Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 Review

Recently, my 8-year-old laptop broke down so I have to look for a new one. A lot has changed since I bought that laptop.

Not just the technology inside a laptop but also how and what I use the laptop for. Since I’m not a tech genius I really don’t know what to buy or what to look for from any laptop.

As a non US citizen, I don’t have as many laptop options available from my local stores and not as updated. But then, Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 recently came in and got my attention.

The product itself was initially released in about January, 2018. So, it’s about one year late in my country. While the world is ready for a folded touch screen smartphone or even laptop, I still have to settle down with 2-in-1 convertible and detachable laptop.

Well, it’s not that I can afford the folded touch screen. I’m just pointing out the reason for a late review.

Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 is considered as a clone of Microsoft’s Surface Pro laptop. Latitude laptop is the business laptop line from Dell which is supposed to be stronger and long lasting than any consumer laptop like their Inspiron line.

So, what are the specifications? What can we use it for? Heavy gaming? Streaming 4K? Editing videos or just daily office work?

Can we upgrade later?  Is it worth the cost? Those are probably just few questions that come to mind when people are about to buy a laptop.

In this writing I will share with you what I can find from the internet and what I understand about Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 review. Just a reminder that I’m not an expert and a non English speaker.

I’m just an ordinary guy trying to figure out what laptop to buy. Hopefully, this can help anybody make some decision.

Overview

Manufacturer: DELL, Inc
Brand Line: Latitude (Business)
Laptop Type: 2-in-1 Convertible, detachable

CPU: Intel Core i3 7th Gen, 8th Gen of i5 or i7
OS: Windows 10 Pro or Home 64 Bit
RAM: 4/8/16 GB, soldered
Storage: 128GB up to 1TB NVMe SSD
Display Size: 12.3”
Display Glass: Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Highest Resolution: 1920 x 1280 (3:2)
Graphics Card: Intel HD or UHD Graphics 620
Wi-Fi: 802.11 ac Intel 8265
Bluetooth: 4.2
USB Port: 1 Type A 3.1 gen 1 with Powershare
2 Type C (DisplayPort or Thunderbolt)
Battery: 31.5 Whr or 42 Whr with ExpressCharge
Front Camera: 5 MP, 2592 x 1944 res, Fixed Focus
Rear Camera: 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 res, Auto Focus
AC Adapter: 45 Watt or 65W via USB type C

Size height x width x depth (in mm): 9.75 x 292 x 210 ( = 0.38 x 11.5 x 8.27 in)
Weight: 1.278 kg ( = 45.08 oz / 2.82 pounds), Power Supply: 254 g ( = 8.96 oz / 0.56 pounds)

Other Hardware Features:
Headphone / Mic combo Port
Micro SD Slot, optional
Micro SIM (4G/LTE) Slot, optional
Contacted Smart Card Reader, optional
Contactless Smart Card Reader, optional
Fingerprint Reader, optional
Noble Wedge Lock Slot
Windows Home Button
Volume Button
Kickstand Autodeploy
Infrared Camera for Face Recognition
2 HD Audio Speakers

Release Date: 2018
Initial Price: $899

About Dell, Support and Warranty

One of the major brand for manufacturing a computer, whether it is a PC or notebook. Laptopmag.com ranks Dell as third best laptop brand.

Dell’s key strengths are their premium laptop, which is XPS lines and gaming laptop, the Alienware, also we can get a personalized support.

Their Inspiron line for cheap and affordable laptop but usually with higher specs. Latitude line is for business and company, which is usually lower specs but last longer hardware.

Precision is another Dell’s business line for engineering and design, which usually come with higher specs than Latitude and obviously more expensive. Alienware line is for gaming laptop.

They are considered as the king of gaming laptops. The last one is XPS line the best in overall category. They are considered as MacBook Pro Competitor.

Laptop mag says that Dell scores at number 3 overall best customer support with 78 of 100 scores. 58/60 for web and 28/ 40 for call, 24/7. Fast and accurate answers but from their social media but the phone is like a hit or miss.

Dell offers standard 1 year warranty but other review says that for some higher end model they give longer warranty. They also offer to extend the warranty, different terms for different models, up to 5 years and out of plan service with one time fee.

The standard is Dell will first do some remote diagnosis by phone and will try to guide the owner to fix it. If the problem is not solved with this method, Dell will then schedule an onsite support, sending their technician or spare parts within the next few business days.

We can also contact them from their Twitter account @DellCares or Facebook account. A built in software or we can install later, Dell SupportAssist, can also be used to contact via live chat.

Dell will also encourage any owner to access the website as it can detect the device for more accurate diagnosis. It will then show any working warranties, expired date and options to extend.

Of course, all of these can be different from one country to another. This could be problematic if we buy Dell’s device in one country and use it in another as the warranty will not work.

About Dell Latitude and Business Laptop

Dell Latitude is considered as one of the laptops for business from Dell with the other one being the Precision line. Latitude is more for office work only but cheaper than Precision which is for designer and artist.

Usually, a business laptop is built for a company. A company will buy not just one but maybe for their entire employees so the laptop usually has a higher price compared to consumer laptop but the company can get a good deal for buying more.

Compared to Inspiron laptop line, Dell’s consumer laptop, in general, with the same price, we can get higher specs than Latitude. But Latitude line is going to last longer, easier to maintain and usually has the chance to expand.

Any company is not going to make any risk wasting their time and productivity by relying on cheaper laptops like the consumer lines. For Dell as the manufacturer, dealing with longer terms for company, it will be easier for them to just build a stronger laptop.

The company will be the one to complain, not their employees, bigger chance to ruin Dell’s reputation while personal use of consumer laptop, they are dealing with maybe just one man. There is a chance for consumer user will not complain at all, maybe trying to fix it themselves or they just move on to buy another one.

This is why in general, it’s better to buy business line laptop instead of consumer laptop. The same goes for other brands.

Compared to business laptop from other brands, one review says that Dell’s is not as attractive or innovative. Then again, we need to consider about the brand’s reputation, like their customer service.

The warranty is probably one of the strong points on any business laptop. Some brands can even offer to replace the entire device or extend the warranty. Make sure if we go with business laptop, we have to learn about it.

They might be good in the US but as a global company, it’s better to check first locally. Or, it’s about whether the device is available or not for any of us to buy.

Maybe the other brand can give better specs at the same price but not within the budget. It’s because we are buying a package of technologies in a device not just piece by piece.

At this point, unless we are willing to spend more, we have to do a little bit more research and compare between one and the other. For Dell Latitude, usually the models are named like Dell 3000, Dell 5000 or Dell 7000 with 7000 has the higher specs and of course more expensive.

This review is for Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1. So, it’s the middle class within the Latitude line.

This product was actually launched in 2018, but recently came to my local store in 2019. A bit late for some people but not me at least.

A Surface Clone, 2-in-1 Convertible, detachable, Kickstand

Ever since the era of tablet, a lot of laptop manufacturers are offering a touch screen feature to their laptop. We used to work with laptop in about 100 degrees angle for the screen, and since the touchscreen, we can use it in 180 degrees or even 360 which put the screen at the back of the typing part, as we call them now a convertible laptop.

The problem with convertible is that we are going to rotate the screen very often and if the hinge is not that strong it will eventually break. Even when I used regular laptop on bed, thanks to the spring bed, the screen keeps bouncing every time I move and the hinges started to break even just the plastic skin.

Then, Microsoft was the first one to introduce their Surface laptop. Not just convertible but also detachable, where we don’t need to bring along the keyboard part of the laptop every time, especially if we just want to use it as a tablet. Since the keyboard usually become the leg to let the screen stand, every Surface laptop now has a kickstand so people even without using the keyboard can make their tablet stand on its own.

We can also adjust the kickstand to change the angle to view the screen. From the standard laptop angle, we can rotate to about 150 degrees. Of course we can still use the tablet on a flat table like no kickstand at all.

Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 is considered as one of the Surface Laptop clones. Obviously they are not just offering the same laptop specs but they add more features on one hand but also lack of something on the other.

One of the additional features is the auto deploy kickstand feature. Dell gives their laptop buttons to automatically open the kickstand as we press it or since the buttons are at the bottom of the screen, we can make the screen stand, and the kickstand will open in a rather fixed angle, no need to move it manually ourselves.

Maybe it’s not that big of a deal but it reduces the chance to drop the laptop if we forget to open the kickstand. One of the problems with the kickstand feature is if the laptop get pressed down while it is standing on the kickstand or we put a weight on it like a book or bag, heavy enough, it can break the kickstand mechanism.

Just be careful not to push it with our hands while using the pen especially if we use it with a very low angle. I would rather use it on flat.

I also suggest not to leave it on desk on its kickstand. If we are not using it, close the kickstand and lay it flat.

The kickstand is a bit hard to move the angle, which is good so it will not easily move. Although some people would prefer fixed angles.

The kickstand also uses a spring mechanism. The more we use or move it will deteriorate the spring durability. Sure, we can replace it but it’s better not waste it. Maybe if we use the device mostly on desk, maybe it will be better to use a holder or stand.

With this kickstand feature, some say that it is not very comfortable to use it as a laptop, in literal way, like on our lap. The same goes for any non steady place like bed, couch, which would be better with the tablet mode. Not firm enough base.

Another tip for the kickstand, try not to drag it while the kickstand is open. If we want to switch the angle, try to move the main device and use the kickstand as the pivot not the other way around. I think it is possible that this thin metal plate kickstand can scratch the desk or table surface.

The good thing about convertible is that we can work in different situations. As a laptop on a desk, couch or even bed. We can bring the device outside or move from one place to another rather easily.

Not as big as standard 14” laptop size but still bigger than 10” tablet. With just less than 2 pounds, not that heavy but of course, we still need to take good care of it.

We just need to buy the keyboard separately, maybe add a little more weight with it but we already have a full laptop configuration.

As a compact and rather small device, of course there are other downsides to this. Less ports, less space to add more hardware, harder to maintain or replace. So if we are switching from a regular laptop to this one, we might need to learn and adapt before we can use it efficiently.

As a Surface clones, Dell Latitude 5290 also uses Windows 10 as the operating system. Windows OS is known to be better in switching between laptop mode and tablet mode.

If we don’t use the travel keyboard the magnetic mechanism of the docking also has some effect on metal surface. For example, if we put it on top of refrigerator, it can stand steadily.

Camera and Webcam

One review said that Dell Latitude 5290 2 in 1 has clear webcam for the front but the rear is not that good with colors. We need to understand that it’s because both camera has different focus system.

Fixed focus for the front camera and auto focus for the rear camera, very typical for any device with two cameras. Fixed focus camera is ideal for webcam because we usually don’t move that much. It will stay focus on object within a fixed distance.

With fixed focus, usually the object in the foreground and the background will be a bit blurred than on the right distance. If we can set a perfect lighting condition as in studio, we can get a better picture with the front camera.

Like using a tripod and connect to external display so we can still see the result. Of course it would be better to use dedicated camera but just reminding that this device can do as well. Just need to learn about it especially if taking pictures is essential like a food blogger.

On the other hand auto focus camera can change its focus on many variables. This way the rear camera is more suitable for different situations in general but lack of better quality than the fixed camera unless we know how to take a good picture, especially for a moving object, which natural light could be considered as one.

For those who really like to take a lot of pictures or selfies or not to mention, videos, I suggest not to set it to the highest resolution considering the very low hard drive capacity. Set it to the highest just when we need it to.
Keeping too many pictures even with additional storage will decrease the battery faster. Try to do regular backups.

Battery and Charging Settings

Battery is one of the most important aspects for any mobile device. How long can we use our device before we need to charge the battery?

Based on many reviews, some said that the battery is strong but some said otherwise. Dell even claimed that it can be used for the entire day of work, which I assume is about 8 hours which some reviews said it can even reach more than 9 hours.

Usually they say that it is strictly for wi-fi web surfing only, even with some video streaming from YouTube. The lowest number was about one and a half hour with maximum load which they said just using maximum brightness.

They didn’t specify what else they use or turn on for maximum load. I guess that this could go lower if we use more features like keyboard, pen, listen to music, etc. and the highest number is from using tablet mode only, I really don’t know.

The standard and the highest possible battery for Dell 5290 is 42 Whr or around 5,250 mAh. Other models with the lowest configuration are using 31.5 Whr or around 2,700 mAh. This is actually very low almost like a smartphone which probably for the one with i3 processor.

My phone only has one 2,900mAh battery to power one sixth the size of Dell 5290 but the battery is not even twice the capacity. Maybe this is not a good comparison but I tend to believe that the battery for 5290 is not that good and we should be prepared for the worst.

It has been pointed out to me that we shouldn’t compare battery capacity between devices based on mAh but instead their Whr. Please read the comment from Petr S. below.

The spec is better and the workload will drain the battery faster. Dell even suggested using their power bank or hybrid charger and power bank for mobile purposes.

Having any power bank can be a good idea, just make sure that the capacity is enough. We don’t need to buy Dell’s Powerbank for $150. I think it’s more of an option to work in multiple settings but mainly still as a workstation on a desk, using charger.

Some reviews also said that we need a good 2 hours to charge the battery to full capacity. None of them specify about the battery settings.

None of them also specify about the wattage from their charger. It could be 45 Watt or 65 Watt with faster charging with 65 Watt.

Dell actually offers a feature called ExpressCharge which we can charge the battery faster like an hour to reach 80%. But, Dell also stated that this feature will shorten the battery’s life. The available settings are Standard, ExpressCharge, Primarily AC, Adaptive and Custom.

I suggest we set it at least the standard or primarily AC. Use ExpressCharge only when we need it like while traveling. ExpressCharge feature is enabled by default. I’m not really sure but I think this feature is optional.

The battery position within the device is located at the lower part of the screen, the same part as the kickstand. Usually the main threat to battery life is the heat from the device which, based on notebookcheck.net is concentrated on the top part of the device.

The best way to prevent the heat from damaging the battery is to use the device in standing mode. Use it on a desk, with a kickstand or any holder so this could help the heat rise up through ventilation at the top instead of going down and overheat the battery or other part.

Other than that, like in mobile or tablet mode or on flat surface, try to minimize or shut down any background apps.

To charge the device, we can connect the AC adapter via USB type C, like any smartphone. There are 2 USB-C ports at the lower left side and based on the sign near the port I think we can only charge with the one at the end.

Some people prefer the magnetic port to charge the laptop as it can reduce the chance to accidentally get unplugged. Even with my smartphone, keep plugging and unplugging the charger seems to ruin the port faster than my laptop port.

If we charge the device while the power is off, there is an indicator lamp near the power button. When it is fully charged, the lamp will be off.

Speaker, Microphone, Headset

Dell stated that it uses HD Audio but several reviews said that the speaker has problems especially with high volume like lack of bass. Some even suggest using headphones instead for extended media consumption.

The speakers are at the lower part of each side. We can adjust the volume with the button at the upper left side below the headset port.

Be careful when using wired headset as we can easily pull and drag the device. Regular laptop usually has the jack port at the base but the port on this one is at the top left corner while standing on its kickstand.

Dell actually has several microphones on 5290 2-in-1 device, at the top side of the device, left side and of course near both cameras. No need to worry about recording audio badly or for video call so the receiving end can get clear result. The headset port itself also has microphone feature with noise reduction feature.

I’m still not sure but I think the sound can vibrate the device while standing. Sometimes we can hear the sound between the metal kickstand and the surface while listening to some audio from the device.

Touch Screen Full HD Display

Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 has display with maximum 1920 x 1280 resolution or 3:2 ratio, standard for its size but lower than the competition. Standard for i5 but the one with i7 can do better.

The 12.3” screen has a rather tall shape which is good for those working with spreadsheets that needs vertical spaces. But that is for reading in tablet mode only.

Some reviews agree that this Dell has the brightest display (542 nits) compared to other similar devices (301 nits) but covering less percent of sRGB color (125%) but still higher than the average (113%).

What it means is that if we switch from a better display, we might want to adapt again first. This could be important for those working with art like photography.

This convertible device also use IPS screen that we can replace. IPS screen is the best options right now, especially for a device to be used in multiple angles.

The problem is that it uses glossy finish, making it hard to see outside with a lot of sunlight even though they say the use of Gorilla Glass 4 is very anti reflective and anti smudge. Try to use it with under shades.

For indoor use, on a daylight try to face against the window while using the device or if we are at the corner, try to face the corner as well because the glare can be reflected by the wall behind us and distract the screen.

At night, try not to work right below the down light and we might have to face the light source. Maybe it will be less trouble if we use external display.

Some say adding screen protector with anti glare feature or matte finish can help. It will add protection to the screen from scratch or fingerprint.

But as a drawback, the screen can limit the viewing angle that user can only look from straight. Usually this could be good for privacy but the device itself supports multiple viewing angle to use which is the reason to use IPS screen instead of the cheap TN screen.

I suggest applying the screen protector only if we mostly use the device outside. If we use on desk, connect with additional display, with minimum screen touching, just keyboard and mouse, we don’t really get any benefit from it.

If you are going to work with any artistic and designer arts, I suggest adding external monitor, maybe a TV with over 30 inch. The display from the device is enough for mobile while enjoying Youtube videos.

The resolution is enough to watch Full HD (1920 x 1080) or 1080p. We just need HD (1280 x 720) or 720p for Netflix. If higher than that like 4K, it will drain the battery faster.

Again this device is meant to be a laptop, to work on desk mostly for office but we can still do something like having a tablet. Not really for heavy gaming or editing videos just minimum picture retouching.

We just need to buy an adapter or converter from USB type c to HDMI. If we work using external monitor, we can save 5290 energy by reducing brightness or disable the touch screen if we use keyboard and mouse.

To minimize the risk for the device getting dragged thanks to wired connection, there is a HDMI dongle that will connect the laptop and the external monitor via Wifi. We can connect both the device and dongle to WiFi router so we can still use the internet connection and external monitor at the same time.

The USB type C port supports DisplayPort protocol as well, at least, for model with lower specs. Only the high end model, with i7 supports Thunderbolt 3. We have to use type C not the type A to add to add to another monitor.

There are other reviews that say the touch screen is very fingerprint magnet. We will have to clean it regularly or try to use it with the stylus instead or other non touching accessories.

If we use the travel keyboard as a cover, it will not scratch the screen but if we don’t clean it regularly, it will leave a mark on the screen. Clean the keyboard before it touches the screen for covering.

The use of Corning Gorilla Glass 4 is like any other smartphone. That doesn’t mean it won’t break or get scratch, just that it’s tougher than regular glass so we still need to be careful.

Remember to regularly cut nails. Like on the smartphone, the letters that we can touch is probably too small for some people.

I think using the pen could help minimizing touching the screen. Just need to learn how to work it like using a mouse.

Video about touch screen gesture for Windows 10 on this link.

Security Features

As business model, Dell offers several security features on Latitude 5290 2-in-1 model which usually can be very beneficial for any business company and any individual can use as well.

But most of them are optional, or not every model will have whether it’s the high end model or not. I don’t know if it’s possible but if we can choose only features we use; maybe we can save some money.

Maybe not for this model or this time. It’s just something to consider by using Dell as the company’s laptop manufacturer next time. First is the fingerprint reader. We can just log in by scan our finger without the need to type in the password.

Imagine if we have to log in everytime we push the power button for the standby mode. Especially while we are on travel, and trying to save some batteries, this feature could be a great help.

One of the reviews says that it is not very reliable but I think it’s more of giving more time for the reader to scan. If we don’t like to type the password because we are outside, didn’t bring or have the travel keyboard, and don’t like the virtual one, we can still use the fingerprint reader as an option.

The problem is that the fingerprint reader is at the back, the top half of the devices and we need to use our right hand to reach. Some find the position would be easier to reach if it is placed at the front or the side.

I think if we already in position to work, especially on desk, we should try to rely on the face recognition instead of the fingerprint. So, the next security feature that we can get on this model is the infrared camera.

Dell 5290 uses different camera than the front camera. This is also optional, so if it is available we can see two cameras at the front.

It will scan whoever is at the front of the camera and if it recognizes the face, it will automatically log in. Both this features connect with Windows Hello which we can set it as login options.

They don’t scan or recognize and image, but more like a graph. We don’t have to worry about other people trying to bypass with our photo.

The facial recognition would be great if we use regular laptop or we already place them on our desks as how this device was intended to use. If we don’t have enough room for our desk, using fingerprint reader on the back could be difficult.

The next security feature is smart card access. This is usually more for company where the device will be use for a lot of people, not tied just to one user. We assign the smart card and use it to login with two possible ways, depending on the available features on the device.

One of them is by inserting the smart card to a reader and the device can only be use as long as we keep the card there. It’s called contacted smart card feature and the reader for 5290 is at the top right side of the device beside Windows Home button.

The other way is called Contactless Smart Card using an RFID or NFC system. We can see the white logo on the back if available, also at the top right side on the back. We just need to place the card we already assigned near that logo and we will automatically log in.

Both of these are more for company who can buy a lot of cards for numbers of employees or if they are running an event like training and they provide the laptop for outside participants. The company can just give participants the card.

Usually the device will be placed on a table which they can’t move. Dell 5290 also has a Noble Wedge Lock slot on the bottom right side so nobody can steal or move the device easily. Just be careful not to use the Travel Keyboard as it will not be secured with the lock and instead use wired keyboard.

Even if we can’t get all of these hardware-related security features alongside the device, usually we can add them externally. Buy and connect via USB, but yeah, we already have a limited number of ports.

We don’t need every single feature. I think, assuming we don’t get any of them, adding a fingerprint reader could be helpful and very easy to attach and bring along.

Microsoft via Windows Hello actually encourages people to use PIN to access any online account and not just relying to the password. So everytime we log in to any account, we also have to enter PIN but if we use any security features like fingerprint or facial recognition, it will automatically replace the PIN.

Setting a PIN is essential if somehow the biometric authentication system fails. Windows 10 will force users to set PIN before setting facial or fingerprint recognition.

With the password we can only access the Windows itself but the PIN will become an authenticator even when browsing the internet, accessing online accounts. Usually we can use our smartphone to do that but with this feature, the process will be easier since we don’t have to switch between devices.

With just one facial or fingerprint scan we can access every website securely. Without it, we have to enter PIN for every website we visit or every transaction we make online.

Not every website is ready with this authenticating feature but I think, it will become a common thing in the future. Hackers can easily steal any password especially if we use public Wi-Fi or internet connection.

So, consider utilizing one of these features for mobile uses. There are also other software-related security features such as Intel vPro, Dell Data Protection and ControlVault.

Windows 10 also offers Windows Defender as antivirus. Based from what I can find, we still need at least to add anti malware software like Malwarebytes.
Even with paid antivirus, there is no guarantee that it can secure the device 100%. The best thing is to have a contingency plan. Do regular backup and set recovery disk.

Windows also offers some resetting scenarios like delete everything, keeping personal file only, reset to factory setting or reinstall OS. Learn about it as a last resort.

Durability

Dell claims that Latitude 5290 2-in-1 already passed some military grade or MIL-STD-810G durability tests, including for vibrations, extreme temperatures and air transport. Obviously most users will not be in any military situation but at least we can say that the device can survive some damages.

Still, it doesn’t mean it won’t break at all. Just one 30 inch or less than 1 meter drop can cause the battery alignment pin broke and the volume-down button locked in. So it’s like falling from the bed, or couch.

Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 has magnesium alloy case to prevent torsion. Back then, even smartphone can be bent in a pocket since their material was just plastic. Magnesium alloy can help to prevent that, but again, it is not unbreakable.

Compared to aluminum, commonly used in Macbook devices, magnesium will be less likely to bend or dent but it is also more prone to crack. Another thing is that magnesium is actually more expensive than aluminum one but on Latitude 5290 2-in-1, it’s just a tablet form unlike Macbook which use aluminum as unibody.

This is one of the reasons why Latitude line is more expensive than Inspiron line as consumer laptop. As a metal, magnesium will generate the heat faster than plastic. But as long as we don’t use it in full performance all the time, it will cool down soon enough.

Unlike a smartphone which has 2 side of glass nowadays which could trap the heat easily, this convertible device only use glass for the screen not the back. Just be careful while holding the device as a tablet.

As mentioned earlier, the use of Corning Gorilla Glass for the screen is pretty standard nowadays as it is considered the strongest options available. Hard enough but still can break. It’s more of a cosmetic choice rather than durability.

Even the manufacturer only guarantees that Gorilla Glass 4, used for Dell 5290 2-in-1, has up to 80 percent survival rate from 1 meter drop to hard surface and that is probably just on the floor not asphalt. Having the travel keyboard at least can help or give one layer of barrier for the screen.

Dell Travel Keyboard

Like a Surface device, Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 has a dedicated keyboard that is detachable or should we say we have to buy it separately for about $130. The travel keyboard is not only for typing but also for covering the screen of the main device.

The back of the cover is made of Trivela 0.55 mm microfiber which will add the thickness of the main device from 9.75 mm to 10.3 mm. Hopefully, this is not going to get dirty easily.

The weight is about 345g (0.76 lbs) which will add weight of the main device from 0.857 kg or 1.89 lbs to a bit over 1.2 kg or over 2.65 lbs. Some already consider 5290 main device as too heavy compared to other similar devices.

We can attach the keyboard to the main device using the docking at the bottom of the main device. The magnetic mechanism can help secure connection between two parts.

It is very easy to connect, without searching the port or turning on and off and pairing any Bluetooth. This could be helpful for those constantly using the device with both tablet and laptop mode.

The keyboard is obviously smaller than the standard keyboard. It only has 1.3 mm of keytravel or distance between each key while the standard keyboard has 1.5 mm.

On review said that we need about 62 grams of force to press while the standard is 60 grams. Rather bouncy if we use it on an angle but we can use it as flat.

It’s just with the angle it helps securing the device to stand firm. And yes, we have to rely on the kickstand if we want to use travel keyboard.

It’s good for travelling but for home or office use, it’s better with just standard keyboard either via Bluetooth or wired USB connection. The keyboard is not actually bad compared to use the virtual one on the screen and reduce the working space on the screen.

The virtual one sometimes has problem with touch sensitivity and not to mention, even smaller size but at least we can use it if we somehow forget to bring along any physical keyboard. The travel keyboard also has two stages of backlight so we can use it on a darker environment.

If we are switching from the regular laptop to this, we might need to adapt first before we can be very productive. Then again, a lot of people seem to be able to type easily with their Smartphone virtual Qwerty keyboard but not me.

The touchpad with 3.9 x 2.1 inch size is not that small compared to the one on my last 14” laptop. But then again, on other brand with the same laptop size the touchpad could be even bigger. On one brand could be flat but the other a touch pad could have texture, so again, check again our last and hopefully this one is not a deal breaker.

It is said the touchpad works well with the windows gesture like swiping three fingers up to show all open apps, two-finger scrolling and pinch to zoom. It’s just that it gives a plastic feeling based on Laptopmag.com review.

If Dell follows the Surface Pro keyboard gestures, here is a list of what we can do on touch pad.

  • Tap on the lower right corner of the touchpad with one finger to right click, the rest is for left click.
  • Use 2 fingers to tap on anywhere on touchpad to get right click
  • Use 1 finger and drag on touchpad to move the cursor like moving a mouse
  • Swipe 3 fingers up to display the virtual desktop like swiping on the right side of the screen
  • Use 1 finger, hold and drag to highlight like using the left click on mouse
    Tap, tap and hold to drag item
  • Slide 2 fingers to scroll up and down, can slide horizontally or vertically
    Pinch to zoom in or out

The keyboard is not essential unless we are going to use the device while moving from one location to another. Assuming we can buy it locally, we can buy later and hopefully with additional features like a fingerprint reader so we don’t have to use the one at the back of the main device.

Other manufacturer can even give an additional storage or battery for the Surface Pro. Not sure if we can use it on Dell.

As mentioned in other sections, try to clean the key or any part that will be in contact with the screen before using it as cover. It’s not going to scratch but it may leave a mark on the screen.

Dell Active Pen

Dell Stylus Pen is also a recommended accessory to support using Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1. It uses Wacom AES technology or protocol so usually we can replace them with a stylus from other brand like the Wacom itself or other laptop or tablet manufacturers with the same protocol.

Other protocol, such as Ntrig, is used by Surface Pro device and can’t be used for this Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1. Dell also has other pen with different protocol like EMS pen which we can’t use on this model.

Other pen or stylus manufacturers like Wacom can also have different protocol like limited to their tablet or just one brand. In theory we can use their Bamboo Smart Ink which is meant for convertible device like 5290 2-in-1 but somehow Wacom hasn’t put it on the list for being compatible.

Before buying, we can try borrowing from somebody else with the same exact model just to make sure it’s working.

Using from other brand can have its own benefit like cheaper or better accuracy but at the same time probably losing some features like magnetic attachment or not good enough connection.

Dell Active Stylus Pen works with one AAAA battery and 2 coin cell batteries. The coin cell is for Bluetooth connection and the 1 battery for working.

With this configuration, Dell claims that it can last for 12 months but based on working time only which is 5 days a week and about just 3 hours a day. Be ready to replace them sooner if we use more often.

We can stick the pen at the right of the device thanks to magnetic feature. Maybe not good enough for those left handed.

It’s just the placement on the device not necessarily means that it can only be use for right handed people. There is a setting on the software to change it.
Good enough so that we might not forget or lose the pen. Some of the model also includes a tether to keep it attached with the device.

I don’t know if it is going to have a problem if we use the lock slot or smart card reader at the right side of the device. Some suggest that we should bring the pen the old fashion way, like in our shirt pocket while moving from one place to another which is why the pen still has a slide or clip.

It will easily get knocked down; the magnet is not strong enough to hold it. Not sure about its durability but it will eventually break after falling from some height.

The standard pen for any convertible has three buttons that we can configure what any of it does via Windows, Dell or other manufacturer software. Usually the other end of the pen button can have three possible commands, by pressing it differently like once or twice or press and hold.

I think the default setting for one click is to open the OneNote program. Two presses is set to take screenshot. We can configure this setting using windows 10.

The other two buttons from Dell Pen are on the middle but both of them are comprised of a single rocker, not separated. One review says that we can configure this one using Dell software but other reviews say we can only do it with windows.

Usually people use one of the buttons as eraser by push and hold it. The pen from Dell has 2,048 degrees of pressure sensitivity which is enough for taking notes.

For designer and artist, they might want to try other manufacturer with higher pressure sensitivity like over 4 or 8 thousands. Then again, this device, even with the highest specs available is really not meant for that hard artistic related work.

The good thing is that we can use the pen to minimize touching the screen with our finger since the screen is considered as fingerprint magnet by one of the reviews. But it’s more for mobile purposes.

Usually we don’t have to worry about our hand or finger touching the screen while using the pen. If the pen is around the screen it will shut off other mechanism but from what I can found it doesn’t work with every software or application yet.

Compatible pens from Dell that I can find are Dell Premium Active Pen (PN579X) for $99.99 or Dell Active Pen (PN557W) for $64.99. Wacom has not listed 5290 2-in-1 as one of compatible device for Bamboo Ink at this time but it works for the 5285 and 5289 model which are considered as predecessors for 5290.

Tips about Pen related app

Integrated Graphics and Performance

This is probably the first thing people ask when choosing gaming laptop. They will want to have a laptop with dedicated GPU instead of integrated one like Dell 5290 2-in-1.

With a dedicated GPU, not only they can replace and upgrade but also a dedicated GPU has its own computer with RAM and CPU for better performance. Not sharing the memory and processor means the main device can focus on running other programs.

Usually this is not for a compact device like tablet or convertible but more for PC or bigger size laptop since the GPU needs its own space. The alternative is to add external GPU but only if the device supports Thunderbolt port and it’s not even the same performance.

Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 only has integrated Intel 620 graphic cards for every variant available. But, only the high end configuration, which has i7 processor, that has Thunderbolt ports to support external GPU.

That is why this is probably the first thing to look at when choosing which configuration is the right one, assuming we can get options. Either buy the high end one and pay a lot more than just adding a Thunderbolt port or buy the lower one and forget the idea of playing heavy games or editing videos.

After all this is a business laptop for office works only. Still, based on a review about the integrated chip from laptoping.com, we can actually still play some games.

We just need to adjust something like lowering the resolution, change the frame rate, maybe the highest specs with minor decrease of smoothness. On some games we even just need to lower the resolution on certain scenes only.
The problem usually comes for 3D games. Playing light 2D game will not have that problem.

Then again, with Dell 5290 2-in-1, we still have to share the memory, which we have to turn off other application while playing. Memory is also one of the hardware that we cannot replace or upgrade.

Either we buy the lower configuration which is just 8 GB or we jump to the highest possible variant with 16 GB and of course, the more expensive. No need to even consider buying the lowest configuration with i3 processor and 4 GB for playing games.

What the HD Intel 620 means for regular use is that it supports even 4K display. So even if the display resolution of the device is limited to UHD or 1080p, we can add external monitor with higher resolution.

It is said that we can use up to 3 displays and I think it includes the one on the device. Even Dell on their promotional video suggests using their business dock to add two more monitors.

We don’t need to use it but just convertor from USB type C to HDMI or whatever the monitor supports.

Based on my experience moving from old laptop with dedicated GPU to this device with integrated one, I notice some glitches from animation while browsing certain website. We can also see it while working with office documents, trying to resize an image, sometimes will be a bit heavier.

Read more about game configuration for Intel 620 Chip via this link.

Integrated, Soldered Memory / RAM

This is the next spec to consider for choosing the right variant of Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1. The reason for why this is important is because the memory is soldered, integrated to the motherboard which we can’t expand, replace or upgrade.

I don’t know why some websites say we can or even say we have two slots for RAM but from the owner’s manual we can see that there is no guide to remove or install it. Only change the entire system board which means like buying a new device.

What we can get is either 4GB, 8GB or 16 GB RAM. And again, choosing one of them usually leads to paying more for entire device because it will affect the specs from other part.

As mentioned in previous section, since we have to use integrated graphic cards, the graphic cards will take some memory from the main RAM unlike the dedicated one which has its own memory. Even the operating system will take some to operate so the memory we can actually use is already very low.

In general people would suggest that we should consider higher specs for future needs but since we have to buy an entire package, it is possible that some people can’t afford them. Of course I would suggest buying other model from another brand if there is a better one within the budget but not everybody around the world can have that. Even this 2018 product just recently entered my local store in 2019.

So, for those only have Dell as the option to buy and need to choose between these three memory specs, here are some rules of thumbs of what it can do. Still, try to consider the future needs with the laptop not just now.

Laptopmag.com has some guides that we can use only as estimation.

How Much RAM Do You Really Need?

First of all, since Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 comes out with Windows 10, Microsoft stated that we need at least 1 GB for 32-bit and 2 GB of RAM for the 64 bit. Since I couldn’t find any review with 4GB RAM, maybe that one will use the 32 bit and the rest are 64 bit.

If somehow we can only buy the lowest, 4 GB RAM which usually with i3 processor, if it is available, the best advice would be to use it only for office work and web browsing. Try to use just one, close it before opening and using another program.

Laptopmag.com said that up to 10 browser tabs can use about 3 GB of RAM already. For just office work, 2 GB is already enough.

We can even stream several music or videos from up to 4 tabs simultaneously but I don’t know if anybody can really enjoy that. I think some light game like 2D, puzzle, card or board game, and light photo editing software like just use Paint instead of Photoshop is also possible.

Having 4 GB RAM is like having a small desk, we can still work a lot of different things but it is best if we just do one at a time. It doesn’t mean we can’t multitask like opening several programs but very limited tabs. Laptopmag.com said that 4 GB is up to one office work, 10 browser tabs and 2 media streaming.

For 8 GB RAM Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 usually comes with i5 processor. The processor itself can be about almost $300 at this time twice the price of the i3, which is about $150.

Laptopmag.com says that we can do a bit of multitasking, a heavy one for office work. Heavy web browsing is possible like using over 30 tabs or photo editing with Photoshop and less than 20 images at once.

A lot more games to play, obviously and we can still play even more by lowering the resolution. For multitasking, laptopmag.com said that with 8GB RAM, we can open some office work, up to 40 browser tabs, 8 media streams, and 40 photos in Photoshop at once before it reaches its limit and the performance become erratic.

With 16 GB, laptopmag.com said that they can get up to 50 browser tabs, 10 media streams, and 50 photos before crashing down. At this point, realistically this configuration doesn’t mean being productive. More like too lazy to close something.

This much RAM is more for game and video editing but then again, we need better processor and probably dedicated GPU which is only available in a package. The price with 16 GB RAM and i7 processor, supported with Thunderbolt ports to add external GPU can be twice from the lower configuration, the i5 and 8GB RAM.

Ideally I would love to have more than 8GB of RAM while staying with i5 processor but this is not possible with Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1. As a blogger and work mostly with web browsing, even some office work, I use Google Docs on browser.

Browsers like Google Chrome can eat a lot of RAM even with just one tab. Some said that if we open something like Facebook, one tab can go up to 1 GB RAM consumption. The website we access from browser can run a lot of different things like videos, ads with not just static banner, and some feed system.

All of this can become problematic and add the consumption if we left them open and automatically run things. We need to learn how to manage those browser tabs, like when we need to close one.

Another tip is to restart the device like once a day. Treat the device as a laptop or desktop, not tablet or smartphone just because it can which we let it stay active for a long time almost no downtime.

In the end, if the budgets are not allowing, managing performance would be the only way whether we use 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM. Another point of view is that with 16 GB, we can do a lot more things but at the same time adding a load to the device.

Making the device hotter and not to mention the electrical consumption. I did mention several times that buying one higher spec usually means buying other specs as well as a whole package. The problem is that there is no apparent upgrade to several things like cooling system and the device size.

So, in a way, having lower specs device might be good since some people tend to exploit everything.

Processor, Heat and System Options

Processor is also part of the spec that we can’t upgrade or replace unless we want to replace the entire board. Replacing the board means like buying a new device.

In general i7 processor is better than i5 which is better than i3 processor. But the code after it can make it a bit different. The most powerful processor at this time is i9 variant which will the most expensive, not available for Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1.

Any of the available variants has letter U at the end of their number which means Ultra Low Power. They are the lowest power consumption variants from Intel. The TDP is set to 15 W for the base performance which can go higher with Turbo Boost if supported.

The first of four digits before the letter indicates the technology generation. At this time 9 is the latest. The other three indicate, in general, better performance with higher number.

For example, 8250U and 8350U is from the same generation. Both of them have more or less the same performance but higher one has a bit additional feature and come with the same price.

As mentioned earlier from other sections, this usually comes with a package of other hardware specs. We have to buy more than just one part.

Intel Core i3-7100U (Dual Core, 3M cache, 2.4 GHz,15 W)

Not entirely sure since I couldn’t find any review with this variant but some sources state that the lowest available configuration is i3 7th generation processor. This spec above is actually from its predecessor, the Latitude 5285.

This one has dual core system but it has hyperthreading so we get a total of 4 cores. Max base frequency only, no turbo boost mode. Higher and hotter at the start but can’t go faster. Higher power consumption even at the start.

It doesn’t support vPro technology and supported with 4 GB RAM only and HD Intel 620 graphic cards.

With this configuration, it will use the same power, doesn’t matter if we use just one or more application. So it is actually a bit too much power consumption compared to other which means easier to get overheat by using too many applications.

Intel® Core™ i5-8250U(6M Cache, 1.60 up to 3.40 GHz, 15 W) or i5-8350U(6M Cache, 1.70 up to 3.60 GHz, 15 W)

Both of the i5 processors has almost the same configuration. One of the differences is that the base and top frequency which means with the same power one of them can deliver a bit faster performance. The faster one can also generate more heat at the top.

With turbo boost, we can get lower and slower performance than the i3 but the peak is higher and faster. This can be a good way to increase performance but also some time to lower them and reduce heat.

Both of them has quad core with hyperthreading processor. It’s like having 8 cores that can help for running more tasks at the same time. No need to worry about using outdated software that doesn’t support multi cores processor.

Both of them configured with 8 GB of RAM and UHD Intel Graphics 620. Only the higher one supports Intel vPro. It is said that vPro is a technology for enterprise with advanced IT management, not for individual use.

Intel® Core™ i7-8650U Processor (8M Cache, 2.10 up to 4.20 Ghz, 15 W)

This is the highest configuration that I can find about the processor for Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1. This processor is also a quad core, with turbo boost and hyperthreading but faster than i5 processors.

We can use multiple applications at the same time and but with a faster performance. Coupled with 16 GB RAM and UHD Intel Graphics 620 but this model has Thunderbolt technology on its USB type C port.

This configuration turns Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 one step closer to become a gaming laptop. But again, with better performance specs but no upgrade for cooling system can lead this device to overheat.

Since the specs allow any user to push the limit, it is up for the user to take control whether to stop or add more load to the device.

Based on several reviews which are mostly using the i5 configuration, Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 is fairly cool with less than 95 degrees Fahrenheit threshold after watching Youtube video for 15 minutes. But it will turn on the cooling fan which could be loud very often to keep the temperature.

Notebookcheck.net says that the fan rarely even engages in normal operation.
The top part of the device has its ventilation, try not to cover it on maximum load. The heat will be concentrated on these and the left hand part.

The best way to use is as laptop, with a kickstand. If we have to hold on to it and use it as a tablet, it’s better with left hand on the lower left part or bottom part of the device.

SSD and Additional Storage

Here is the available variant of storage we can get on Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1. Unlike other specs, we can still replace this and expand and before doing so, there is a slot for micro SD. If the model has WWAN Slot then we get a chance to add extra 256 GB, assuming we are willing to open the device.

  • PCIe/NVMe Class 40 up to 1TB SSD M.2 2280
  • SATA Class 20 up to 256GB SSD M.2 2280
  • PCIe/NVMe Class 40 Opal 2.0 SED up to 512GB SSD M.2 2280
  • SATA Class 20 Opal 2.0 SED up to 512GB SSD M.2 2280
  • SSD M.2 2230 Cache PCIe/NVMe Class 35 up to 256 GB (in WWAN slot)

Hard drive with 128 GB SSD capacity is the minimum we can get and another model with 256 GB is about $100 more.

One review says that for 256 GB, we can only get free space about 200 GB. A lot of people said that Windows 10 64 bit will take about 20 GB but from

Microsoft website we have to prepare for 32 GB and we are going to need more room for Dell software and probably bloatware which we can’t uninstall even if we don’t use it.

Assuming the number is the same, 128GB will only give us about 70 GB free space. It is said that the actual number of space we get is actually lower. For 128 GB we can only get about 119 GB.

For SSD, there is also over-provisioning which the storage will automatically take some free space to keep the system functioning for reading, writing, moving data. Some manufactures can set it about 7% and others can be 28%.

If the number is correct, for 128 GB storage, we can only get 119 GB with 32 GB for Windows 10 and about 36 GB for over-provisioning. That leaves us with about 50 GB.

It has been pointed out to me that modern SSD capacity has already made overprovisioning added as hidden capacity, aside from what we can see as the result on the screen. Please read the comment from Petr S., below.

For general office work purposes, some said this amount of space should be enough, or do-able while keeping the file we work with on the internet. The data, personal file can be stored in external drive or in cloud based storage but we still need the main disk to install something. I think there is also a way to install app as portable app on external drive.

The device is meant for the long term, we will get updates which could take up disk space as well. There is a chance that we might need to add more applications from Windows Store but it usually for daily thing not for work. It’s better if we can separate our needs with other devices.

So, depending on how we use this device, some suggest that we get at least the 256 GB or we are going to do back up more often. But, disk space is one of the hardware that we can replace here.

Maybe we can try the lowest spec available which is 128 GB and add more later. Just make sure we know how to replace it ourselves or we know someone who can do it. For designer and artistic work, just go straight for 256 GB or even 512 GB.

Micro SD card slot is available but also optional and the slot is underneath the kickstand. It is not that hard to remove.

WWAN slot can also be used for additional SSD. But again, we need to disassemble the device. Just make sure the time we need to make some maintenance, try to include this one. Only up to 256 GB for that we can use on WWAN slot.

Either add new SSD on that slot or change the main one. Otherwise, try to use the micro SD as it can be removed easily.

Some said that not every device with this model has the WWAN slot. One more thing that I’m still not sure is that it seems we can only use this slot either as additional drive or to use it for micro SIM, get 4G as another internet connection.

Another alternative for storage would be to use external hard drive, just HDD and connect with USB. We should use the type A port or add more ports with hub.

This is not going to be fast enough for gaming but it should be enough at least for those using a lot of videos and photos file. Just give some time for the disk to read and write. And again, this is not really meant for heavy games.

The SSD drive has lower speed of copying files than competitors. SSD is a good choice for mobile device and make the device as slim as possible and also faster performance than using HDD.

Dell 5290 uses Toshiba SSD, that Notbookcheck.net says can’t compete with the one from Samsung. But it also use the better NVMe SSD for higher configuration instead of SATA SSD. It’s just a matter of how long to write a big file.

The lifespan of SSD is also limited by the number of writing cycle to its drive. It might take awhile before that happen but can be sooner for smaller capacity like 128 GB.

Based on what I can get, the best practice would be to not moving or deleting and writing the disk as often as we can. Wait until it is almost full, no need to worry if we already have some over provisioning, then we do some backup.

The more writing and deleting files we do will reduce the lifespan of SSD faster. Another tip that might be useful that I found was not to do any hibernation mode. Just use sleep mode or since the use of SSD already accelerate reading process, we can just turn the device off instead of hibernation.

At the time when we can no longer write any files but we can still read them, that is one of the indications that we should replace the drive.

Connectivity, Ports, and Slots

I already mentioned some of these on other sections but here is to summarize what we can get from Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 and what we need to add so it can help user’s productivity with this device.

First of all, if we buy the highest specs available for this device, with i7 processor, maybe 16 GB RAM, we will also get Thunderbolt protocol from the USB type C port, both of them. With the middle specs, we can only get DisplayPort protocols over USB type C.

DisplayPort protocol can only deliver high resolution video and audio. Not as fast as thunderbolt. We don’t have to buy Thunderbolt supported dock or hub if the Dell we have doesn’t support it. We can still use it as hub or use it on other devices but the price would be higher. It’s more for a long term.

Thunderbolt has the fastest transfer rate so we can charge the device, copy and write data faster, including transferring 4K display and audio or add an external GPU. The external GPU won’t be delivering the same quality as if we have it inside the device but at least it can help some game and enough to help those who work intensively with videos or 3D.

Someone says we can actually use the WWAN slot for external GPU but we will have to let the device remain opened, which is impossible. The slot itself is also optional, not every model has.

We have two ports of USB type C which if we are using the device as desktop, we might be using one of them for charging and the other one for the display. There is one more USB port type A that we can use to add a hub for more ports.

If the hub is only for adding external drive or plug keyboard and mouse, we can use the type A. If we want to connect with external display, we have to use the type C. Buy a connector or adapter from type C to HDMI or any port supported by the external display.

This 1 USB type A 3.1 gen 1 has powershare feature. It means we can adjust when our device can be used as powerbank for other devices. So we can charge our phone but via this specific port only.

There is also Bluetooth to connect keyboard, mouse and probably the pen if we use it. It is said that we can pair up to 7 devices at the same time. But practically, only 3 or 4 devices to be used.

If somehow we don’t get any of the security features, we might have to add one slot for it. The USB fingerprint reader can be a good choice. For headset and microphone, we can use the available port, no need Bluetooth. Just be careful using a wired one as it can easily pull down and drag the device.

Alternatively for storage, we can still use micro SD so we can reduce the number of USB port we need. Although for long term, it is better to use external mechanical drive. Dell also suggests having one flash drive, just about 16 GB to create a recovery disk.

If we do want to buy a hub for this device, I suggest buying a hub with cable at least or longer than 8 inches. Buying less than that will leave the hub hanging, literally. Unlike an old fashioned laptop, the port is on the monitor side not the keyboard part, near the surface.

Maintenance and Upgrade

Latitude is known to be used for longer term as it can easily be disassembled and replaced. Even the user manual shows step by step guide of how to remove, replace or install each part.

Unlike Surface Pro, this Dell Latitude has several screws that we can remove them. We really can’t do anything with Surface Pro without destroying anything in the process.

Then again, since both devices are for business, for a company, Microsoft also offers to replace the entire devices. But we still can’t upgrade any hardware, just the same. At least, with Dell any company’s department can do the maintenance by following the manual book.

We can almost replace each part from Dell Latitude but not the RAM unless we change the entire board. I don’t know why some reviews said that the device has two RAM slots. The manual book clearly stated that the RAM isn’t expandable.

Here is the list that we can change.

  • speaker, battery,
  • cooling fan,
  • heat sink,
  • both of cameras,
  • smart card cage,
  • docking,
  • system board,
  • display,
  • WLAN,
  • antenna,
  • USH board and
  • Coin cell battery.

This is one of the pros that Dell offered. Unless we are planning to upgrade later, there is no point for this maintenance feature. Just make sure if we can’t do it ourselves, we know somebody who can help us.

Unfortunately, we can’t replace RAM, the most crucial part that I need more. Jumping from the lower RAM to the maximum one available requires twice the price which could be a deal breaker.

Nevertheless, if we decide to buy and use Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1, we can do some planning.  It’s about what we can add or replace altogether at the time we need to.

This way, we don’t have to disassemble and reassemble the device over and over again just to change one part. Maybe the battery has started to wear out; we can also change or add the storage and clean the fan.

Even though it is possible to add more hardware, which the space inside is also available, adding some of the can lead to change the outer skin as it needs hole for slot or ports. For example, the optional contacted smart card reader on the side, and also fingerprint reader at the back.

Conclusion

Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 is one of the Surface clones laptop. A convertible and detachable device that we can use both as laptop and tablet.

As business laptop from Dell, it has several features that can be useful for a company that will buy in bulk for their employees. Better and stronger built than consumer laptop and unlike Surface device, we can still replace some parts without breaking anything, just remove some screws.

The device is designed to be modified so it can fit a lot of different people needs from one same company. Higher specs of one part usually comes with higher specs on the other.

Practically we can only change and upgrade the storage drive. Try to consider the future needs before choosing the right variant or we have to adapt with lower specs for a long time.

The device is meant to be used on desk but give the ability to change workplace, but still preferably on steady and flat table. The touch screen and Windows 10 can help user to transition between tablet and laptop mode smoothly.

Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 is not really meant for artistic or designer job, especially because it doesn’t have a dedicated graphic card. Even though we can still add external GPU via Thunderbolt ports that comes with the highest spec available.

I think it is also not meant for left handed people, based on how we have to hold it as tablet. Not really matter for desktop use.

Some reviews say that the battery is either just okay or bad. Dell claimed that it can be used over 9 hours without charging, which is probably just for office work.

The display is enough to enjoy any FHD video but it can do more with external display as how it was intended. The problem is that the screen is not antireflective and anti smudge as advertised by using Corning Gorilla Glass 4.

The device can come with some optional security features like fingerprint or facial recognition, contacted or contactless smart card access. Usually these features can be very beneficial for company to protect their device from unauthorized use.

To use the device to its full potential, we need to connect with more external devices but the device only have very limited ports. Preferably the wireless one, to minimize the risk of dragging the device down.

We are going to need additional hub maybe for external storage, keyboard, mouse, pen, monitor, etc. Both for desktop or mobile use. Consider buying this device because we already have several accessories that can be used with or we are planning to add them later.

Even the power adapter use one of the available USB type C ports. Dell offers to buy all of those accessories from them but we can try other alternatives from different manufacturers.

Dell also offers extended warranty which any Latitude user might need to rely on to keep using the device for a long time. Just make sure to pay for it the same time when we buy the device.

Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 might not be the best choice for business, convertible, detachable laptop or any business laptop. As long as we know the limit so we don’t overload the device, and know how to extend it, the device can come with a great performance.

Final Word

That is all I can share with you as review for Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1. Again, I’m not an expert, or a tech genius so there is a chance that I misunderstood something or wrong about in my writing. Also, English is not my first language.

I would be grateful if you can help me out by adding more info about this laptop. Don’t hesitate to use the comment section below. I would love to learn more about it as well.

If you are planning on buying one, please ask another expert and use this review just as second opinion.

I’m just an ordinary guy like any other people that one way or another need to choose and buy a laptop. This is just what ordinary guy can learn and find out from internet.

Within a single device, a laptop consists of a lot of parts and technologies that comes with confusing terms. That can be quiet overwhelming to those who are not interested but need one like me.

In the past I can just ask other people I know that I consider them as expert enough about tech. Eventually I blindly trusted their judgements without even knowing about the product I bought.

I realized that I can’t always count on them so this time I tried to educate myself. So, when I have decided to buy something, it’s not because some people say so but it’s really based on rational reasons.

I suggest anybody to do the same. Do not just ask other expert but learn and educate ourselves, know what to expect. Be responsible with the decision we make instead of later blaming other people.

Hopefully, this writing could help anyone to make some decision.

 

Mark M.

4 Replies to “Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1 Review”

  1. Hi Mark,

    you’ve made quite a long review, thanks for that. Just be aware that you shouldn’t compare battery capacity by mAh. They can have different voltage. You have to compare it by Wh. Your phone battery is probably 3.7V * 2.9Ah = 10.73 Wh comparing to 31.5 or 42 Wh of the tablet.

    Another thing is that overprovisioning of modern SSD is not lowering rated capacity. 128GB drive in real has already higher capacity hidden to user to address overprovisioning.

    And because drives use to be rated with 1kB = 1000B formula, but operating system calculates it as 1kB = 1024B, there is a difference in displayed capacity. 128 000 000 000 B / (1024 * 1024 * 1024) = 119 GB

    1. Thanks for the tips, Petr S.
      Clearly, there are still a lot of things I need to learn about tech. Hopefully, other people wouldn’t have the same problem with me when trying to buy their laptop or computer. I’m glad if this review can help.

    1. Hi, Adam. Thanks for stopping by.
      The 5290 I bought only has i5 processor with no Thunderbolt ports. As far as I know, we need the one with i7 processor which has the Thunderbolt ports to use eGPU. As I stated in my article, I’m not an expert on this so I couldn’t really tell if it works or not. I could be wrong so please double check again before making that purchase. Maybe you can contact the Dell directly.
      Each laptop can also have different spec configuration even from the same model. Not sure if there is the one with i7 but with no Thunderbolt. Double check again with the seller as well.
      If that feature is really important for you, perhaps consider looking for alternatives.
      I hope you get the right laptop.

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