Not so long ago, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 was the reigning undisputed champion in the powerful and portable 2-in-1 laptop/tablet hybrid arena; however, the stiff competition won’t allow Microsoft tablet’s crown to remain on top forever and indeed its strongest challenger came in the form of the Dell Latitude 5285.
Dell had wanted the Latitude 5285 tablet to comply with the security features corporate IT departments insist on. So based on this premise you can just assume that it is designed and marketed for business executives and it’s quite expensive too! The Dell Latitude 5285 is a high-end gadget on the inside, but on the outside, it has a similar design to the Surface Pro 4, right down to the built-in kickstand. One notable difference between the Latitude 5285 and the Surface Pro 4 is that the former has a stylus and kickstand keyboard while the latter only has a stylus and is missing a keyboard.
But since the Latitude 5285 also caught the attention of consumers (particularly on tech blogs and forums) even before its official release date, Dell also marketed it for non-business consumers and it has a cheaper price tag on it. While the Dell tablet offers a bit more when it comes to security features compared to the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, it is also much more expensive. Minus the keyboard or stylus the Latitude 5285 has a starting price of $899 (£725 or AUD $1,239). The Surface Pro 4’s entry-level model, on the other hand, has a $799 (£749 or AUD $899) SRP and it already includes a stylus.
Safety Features of the Dell Latitude 5285 Tablet
Remember when I said that the Dell Latitude 5285 is loaded with security features that corporate IT people find attractive? Well, it has a family of Intel features that includes the Dell’s ControlVault and the Endpoint Security Suite Enterprise software for starters! The ControlVault is an interesting security feature; because it helps you store and protect your passwords and security codes. Meanwhile, the Endpoint Security Suite Enterprise software solves the problem of traditional, behavior- or signature-based anti-virus and anti-malware solutions by integrating revolutionary advanced threat prevention with unparalleled efficacy against zero-day threats, advanced persistent threats and commodity malware.
But there’s more! Because the Latitude 5285 also has the Intel’s vPro remote-management technology, customized models that has an infrared camera for Windows Hello facial recognition software as well as the smart card or the fingerprint reader. To the Average Joe these features are overkill; however, for business professionals who need a secure machine for work these features are perfect for their work.
What’s the Deal with Its Kickstand?
Having your tablet lie down on the table or holding it in your hand while multitasking isn’t very convenient that’s why Dell opted to include the kickstand feature in the Latitude 5285 to solve this problem. At the bottom edge of the tablet you will find two small buttons that slightly protrude from it. If you push it downward onto a flat surface, then the kickstand automatically opens. The kickstand, while quite useful to some extent, isn’t something new, so it may not impress a lot of people who’ll own the Dell Latitude 5285, but still it’s something that you need even if at first you didn’t think about it.
If you’ll look closely, you’ll see that the kickstand is made of brushed-metal aluminum, a magnesium-alloy casing envelopes the back shell and overall the tablet feels very solid. It’s no wonder why they tested it for the MIL-SPEC 810G standards and it aced it. This says a lot about its durability and it probably won’t get damaged from drops.
Stylus Pen and Optional Keyboard Accessories
Aside from the kickstand the Dell Latitude 5285 tablet also has an optional keyboard and stylus as part of its accessories. They are sold separately from the tablet and attach to the tablet magnetically. The advantage of the detachable keyboard is that it allows for faster and more accurate typing compared to the virtual keyboard, and the rubbery material that the keys are made of gives comfort if you wish to rest your palms on them when you pause from typing. The keys are also backlit so you can work even in dark areas. It sells for $129 (£163 and AUD$219).
On the other hand, the Dell Active Pen stylus pen lets you navigate through the screen without causing smudges on the touchscreen. Thanks to its pressure-sensitive tip with minimal latency you can ignore the touchscreen for once and just conveniently use the pen. It sells for $59 (£60 or AUD$97). These accessories are both very similar to the optional keyboard and stylus on Microsoft’s Surface Pro, except Dell’s seems much better.
Does the Dell Latitude 5285 Perform just as well with the Surface Pro?
The Latitude 5285’s 7th-Gen Kaby Lake Intel Core i7-7600U CPU and 16GB RAM enable tons of multi-tasking. It easily outperform any other tablet in the 2-in-1 category including the Surface Pro 4! It is on par, however, with the HP EliteBook x360 which essentially has the same specs, but this impressive performance does not come without sacrifice. Unfortunately, too much of the system cranks up power and so it drains the battery pretty fast. Still, it can last for 6 hours and 52 minutes which isn’t bad at all!
The Dell Latitude 5285 tablet is powered by the latest Intel Core i7-7600U 3.9GHz quad-core processor. It has a whooping 16GB of RAM and an Intel HD Graphics 620 (shared graphics) which allows the gadget to perform at very high benchmark levels as well as multitask. It runs on the Windows 10 OS, so it probably will eat roughly 1.5 – 2GB of the RAM it has in it, but not to worry because that still leaves you with 14GB of RAM! It also has a large screen of 12.3 inches with HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, which will be great for movies and games.
We’ve tested the Latitude 5285 for multitasking and we were surprised to find that it can handle over a dozen web browsers open with one browser launched was a YouTube video plus I also had a One Note open. However, when we launched several apps simultaneously it started to lag, but we’re very impressed with its overall performance otherwise.