Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable review
One of the things I find interesting about Intel’s Tiger Lake UP4 processors is that not only are they very good, but they also allow the form factor to shrink down to a certain point that was previously only enabled by an ARM chipset. The Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable is the fourth PC I’ve come across to use these new CPUs, and it delivers. If you want to put it in simple terms, it’s like a Surface Pro X but with an Intel processor.
I mean that. It’s got narrow side bezels with a larger top bezel that includes a webcam and an IR camera. It’s also got an attachable keyboard that has a built-in pen garage. It’s the best of both worlds because unlike with the Surface Pro X, there are no compatibility issues when you get an Intel machine.
I didn’t install Windows 11 on this machine, even though Windows 11 is far superior to Windows 10 on Windows tablets. As it stands right now, I’m not installing a beta OS on review hardware while I’m reviewing it.
Navigate this review:
- Design: It’s the best of both worlds
- Display: It has a 13-inch 3:2 display
- Keyboard and touchpad: The attachable keyboard and pen garage
- Performance and battery life: It uses Intel Tiger Lake UP4
- Conclusion: Should you buy the Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable?
Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable Specs
Design: It’s the best of both worlds
If you’re thinking about getting a Windows tablet, there’s no doubt you’ve checked out Microsoft’s Surface offerings. Both the Surface Pro 7 and the Surface Pro X have drawbacks, but the Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable is the best of both worlds. It’s got a sleek aluminum design and it weighs in at 1.7 pounds (the same as a Surface Pro 7 or Surface Pro X). It’s also got the kickstand that’s so common on Windows tablets, as these are very much designed to double as laptops.
There are some key differences. Let’s start with the ports because this is super important. The Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one on each side. In fact, those are the only two ports on here, so there are two USB Type-C ports like the Surface Pro X, but there’s no USB Type-A port like you’d find on the Surface Pro 7.
But one thing you won’t find on any Surface device is Thunderbolt. Indeed, this adds a significant value proposition to the device. One Thunderbolt 4 port can power up to two 4K monitors or one 8K monitor. Another thing you can do is plug in an external GPU, turning this little tablet into a powerful gaming rig. You can’t do that on a Surface. On the left side at the top, you’ll find the volume rocker, and on top, there’s a power button.
One thing I really like is the brushed aluminum design. It stands out from the pack. Being that the Surface Pro is pretty much the standard for Windows tablets, and the only product line that has continuously existed since the Windows 8 era, that platinum magnesium we’re used to can get old. Lenovo has its black ThinkPad tablets, but for once, a silver aluminum PC is the one that stands apart from the pack.
Also on the back of this device, there’s a fingerprint sensor. It’s an interesting choice, as it could have been put in the power button or something, or it could have been omitted entirely in favor of the included IR camera. It’s fine though. I’m all for giving people options in how they use their PC.
There’s also an 8MP world-facing camera, which is really cool. For a device like this, it’s worth thinking about the use case. It’s a business laptop that could be used in the field, and workers might have to take pictures of things, scan codes, and so on.
Display: It has a 13-inch 3:2 display
If a 13-inch 3:2 display with narrow bezels and a thicker top bezel sounds familiar, it’s because that’s exactly what you’ll find on Microsoft’s Surface Pro X. The Surface Pro 7, on the other hand, has a 12.3-inch screen with big, thick bezels. That’s why I keep coming back to how the Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable is the best of both worlds, adding in Thunderbolt on top of that to spice it up a bit.
The screen is actually quite good, although it comes in with 1920×1280 resolution. It’s not that I found it lacking or anything. In fact, it’s probably better on battery life than the 2,880 x 1,920 screen on its competitor, making up for the efficiency lost by not using an ARM chipset. Of course, it has pen support as well, and the pen is hidden in the open garage on the keyboard.
The screen supports 100% sRGB, 80% NTSC, 84% Adobe RGB, and 87% P3, so like I said, it’s pretty good.
In that bigger top bezel, you’ll find a 5MP front-facing camera, an IR camera, and some other sensors. First of all, like the entire Latitude 7000 lineup, the webcam records 1080p video, which is awesome. It’s wild how many laptops are still using 720p cameras, and Dell seems to have been the only company with the foresight to have FHD webcams before the pandemic ever happened. While Dell has FHD webcams on a fairly broad range of business laptops, competitors HP and Lenovo have only released one or two premium models with decent cameras, while the rest have had HD webcams.
It’s not a great market right now, and it puts Dell in a really good position for the business market, considering how many people are still working from home and how long that might last.
Let’s also talk about those additional sensors in the top bezel. Dell has an app called Dell Optimizer, and it’s got several near features. One is called ExpressSign-in. It detects when you’re sitting in front of the PC. When you sit down, it wakes the PC. The IR camera lights up for facial recognition, and the device logs you in, all without you ever having to touch it. The opposite works too. It can lock the PC when you walk away after a predetermined amount of time. It’s both a convenience and a security feature.
Audio quality is pretty solid for a tablet. The dual Waves speakers are located on the sides, and they’re great for conference calls and such. Music also sounds good, if you’re the type to listen at your desk.
Keyboard: The attachable keyboard and pen garage
By now, it might seem a bit old that I keep comparing the Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable to the Surface Pro X, but seriously, so many aspects of these are identical. That’s by design too. The Surface is almost reference design hardware, which is why we’ve seen it cloned so many times.
As you can see, it has the attachable keyboard style that was invented by the Surface brand. But moreover, it’s got the pen garage with a slimmer, flatter pen. This is a big difference than pens that we’ve seen in previous products, where you had to use AAAA batteries to power them. With this pen, it charges while it’s in the garage.
There are two pins that connect to the pen, so it’s not charged wirelessly like the Slim Pen with the Surface Pro X. As you can see from the image above, there are pins on both sides, so you can insert the pen whichever way you’d like. Magnets then hold the pen in place, so if you try to place it upside down, it flips over. Other than that, the keyboard is pretty standard for a product like this. That’s a good thing. Out of all of the new form factors that we’ve seen since the Windows 8 era began nearly a decade ago, this is the one that took off. You can say it’s not for you, but you can’t say it’s not for anyone.
The pen garage is a great innovation on that design though. Battery-powered pens have always been a pain. AAAA batteries aren’t exactly rare, but they’re also not found in your local drugstore. Pen loops get in the way, and magnetically attached pens fall off. Having a pen stored internally that’s always charged is a game-changer for tablet users.
Performance and battery life: It uses Intel Tiger Lake UP4
The Latitude 7320 Detachable that Dell sent me includes an Intel Core i7-1180G7, 16GB RAM, and 256GB of storage. The CPU is from the Tiger Lake UP4 family, and it’s only the fourth machine I’ve seen that uses that family of CPUs. The first three were from Lenovo. In fact, I was so impressed with Tiger Lake UP4 that after I reviewed devices like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano and ThinkPad X1 Titanium, I conducted interviews with both Intel and Lenovo, and proceeded to write over 9,000 words about it. That was a passion project because I was just so impressed with these CPUs.
Here’s why. Tiger Lake UP4 is the successor to the Y-series, which was originally known as Core M. If you’ve heard anything about Y-series or Core M, it wasn’t anything good. These processors were designed for fanless devices, and frankly, they weren’t very good.
Intel 10th-gen was split between the 10nm Ice Lake and the 14nm Amber Lake Refresh. Ice Lake Y looked good, with a higher TDP, it was finally quad-core, and it has Intel’s new Iris Plus Graphics. But it never shipped in Windows PCs. Tiger Lake UP4 is when we finally got a proper refresh, so it’s a big difference.
The Core i7-1180G7 is a quad-core CPU, and it comes with Intel’s Iris Xe graphics. I’ve reviewed a number of Y-series machines and even in the latest generations, I wouldn’t dream of trying to use something like Adobe Photoshop or Premiere Pro. Now, with Tiger Lake UP4, you’d barely even know the difference. Sure, it’s not quite as powerful as the UP3 processors like the Core i7-1185G7, but for productivity, this is a fantastic chip. Combined with 16GB RAM, it’s a dream.
As far as battery life goes, I got around five hours of real-world usage at 50% brightness and the power slider at one notch above battery saver. Given the 40WHr battery is pretty common for a device like this, I actually think that’s pretty decent. If it was a full-blown laptop with a larger battery, it would do better.
For benchmarks, I used PCMark 8, PCMark 10, Geekbench, and Cinebench.
|Latitude 7320 Detachable
|ThinkPad X12 Detachable
|HP Spectre x360 13
|PCMark 8: Home||3,710||4,478||3,967||3,243|
|PCMark 8: Creative||4,236||4,655||4,338||3,818|
|PCMark 8: Work||3,261||4,099||3,798||3,034|
|Geekbench||1,488 / 4,939||1,540 / 5,181||1,299 / 4,446||1,227 / 3,502|
|Cinebench||1,148 / 3,195||1,230 / 4,428||1,147 / 2,860||1,073 / 3,200|
In the table above, you can see how the score compares to the Latitude 7320 clamshell, which uses a UP3 processor. While Tiger Lake UP3 is clearly more powerful, as it should be, we can see that Tiger Lake UP4 is still more powerful than 10th-gen ‘Ice Lake U’.
Conclusion: Should you buy the Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable?
As far as Windows tablets go, let’s just say that the form factor isn’t for everyone. But while we haven’t seen many of them in the past few years, businesses want them. The bottom line is if you do want a Windows tablet, the Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable is the best one on the market.
It’s got three main competitors — the Surface Pro 7+, the Surface Pro X, and the Lenovo ThinkPad X12 Detachable. The ThinkPad X12 Detachable is aimed more at the mainstream market, with a smaller screen and only one Thunderbolt 4 port. And as I’ve said throughout this review, the Latitude really combines the best of Microsoft’s Intel- and ARM-powered Surface PCs. It’s got the 13-inch screen, narrow bezels, and pen garage that you’d fine on a Surface Pro X, but it’s also got an Intel processor.
It’s also got Thunderbolt 4, something that puts it above the competition in Microsoft’s products. This opens up the product to possibilities that simply aren’t there on a Surface, such as plugging in an external GPU. You can take this tablet in the field, and then dock it when you get back to the office, making it incredibly versatile.
There are two key things missing from the product. One is 5G, and to be fair, each of the three competitors I listed only offer 4G like the Latitude 7320 Detachable. However, both Lenovo and HP are prioritizing 5G in their mainstream business PCs now, while Dell is keeping it to the premium Latitude 9000 series. The other key omission is something you’d find on both the Surface Pro 7+ and Surface Pro X — removable storage. It’s great for business PCs, as you can actually pull sensitive information out of it if the machine has to be serviced, or destroy it when it’s time to recycle the device.
Those are pretty minor complaints, admittedly. This is one of those products it’s just hard to knock. It’s got a great screen, and the processors inside of the Latitude 7320 Detachable make me excited about the future of thin and light laptops. The pen garage is smart, solving several pain points with the way we’ve been carrying pens for years now.
But like I’ve said above, if you’re looking for a Windows tablet, this is the one to get. Unless you really need removable storage (government institutions and other institutions that handle sensitive data), the Dell Latitude 7320 Detachable is the best tablet for anyone that wants one.