotspot is located towards the rear in the middle, the user is unlikely to notice it during normal operation on the lap, as the hottest part of the notebook doesn't ever touch the legs. The Latitude 7480 is extremely well-behaved when it comes to the palm rests, as both sides only reach a maximum of 24 °C even when stressed. The much thinner Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017 reaches almost 32 °C on the right side. We should mention though that the recorded high temperatures only occur when the notebook is exposed to very unrealistic loads, so during normal load, temperatures are bound to be much more modest.

Temperature maximum load (top)
Temperature maximum load (top)
Temperature maximum load (bottom)
Temperature maximum load (bottom)
Max. Load
 39 °C34.4 °C31 °C 
 32.8 °C32 °C25.2 °C 
 23.8 °C24.2 °C23 °C 
Maximum: 39 °C
Average: 29.5 °C
28 °C47.2 °C41.2 °C
25.2 °C34.4 °C33.4 °C
24.6 °C28.6 °C29.8 °C
Maximum: 47.2 °C
Average: 32.5 °C
Power Supply (max.)  31.6 °C | Room Temperature 20 °C | Raytek Raynger ST

Speakers

The two stereo speakers are located on the front edge and fire downwards. The mids are fairly balanced, but the bass is clearly lacking. The Waves MaxxAudio Pro software does improve the sound experience noticeably, however. With the settings tweaked, it's possible to get the speakers to distort at high volume levels, which isn't likely to occur with the software deactivated. Voices are always very clear and easy to understand, which is important for video conferencing. For listening to music, we still recommend external speakers or headphones to improve the sound quality.

WAVES MaxxAudio Pro software
WAVES MaxxAudio Pro software
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2035392534.235.63134.531.54032.733.25031.231.96330.630.98030.530.610030.137.812528.443.216027.246.320026.647.225026.352.131525.651.540024.651.350024.549.563023.751.580023.758.2100023.560.8125023.456.2160022.956.6200022.860.1250023.162.131502365.540002365.2500022.961.9630022.962.6800023.168.1100002368.51250023.162.61600023.266.5SPL35.475N2.533.7median 23.4Dell Latitude 7480median 58.2Delta15.635.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Dell Latitude 7480 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (75.02 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.8% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.6% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (20% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 48% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 45% worse
» The best had a delta of 12%, average was 21%, worst was 48%
Compared to all devices tested
» 39% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 54% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 48%

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 9%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 48%

Frequency Comparison (Checkbox selectable!)
Graph 1: Pink Noise 100% Vol.; Graph 2: Audio off

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The average idle power consumption of 6.3 watts is quite modest and comparable to the draw of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017. The ThinkPad T470s needs almost 9 watts. The average power draw under load is almost dead even with the smaller Latitude 7280, the mid-range Latitude 5480 and the HP EliteBook G4, which also consume right around 30 watts. The 7480's maximum power consumption isn't really any higher - the likely culprit is the throttling we observed during the stress test, which curtails the CPU performance. The two ThinkPads have much higher ceilings when it comes to maximum load and consume more than 50 % more power.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.29 / 0.48 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.32 / 6.27 / 6.35 Watt
Load midlight 29.82 / 30.64 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Dell Latitude 7480
7600U, HD Graphics 620, Intel SSDSCKKF256H6, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
7500U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
7200U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, TN, 1920x1080, 14
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
7600U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0), IPS, 2560x1440, 14
Dell Latitude 7280
7600U, HD Graphics 620, SanDisk X400 M.2 2280 256GB, IPS, 1920x1080, 12.5
Dell Latitude 5480
7600U, HD Graphics 620, Toshiba SG5 256GB THNSNK256GVN8, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
6600U, HD Graphics 520, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB, IPS, 2560x1440, 14
Power Consumption
-25%
2%
-38%
7%
-18%
-26%
Idle Minimum *
4.32
3.84
11%
2.9
33%
4.64
-7%
4.28
1%
6.64
-54%
5.1
-18%
Idle Average *
6.27
6.3
-0%
5.6
11%
8.93
-42%
5.11
19%
6.67
-6%
8.5
-36%
Idle Maximum *
6.35
8.6
-35%
8.15
-28%
9.12
-44%
5.49
14%
7.78
-23%
10.1
-59%
Load Average *
29.82
41.9
-41%
30.6
-3%
42.2
-42%
29.83
-0%
30.83
-3%
35.2
-18%
Load Maximum *
30.64
48.7
-59%
31
-1%
47.3
-54%
30.05
2%
31.7
-3%
31
-1%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Charging takes 2 hours (power on)
Charging takes 2 hours (power on)

Our Latitude 7480 is equipped with a 4-cell Express Charge Capable battery with a healthy capacity of 60 Wh - good enough for a solid WLAN run time of 12 hours. While the Latitude 5480 with its even higher-capacity battery (68 Wh) lasts about 4 hours longer, the result is still quite impressive - especially when considering that the predecessor with QHD display and a 55 Wh battery didn't even last half as long. The maximum and minimum run time are also surprisingly good for this category. For most usage scenarios, the notebook will easily last the entire workday.

Charging with the notebook on took roughly 2 hours - not quite as quick as some other notebooks, but still decent enough given how long the battery lasts. 

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
27h 42min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
11h 59min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 51min
Dell Latitude 7480
7600U, HD Graphics 620, 60 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
7500U, HD Graphics 620, 57 Wh
HP EliteBook 840 G4-Z2V49ET ABD
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 51 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
7600U, HD Graphics 620, 51 Wh
Dell Latitude 5480
7600U, HD Graphics 620, 68 Wh
Dell Latitude 14 7000 Series E7470
6600U, HD Graphics 520, 55 Wh
Battery Runtime
-31%
-15%
-47%
5%
-44%
Reader / Idle
1662
1252
-25%
1155
-31%
787
-53%
1448
-13%
Load
171
110
-36%
184
8%
93
-46%
159
-7%
112
-35%
WiFi
WiFi v1.3
719
496
-31%
571
-21%
417
-42%
964
34%
346
-52%

Pro

+ outstanding build quality
+ great battery life
+ bright, non-glare display
+ attractive design
+ quiet and unobtrusive
+ great overall performance
+ IR Camera wouldn't unlock the notebook

Cons

- very noticeable coil whine
- lacks physical docking port (no legacy docking station support)
- pointing stick arrangement still not perfect
- CPU performance somewhat lower
- still not as light as the competition

Verdict

In review: Dell Latitude 7480. Test model provided by Dell US
In review: Dell Latitude 7480. Test model provided by Dell US

While not nearly as glamorous as Dell's own 13-inch and 15-inch XPS siblings, the Latitude 7480 is in some way the business-equivalent of those well-received mainstream machines. The good-looking 14-inch laptop is smaller and much lighter than before, but the build quality remains unquestionably high. The chassis is rigid with tight tolerances and features a soft, touch-friendly finish. The display is bright with accurate colors and non-glare as well, so road warriors won't have to deal with annoying reflections. The performance is top-notch - even though the CPU specific tests fall slightly short, the notebook excels when it comes to synthetic benchmarks - and the battery lasts all day even if it shouldn't be complete charged. The input devices are also very good with the keyboard in particular getting our nod as one of the best ones available on the market today.

The Latitude 7480 is a high-quality and solid business laptop. Its ever-present coil whine could be a deal breaker for some, however.

If there's one glaring negative, it's the coil whine, which is audible from at least 3 feet away and seems to be present regardless of the load level (but is of course most noticeable during idle). We certainly hope that this coil whine only affects our review notebook, but given that we observed the same type of noise during our examination of the Latitude 5480 and 7280, we wouldn't be surprised if this is a more widespread issue.

Update 04/19/17: we've decided to decrease the noise subrating for the 7480 by 25%, as the coil whine is very apparent in different usage scenarios. The overall score therefore drops to 87 % ("Good").

Dell Latitude 7480 - 04/18/2017 v6
Bernie Pechlaner

Chassis
91 / 98 → 93%
Keyboard
94%
Pointing Device
72%
Connectivity
73 / 80 → 91%
Weight
69 / 67 → 100%
Battery
95%
Display
90%
Games Performance
58 / 68 → 85%
Application Performance
90 / 92 → 98%
Temperature
92%
Noise
73%
Audio
70%
Camera
55 / 85 → 65%
Add Points
-1%
Average
73%
87%
Office - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

Read all 13 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment this article:
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Dell Latitude 7480 (7600U, FHD) Laptop Review
Bernie Pechlaner, 2017-04- 6 (Update: 2017-04-19)
Bernhard Pechlaner

Bernhard Pechlaner - Review Editor
Ended up in the IT sector in the 90s more or less accidentally and have remained in the industry (as a sysadmin) ever since. Always been interested in laptops - first purchase was - if memory serves correctly - a Toshiba Satellite T2115CS with DX4-75 processor, 4 MB of RAM and 350 MB hard disk drive (and Windows 3.1). To this day, laptops appeal to me - much to the chagrin of my wife, who doesn’t seem understand why we need 5-10 of them at any given time ;-).