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Hands-on review: A side-by-side look at Dell's Latitude 3390 and 3590
Tue, 19th Jun 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

I'm not saying that my editor is a harsh taskmaster, but when I'm told that I have the weekend to review two products, I simply tug my forelock and say “Yes, Ma'am.” OK, she's not really the editor, but when she says “Jump,” I hop to it. On this occasion, it's rather a pleasure to do so. The first product out of the box is the one I'm typing on.

The Latitude 3390 2-in-1 is a lovely machine. Everything about this build screams quality.  Those of you who, like me, are fans of the fictional band, Disaster Area, will know why I'm enamoured of this sleek black beauty. The white lighting of the backlit keyboard adds to the subtle stylishness of this laptop. It's impossible not to wax lyrical as I use it.

Some kind person has scribbled the specifications on the box, so I can tell you that the Latitude 3390 is a 2-in-1, powered by an Intel i5 8th Generation processor, with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of RAM. You're going to love the sound quality on this little laptop. I'm listening to Bocelli and Sheeran singing “Perfect Symphony” and it's beautiful. I'd have sworn I was listening with my headset. The tones are pure right through the register.

The sound seems to surround you and I'm wondering how they managed to fit such a high-quality sound system into such a small laptop. I haven't even begun to talk about the quality of the picture. Quite frankly, it's one of the best-quality monitors I've experienced. I swear I could see every bristle in Ed's designer stubble.  There's no doubt that this is a high-quality build. But now it's time to take its travel-mate out of the box and see how it compares….

The Latitude 3590 has an i5-8250u CPU@1.60GHz with 8GB of RAM. It has a larger screen than the Latitude 3390 and has a full-sized keyboard, ideal for the number-crunchers who need a numeric keypad.  That last sentence should give you a clue as to how the two machines differ. Now is the time for you to decide what your needs are. Either laptop will perform the core functions of the average user. It's the extra bits you need to consider. Let's start with multimedia.

The Latitude 3390 is equipped with the same amount of RAM, the same CPU and the same SSD Hard drives. The differences are worth noting. The Latitude 3590 comes with a 15.6” screen and the Latitude 3390 has a 13.6” touch-capable screen. The smaller monitor is also the highest quality.

The 3590 is a pure laptop, whereas the Latitude 3390 doubles as a tablet, with its adjustable screen, and touch capabilities. The Latitude 3590 is very business-friendly and will suit someone who mainly uses Office and does the occasional presentation. Along with the normal array of USB C or Thunderbolt™ 3 and HDMI connections, it has a VGA connection, handy if you're using external monitors and data projectors.

For the designer, multimedia guru and avid Netflix addict, the smaller Latitude 3390 is going to appeal to you, with its superior graphics card and sound quality that will have you ignoring your external sound system and your headsets. At one stage I could have sworn I was listening to surround sound, but that could have been my active imagination. There is nothing tinny about the sound quality, and I wish I'd had more time to explore the rest of its capabilities.

Maybe my next piece of digital artwork may have gotten further than the cutting room floor. Both these models are available with other configurations. It will pay to have a good look at Dell's website first.

Make sure you have your checklist of requirements with you because Dell seems to have covered all the bases with their range. During the week you can also chat online if you need help deciding.