Dell Latitude 9440 review: One of the best laptops I've ever used – XDA Developers

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The Latitude 9440 has a striking design, a unique keyboard, and great software, which will be great if you can afford it.
After using the Dell Latitude 9440 for a month, it was hard to go back to using any other laptop. Against a Microsoft Surface, a Lenovo ThinkPad, an HP EliteBook, or any one of the best business laptops, Dell's Latitude 9440 is something special. Sure, ThinkPads might be rated as some of the best for their durability and versatility, but they're just straight-up boring. The Dell Latitude 9440 brings a fresh new take on a flagship and premium business laptop.
It now only comes as a 2-in-1 and takes a lot of design inspiration from the best Dell laptops, specifically the XPS line. You'll find features like super slim bezels, a QHD+ display, a comfortable zero-lattice keyboard, and a haptic collaboration trackpad with controls for Zoom. And I can't forget Dell Optimizer, which helps make your laptop secure, faster, and easier to use.
It is a rare feat that a laptop would make me declare it as the best laptop, but the Dell Latitude 9440 is simply the best one I've used in a long time. It's not perfect — it's missing a few ports and the collaboration controls on the trackpad are only useful for Zoom, but those are two small issues and not a reason to pass on this laptop. If you're an IT admin doing some shopping and looking to treat an executive to a fancy laptop, or just someone who wants a premium device for your desk, don't buy a MacBook or any other option; buy the Dell Latitude 9440 instead.
About this review: Dell sent us the Latitude 9440 for the purposes of this review and did not have any input into its contents.
Not everyone can afford it, but the Dell Latitude 9440 2-in-1 isn’t for regular consumers. It’s one of Dell’s best laptops thanks to the Infinity Edge display, the zero-lattice keyboard, the amazing haptic touchpad, and the powerful 13th-generation Intel vPro CPUs.
The Dell Latitude 9440 isn't a consumer laptop. It's meant for business users, particularly C-Suite business users, and executives, which is why the pricing is a bit high. The unit I have comes configured with the 13th-generation Intel Core i7-1365U vPro CPU, dual-channel 32GB DDR5 6000 MHz RAM, and a 1TB SSD. Dell told me the approximate price of my unit is about $3,000.
I don't currently see the configuration I have listed at Dell.com, though, but this isn't unusual as more configurations show up over time. Businesses also tend to buy these laptops in bulk, where pricing might end up being cheaper, and Dell.com only reflects single-unit pricing. A Dell spokesperson tells me that only 1% of Latitudes are sold via Dell.com. It's also unlikely you'll find it at third-party retailers like Amazon, but that's common for business laptops. You might see some configurations show up over time.
The Dell Latitude 9440 no longer comes as a boring clamshell; it's now a 2-in-1 convertible, and it's a really striking one. It takes a lot of inspiration from the XPS lineup, with a CNC-machined aluminum build in a graphite color, making it feel worthy of the $3,000 price tag. Even running your hands along the side is a treat.
Unlike your average ThinkPad X1 Carbon or EliteBook x360, this Dell Latitude has slightly polished diamond-cut edges. This look is similar to a consumer laptop like the HP Spectre x360, which makes it all more inviting to hold. It's just an all-around clean system, right down to the fans being at the back, away from the user for an efficiently beautiful look and solid cooling.
All that aluminum is recycled, too. Dell says this is the world's first PC made with low-carbon 75% recycled aluminum in the chassis. The device is even similar to ThinkPads since it passes MIL-STD 810H tests, but it's not quite as serviceable, with soldered RAM and wireless card. You can remove the battery, however, should you need a replacement.
Once you open the lid (it's a bit tricky with one hand since the lid doesn't have a notch) there's even more to behold. The palm rest has a super smooth finish that makes resting your hands on the keyboard deck feel comfortable. It feels like a different softer aluminum from the rest of the laptop, which is a bit more brushed. There are also two top-firing speakers next to the keyboard (there are two more under the laptop). Everything just blends so seamlessly.
Dell mentions in its marketing that this is the world's smallest 14-inch commercial PC. Compared to the 14-inch HP EliteBook 840 G10, Dell's claim is absolutely true. HP's flagship business laptop measures 12.42 inches long and 0.76 inches thick, while the Latitude 9440 measures 12.20 inches in length and about 0.56 inches thick. It also only weighs 3.38 pounds. This Dell laptop is extremely compact and will easily fit in your bag.
Unfortunately, the connectivity isn't quite as great. Since this is such a thin and light laptop, the port selection will have to suffer a bit. While Dell includes a tiny and compact USB-C to USB-A dongle in the box, some of the critical ports that business users depend on are still missing.
Since this is such a thin and light laptop, the port selection suffers.
You don't have USB-A, HDMI, or even Ethernet. However, you do get an extra Thunderbolt port. Two Thunderbolt 4 ports are to the right of the laptop, and one is to the left, along with the Kensington lock and the headphone jack. The Thunderbolt 4 port on the right side makes charging the laptop easy, and it frees up the left side for my favorite peripherals.
While my unit wasn't configured for it, there is the option to add mobile broadband in addition to the Wi-Fi 6E and the Bluetooth 5.3 that you get onboard. Most laptops now already have Wi-Fi 6E, so it's good to see here, for taking advantage of faster Wi-Fi where available. 5G is nice, too, since a business executive can use this laptop securely on the go.
The Dell Latitude 9440 has a great display that can get your job done right. Similar to the XPS 13 Plus, it's using an edge-to-edge (what Dell calls "InfinfityEdge") display with super slim bezels. It sports a 14-inch QHD+ (1560×1600 resolution) IPS panel tuned to the 16:10 aspect ratio. This resolution is pretty unusual for a 14-inch business convertible, as most others will have FHD+ 1920×1200 as the default with a QHD+ being an optional upgrade. That means you're getting 7% more viewing area standard across all models of this laptop without having to pay.
The Dell Latitude 9440's display can help get your job done right.
Since it's a 2-in-1, the display also supports the Dell Active Pen, though there's no official place to snap it to the display. However, the laptop's aluminum build is also magnetic, so I was able to snap an older Dell Active Pen I had to the side to store it safely. This ended up being very useful since the pen would stay put if I turned the screen over into tent mode to watch videos. Movements between all the different configurations were smooth as butter, too, since the hinge isn't too tight or too loose.
As usual, to test this display, I watched nature videos on YouTube. In this test, I watched Cute Animals 4K from Around the World. The greens in the grass looked so natural, and the grayish-brown skin on the elephants' skin stuck right out. I even noticed the fine details in the elephant, like the folds in the skin and the scars on its legs. Combine that with the fact that the display has almost no bezels, it really was like having a window to a world that was so far away from me.
The results of my colorimeter outputted can speak for that experience. I measured 94% sRGB, 70% NTSC, 75% Adobe RGB, and 77% P3. Brightness came in at about 430 nits. A competitive laptop like the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 8 puts up similar numbers of 100% sRGB, 78% AdobeRGB, 80% DCI-P3, and 418 nits brightness. Business laptops don't have the best color accuracy typically since they won't typically be used for video editing and photo editing, where color accuracy is important.
I've already mentioned the bezels, but it bears repeating. With small, uniform bezels at the top, bottom, and sides of the screen, multitasking is simple. I snapped my favorite windows side by side, adjusted the scaling of the display, and got right into the action to write this review and keep up with Slack, Telegram, and the other apps. I didn't even need my monitor to do it all.
I can't forget the webcam either. This year, it sports a 1080p Windows Hello IR webcam on top with an electronic microphone and webcam privacy guard switches on the keyboard. It's a big improvement from the 720p Windows Hello webcam you'll see on other laptops. It also comes with many Intelligent privacy features like Onlooker detection, Look Away Detect, and Safe Shutter. The webcam makes you look great on calls, too, and I really loved how bright I looked when I used it.
You'll notice in marketing that Dell says this is the first zero-lattice keyboard on a 14-inch commercial laptop, but it really just borrows the one from the XPS 13 Plus. It's the same zero-lattice keyboard with super large keycaps, but there's also new mini-LED backlighting that can reduce power consumption by 75% and extend battery life by three hours. The trackpad is now 18% larger than last year, but, more importantly, it's now a haptic trackpad, like the one you see on a MacBook or the XPS 13 Plus.
The keyboard and trackpad on the Dell Latitude 9440 are the best I've ever used on a Windows laptop.
The keyboard is really comfortable to type on. The keycaps are supersized and have absolutely no spacing between them, which means my fingers easily slide between the keys. Like my colleague said in his XPS 13 Plus review, the lack of spacing between keys takes a while to adjust to, but once you get used to it, you'll be as accurate as ever when typing.
The keys also had perfect depth and force as I jammed them down into the chassis. I hit past 120 words per minute when doing speed typing tests on Bing. I can't really speak for the mini-LED backlighting since I don't type much at night to validate the battery life claims. I do like how even the lighting is though, with the letters on the keycaps having just the amount of light you need to see them. I like the fingerprint reader on the power button too, for making signing in easy.
Similar to the keyboard, the haptic touchpad on the Latitude 9440 took some getting used to. Don't get me wrong, it feels great to use thanks to its super smooth surface, but it has some tiny flaws. You can go into the Windows 11 settings to adjust the intensity of the haptic feedback, but even at the highest settings, it doesn't feel quite as deep as I hoped. It's hollow, doesn't have strong feedback, and feels more like a MacBook trackpad than compared to the one on the Surface Laptop Studio. Still, I quickly accepted the way it felt after just one day. I wish more laptops used haptic touchpads, it is really the future.
The top of the trackpad also has collaboration controls, but they're pretty useless for most people. You only can use these controls in Zoom for now, and they only appear when you're on a call. You can use these to turn off your webcam, mute the microphone, see notifications, or share the screen. I get that most C-suite executives who might buy this laptop are using Zoom, but the everyday person like me just doesn't.
I usually don't mention software in my reviews, but Dell Optimizer is worth discussing. The software, which comes installed, you'll get additional Power, Application, Audio, Network, and Presence detection controls for your laptop beyond what Windows 11 offers. These are all nifty features that really boost the experience you get with the laptop.
For example, under Power, you can tweak dynamic charge policies to better preserve the laptop battery or change thermals for better performance or battery life. Audio has options to help remove background noise, and Presence Detection features your privacy controls, like onlooker detection and the ability to wake the screen as you approach.
A lot of business laptops do come with these features. You'll find them under Lenovo Vantage on ThinkPads, for example; Dell just makes it more obvious. You'll see suggestions from time to time as you use the laptop to enable these optimizer features as well, but feel free to explore them to see how much you can customize.
The performance is pretty much what you'll expect for a top-end business productivity laptop. My configuration came with a 13th-generation Intel Core i7-1365U 15W CPU (two performance cores, eight efficient cores), and dual-channel 32GB DDR5 6000Mhz RAM. This combination and the 5.2Ghz turbo boost speeds end up being perfect for battery life and everyday computing. Those who want the most performance will appreciate the dual-channel RAM (up to 64GB), which can perform faster than single-channel RAM on regular productivity laptops.
For my everyday tasks, which involve web browsing in Microsoft Edge and using messaging apps, this CPU and RAM combination held up strong. I never had slowdowns in Edge even when connected to a 4K monitor with about 15 tabs open. Running a Windows Insider virtual machine on the system also didn't slow it down, either. For a more in-depth look at the performance of this laptop, check out the CPU comparison below.
Benchmark (Higher is better)
Dell Latitide 9440 (Intel Core i7-1365U-vPro)
(Last gen) Dell Latitude 9430 Core i7-1265U
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 8) Core i7-1355U
HP Dragonfly Pro Ryzen 7 7736U
Lenovo Yoga 9i Core i7-1360P
MSI Prestige 14 Evo Core i7-13700H

PCMark 10
5,920
5,097
5,851
6,148
6,115
6,176

Geekbench 5 (Single/Multi)
1,783/8,000
1,718 / 6,398
N/A
1,924 / 8,225
2,464 / 10,859
1,857/12,928

Geekbench 6 (Single/Multi)
2,383/8,860
N/A
2,405 / 9,195
N/A
N/A
2,515/12,570

Cinebench R23 (Single/Multi)
1,863/8,035
1,528 / 5,286
1,754 / 8,010
1,539 / 11,480
1,810 / 7,869
1,906/13,093

CrossMark (Overall)
1,588
N.A
1,637
N/A
N/A
N/A

Again, this is a laptop featuring Intel's lower-wattage U-series chips, so it's not designed for video editing, photo editing, or higher-end tasks. For that, a laptop with a 28W P-series chip, a 45W H-series chip, or AMD Ryzen 7000 series CPUs would be better. It's basic productivity only here. These new chips bring big multicore boosts over last year's 12-generation parts, though, with higher scores across the board. There's plenty of performance and even better battery life. I got to 8 and a half hours of battery life on a single charge, with the screen at a comfortable 35% brightness and Windows set to Best Power Efficiency.
This laptop has a vPro CPU, so there are some additional benefits for IT admins. More information is available on Intel's website, but you'll get better security features, manageability, and stability. You also get features like Intel Hardware Shield and PC fleet stability, and even Intel Active Management, for remote management and activation. Again, not the things I test, but the platform is specially built for businesses. Dell has been working with Intel on many of these features, and you can see more here.
You should buy the Dell Latitude 9440 if:
You should not buy the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 8) if:
$3,000 is a lot to spend on a laptop for a general consumer. Yet, there's no doubt that if you're an IT admin bulk shopping, generally shopping for laptops for executives, or just a consumer who has a lot of money to burn, the Latitude 9440 is a great laptop to consider. You'll get a great laptop with one of the best keyboards possible, an innovative haptic trackpad, and great screen that basically has no bezels. You'll also get solid software features with Dell Optimizer and management features with Intel vPro. It's a real treat in a sea of boring laptops.
Not everyone might be able to afford it, but the Dell Latitude 9440 2-in-1 isn’t for regular consumers. It’s one of Dell’s best laptops thanks to the Infinity Edge display, the zero-lattice keyboard, the amazing haptic touchpad, and the 13th-generation Intel vPro CPUs.
I have over six years of experience covering Microsoft, Surface, Windows, macOS and ChromeOS news and rumors for sites like Digital Trends and OnMSFT. I also write laptop reviews and how-to guides. I am a Microsoft fan and I have a drawer full of PCs and other devices. You can follow and interact with me on Twitter if you want to chat! I’m always there making new friends!

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