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Dell Latitude 9420 2-in-1 is two leaps forward and one small step back

Dell Latitude 9420 2-in-1 is two leaps forward and one small step back (Image source: Dell)
Dell Latitude 9420 2-in-1 is two leaps forward and one small step back (Image source: Dell)
It's sad to see the smaller battery and dropped support for M.2 2280 SSDs, but the improvements almost everywhere else make them worth the sacrifice.
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The 2021 Latitude 9420 2-in-1 directly succeeds the 2020 Latitude 9410 2-in-1 with both new looks and new processors. It's a significant upgrade in several ways, but it's not exactly a home run either as there are a couple of smaller aspects where the newer model is actually worse.

First, the positives. Dell's newer model utilizes Intel 11th gen Tiger Lake-U CPUs instead of 10th gen Comet Lake-U for enormous performance benefits. Multi-thread and integrated graphics performance are up 60 percent and 300 percent, respectively, to be powerful enough for popular multiplayer titles like DOTA 2 or Fortnite. Secondly, Dell has shifted the series to the increasingly popular 16:10 form factor instead of the usual 16:9. The squarer aspect ratio is taller and arguably more desirable for office-type workloads and word processing where the added height can be invaluable. And last but not least, the system integrates an automatic webcam shutter which was inconspicuously missing on last year's model.

The newer design comes with a few notable downgrades. Battery capacity in particular has been cut from 78 Wh to 60 Wh and so runtimes have been reduced by several hours in our tests. Owners will get fewer USB-A ports, no more dedicated PgUp and PgDn keys, and no more support for full-length M.2 2280 SSDs.

The list of benefits far outweigh the negatives in our opinion especially since the newer model carries both significantly faster processors and a brighter, higher resolution touchscreen that can make all the difference to most users. See our review on the Latitude 9420 2-in-1 for our full take on the convertible.

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Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - Lead Editor U.S. - 4640 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2011
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.
contact me via: @AllenNgoNBC
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 07 > Dell Latitude 9420 2-in-1 is two leaps forward and one small step back
Allen Ngo, 2021-07- 8 (Update: 2021-07- 6)