If you are shopping for Dell laptops, chances are that you are facing this very issue. In this guide, we’ll try to make your decision a little easier by comparing two of the laptop manufacturer’s major laptop lines: the Latitude and the Inspiron.
Both Inspiron and Latitude laptops offer a variety of device sizes to choose from, but the Inspirons offer more size options overall. Latitude laptops come in three sizes: 13-inch, 14-inch, and 15-inch. The Inspiron allows customers to choose from five options, from 13″ all the way up to 17″. The latest Inspiron laptops are available in only two styles: traditional clamshell laptops or 2-in-1s. The Latitude line offers a little more versatility. You get one of three styles: a detachable tablet-style PC, clamshell, or 2-in-1.
The features of every Inspiron laptop vary in size and style. However, in general, you can expect to see the following specs on some or all Inspiron laptops: narrow bezel displays (of varying thicknesses), edge-to-edge keyboards, aluminum chassis (or outer covers), and privacy shutters Webcam, backlit keyboards, and Thunderbolt 4 ports. The Inspiron 13-inch laptop has a power button that includes a fingerprint reader. Inspiron laptops are also generally lightweight, but their weights vary widely — you’ll find that they range from 2.78 pounds to 5.36 pounds.
When it comes to Dell’s Latitude line, you can also expect its design to differ between its models. But here’s what to expect in general: Thunderbolt 4 ports (for more expensive models), backlit and backlit keyboards, aluminum or carbon fiber chassis, thin bezels (of various thicknesses), fingerprint reader/power button combo, cameras infrared rays, camera shutters, edge-to-edge keyboards, microSD card slots, noise-canceling microphones. As the Latitude line includes detachable tablet-style computers, clamshells, and 2-in-1s, this series of laptops is particularly lightweight and ranges from 1.70 pounds to 3.36 pounds.
Latitude laptop screens tend to skew toward higher resolutions and include FHD, 4K, FHD+, HD, and QHD. Inspiron displays typically feature FHD, 3K, and QHD+ resolutions.
Use cases: When is the best time to buy a Latitude or Inspiron?
When it comes to Latitude and Inspiron laptops, the use cases for both are really well defined by the manufacturer. The Latitude line is apparently marketed as a line of business laptops, and the Inspiron line has been given a “home” designation. Thus, the short answer is: Latitudes are best for remote workers and those who travel for work. The Inspirons were designed for “home” use, but that vague description opens the Inspirons to a greater number of uses than the Latitude. More on that later.
For business: choose Latitude
The focus on business use of Latitude laptops can be seen in the included features: Corning Gorilla Glass screens for durability when traveling for work, SafeScreen features to keep your work private, Thunderbolt 4 and HDMI 2.0 ports, up to 32GB of RAM, and up Up to 1 TB of solid state drive (SSD) storage, Windows 10 Pro, and 11th generation Intel Core i5, i7 quad-core processors.
Dell also offers three other notable features that solidify the Latitude’s reputation as a business laptop: ExpressConnect, ExpressSign-in, and Smart Audio. ExpressConnect automatically prioritizes connection to the strongest wireless access point, no matter where you are. ExpressSign-in features a proximity sensor that senses your presence and then “instantly wakes up and logs you in via the infrared camera and Windows Hello.” If you are away from your Latitude laptop, it will lock up to secure your work. And “Smart Audio” is a feature that improves the video conferencing experience by improving sound quality and reducing background noise.
In 2019, when we reviewed the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1, we called it “the best business laptop – if you can afford it.” At the time, we particularly appreciated the battery life, build quality, and the fact that the ExpressSign-in feature worked so well. Battery life was exceptional, and this is a feature many Latitude laptops have in common.
For home (and other uses): Choose the Inspiron
Dell has described the Inspiron line somewhat vaguely as “for home.” But that doesn’t mean that using it at home is your only option or that personal use is the only appropriate use case for it. In fact, two of our “best laptops” guides feature Inspiron laptops for different reasons.
Best (budget) business laptop
In our best laptops under $1,000, we’ve already named the Inspiron laptop as our pick for the best business laptop at this price: the 2020 Dell Inspiron 15 7000. This Inspiron laptop comes with a large 15.6-inch screen, an HDMI port, and Thunderbolt 3 ports. When we reviewed it, we appreciated how upgradeable it was and liked the keyboard and touchpad.
Best for college students
There are two Dell laptops included in our best laptops for college mentor, one of which is the Dell Inspiron 14. It was our pick for college students on a budget. At its lowest price, the current version of the Inspiron 14 features an 11th generation Intel Core i3 processor, Windows 10 Home in S Mode, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, and a 14-inch FHD display. touch screen. An earlier version of the Inspiron 14 (contained in the College Guide) was priced under $500, making it a great budget choice for students. The current version is just over $500.
Which is easier on your wallet: Inspiron or Latitude?
Overall, if you’re just looking for affordability, Inspiron laptops easily win the price category. This is logical. Laptops marketed as “for the home” don’t necessarily have to be loaded with expensive specifications and features. Inspirons tend to be best for students or those who just want a casual laptop for personal use.
The Inspiron line comes in five different sizes, and the price ranges in each size category vary a bit, but in general, for an Inspiron laptop, you might spend anywhere between $389 and $1800. This does not even include any discounts you might find or sale prices from other retailers.
The Latitude line is a line of business laptops. They are designed for professional use and as portable workstations. As such, they are priced accordingly. Laptops that are designed to handle long working hours, have high-quality video conferencing capabilities, and have security and privacy tools, tend to be equipped with higher specifications, more features, and, of course, exorbitant price tags.
Latitude laptops only come in three sizes, but each size class has plenty of different laptop model options to choose from, so prices vary widely in each size class. But in general? You can expect to pay anywhere from $897 (for a 13-inch laptop) all the way up to $5,750 for a 15-inch laptop. With Latitude, you’ll likely spend more than $1,000 on a laptop. But you get more features and more capacity at these higher price ranges. Again, these prices don’t take into account the sales, discounts, or prices you’ll find from other retailers.
The Inspiron clearly wins in the price category because it has more affordable options than the Latitude line of laptops.
Verdict: Which is better?
In this comparison, there is no clear winner. It really all depends on how you plan to use your new laptop and your budget. If you need a true workstation to set up work from home or small business, get Latitude. You’ll spend a lot, but security features, productivity-enhancing tools, and long battery life usually make the hefty price tag worth it.
If you just need an all-purpose laptop suitable for school or home, get the Inspiron. Prices can’t be beat, and you can still get the latest Intel processors and FHD displays even when you spend less.