Two minute review
The Latitude 5430 is Dell’s latest rugged laptop (technically a semi-rugged laptop) with an all-black design with a carbon fiber lid. Its design makes it look just as good in the office as it does in the field and the sturdy handle makes it easy to transport, despite being heavier than a business laptop or even a mobile workstation.
Since this device is intended for large organizations, the military, emergency services and first responders, Dell offers a wide variety of configurations depending on your needs. You can choose to equip it with some extra ports, discrete graphics, a dedicated GPS map, a rubber keyboard or even a second battery. Even though the Latitude 5430 is built to withstand drops and extreme temperatures, it still has a large 14” 1080p display and a webcam with a built-in privacy shutter for video conferencing.
While the Latitude 5430 will likely be overkill for most users, companies looking to equip their field workers with rugged laptops will be pleased with the features on offer and the performance boost of the included 11th Gen Intel processors.
Dell Latitude 5430: Pricing and Availability
The basic model of the Latitude 5430 Rugged starts at $1,879, although Dell offers plenty of customization options for those who want extra ports, more memory or storage, a touchscreen, a backlit or rubberized keyboard, mobile broadband (4G LTE or 5G), a fingerprint reader, a smart card reader, or even discrete graphics. from Nvidia. Fully equipped with all the bells and whistles, you’re looking at a price tag of $6,458 at the time of writing, although rugged laptops like these from Dell and other hardware manufacturers are generally purchased by organizations rather than individuals.
While a 37-month Mail in Service warranty is included in the price, organizations can upgrade to Basic Onsite Service for $98.69, ProSupport and Next Business Day Onsite Service for $178.17 or ProSupport Plus and Next Business Day Onsite Service for $181.45.
Dell Latitude 5430: Design
Unlike the rugged laptops of the past that featured prominently in aluminum to look even more rugged, the Latitude 5430 features an all-black design with a carbon fiber lid and reinforced corners for added protection. The rigid handle of the device is right in front of the latch to open the lid, but it can also be purchased without.
The Latitude 5430 has a 14-inch 1080p display that comes in two variants: with touch or non-touch. Even if you don’t plan on using the touchscreen, consider the upgrade, as the touchscreen has a brightness of 1110 nits and is visible outdoors thanks to the anti-reflective coating. The non-touch display, meanwhile, only has 400 nits of brightness. Above the screen is an FHD RGB/IR camera with a physical privacy shutter, but the Latitude 5430 can also be equipped with a cheaper 720p camera or even without a camera and microphone for those with higher privacy/security requirements.
On the right side of the Latitude 5430 are a number of ports, including a smart card reader slot (optional), a stylus slot (optional), a Thunderbolt 4/USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port with PowerDelivery 3.0 (optional), a nano SIM card slot and a microSD card slot.
On the left side of the device is a headset and microphone combo port, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port with PowerShare, and another Thunderbolt 4/USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port with PowerDelivery 3.0. There is also a large vent for cooling.
On the back of the Latitude 5430 are additional ports under the lid, including an HDMI 2.0 port, an RJ45 Ethernet port, a serial RS-232 port, a Kensington lock, and an optional I/O bay that can be equipped with an additional Ethernet port, an RS-232 port, a Fischer USB 3.0 port or a USB-A port.
When you flip the Latitude 5430 over, there are two battery compartments equipped with latches that allow you to hot-swap batteries, a solid-state drive (SSD) cover, three radio frequency pass-through connections, and a docking port for those planning to use it. use the device with a vehicle dock.
The Latitude 5430 has a backlit keyboard that can be easily taken apart for cleaning by removing the six Phillips screws that secure it to the device. On the left side next to the touchpad is an NFC module that can be used to pair devices such as headphones or mice and to share documents and other files. The Latitude 5430’s power button is located at the top right and can also be equipped with an optional fingerprint reader.
Dell Latitude 5430: Hardware
Dell certainly hasn’t skimped on the number of hardware configurations available for the Latitude 5430.
The base model comes with an 11th generation Intel Core i5 processor, but you can also choose to equip it with an 11th generation Intel Core i5 processor with vPro or an 11th generation Intel Core i7 processor with vPro. While Windows 11 Pro is included in the base price, you can also choose to run Ubuntu Linux 20.04 LTS, which shaves off a bit of the price.
Here are the full specs of the Latitude 5430 Rugged sent to Ditching Pro for review:
PROCESSOR: 11th Gen Intel Core i7 1185G7 vPro
Graphic: Xe graphics
RAM: 16GB DDR4 3200MHz
Screen: 14-inch FHD resolution
Storage: 512GB PM9A1 Samsung Class 40 NVMe SSD
Ports: 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x USB Type-A (optional) 2 x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4), 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x Serial RS-232, Ethernet, microSD, nano SIM, audio jack, Kensington -key lock
Connectivity: Intel AX210, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
Weight: 1.97kg (4.35lbs)
Mate: 33.6mm x 340mm x 220mm (H x W x D)
When it comes to memory, the base model features 8GB of DDR4 3200MHz ram, although there are options for 16GB of RAM and all the way up to 64GB. In terms of storage, the base model of the Latitude 5430 has a 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD (Class 35), although the top configuration has a 2TB M.2 PCIe SSD (Class 40). There is also an option for a 512 GB SSD (class 40) which is self-encrypting.
An Intel AX210 network card provides Wi-Fi 6E connectivity with a maximum speed of 2.4 Gbps and Bluetooth 5.2. The Latitude 5430 can also be equipped with mobile broadband in 5G or 4G LTE configurations via an eSIM, but note that these are locked to AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile. Likewise, a dedicated u-blox NEO GPS map can be added to the device for simultaneous reception of up to three global navigation satellite systems (GPS, Galileo, GLONASS or BeiDou).
Since rugged laptops are often used by emergency services, the Latitude 5430 is FirstNet Ready through a partnership with AT&T. This gives first responders priority access to fast, reliable, high-capacity LTE.
Dell Latitude 5430: Performance and Usage
Here’s how the Latitude 5430 Rugged performed in our series of benchmark tests:
Passmark CPU: 11477
CPU-Z: 589 (single wire); 2797 (multiple wires)
Geek Bank: 15114 (single wire); 4903 (multicore); 15643 (calculate)
3DMark: 1491 (Timespy); 3666 (fire attack); 13852 (Night robbery)
CrystalDiskMark: 3446 Mbps (read); 3379 Mbps (write)
Cinebench CPU: 4696 (several); 1215 (single)
Atto: 3290 Mbps (read, 256 MB); 3090 Mbps (write, 256 MB)
AJA: 2713 MBps (read); 2597MBps (write)
Windows Experience Index: 8.1
The Latitude 5430 configuration that Dell sent to: USA Health Reports Pro for review was equipped with the premium 11th generation Intel Core i7 processor, a 512 GB Class40 SSD, 16 GB RAM, the touchscreen and the full security option with a fingerprint reader, smart card reader and a contactless smart card reader. As such, it was no slouch when it came to performance and fared well in our benchmarks.
The Latitude 5430 booted up and quickly resumed from sleep (thanks to the included Dell Optimizer software), while being able to handle all the productivity and collaboration tools we threw at it. Video calls were also clear thanks to the FHD webcam and the privacy shutter allowed us to hide the camera when not in use. For those who need extra power for more demanding applications, the Latitude 5430 can also be equipped with a professional Nvidia T500-class discrete graphics option.
As well as making the Latitude 5430 easier to carry, we really liked how the placement of the device’s handle allowed us to use it as a wrist rest while using the trackpad. The keyboard’s backlighting has four brightness levels that you can vary depending on your environment, and the anti-glare display allows you to use the Latitude 5430 comfortably in direct sunlight. As for the keys themselves, they have just enough movement, while the compact layout of the keyboard makes it easy to reach every key you need. The trackpad is also smooth and responsive, which made using gestures in Windows 11 Pro a breeze.
One final addition that really impressed us is the fact that Dell has added a small LED to the USB-C charging cable to make it easier to plug in the device in a darkly lit room. Likewise, the included stylus attached to the Latitude 5430 with a lanyard worked well during testing, and the touchscreen can be used with gloves on too.
Should I buy the Dell Latitude 5430?
For those who like the idea of a rugged laptop but also want the features of a rugged tablet, the Toughbook G2 from Panasonic is a potential alternative to the Latitude 5430. The device can be used as a tablet on its own, and when you need more ports and the ability to type, it can be plugged into the company’s optional keyboard dock. The Toughbook G2 is also modular and as such Panasonic sells a number of user-removable xPAK expansion packs to further extend its functionality. Another advantage of the device is that it is backwards compatible with accessories from its predecessors, the Toughbook G1 and Toughbook 20.
First assessment: May 2022