If you are seriously considering a premium 14-inch ultrabook for your business, you just can’t miss on the Latitude 14 7480. The notebook offers excellent build quality, long battery life, enough I/O when you get back to the office and, of course, comfortable input devices. But like every laptop out there, the Latitude 7480 has its drawbacks so we are here to take a closer look and try to find them.
When looking for a 14-inch notebook, a few come to mind that are not only more affordable but more powerful as well. For example, the ASUS ZenBook UX410UQ and Acer’s Swift 5 are excellent examples of portable and reliable business solutions with everything you’d need from a business laptop. But if you are strictly looking for a business laptop with the trackstick in the middle of the keyboard and the fingerprint scanner for security reasons, well spending so much money on the Latitude 7480 kind of makes sense. Also, if you opt for the more powerful configuration with Core i7-7600U, you can benefit from Intel’s vPro technologies. In this case, the price tag puts in the same category as Lenovo’s iconic ThinkPad T470 notebook, which sports a similar set of features and delivers the same performance. So the question here is, which one is more comfortable for typing, using on the go, is more portable and more importantly, has the better display. We find out in the thorough review below.
You can find the available configurations and their prices here: http://amzn.to/2ibc6Zv
The notebook comes in a standard box containing all the usual user manuals, DVD with drivers, the AC adapter and a power cord.
Design and construction
The Latitude 7480 adopts a minimalistic, strict and clean design without any distractions. The body and the lid are made of aluminum alloy but are covered in slightly rubberized matte paint that helps with the grip, feels great but also is a fingerprint magnet. What surprised us the most, however, is the relatively lower weight and thickness compared to the Lenovo ThinkPad T470. In fact, the Latitude 7480 has larger battery, which should have tipped the scale even further.
Anyway, the lid’s construction is rigid and withstands our bending and torsion tests quite well. Although the lid gives in when pressed in the middle, ripples don’t appear on the LCD screen, which, by the way, offers thin side bezels, lower chin and about average upper bezel so it can integrate the webcam. The single-hinge design provides smooth movements up to 180-degree and keeps the lid firmly in place. Unfortunately, opening the notebook with one hand is impossible. As for the bottom piece, it’s made of aluminum sheet covered in the same matte finish but a thinner layer is applied so you can feel the metal beneath. There are a few vents providing the extra airflow for the cooling system and two grill openings for the loudspeakers.
The sides measure at just 17 mm but accommodate all of the I/O you’d need from a 14-inch or 15-inch laptop. The left side has the DC charging port, USB-C 3.1 (Gen 2) with Thunderbolt and DisplayPort support, full-sized HDMI, and two USB 3.0 connectors along with the smart card reader. The right side offers the much-needed RJ-45 for cable Internet connection, another USB 3.0 connector, a microSD card reader, 3.5 mm audio jack and a SIM card tray for the LTE connectivity. Not only does the laptop provide a wide range of connectivity options but the ports are evenly distributed on the left and right.
The interior is also of high quality as the base doesn’t flex or bend at any point. It’s extremely rigid and feels nice due to the matte soft-touch finish, which again, is a fingerprint magnet. That’s always the downside of these sorts of paints. Anyway, the keyboard is just excellent – long key travel, clicky tactile feedback, discreet LED backlight, slightly concaved keycaps that fit your finger perfectly and all the shortcuts you’d need on a business-oriented laptop. We honestly can’t think of anything bad to say about the keyboard. However, the trackstick’s positioning isn’t ideal. For instance, we found ourselves pressing the left mouse button at the bottom of the trackpad with our palm when using the trackstick. So the latter should be moved upwards or the touchpad should be a single plate without dedicated mouse buttons. Also, the slightly concaved surface below the spacebar obstructs the normal usage of the mouse buttons dedicated to the pointing stick. The touchpad itself, on the other hand, is also near-perfect. It’s responsive, accurate and the mouse buttons provide deep and clicky feedback. Still, the gliding surface of the trackpad isn’t optimal and if your hands are moist, you will have some trouble sliding.
The laptop’s build quality is just superb and it’s exactly what you’d expect from an ultrabook in this price range. Our only small complaint is the overly tightened hinge and the suboptimal placement of the pointing stick and the mouse buttons. In any case, the build should provide excellent durability and comfort for working on the go.
Disassembly, maintenance and upgrade options
Even though the notebook has no service lids at the bottom, the maintenance and upgrades are hassle-free. There’s no need for a full disassembly – just unscrew all the bolts around the chassis and pry it up gently.
Storage upgrades – 2.5-inch HDD/SSD, M.2 SSD
Like most 14-inchers, the Latitude 14 7480 offers only an M.2 SSD slot (located right next to the battery) – no 2.5-inch drive bay, unfortunately. Anyway, SSDs with the 2280 standard fit in while the motherboard itself supports PCIe NVMe SSDs. However, our unit shipped with SanDisk X400 M.2 running on SATA III controller, which is a big let-down since the laptop falls into the premium segment.
|M.2 slot||256GB SanDisk X400 M.2 SATA SSD (2280)||Upgrade options|
On contrary to storage, the Latitude 7480 comes with two RAM chip slots supporting up to 2x 16GB DDR4-2400. Our configuration, though, sports only one SK Hynix 8GB DDR4-2400 chip leaving the other slot free for an upgrade.
|Slot 1||8GB SK Hynix DDR4-2400||Upgrade options|
|Slot 2||Free||Upgrade options|
The Wi-Fi module is right next to the cooling fan and it’s the well-known Intel 8265NGW.
The battery can be found under the wrist rest area and it’s rated at 60Wh.
The cooling design is simple and requires nothing more than a single heat pipe connecting the heat sink to the cooling fan.
The panel used for this unit is a Full HD (1920×1080) IPS manufactured by LG with model number LGD0557 (LP140WF7) with 14-inch diagonal. This means that the pixel density is 157 ppi while the pixel pitch is 0.161 x 0.161 mm. It can be considered as “Retina” when viewed from a distance equal or greater than 56 cm.
The IPS screen offers excellent viewing angles.
We’ve recorded a maximum brightness of 336 cd/m2 in the center and 313 cd/m2 as average across the surface with just 11% maximum deviation. The color temperature on the screen at maximum brightness is 7200K so colors will appear a bit colder than usual – 6500K is the optimal white point. Below you can see how the measurements change at 140 cd/m2 luminance or in other words – 41% brightness.
The maximum dE2000 color deviation is 2.7, which isn’t bad since values above 4.0 are usually unwanted especially when there’s color sensitive work involved. The contrast ratio is good – 1010:1.
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction of the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
The display covers 96% of the sRGB color gamut making it perfect not only for work and general web browsing but for multimedia as well.
Below you will see practically the same image but with the color circles representing the reference colors and the white circles being the result. You can see main and additional colors with 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% saturation inside the sRGB gamut pre and post calibration.
The “Design and Gaming” profile is created at 140 cd/m2 brightness, D65 (6500K) white point and optimal gamma in sRGB mode.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle and the surrounding light conditions.
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and reverse.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 26 ms.
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
It appears that the display doesn’t use PWM across all brightness levels making it safe to use for long periods of time in this regard.
Blue light emissions
Installing of our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
You can see the levels of emitted blue light on the spectral power distribution (SPD) graph.
Honestly, we don’t have anything bad to say about the display – it offers high maximum brightness (enough for outdoor use), good contrast, wide sRGB coverage, no PWM across all brightness levels and fairly accurate color reproduction out of the box. All the small hiccups like a bit colder color temperature and a bit deviating gamma curve can be fixed using our display profiles. They make the most of the already excellent panel.
Buy our display profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package is meant for Dell Latitude 14 7480 configurations with 14.0″ LG LGD0557 (LP140WF7) (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS screen and the laptop can be found at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vMfWLM
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
THealth-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
The sound quality is good and there’s no loss in quality in the low, mid and high frequencies.
The current specs sheet refers to this particular model – configurations may differ depending on your region.
|CPU||Intel Core i5-7200U (2-core, 2.50 – 3.10 GHz, 3MB cache)|
|RAM||8GB (1x 8192MB) – DDR4, 2400MHz|
|GPU||Intel HD Graphics 620|
|HDD/SSD||256GB M.2 SATA SSD|
|Display||14-inch – 1920×1080 (Full HD) IPS, matte|
|Connectivity||LAN 10/100/1000 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2|
|Thickness||17 mm (0.67″)|
|Weight||1.5 kg (3.31 lbs)|
Dell Latitude 14 7480 configurations
We used the already installed Windows 10 Pro (64-bit) for the writing of this review but if you wish to do a clean install without the bloatware, we suggest downloading all of the latest drivers from Dell’s official support page.
At first, we weren’t expecting any mind-blowing results but after the tests, the battery life on this thing is just phenomenal. Thanks to the big 60Wh battery and the energy-efficient ULV (ultra-low voltage) Intel Core i5-7200U CPU, the laptop reaches the second position in our battery ranking table with just a few minutes shy to our current leader – the HP Spectre x360 13.
All tests were performed with the usual settings – Wi-Fi constantly running, screen brightness set to 120 cd/m2 and Windows battery saving feature turned on.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
Impressive score on the web browsing test – 963 minutes (16 hours and 3 minutes).
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
Considerably lower but stil amazing result – 668 minutes (11 hours and 8 minutes).
We recently started using F1 2015’s built-in benchmark on loop in order to simulate real-life gaming.
Of course, the laptop isn’t made for gaming away but it kept on running for more than six hours under heavy workload – 367 minutes (6 hours and 7 minutes).
CPU – Intel Core i5-7200U
Intel’s Core i7-6200U is part of the 7th Generation Kaby Lake CPUs and it’s the direct successor of the Core i5-5200U (Broadwell) and Core i5-6200U (Skylake). It’s also based on the same architecture as the aforementioned chips with little differences that should bring a small performance increase and a bump in power consumption. However, the new CPU is clocked at 2.5 GHz and its Turbo Boost frequency is 3.1 GHz opposed to the 2.3 – 2.8 GHz clocks on the previous Core i5-6200U.
Anyway, we still have the 2/4 core/thread count, 3MB last level cache, and a TDP of 15W, which includes the iGPU and the dual-channel DDR4 memory controller. Speaking of the former, the chip integrates the newer generation Intel HD Graphics 620 graphics chip clocked at 300 – 1000 MHz.
You can browse through our top CPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-cpu-ranking/
Here you will find other useful information and every notebook we’ve tested with this processor: http://laptopmedia.com/processor/intel-core-i5-7200u/
Results are from the Cinebench 11 test (higher the score, the better)
|Dell Latitude 14 7480 Intel Core i5-7200U (2-cores, 2.5 - 3.1 GHz)||3.65|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T470 Intel Core i5-7200U (2-cores, 2.5 - 3.1 GHz)||3.65|
|ASUS ZenBook UX410UQ Intel Core i7-7500U (2-cores, 2.7 - 3.5 GHz)||3.81||+4.38%|
|Acer Swift 5 Intel Core i7-7500U (2-cores, 2.7 - 3.5 GHz)||3.63||-0.55%|
Results are from the NovaBench CPU test (higher the score, the better)
|Dell Latitude 14 7480 Intel Core i5-7200U (2-cores, 2.5 - 3.1 GHz)||474|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T470 Intel Core i5-7200U (2-cores, 2.5 - 3.1 GHz)||476||+0.42%|
|ASUS ZenBook UX410UQ Intel Core i7-7500U (2-cores, 2.7 - 3.5 GHz)||525||+10.76%|
|Acer Swift 5 Intel Core i7-7500U (2-cores, 2.7 - 3.5 GHz)||522||+10.13%|
Results are from the Photoshop test (lower the score, the better)
|Dell Latitude 14 7480 Intel Core i5-7200U (2-cores, 2.5 - 3.1 GHz)||17.47|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T470 Intel Core i5-7200U (2-cores, 2.5 - 3.1 GHz)||17.45||-0.11%|
|ASUS ZenBook UX410UQ Intel Core i7-7500U (2-cores, 2.7 - 3.5 GHz)||17.49||+0.11%|
|Acer Swift 5 Intel Core i7-7500U (2-cores, 2.7 - 3.5 GHz)||17.88||+2.35%|
Fritz is a chess benchmark that tests the computing capabilities of the CPU with various chess moves. The Intel Core i5-7200U scored 6.405 million moves per second. In comparison, one of the most powerful chess computers, Deep(er) Blue, was able to squeeze out 200 million moves per second. In 1997 Deep(er) Blue even beat the famous Garry Kasparov with 3.5 to 2.5.
GPU – Intel HD Graphics 620
Intel’s HD Graphics 620 integrated iGPU can be found in various ULV (ultra-low voltage) processors from the Kaby Lake generation. The GT2 version of the graphics chip uses 24 EUs (Execution Units) that can be clocked up to 1050 MHz and it has a base frequency of 300 MHz but the former can vary depending on the CPU. Since the iGPU doesn’t have a dedicated memory of its own – or eDRAM for that matter – it uses the available RAM on the system which is 2x 64-bit DDR3 or DDR4.
The TDP depends on the CPU model but it’s usually equipped with a SoC rated at 15W including the memory controller.
You can browse through our top GPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/
Here you will find other useful information and every notebook with this GPU that we’ve tested: http://laptopmedia.com/video-card/intel-hd-graphics-620/
Results are from the 3DMark Cloud Gate (G) test (higher the score, the better)
|Dell Latitude 14 7480 Intel HD Graphics 620||6265|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T470 Intel HD Graphics 620||6612||+5.54%|
|ASUS ZenBook UX410UQ NVIDIA GeForce 940MX (2GB DDR3)||8468||+35.16%|
|Acer Swift 5 Intel HD Graphics 620||8257||+31.8%|
Results are from the 3DMark Fire Strike (G) test (higher the score, the better)
|Dell Latitude 14 7480 Intel HD Graphics 620||728|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T470 Intel HD Graphics 620||783||+7.55%|
|ASUS ZenBook UX410UQ NVIDIA GeForce 940MX (2GB DDR3)||1597||+119.37%|
|Acer Swift 5 Intel HD Graphics 620||998||+37.09%|
Results are from the 3DMark (Sky Diver) test (higher the score, the better)
|Dell Latitude 14 7480 Intel HD Graphics 620||-|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T470 Intel HD Graphics 620||3099||-|
|ASUS ZenBook UX410UQ NVIDIA GeForce 940MX (2GB DDR3)||5220||-|
|Acer Swift 5 Intel HD Graphics 620||3674||-|
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 test (higher the score, the better)
|Dell Latitude 14 7480 Intel HD Graphics 620||255|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T470 Intel HD Graphics 620||223||-12.55%|
|ASUS ZenBook UX410UQ NVIDIA GeForce 940MX (2GB DDR3)||432||+69.41%|
|Acer Swift 5 Intel HD Graphics 620||305||+19.61%|
The stress test that we use to assess the overall effectiveness of the cooling system isn’t a real world usage scenario but remains as the best way to see how the cooling design handles heavy workloads and how will it fare in the long run.
We started off with 100% CPU workload for about an hour and the system was able to utilize the full performance of the Core i5-7200U at 3.1 GHz running at a bit higher than expected temperatures.
Switching on the GPU stress test, however, didn’t result in CPU throttling, which is the usual case, but it did lower the frequency down to 2.9 GHz. Operations seem to be normal even under extended heavy workload without overheating.
We measured the temperature developed on the surface across the interior – only the upper part of the chassis became a bit warm but surely, this won’t happen during normal use. The palm rest will remain cool at all time.
The Latitude 14 7480 is one of those devices which quality is their middle name. You may have to pay a little bit of extra money but it’s definitely worth it. You will get in an excellently built compact, rigid 14-inch device with comfortable keyboard and touchpad, except for the trackstick. The latter’s positioning isn’t the best one we’ve seen and definitely needs some improvement in the next generation.
But looks don’t mean anything without a capable hardware. Well, the Latitude 14 7480 has that covered as well. The IPS panel will let you enjoy your favorite movies thanks to the excellent image quality it provides without putting unnecessary strain on your eyes – no PWM across all brightness levels. The best part is that the battery will keep the device running long enough for a full season of your show. At the time of writing of this review, the device reached second position in our battery ranking table.
But that’s not all. Two more things left a big impression. The first one is that the device offers not one but two RAM chip slots available for upgrade. Usually, 14-inch devices come with soldered memory or one RAM chip slot at the very best. And secondly, our particular unit came with an M.2 SATA SSD instead of a PCIe NVMe drive. At this price, we expect PCIe SSD to be a default option and not optional but this may not be true for all regions. Just check before you buy.
The bottom line is, if you are strictly looking for a business-grade notebook, the Latitude 14 7480 is an ideal choice. At this price range, you should consider the Lenovo ThinkPad T470 as an alternative but honestly, the Latitude 7480 still comes on top with a better screen and longer battery life. But if performance isn’t enough for you and the lack of 2.5-inch drive bay is a deal-breaker for you, the more affordable ASUS ZenBook UX410UQ might be a better solution in this case. We also suggest considering the Acer Swift 5 – considerably less expensive device but still comparable to the Latitude 14 7480.
You can find the available configurations and their prices here: http://amzn.to/2ibc6Zv
- Excellently built
- Portable (thin and light)
- Good input devices
- Great IPS panel with wide sRGB coverage, high maximum brightness and good contrast
- The screen doesn’t use PWM across all brightness levels
- The motherboard holds two RAM slots
- Incredibly long battery life
- The trackstick positioning isn’t ideal
- Some configurations come with SATA SSD instead of PCIe NVMe SSD