The Dell Latitude 9510 Review: Premium Design, Beefy CPU And Long Battery Life

By Patrick Moorhead - July 24, 2020
Dell Latitude 9510

At the beginning of the year, Dell announced its newest lineup of Latitude devices at CES 2020, including new 9000 series. Dell’s Latitude 9000 series is at the top of Dell’s enterprise notebooks, with the Dell 9510 being the first Latitude 9000 series device.

The Latitude 9510 was a big hit at CES 2020, and last month Dell gave me the chance to test this new and powerful business laptop for myself. The Latitude 9510 2-in-1 is almost the exact same as the non-2-in-1 Latitude 9510 in features, the only difference is that the Latitude 9510 2-in-1 has a hinge that allows it to fold 360-degrees rather than 180-degrees. My 2-in-1 model features the six-core, twelve thread Intel 10th Gen Core i7-10810U with vPro, 16GB of memory, and a 1TB PCIe NVMe storage. Let’s dive into my two-week review of the Dell Latitude 9510.

Look and feel

The Latitude 9510 has a very beautiful design and is a 15-inch laptop in the chassis of an older 14-inch laptop, and I thought it took some design queues from Dell’s notorious XPS lineup. The Latitude 9510 2-in-1 model weighs in at 3.3lbs. It would be easy to compare the Latitude 9510 to the Dell XPS 15 since they are the same display size but, it would be easier to compare to the XPS 13 2-in-1 since the Latitude 9510 2-in-1 is just slightly bigger. If we compare the two, the Latitude 95010 2-in-1 weighs around .4lbs higher than the XPS 13 2-in-1 and is about 1 mm thicker from front to back. Its bigger size comes from its larger screen, beefier processors, and its thicker look allows it to have a better port selection. 

The Dell 9510 has two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 ports with power delivery, an HDMI 2.0, an uSD4.0 memory card reader, and an optional Contacted SmartCard reader on the left and one USB Type-A 3.1 Gen 1 port, an audio jack, and a Wedge Lock Slot on the left. I think Dell Latitude 9510 has a great port selection with no compromises.

I already mentioned that the Latitude 9510’s speakers are on the top on the left and right, and the laptop won’t let you forget it. It has 4 top firing speakers featuring Waves MaxxAudio with a powerful amp that improves low range vocals and reduces distortion. I really appreciated this audio solution and prefer it over lower or bottom-firing solutions which get covered if it’s on a lap. I was able to overdrive the speakers, so they crackled and I’m hoping Dell can modify this.

The Latitude 9510 2-in-1 comes with a 16:9 aspect ratio 1920x1080 touch display with 400 nits max brightness, sRGB 100%, and Active Pen Support with anti-reflective and anti-smudge Corning Gorilla Glass 6DX. It also has InfinityEdge Borders so that the 2-in-1 tablet mode feels like a tablet with a keyboard attached rather than a laptop with an inverted touch screen as some 2-in-1s feel. Dell has also kept the same design location of the cameras and sensors at the top of the display. It has an IR camera and proximity sensor with four noise-canceling microphones.

The Dell Latitude 9510 2-in-1 being used in various modes and business scenarios

I enjoyed the typing experience of the Latitude 9510 and didn’t think it was cramped or lacked travel. The keyboard is recessed into the device, which I think is great for the 2-in-1 and flipping the device around. I also think the power button being moved onto the keyboard and doubling as a fingerprint reader gives the device more of a minimalistic design.

The Latitude 9510 has passed 17 different MIL-STD 810G tests, including high-pressure tests, extreme temperature tests, shock tests, vibration tests, and sand and dust resistance tests. You won’t find this on any Apple MacBook or consumer Windows laptops.

The Dell Latitude 9510 comes with Intel’s latest six-core, twelve thread 10th Gen vPro processors with Intel’s UHD graphics, 16GB of memory, and 1TB of PCIe NVMe storage. The six-core processor is impressive for its size, features, and connectivity; it is an impressive achievement. Intel has gotten good at making secure and productive business processors and components, and it transfers over to the primary selling point of the Latitude 9510−business-specific features. Intel’s 10th Gen vPro processors are the fastest and most mature vPro lineup and are a major contributor to the Latitude 9510’s great security, manageability, privacy, connectivity, and battery life.

Intel 10th Gen vPro processors include Intel Hardware shield.

The Dell 9510 2-in-1 has fast Gigabit LTE and WiFi 6 connectivity that goes hand-in-hand with its all-day battery life. Both complement each other to make for an ideal business laptop.  

Unfortunately, I was not sampled the Dell Latitude 2-in-1 with 5G connectivity right out of the gate like its non-2-in-1 counterpart, but Dell says the Latitude 9510 with 5G will be out by the Fall. I do look forward to seeing how well Dell’s 5G antennas work in its unique setup. The antenna for the 5G variants is around the speakers, allowing for a metal chassis a smart design choice.

Battery life is one of the harder categories to review for a laptop since it varied from person to person and by use-cases. Dell advertises 34 hours of battery life, I got 10, but a heavier user might get less. Dell Optimizer is supposed to provide a more consistent battery with ExpressCharge by collecting data throughout your usage and optimizing your battery, but it’s hard to test. The Dell Latitude 9510 charges to 35% in 20 minutes, which was really nice.

A close up of the Dell Latitude 9510 with its 5G antenna speaker. This is specifically the non-2-in-1 model. 

Although the Latitude 9510 was my review unit for only two weeks, I saw a difference in performance between day one and day fourteen. I got around 10 to 11 hours of the battery, always connected to LTE. My workflow consists of switching between apps like Microsoft Edge, Outlook, Word, Google Hangouts, video call solutions, and many more as a speak to clients and my Moor Insights & Strategy colleagues.

Dell Optimizer also includes ExpressSign-in and Intelligent Audio. ExpressSign-in notices the user’s presence and awakes or locks the devices. This feature works incredibly well, and I think it will be the poster child for PC login. It uses a low power sensor the recognize movement, so it does not work when the lid is shut; however, it is convenient when it works as a mobile use case. Intelligent audio adjusts background noise and intelligently enhances speech volume-based so that video meetings or calls are clearer. I can tell the difference when Intelligent Audio is on or off in a call, and the difference is clear and crisp. Dell Optimizer also has a friendly UI app design that makes it easy to change optimization settings

One last thing I would like to mention in this area of the laptop is that the Latitude 9510 is Athena certified. Intel’s Project Athena looks towards the next generation of notebooks with next-gen specs and real-world performance. I was disappointed to see Dell advertising 34 hours of battery life when its footnote does not advertise a real-world experience. Instead, it is “Battery life… with Intel Core i5- 10310U… 88Whr battery and FHD non-touch display, using the Mobile Mark 2014 benchmark test.” I would rather see Dell say the Latitude 9510 gets half of that advertised battery life and give close-to-real-world testing as possible. I understand everybody is doing it, and I hope Project Athena doesn’t skimp out on this for next-gen devices.

Dell has also included great thermal options, including dual heat pipes for greater heat dissipation, and carbon fan blades to keep the device cool a light. Dell also included GORE aerogel in its thermal system that is in its XPS devices to keep the Latitude 9510 light on the lap. The device doesn’t get hot when I’m using it under stressful multitask workloads, which is freaky but awesome. I appreciate Dell’s focus on the thermals of this device and think it gives it more of a reason to use it in a tablet mode. When a device is running hot, and you need to put it into tablet mode, It can be rather unpleasant.

Wrapping up

The Dell Latitude 9510 hit a bullseye with design and enterprise performance, security, durability, connectivity, and productivity. It has an interesting AI-based app and battery performance, and you should never have a reason not to be connected to the internet, whether by WiFi 6, LTE, or 5G. Although I couldn’t test the 5G capabilities and Dell’s innovative antenna design myself, I don’t think there are many weaknesses in this device.

It has Dell’s notorious compact design with impressive AI-based performance solutions and Intel’s greatest enterprise-specific hardware. With the MIL-STD 810G certifications, I think this laptop will be well worth the premium 9000 series price tag.

Note: Moor Insights & Strategy co-op Jacob Freyman contributed to this article.

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Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.