Dell Latitude 9510 2-in-1 review: this battery means business

This laptop was a pain in the neck to review. That’s because the battery life is so gargantuan that our traditional rundown test was next to useless. I’ve praised the battery life of several thin-and-light systems this year — Lenovo’s IdeaPad Slim 7 is a monster. But nothing — and I mean nothing — that I have ever used comes close to topping the lifespan this device has.

This is the Dell Latitude 9510 2-in-1. As is often the case with premium, convertible business laptops, there are about a million different configurations with a variety of processors and other specs. The base model, currently listed at $1,848.99, comes with a quad-core Core i5-10210U, 128GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM; our test model, priced at $2,937, comes with a six-core Core i7-10810U, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. It has the same Intel UHD integrated graphics and 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 touch display that’s available across the line.

Right away, $3,000 seems like a lot to ask for those specs. It also makes the Latitude an unrealistic option for many consumers. Business laptops tend to run more expensive than popular consumer laptops, and they often include a number of advanced security and remote management features to justify the price. (Plus, companies that buy these things in bulk aren’t usually paying sticker price.) Unfortunately, this laptop costs more than most of those without offering drastically better benefits for most people — so I’m only comfortable recommending it to a very specific swath of business users. That said, it’s a remarkable piece of technology.

Starting with the outside: I’m a huge fan of the peripherals on this thing. The keyboard is one of my favorites that I’ve used all year. It’s hard to explain why, since I actually clocked in below my average typing speeds — the keys are just really smooth and comfortable, with excellent travel and an absurdly satisfying click. I did hear the occasional squeak from the spacebar and backspace keys.

The 4.5 x 2.6-inch touchpad is also great, with a really nice, smooth glass and an effortless click. Windows Precision gestures worked as advertised. For other inputs, the 9510 has a very serviceable port selection including an HDMI 2.0, two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, a microSD slot, and an optional SmartCard reader on the left, as well as one USB-A, one headphone jack, and one wedge lock on the right side.

The 9510 won’t be winning any beauty pageants, but it’s sturdy and feels exceptionally well made in the way I’ve come to expect from Dell. The chassis is aluminum with a professional silver finish. There’s no flex anywhere. I would put this in a suitcase, briefcase, or backpack — I could use it on the bus or bring it on a hike. And there’s also no wobble in the hinge when the laptop is in tablet or tent mode, which is sometimes an issue with thin-and-light convertibles.

On the flip side: At 3.7 pounds, I do find this laptop a bit too heavy to use as a tablet. It’s just a lot to hold steady with one hand while navigating with the other. I was often wobbly, and got tired pretty quickly. Despite how hefty it feels, though, it’s on the small side for a 15-inch laptop — Dell claims it’s the world’s smallest 15-inch business PC.

The 13.4 x 8.4 x 0.55 inch chassis has a smaller footprint than the company’s other 15-inchers like the XPS 15 (13.57 x 9.06 x 0.71) and the Precision 5550 (13.56 x 9.07 x 0.30). It’s decently thin as well — even thinner than some 14-inchers for which portability is a major selling point, like Dell’s Latitude 9410 (0.49 inches) and HP’s Spectre x360 14 (0.67 inches).

Portability is really the goal of this Latitude, because there’s no way you’re buying this if you don’t plan to take advantage of its absurd battery life. This thing lasted me an average of 14 hours and 40 minutes. That was with an office workload (around a dozen Chrome tabs and Slack), a couple Zoom calls, and some Spotify and YouTube streaming, with the screen at 200 nits of brightness, the Quiet thermal profile selected, and Dell’s Battery Extender on. (Battery Extender lower’s the CPU’s power, but it didn’t impair performance in my real-world use).

Note that this was with continuous use; I didn’t let the laptop go to sleep or dim the screen. If you’re giving this thing breaks, you’ll probably make it two days without needing to touch a charger.