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Dell Latitude 9440 2

Jun 02, 2023Jun 02, 2023

The new Dell Latitude 9440 2-in-1 is a slim 14-inch business laptop with many firsts, including a mini-LED keyboard and a collaboration touchpad with customizable feedback.

The new Dell Latitude 9440 2-in-1 is a slim 14-inch business laptop with many firsts, including a mini-LED keyboard and a collaboration touchpad with customizable feedback.

The Latitude 9000 series sits at the top of Dell's business-focused Latitude range and offers the latest features and innovations. The Latitude 9440 2-in-1 under review here is a 14-inch laptop with a screen that rotates 360 degrees, allowing it to convert into a tablet. Active pen support is standard.

The Latitude 9440 2-in-1 is a redesign of the Latitude 9430 2-in-1 that seemed so modern when we reviewed it less than a year ago, but times change quickly. Internally, it has Intel's 13th generation Core processors up to the 15-watt Core i7-1365U (two Performance cores and eight Efficiency cores). This Latitude supports a single M.2 drive and 64GB of LPDDR5-6000 RAM.

The full specifications of the Latitude 9440 2-in-1 are as follows:

Quality, slimness, and C-suite style are three things the Latitude 9440 2-in-1 has in abundance. Dell takes great pains to emphasize much of the Latitude 9440 is made of recycled aluminum and bio-based material.

The Dell Latitude 9440 2-in-1 has a 14″ 2560×1600 touch screen with pen support.

The Latitude 9440 2-in-1's 14-inch screen is a star attraction. It's not 4K quality, but its 16:10 2560×1600 (QHD+) resolution offers good vertical real estate and requires less scrolling than old-fashioned 16:9 screens. The display seems plenty bright and colorful for this Latitude's intended usage. It supports touch and, as noted, has active pen support. The surface coating is anti-reflective and anti-smudge.

The display has an especially narrow bezel, but Dell still fits a 1080p webcam along the top edge. It has an IR function, so it works for Windows Hello facial recognition. There's also a fingerprint reader built into the power button, which is at the top right of the keyboard.

The Latitude 9440 2-in-1's power button doubles as a fingerprint reader.

How about that keyboard? Dell calls this a zero-lattice design; it's still chiclet style, but the keys are larger and there's no lattice or space between them. Typing on it feels natural; you can slide your fingers around instead of picking them up since there really aren't edges to the keys to catch your fingers.

The Latitude 9440 2-in-1 has a "zero-lattice" keyboard, with extra-large keys and mini-LED backlighting.

The biggest innovation with this keyboard is its mini-LED backlighting. Dell says this technology uses 75% less power than traditional keyboard backlighting, though we found this nearly impossible to test since the keyboard backlighting automatically shuts off after a period of inactivity. Nonetheless, we like the innovation.

Layout-wise, Dell makes the cardinal mistake of squeezing half-height up and down arrows between full-size left and right arrows; I’ve never mastered this arrangement and never will. The arrow keys should all be the same size, even if they all have to be half-height. The half-height approach would have left room for dedicated Page Up and Page Down keys, but they’re instead secondary functions in the up and down arrows. At least Home and End are dedicated.

Build-wise, this convertible feels exceptionally strong; Dell says it passes MIL-STD-810H testing. It's nearly the same size as its predecessor, at 0.32~0.56 x 12.2 x 8.46 inches. At 3.38 pounds, it's a laptop first, tablet second device; it becomes an armful as a tablet after a short time. Of course, the swiveling screen offers other advantages – you can rotate it 270 degrees to use the laptop in an easel-like presentation mode. This can be especially useful in airline coach for watching a movie.

Another improvement the Latitude 9440 2-in-1 makes over its predecessor is its enlarged touchpad, which now spans the height of the palm rest. This is Dell's collaboration touchpad, which we first saw on the Latitude 9330 2-in-1.

The Latitude 9440 2-in-1's collaboration touchpad has Zoom icons to facilitate meetings.

It features customizable haptic feedback that you can tune to your liking.

The collaboration touchpad's haptic feedback can be tailored to your liking.

The illuminated collaboration icons automatically appear after opening a Zoom meeting – they let you enable your camera or microphone, share your screen, or enter the chat. The latter gently pulses when you receive a message. Swiping to the left over the icons automatically hides them and swiping right brings them back. Dell also lets you change the brightness and disable icons you don't use.

The Dell Command app helps when it comes to configuring Dell-specific features. It sits in the background without being too intrusive and quickly lets you adjust settings, such as the touchpad's, without much fuss.

Dell lets you customize the collaboration touchpad's icons, brightness, and behavior.

The Latitude 9440 2-in-1's port selection is limited to three Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports, so you’ll need an adapter to connect anything that isn't USB-C. There's also a universal audio jack. The included 65-watt power adapter plugs into any of the Thunderbolt 4 ports.

The left edge has two Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports.

The right edge has a universal audio jack, a Thunderbolt 4 port, and a wedge lock slot.

The right edge also has a wedge lock slot. WWAN-equipped models also get a nano SIM slot. Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 are standard.

Removing the Latitude 9440 2-in-1's bottom panel requires taking out the screws securing it and using a trim removal tool to pop the clips free. The motherboard has one M.2 2242 SSD slot, not the more common M.2 2280, so that will limit your storage drive choice. (The Sabrent Rocket 2242 comes to mind.) The PCIe slot seen on the right is empty in our unit, but that's where the WWAN card would go. It can't accept SSDs.

The Latitude 9440 2-in-1 has an upgradeable M.2 2242 SSD, WWAN card, and battery.

The battery can also be swapped out. No other components are upgradeable; the LPDDR5 memory is soldered as is the Intel AX211 wireless card.

This view also lets you see the Latitude 9440 2-in-1's twin-fan cooling system, which sends air out the back.

Notice the two fan outlets on the Latitude 9440 2-in-1's rear edge.

I like this fan placement since it keeps hot air as far as possible from the user. The Latitude didn't become more than lukewarm in our testing and the fan noise wasn't an annoyance. The dual-fan cooling setup got the job done well. It can move a good amount of air without spinning too fast or noisy, and plenty of airflow means the chassis doesn't significantly warm up.

Our Latitude 9440 2-in-1 review unit has the following specifications:

This unit retails for about $2,999, but that's the single-unit price on Dell.com; business buyers can expect volume discounts. (Dell told us it only sells a tiny fraction of its Latitudes through its site.) Any buyer should be able to appreciate that Dell uses 100% recyclable or renewable packaging on all Latitudes.

We will be comparing the Latitude 9440 2-in-1 to its predecessor, the Latitude 9430 2-in-1, in our performance tests. It has similar specifications: an Intel Core i7-1265U CPU (2P/8E), 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD.

SPECworkstation3 specializes in benchmarks designed for testing all key aspects of workstation performance; it uses over 30 workloads to test CPU, graphics, I/O, and memory bandwidth. The workloads fall into broader categories such as Media and Entertainment, Financial Services, Product Development, Energy, Life Sciences, and General Operations. We are going to list the broad-category results for each, as opposed to the individual workloads. The results are an average of all the individual workloads in each category.

These Latitudes wouldn't normally be used for these tasks but they nonetheless completed the benchmark. The Latitude 9430 appeared stronger in most tests, though the margins were slim to negligible.

Another 3D benchmark we will be looking at is LuxMark, an OpenCL GPU benchmarking utility. The Latitude 9440 pulled ahead of its predecessor; perhaps its faster memory accelerated its integrated graphics performance.

We also run 7-Zip's built-in memory benchmark. The Latitude 9440 dominated the Latitude 9430; its faster memory must be making a difference.

Next up is the popular SiSoftware Sandra 2021 memory-performance suite. Higher numbers are better in all subtests. The Latitude 9440 generally fell behind its predecessor here, and we’re not sure why.

Our last test is the new Blackmagic RAW Speed test. The Latitudes are about even, and that was expected since they use the same Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics solution. These laptops can handle 4K video playback without issue, though above that will be a stretch.

This storage drive benchmark is a solo test for the Latitude 9440 2-in-1; it seems to have average numbers for a Gen3 drive. Storage performance is never going to be a strong suit for this laptop, but even the included SSD has plenty of pep for everyday tasks.

We test laptop battery life using UL's Procyon Battery Life benchmark in its office productivity mode. The Latitude 9440 2-in-1 achieved 12 hours and 21 minutes. We just started running this, so we don't have comparisons to other machines yet, but this seems like a lengthy runtime; you should be able to go an entire working day without plugging in. That's battery life befitting a modern ultraportable.

Dell's Latitude 9440 2-in-1 is a snazzy business convertible that combines high quality and useful innovation. We like its thin metal design even if it is on the heavy side for use as a tablet, but tablet mode is always a bonus with convertible laptops.

But innovation is where this convertible impresses the most. We found its collaboration touchpad to be truly useful in the real world. Dell also innovated with the mini-LED keyboard and its extra-large keys.

Performance-wise, we didn't see the Latitude 9440 2-in-1 hugely outperform its predecessor, but we didn't expect it to do that. Its numbers suggest solid everyday performance, and we also saw good results in our battery test. Overall, the Latitude 9440 2-in-1 gets our top recommendation among business convertible laptops.

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I'm a lifelong technology enthusiast and have been reviewing consumer and enterprise technology since 2005. I specialize in laptops, tablets, and enterprise hardware. I'm a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology. Outside of work, I love the gym, reading, and photography.

Processor Operating System Graphics Card Display Memory Storage Ports and Slots Dimensions and Weight Touchpad Camera Audio and Speakers Wireless Battery Power SPECworkstation 3 (Higher is better) Dell Latitude 9440 2-in-1 (Core i7-1365U) Dell Latitude 9430 2-in-1 (Core i7-1265U) M&E ProdDev LifeSci FSI Energy GeneralOps GPU Compute Luxmark (Higher is better) Dell Latitude 9440 2-in-1 (Core i7-1365U) Dell Latitude 9430 2-in-1 (Core i7-1265U) Hallbench food 7-Zip Compression Benchmark Dell Latitude 9440 2-in-1 (Core i7-1365U) Dell Latitude 9430 2-in-1 (Core i7-1265U, Iris Xe) Compressing Current CPU Usage Current Rating/Usage Current Rating Resulting CPU Usage Resulting Rating/Usage Resulting Rating Decompressing Current CPU Usage Current Rating/Usage Current Rating Resulting CPU Usage Resulting Rating/Usage Resulting Rating Total Rating Total CPU Usage Total Rating/Usage Total Rating SiSoftware Sandra 2021 Dell Latitude 9440 2-in-1 (Core i7-1365U) Dell Latitude 9430 2-in-1 (Core i7-1265U, Iris Xe) Memory Bandwidth Cache & Memory Latency Cache & Memory Bandwidth Overall Memory Score Blackmagic RAW Speed Test Category Dell Latitude 9440 2-in-1 (Core i7-1365U) Dell Latitude 9430 2-in-1 (Core i7-1265U, Iris Xe) 8K CPU 32 32 8K OPENCL 27 29 12 hours and 21 minutes