While not nearly as glamorous as Dell’s own 13-inch and 15-inch XPS siblings, the Latitude 7480 is in some way the business-equivalent of those well-received mainstream machines. The good-looking 14-inch laptop is smaller and much lighter than before, but the build quality remains unquestionably high. The chassis is rigid with tight tolerances and features a soft, touch-friendly finish. The display is bright with accurate colors and non-glare as well, so road warriors won’t have to deal with annoying reflections. The performance is top-notch – even though the CPU specific tests fall slightly short, the notebook excels when it comes to synthetic benchmarks – and the battery lasts all day even if it shouldn’t be complete charged. The input devices are also very good with the keyboard in particular getting our nod as one of the best ones available on the market today.
The Latitude 7480 is a high-quality and solid business laptop. Its ever-present coil whine could be a deal breaker for some, however.
If there’s one glaring negative, it’s the coil whine, which is audible from at least 3 feet away and seems to be present regardless of the load level (but is of course most noticeable during idle). We certainly hope that this coil whine only affects our review notebook, but given that we observed the same type of noise during our examination of the Latitude 5480 and 7280, we wouldn’t be surprised if this is a more widespread issue.
Update 04/19/17: we’ve decided to decrease the noise subrating for the 7480 by 25%, as the coil whine is very apparent in different usage scenarios. The overall score therefore drops to 87 % (“Good”).