According to Dell, the Latitude 3500 is ideal for people that find themselves developing their business. Whether it is going to be a personal device or a working machine for your staff, the Latitude supposedly offers great support and versatility, for a low-low cost.
Well, the cost is not that low, at all, but we kinda saw that coming, given that this laptop is not an Inspiron – it is a freaking Latitude. In terms of hardware it is equipped with the Whiskey Lake lineup of Intel and there is an optional GeForce MX130. Sadly, though, the display has a TN panel, despite the Full HD resolution, and it comes in two battery variants – a 42Wh and a 56Wh. If you go for the bigger one, you are sacrificing the 2.5″ SATA drive slot. Why? You will see in a moment.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/dell-latitude-15-3500/
Dell Latitude 15 3500 - Specs
What’s in the box?
Inside the box, there is a 65W power adapter, as well as the mandatory paperwork and the laptop itself.
Design and construction
To be clear, Dell calls this laptop a small and sleek 15″ laptop. Okay, perhaps they have missed our MSI PS63 Modern review or the ASUS ZenBook 15 UX534. There is no problem, Dell, you can still read them. However, this laptop will never be small and sleek. First, it is made entirely out of plastic. And they didn’t even try to mask it – it feels like the plastics on a super cheap car. One would say that this should mean a more rigid device. Well, to some extent this is true. The lid is super prone to axial bending, but the structural integrity of the entire machine is a little on the weaker side.
Generally, the laptop is not that huge, as it has only an 18mm profile. However, it weighs 2.15 kg and… look at those bezels. Not only it looks old, but it gives it a huge footprint. Of course, there is no chance of opening the display with a single hand, but on the bright side, there are options of this model that feature an IR camera for face recognition.
On the bright side, this laptop is equipped with a really good keyboard. It has relatively long key travel and clicky feedback. Also, there is a backlight, which is usually rarely seen on a laptop of this caliber. Yes, the keycaps are a little small, but the spacing is good and it is easy to get used to.
While the touchpad feels relatively nice and glides fairly good on its matte trackpad, there is another problem laying around it. First, the base is a little bendy, when you press it in between the keyboard and the touchpad, but the bigger issue was with the right side of the notebook.
Its chassis is either bend, or there is far less weight on the front right corner, because every time you place a hand on it, it wobbles. We had a similar issue with the Lenovo Ideapad S340 (14) some time ago, and the problem there was that it was designed in a way that the 2.5″ SATA drive is giving it the weight it needs to balance out the chassis. The chances are high that here, the reason is the same, but it is also possible that the issue is with our unit only. Tell us in the comments below, if you own this device, and if you experienced this problem yourself.
On the bottom, there is the standard ventilation grill, as well as the speaker cut-outs. Hot air, on the other side, comes out from in between the base and the display of this notebook.
On the left side, there is the power plug, which is a barrel-style one, then there is a USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 1) port with a DisplayPort output. After that, there is an HDMI connector and an RJ-45 connector, followed by two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) ports and an audio jack. Then on the right, there is the archaic VGA port, which is actually good if you have an older monitor if you have to make a presentation with older hardware installed in the room. Following that, there is a USB Type-A 2.0 port and an SD card reader.
Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance
This device has 10 Phillips-head screws that hold its bottom panel in place. Like most of the other Latitudes we’ve tested this year, its screws remain attached to the bottom plate, practically making it impossible to lose them.
In terms of cooling, there is nothing spectacular out there – a single heat pipe that drives the heat away from the processor.
Upgradability-wise, there are two RAM DIMMs that support up to 32GB of DDR4 memory. Additionally, there is an M.2 slot, which can be fitted with a PCIe x4 drive.
Our unit is equipped with the larger 56Wh battery, which means that there is no 2.5″ SATA slot for us. Interestingly, there is a ton of free space inside Latitude 3500’s chassis, which could be easy enough for the designers to use and put such a slot with the bigger battery.
Dell Latitude 3590 has a Full HD TN panel with a model number BOE NT15N4-M9P74 (BOE0802). Its diagonal is 15.6″ (39.62 cm), and the resolution 1920 х 1080 pixels. The screen ratio is 16:9, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 142 ppi, and a pitch of 0.18 х 0.18 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 60cm (24″) (from this distance one’s eye stops differentiating the separate pixels, and it is normal for looking at a laptop).
Expectedly, viewing angles are horrendous. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.
The measured maximum brightness of 222 nits in the middle of the screen and 219 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of only 4%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 6700K – slightly colder than the sRGB standard of 6500K. However, the average temperature across the screen was 13000K (cold, bluish light – corrected by our profiles)
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. In other words, the leakage of light from the light source.
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work. The contrast ratio is poor – 300:1.
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 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 an 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 Dell Latitude 3500’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers 50% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma 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.
Below you can compare the scores of Dell Latitude 3500 with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
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.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 10 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.
Dell Latitude 3500’s display uses PWM with a very high frequency – 26000 kHz. This makes it far less obtrusive, and in fact, results in a pretty comfortable viewing experience.
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.
Dell Latitude 3500 has a TN panel with a Full HD resolution, fast reaction time, and comfortable backlight in terms of PWM. On the downside, it has poor viewing angles, mediocre contrast ratio, and narrow color coverage.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Dell Latitude 3500 configurations with 15.6″ FHD TN BOE NT15N4-M9P74 (BOE0802).
*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.
Despite the clarity of the sound, Dell Latitude 3500’s speakers are not very loud and lack the punch in the bass.
You can find all of the drivers and utilities for this notebook here: https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/product-support/product/latitude-15-3500-laptop/drivers
Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This laptop’s bigger 56Wh battery was able to provide around 9 hours and 40 minutes of Web browsing and 9 hours and 20 minutes of video playback.
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.
CPU-wise there are three options – the dual-core Core i3-8145U and the quad-core Core i5-8265U and Core i7-8565U.
Results are from the Cinebench 15 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Whereas in terms of graphics card choices, you are either stuck with the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, or you can go for the GeForce MX130.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
|CS:GO||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||30 fps||– fps||– fps|
|DOTA 2||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings)||HD 1080p, High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||51 fps||26 fps||– 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 i5-8265U (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Dell Latitude 3500||3.22 GHz (B+101%) @ 95°C||2.13 GHz (B+33%) @ 88°C||1.91 GHz (B+19%) @ 61°C|
|Lenovo Ideapad L340 (15″)||3.27 GHz (B+104%)@ 72°C||1.99 GHz (B+24%)@ 60°C||2.01 GHz (B+26%)@ 65°C|
|ASUS VivoBook S15 S532||2.96 GHz (B+85%) @ 75°C||2.95 GHz (B+84%) @ 90°C||2.17 GHz (B+36%) @ 68°C|
|Lenovo ThinkBook 13s||2.76 GHz (B+73%)@ 75°C||2.74 GHz (B+71%)@ 84°C||2.11 GHz (B+32%)@ 74°C|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T490s||3.43 GHz (B+114%)@ 91°C||2.69 GHz (B+68%)@ 91°C||2.19 GHz (B+37%)@ 80°C|
|HP ProBook 450 G6||2.69 GHz (B+59%)@ 64°C||2.53 GHz (B+60%)@ 68°C||2.09 GHz (B+31%)@ 71°C|
Dell has chosen an aggressive approach, thermally speaking, for the beginning of a stress test, where it maxes out the clock speed to an extent that is supported by the cooling. As you can see it was able to work at 3.22 GHz at 95C – not the best, but some of the good results out there. Then from the 15th second to the end, things changed 180-degrees. It works at a lower frequency and also a lot lower temperatures, as it ended the torture at 61C.
Comfort during full load
In terms of heat and noise, the laptop performed quite well. The hottest temperature we measured was just beneath 39C, while the noise was nothing dramatic.
When building our decisions about this laptop, let’s take into consideration its price. Many times we have given some manufacturers a bit of breathing space because they put an adequate price tag on their laptops. This was also the case with Dell and their Vostro 5590, which was a great laptop that even features the Comet Lake processors from Intel. However, Latitude 3500 is overpriced in our view.
It uses a dated design, which is rarely seen nowadays. Don’t get us wrong, there are some good features that never get old – like some of the ThinkPad show us, however, it is clearly not the case with the Latitude 3500. Especially considering the cheap plastic and the unstable chassis, which produces some wobble in the front-right side of the machine. We want to note once again, that it could be down to our particular unit, or it could be a general issue with the model, however, we cannot assure that at this moment.
On the bright side, the notebook is equipped with a very decent keyboard, which gives the user a comfortable typing experience and a full-sized NumberPad section. Additionally, it gives you more than a workday of battery life – 9 hours and 40 minutes of Web browsing and 9 hours and 20 minutes of video playback.
Of course, the display is not something to brag about, since it is a 1080p TN panel, but on the bright side, the PWM it uses has a very high frequency and is basically safe for work. However, we can’t miss the poor viewing angles, terrible contrast ratios and only 50% of sRGB coverage.
On the other side, this laptop actually has something to brag about – the I/O. While it is free of Thunderbolt connectivity, there are plenty of useful connectors, like the RJ-45 one, a Type-C that can output a DisplayPort and an SD card reader. When this is combined with the PCIe x4 NVMe slot on the inside, the Latitude 3500 becomes a pretty strong machine.
If it only wasn’t for the poor build quality and the other stuff.
- Comfortable keyboard
- Generous I/O
- Supports M.2 PCIe x4 drives
- Has a decent battery life
- Doesn’t use aggressive PWM
- Not the best build quality (uses only plastic)
- Weak chassis
- TN panel has naturally poor viewing angles
- Overpriced in our view
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/dell-latitude-15-3500/