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[In-Depth Comparison] Microsoft Surface Pro 8 vs Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable – a totally new battlefield

We feel like the convertible form factor has been established fairly well, with consumers being accustomed to their notebooks now being extra flexible. One form factor that still needs some more work is the detachable one, where the device splits into two parts.

This presents several challenges, as you’ll have to fit all the components behind the display, leading to less powerful components. Another challenge is the detachment and splitting the laptop into two parts, and while you’d rarely hear someone losing half of their device, that’s the shame preventing them from speaking out.

Today we have two detachable devices, one of which is from a company that got into manufacturing hardware relatively recently. Microsoft, per their name, has largely dabbled in software, but with their Surface brand, they are expanding into hardware trying to capture the same magic that Apple and every other tech company wants: the power of an Ecosystem. The Surface Pro 8 delivers Tiger Lake processors and integrated graphics, which is about the best that you can hope for with such a portable form factor.

On the other side is the Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable, a laptop from an established brand. It offers the same hardware options, as while manufacturers are good at announcing new laptops with Alder Lake processors, hitting the release deadline and keeping shelves stocked with the ongoing chip shortages is a tough task for anyone, even the biggest companies in the world.

Today we are presenting you with an in-depth comparison between the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 and the Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8: Full Specs / In-depth Review

Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable: Full Specs / In-depth Review

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 configurations:

Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable configurations:

Contents

Design and construction

Both devices come with premium build quality, using an aluminum enclosure that feels very durable and rigid. This is further helped by the Gorilla Glass screen cover, which adds another degree of structural support. Both of them also feature a kickstand, which is crucial, since there is no other way to support the device, given that most of the weight is behind the display, something that simply isn’t the case in traditional laptops and convertibles. Despite their small stature, there is active cooling on the inside, with vents surrounding the body of the tablets.

WeightHeight
Microsoft Surface Pro 80.89 kg (2 lbs)9.3 mm (0.37″)
Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable0.78 kg (1.7 lbs)8.44 mm (0.33″)

Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable

Ports

The I/O is a weak point with devices like these, due to their size and lack of free space, since everything is bunched up on the inside. Both machines come with two Thunderbolt 4 ports and a 3.5 mm audio jack. The Surface laptop comes with a separate magnetic charging port, while the Latitude has a SIMcard tray.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable

Spec sheet comparison

Display quality

Both devices come with a single display option, which makes our work more simple. On the Surface Pro 8, we have a 13.0-inch PixelSense Display with a 2.8K resolution. On the Dell laptop, we have an FHD+ display with the same diagonal. Both machines use IPS panels. Due to its higher resolution, the Surface offers a higher pixel density of 268 PPI, a lower pitch of 0.09 mm x 0.09 mm, and a lower Retina distance of 33 cm.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable

Both laptops come with excellent viewing angles. Here are images at 45 degrees to evaluate quality.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable

Both displays also present very similar max brightness and brightness uniformity, which is essential if you want to ever use the panel for professional color-sensitive work. The Surface Pro 8 has a max brightness of 464 nits in the middle of the screen and 477 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of 11%. The contrast ratio is also high, at 1370:1. The Dell laptop comes with a slightly higher max brightness of 496 nits in the middle of the screen and 471 nits average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 9%. It also presents a higher contrast ratio of 1700:1.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable

Color coverage

Color coverage

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to 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 on 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 yellow dotted line shows the color coverage of both the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 and the Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable.

Both laptops show near full or full sRGB coverage, with 92% for the Surface Pro 8 and 100% for the Latitude 13.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable

Color accuracy

Our color accuracy test uses the 24 most commonly used colors with both the factory settings (left) and with our Design and Gaming profile. Fortunately, both laptops seem to be well affected by our profile, lowering the dE value drastically, thus improving the accuracy of the colors. The Surface Pro 8 reached a lower dE value of 1.3.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable

Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” methods from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

Since these aren’t gaming devices, they don’t come with very fast displays. Both panels are relatively been when it comes to the response time, but the Latitude is still slightly quicker, with a Fall + Rise time of 24.1 ms.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable

Health Impact / PWM (Blue light)

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 by 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.

The Microsoft device uses PWM up to 120 nits, while the Dell uses PWM up to 130 nits. After which there are small pulsations, which are relatively safe. Still, our Health-Guard profile completely eliminates the issue.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable

Blue light emissions

Installing 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.

Buy our profiles

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 12.9″ LP129WT212166 (INT3480): Buy our profiles

Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable 13.0″ NW3NF LQ130N1 (INT3480) (FHD+, 1920 x 1280): Buy our profiles

Sound

The Speakers on the Surface device are very good, providing quality audio with no deviations across the entire frequency range and high maximum volume. On the other hand, the Latitude 13 has deviations across the lows, mids, and the highs, while the max volume is overall lower.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable

Battery life

The laptops come with decent battery packs, with a 51.5Wh for the Surface Pro 8 and 40Wh for the Latitude 13. Despite the smaller battery size, the Dell notebook practically doubles the battery life of its opponent, lasting for 4 hours and 53 minutes more in the web browsing test and 3 hours and 11 minutes more in the video playback test. The way we test our notebooks is with the screen brightness set to 120 nits, the Windows Better performance setting turned on, and all other apps closed except for the one we test the laptop with.

In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.

For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.

Performance

Both devices offer pretty much the same processors: the Tiger Lake U-series. The graphics are also the same, as the Iris Xe Graphics G7 is available inside all Intel CPUs.

CPU benchmarks

Here we tested the Core i7-1185G7 and the Core i7-1180G7, which are basically the same CPU with 4-cores and 8-threads. The latter chip has less performance, due to its lower TDP. While the i7-1185G7 has a limit of 28W, the i7-1180G7 can go only as high as 15W, which really puts the battery life results into context. It also puts the CPU performance into context, as the Surface Pro 8 obliterates the Latitude 13, scoring 37% higher in Cinebench 20 while being only 0.2 seconds quicker in Photoshop.

Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)

Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)

GPU benchmarks

Both processors arrive with the 96EU version of the Iris Xe Graphics G7, which performs well in the two laptops. Still, the unit inside the Surface is more powerful, showing an 8% lead in 3DMark Fire Strike and 20% lead in Unigine Superposition.

Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)

Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)

Gaming tests

Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable

cs-go-benchmarks

CS:GOHD 1080p, Low (Check settings)HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings)HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 – Iris Xe Graphics G7 (96EU)157 fps (+43%)108 fps (+23%)64 fps (+21%)
Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable – Iris Xe Graphics G7 (96EU)110 fps88 fps53 fps

DOTA 2HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings)HD 1080p, High (Check settings)
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 – Iris Xe Graphics G7 (96EU)130 fps (+37%)86 fps (+51%)64 fps (+73%)
Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable – Iris Xe Graphics G7 (96EU)95 fps57 fps37 fps

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Intel Core i7-1185G7 (15W TDP)0:02 – 0:10 sec0:15 – 0:30 sec10:00 – 15:00 min
Microsoft Surface Pro 83.82 GHz @ 97°C @ 60W3.42 GHz @ 85°C @ 45W2.84 GHz @ 76°C @ 28W

The Surface Pro 8 keeps its clock speeds high at the start. There is a drop-off in the later stages, however, the performance is consistent.

Intel Core i7-1180G7 (9W)0:02 – 0:10 sec0:15 – 0:30 sec10:00 – 15:00 min
Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable2.80 GHz @ 66°C @ 27W2.47 GHz @ 99°C @ 22W1.63 GHz @ 75°C @ 12W

The CPU gets quite hot in the middle stage of the test, however, the temperature quickly relapses. The clock speeds drop off here as well, but more drastically.

Comfort during full load

Despite the devices lacking that great cooling, they don’t get too hot on the outside, coming with an outside temperature in the low 40s°C.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable

Verdict

There is still a lot left for manufacturers to figure out when it comes to detachable devices, but these two that we have here offer a complete package that feels ready for a wider release. Build quality is great, with sleek aluminum enclosures for both devices, offering sturdiness and durability. Both machines have enough space on the inside for active cooling, along with offering slits and grills for the air to enter and pass through. Due to the small size of the fans, noise should be a concern, but things are surprisingly quiet.

I/O is a weak point of both systems, but since Thunderbolt 4 connectivity is present, you can output a variety of different signals. The resolution on the Surface is decently higher but at this screen size, both panels are sharp enough. The Surface also boasts better audio with higher max volume. The more efficient CPU inside the Dell laptop makes it last for a lot longer, which is pretty darn important for a tablet.

On the other hand, when performance is concerned, the Surface is especially quick, scoring higher in both 3D Rendering and 2D Rendering benchmarks, along with significant FPS increases in the synthetic and real-life gaming benchmarks. Lastly, both laptops perform really well, cooling-wise, both on the inside and the outside, resulting in good clock speeds and low temperatures.

The devices are different, with the Surface aiming for more performance, while the Latitude 13 strives to be as efficient as possible. If you plan to use your detachable notebook for more menial tasks and don’t want to bring a charger, the Latitude is for you. If you don’t mind the extra bulk, which there will be once you include the keyboard, the Surface is the laptop for you. There’s also a certain regality that Surface laptops bring, which is unexplainable.


Why choose the Microsoft Surface Pro 8?

  • + More performance
  • + Better speakers with no deviations and higher max volume
  • + Display with higher resolution


Why choose the Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable?

  • + Longer battery life
  • + Comes with a keyboard attachment in the box
  • + Display covers more colors

Microsoft Surface Pro 8: Full Specs / In-depth Review

Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable: Full Specs / In-depth Review

All Microsoft Surface Pro 8 configurations:

All Dell Latitude 13 7320 Detachable configurations: