CES 2021 | Dell kills off its TrackPoint on the new Latitude 5320, Latitude 5420 & Latitude 5520
Just days before the virtual CES 2020 begins, Dell is renewing its entire business portfolio. Part of that equation is the mid-range, which consists of the Dell Latitude 5000 series. Here, Dell is offering three different size classes: 13.3, 14 and 15.6 inch.
All in all, there are four new models. The Dell Latitude 5320 as well as its convertible variant Dell Latitude 5320 2-in-1 with a 13.3 inch screen, the Dell Latitude 5420 (14 inch panel) and the Dell Latitude 5520, logically equipped with a 15.6 inch LCD.
Dell Latitude 5000 Laptops: thinner & lighter with smaller batteries
Compared with the 2020 generation, Dell is refreshing the design of the Latitude 5000. The new models are thinner and lighter than their predecessors. With smaller screen bezels, they are more compact too. The biggest different in terms of weight is the starting weight of the Latitude 5520. Instead of starting at 1.87 kg like the predecessor Latitude 5510, the weight can be as low as 1.59 kg (with a 42 Wh battery).
To achieve this progress, Dell is axing several aspects of the feature set. For example, the smaller Latitude 5320 does not have a RJ45 Ethernet port anymore. Also, the maximum battery capacity on all three size-classes is reduced. Instead of 68 Wh, the bigger batteries available now have a capacity of 63 Wh. This still gives Dell the edge over the competition, but less so than before.
Latitude 5320, 5420 & 5520: simpler input-devices, no more dual-pointing
Also not a feature anymore is the dedicated, proprietary charging-connector. The new Dell Latitude laptops are charged exclusively via USB C. One more change: With the new models, Thunderbolt 4 becomes standard. On older Latitude 5000 laptops, Thunderbolt 3 was optional.
Dell not only modernized the port selection, it also reworked the input devices. If all users like the changes is questionable though. The new keyboard of Dell Latitude 5420 et all do away with dedicated PageUp/Down keys and their vertical arrow keys are smaller. Dell also got rid of the dedicated touchpad buttons and the dual pointing option. This means that Dell kills off its TrackPoint equivalent completely. Another change affects the power button: It is now integrated into the keyboard and functions as a fingerprint-reader at the same time.
No more HDD option for Latitude 5000; brighter screens & Intel Tiger Lake now available
The outward redesigns also resonate below the hull of the new Dell laptops. Mechanical HDDs have reached their end of life in the mid-range business-lineup. For the first time, Dell is only using M.2 SSDs. The two RAM slots are kept in the bigger Latitude 5420 and 5520. The smaller Dell Latitude 5320 and its 2-in-1 counterpart meanwhile embrace soldered on-board RAM - at least, Dell is going to offer 32 GB on-board. All new Dell Latitudes are powered by Intel Tiger Lake, the vPro models will be available as well. Alongside Tiger Lake comes the Intel Iris Xe GPU. A dedicated GPU, the Nvidia GeForce MX450, is only offered in the Dell Latitude 5520. AMD Ryzen meanwhile still seems to be ignored by Dell.
There is positive news when it comes to the screens: Except for the Latitude 5320 2-in-1, all mid-range Latitude are now optionally offered with 400 cd/m² low power screens. The predecessors only reached 300 cd/m².
Pricing & availability: Dell Latitude 5320, Dell Latitude 5320 2-in-1, Dell Latitude 5420 & Dell Latitude 5520
The new Dell Latitude 5000 series is supposed to be available on January 12 already. Dell did not divulge pricing. Except for the convertible Dell Latitude 5320 2-in-1, all the new models will feature Windows 10 or Ubuntu Linux. The 2-in-1 is Windows only.