Missed in the rush of CES were a few announcements by Dell; one such announcement was a laptop that isn’t really a laptop – it’s a tablet with a detachable keyboard.
The Latitude 7285, per Dell, is a 2-in-1 business laptop that is much like a tablet; the display – that’s the tablet – holds all the components that power this “laptop;” the keyboard is merely an attachment that houses the bits used to charge the tablet wirelessly.
The keyboard, in fact, is only one of three options that Dell is offering for this tablet: one is a slim travel keyboard that’s easy to carry, and the other is a keyboard with a battery pack that adds four hours of battery life and features keys with a “desktop-like feel.”
Dell isn’t the first to figure out this idea, and it’s certainly not the last, but Dell’s implementation is somewhat uniquely annoying.
If you happen to own the keyboard with the battery pack, you can’t wirelessly charge the tablet; if you happen to own the keyboard that can wirelessly charge the tablet, you don’t get any extra battery life.
It’s an annoying compromise; consider the possibility of owning both keyboards: one would have to charge the keyboard with the extra battery separately – with wires. That’s most likely not what one had in mind when they invested in this product.
Still, Dell thinks it’s not a bad idea; the wireless keyboard itself uses the WiTricity magnetic resonance wireless charging technology and can be charged with any compatible charging mat.
There’s a reason Dell is calling this tablet a laptop – it’s not intended to be used as a tablet. The screen has tiny bezels that would make holding the tablet a daunting task.
The display is a 12.3-inch IGZO panel at a resolution of 2880 x 1920 – that may look odd, but that’s because it’s at a 3:2 aspect ratio. There’s a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 4 to protect it from scratches and shatters.
Inside the Latitude 7285 – behind the display – is a lot of technology; powering that display is an integrated Intel HD 615 built into the 7th generation Core i and Core i vPro processors, along with up to 16 GB of RAM.
There are a few options for storage as well: a 128, 256, or 512 GB SSD, or a 256 GB SED – that’s a self-encrypting drive – that might come handy for business users.
The 37Wh battery built into the display can power everything for up to six hours; combined with the extra batteries in the optional keyboard, that would give up to a total of 10 hours of battery life.
On the outside, there’s an 8-megapixel camera on the back, and a 720p camera on the front that’s fully compliant with Windows Hello.
There are two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3, and a microSD card slot as well. The tablet by itself weighs only 675 grams.
The three optional keyboards and the specifications are all we know as of yet; Dell says it will release more information about the laptop at Dell EMC World in May 2017.
The price remains a mystery, but it will obviously depend on the specific configuration you go for.