Dell Latitude 7330 Ultralight review: Ultralight (mostly) without compromises

Dell Latitude 7330 Ultralight review: Ultralight (mostly) without compromises

I really love what we’re seeing with ultra-light PCs. Dell actually offers a wide array of products under the umbrella of Latitude 7330. This one is the Latitude 7330 Ultralight, and it weighs in at only 2.13 pounds. It’s pretty sweet, packing Intel U-series processors, an array of ports, and a magnesium build.

There are some drawbacks. Unlike most modern laptops, it has a 16:9 display. Also, strangely, it’s the only Latitude 7330 that has a 720p camera instead of a 1080p webcam. If you were willing to get a laptop that’s a bit heavier in the Latitude 7330 that’s made of carbon fiber, that’s what you’d get. It’s just not in the Ultralight model.

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Still, this laptop is great, as long as you’re not looking for the absolute best webcam. Dell Optimizer offers some really great features, like AI noise reduction for both you, and other people on the call with you. It’s pretty neat. If you’re looking for a productivity laptop to take on the go, this is a pretty great choice.

    The Dell Latitude 7330 comes in a variety of flavors, but the Ultralight model weighs in at well under a kilogram, still packing Intel 12th-gen processors, an array of ports, and more.

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Dell Latitude 7330 Ultralight pricing and availability

  • The Dell Latitude 7330 Ultralight starts at $1,895.19
  • There’s also a standard Latitude 7330 and a 2-in-1

If you’re in the market for Dell’s Latitude 7330 line of products, there’s a wide variety to choose from. To be clear, I’ve reviewed a wide variety of them in the past, and they’re almost universally fantastic. They’re all available on Dell.com, under the same product listing.

The one that I’m reviewing is the Dell Latitude 7330 Ultralight, a 2.13-pound version of the Latitude 7330 that starts at $1,895.19, packing a Core i5-1235U, 16GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The model that the company sent me for review includes a Core i7-1265U, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD, which currently comes in at $2,256.79.

Like I said, there are various other models to choose from. There’s a Dell Latitude 7330 2-in-1, which is obviously a convertible. There are also both carbon fiber and aluminum models of the clamshell Latitude 7330. You can think of the carbon fiber one as a ‘light’ model, rather than ‘Ultralight’.

Dell Latitude Ultralight specs

Processor Intel Core i7-1265U
Graphics Intel Iris Xe
Display 16:9 13.3” FHD (1920 x 1080) WVA Non-Touch, 400 nits, sRGB 100%, Anti-glare, Super Low Power, ComfortView Plus Low Blue Light,
Body 12.07×7.87×0.67in (306.5×199.95×16.96mm), 2.13lbs (0.967)
Memory 16GB DDR4, 3200 MHz, integrated, dual channel
Storage 512GB, M.2, PCIe NVMe SSD
2x USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4.0 with Power Delivery & DisplayPort 1.4
1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 with Power share
1x HDMI 2.0
1x Optional external uSIM card tray (WWAN only)
1x Optional Contacted SmartCard Reader
1x Optional Touch Fingerprint Reader in Power Button
1 x Universal Audio jack
Wedge Shaped Lock slot
Connectivity Intel Wi-Fi 6E (6GHz) AX211 2×2 + Bluetooth 5.2
Multimedia HD Camera
Experience: Temporal Noise Reduction, Camera Shutter
Optional FHD IR Camera
Experience: ExpressSign-in, Intelligent Privacy, Ambient Light sensor, Temporal Noise Reduction, Camera Shutter
2 x Speakers, Waves MaxxAudio Pro
2 x Noise Canceling Microphones
Intelligent Audio with Neural Noise Cancelation
Universal Audio jack
Battery 3 cell 41 WHr Polymer, ExpressCharge 1.0, ExpressCharge Boost & Long Life Cycle capable
OS Windows 11 Pro
Price $2,282.85

Design: It’s under a kilogram, but it doesn’t stop there

  • It weighs in at 2.13 pounds
  • There’s a USB Type-A port and two Thunderbolt 4 ports

Like I said above, you have choices in build material for the Latitude 7330. Aluminum is the heaviest, which is to be expected. Carbon fiber is lighter, and magnesium is the lightest. The Latitude 7330 Ultralight comes in at 2.13 pounds. Most companies seem to aim for “under a kilogram”, so they land at around 999g or 2.22 pounds, so this goes a step further.

Top down view of Dell Latitude 7330 Ultralight

Also, while Dell’s website for configuring a Latitude 7330 is kind of a mess, I really like that the company offers a variety of designs, all of which are designed for business. The carbon fiber is a black weave style. The magnesium on this unit is a sort of gunmetal gray. You’ve got options here.

Your laptop bag doesn't have to be so heavy.

At 2.13 pounds, it’s perfect for anyone that’s on-the-go. Moreover, you can configure it with cellular connectivity, so it’s super easy to just throw it in a bag, carry it wherever, and work from wherever. Your laptop bag doesn’t have to be so heavy.

Angled view of Dell Latitude 7330 ports

As far as ports go, there are Thunderbolt 4 ports on both sides. First of all, Thunderbolt has become a staple of what we consider to be a good laptop, but to be fair, most people don’t take full advantage of it. Still, you’ll be able to connect the dock of your choosing for proper expansion. What I like, particularly, is that there’s one on each side. It seems trivial, but cables get in the way, and sometimes it’s just easier to have the charging port on a different side.

Angled view of Dell Latitude 7330 ports

On the left side, there’s just the one Thunderbolt 4 port and a 3.5mm audio jack. On the right, there’s the Thunderbolt port, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, and HDMI 2.0, so there’s a proper array of ports here, something that’s critical in a business environment where you could be using any kind of peripheral. It could be a brand new peripheral, or it could be 2012.

Ultimately, the design isn’t particularly sexy, nor is it intended to be. This is a business laptop, so it’s not meant to turn heads. It’s meant to be more functional, and it gets the job done there. It’s very light, and that’s the key selling point.

Display and keyboard: It’s a standard FHD screen and Chiclet-style keyboard

  • The display is FHD, but weirdly 16:9
  • The camera is still 720p

The Dell Latitude 7330 Ultralight comes with a 16:9 1,920×1,080 400-nit display, which is fine. The strange thing is that it’s 16:9, like the rest of the Latitude 7330 lineup. This would have been completely normal two years ago, but most of the rest of the market has moved on to 16:10 screens, to the point where it’s actually jarring for me to run into something that’s 16:9.

Close up of Dell Latitude 7330 Ultralight display

This is the only display option for the Ultralight model. For the traditional clamshell, there are options that come in at 250, 300, and 400 nits, and of course, touch and non-touch options (the Ultralight is non-touch only). There are also two 300-nit options for the convertible.

Latitude 7330 Ultralight display test

The display supports 100% sRGB, 77% NTSC, 82% Adobe RGB, and 83% P3, which is all pretty good, particularly for a business laptop. This is really more of a productivity machine, rather than a creativity machine that would require a color-accurate work flow, so it exceeds expectations there. It’s also a matte anti-glare display, which is also helpful on this type of device.

Latitude 7330 Ultralight display test

Brightness maxed out at 432.1 nits, which is pretty awesome considering how much it exceeds what was promised. Contrast ratio maxed out at 1,400:1.

Close up of Dell Latitude webcam

The bezels are narrow on the sides with a bit more space on top for the webcam. Unfortunately, the camera is still a 0.9MP sensor, or 720p. This comes at a time when Intel is including FHD webcams as a recommendation in its latest Evo spec, most business laptops are including FHD webcams, and companies like HP are even pushing that boundary with 5MP cameras.

The disappointing part is that Dell had originally led the charge on this. When the working from home boom started in 2020, it took a long time to actually get laptops with proper webcams. Redesigns have to sit in the pipeline for 12-18 months. But Dell was first, including FHD webcams in a bunch of Latitude laptops because it was already planning to do so. Unfortunately, there’s no FHD option for the Latitude 7330 Ultralight as there is for the rest of the 7330 series. In fact, an FHD webcam comes standard for the rest of the 7330 series.

To be fair, it’s a pretty large sensor, and as far as 720p standards go, it’s one of the better webcams out there. It’s just not as good as other business laptops, and that’s a big deal considering how much of today’s business environment revolves around being on video calls.

Top down view of Latitude keyboard

The keyboard is pretty standard. It uses the backlit Chiclet-style keys that you’d expect from a Dell Latitude. It’s a good keyboard, but if you’re looking for the best typing experience, it’s still not coming from Dell. Again, that’s not to say that it’s bad. The keyboard is great; it’s just that HP and Lenovo are doing better in their business products.

Performance: Intel’s 12th-gen U-series is really good

  • Dell chose Intel’s 12th-gen U-series processors for this product, and it’s the right choice

With Intel’s 12th-gen lineup, there are a lot of choices that a company can make for a product. Some companies are pushing for the new 28W P-series, while others are opting for the more traditional 15W U-series. I’ve reviewed a lot of them now, including a bunch of ultrabooks using 45W H-series processors without dedicated graphics. Having lots of experience with these devices, I’m comfortable in saying that 15W U-series is the best option for almost everyone, and that’s what Dell chose for the Latitude 7330 Ultralight.

Like I said earlier, this is a laptop that’s built for productivity on the go. It’s great at that. Everything about it feels fast and snappy, as it should. Most of this includes just working through the browser, as many people work these days. But I have to admit, I took this and the ThinkPad X13s with my on a work trip recently, and while the intention was to use the ThinkPad for the bulk of the trip, I ended up using this Latitude for a lot of photo editing in Lightroom Classic and Photoshop.

Front view of Dell Latitude 7330 Ultralight

The Snapdragon PC just couldn’t meet my needs, thanks to how poorly the native Photoshop app works and the lack of native browsers. That’s not the point though. The point was that the Dell Latitude 7330 Ultralight could meet my needs, and while Dell didn’t include 4G LTE in this configuration, it’s an option, so all of the benefits were there. It did great with photo editing, just like it did with productivity. This laptop was a lifesaver.

For benchmarks, I used PCMark 10, 3DMark: Time Spy, Geekbench 5, Cinebench R23, and CrossMark.

Latitude 7330 Ultralight
Core i7-1265U
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10
Core i7-1260P
HP Elite Dragonfly G3
Core i7-1265U
PCMark 10 4,991 5,178 5,094
3DMark: Time Spy 1,225 1,761 1,717
Geekbench 5 (single / multi) 1,754 / 5,991 1,622 / 8,207 1,713 / 7,284
Cinebench R23 (single / multi) 1,568 / 5,677 1,309 / 7,115 1,692 / 6,756
CrossMark (overall / productivity / creativity / responiveness) 1,488 / 1,489 / 1,576 / 1,253 1,547 / 1,436 / 1,771 / 1,292 1,559 / 1,484 / 1,744 / 1,288

I noted above that 15W processors are still the right choice for this type of product, and in case you thought I had forgotten, I’m still going to tell you why. The reason comes from benchmarks. These machines aren’t designed to accommodate such high TDPs, so the power usually isn’t sustained well enough in order to actually have a higher score than the 28W processor or even the 45W processor.

The Latitude 7330 Ultralight actually benchmarks fairly low for its class, which is still fine. The Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 actually scored 5,305 on PCMark 10, which actually exceeds the score that the 28W processor in the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 got. When I tested the Asus Vivobook S 14X, which had a 45W Core i7, that scored 5,233.

Performance on the Latitude 7330 Ultralight is the best at this size and weight.

Battery life was pretty mediocre on the Latitude 7330 Ultralight. To be clear, this unit came with a 41mAh battery, but it’s also available with a larger 58mAh battery, and it adds around $19 to the config price. It’s probably worth it.

For some numbers, the best I was able to get was five hours and nine minutes, which isn’t great. The worst was two hours and 42 minutes, which is terrible. On average though, I found that you’re looking at around four hours of battery life. It’s not terrible, but it’s definitely not good.

To be clear, I run these tests with real-world performance. I just work and then record how long it lasted. Work means using the Vivaldi browser, editing photos, Slack, Notepad, and some other productivity applications. Brightness was only at around 25% most of the time, since I found that to be comfortable (I set it to the minimum comfortable brightness).

Dell Optimizer

One cool thing about Dell’s business laptops is that it has an app called Optimizer that has a lot of neat features. Here are some examples.

For one, you can adjust thermals for better performance, for it to stay quiet, and more. There’s also ‘adaptive battery performance’, which should get you better battery life based on it learning how you use your PC.

Screenshot of Dell Optimizer

The Network category has a feature where it can automatically use both wired and wireless networks simultaneously for a faster download speed. You can also choose your five most-used applications and optimize your PC for it.

Dell Optimizer improves your meeting experiences in a meaningful way.

Probably most interesting is the Audio category. That’s where you can remove your background noise when you’re on a call. One thing that’s newer is that you can actually remove background noise coming from others’ streams. It’s pretty great.

There’s no option for an IR camera or anything along those lines on the Ultralight, so the Presence Detection category doesn’t work unless you plug in a Dell webcam. This offers a feature called ExpressSign-in, which can wake up the PC when you sit in front of it and automatically log you in. But again, it doesn’t work with this laptop.

Should you buy the Dell Latitude 7330 Ultralight?

Now, it’s time to ask the question. Should you buy it?

You should buy the Dell Latitude 7330 Ultralight if:

  • Your work is productivity-related
  • You travel a lot, or you take your PC on-the-go
  • You have an external webcam that you use with your laptop

You should NOT buy the Dell Latitude 7330 Ultralight if:

  • You make a lot of video calls from your PC
  • Your work flow includes creative work

If you make a lot of video calls, you’re better off with the carbon fiber model, which is just a little bit heavier but comes with an FHD webcam.

    The Dell Latitude 7330 comes in a variety of flavors, but the Ultralight model weighs in at well under a kilogram, still packing Intel 12th-gen processors, an array of ports, and more.

      Features:

      Pros:

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About author

Rich Woods
Rich Woods

Managing Editor for XDA Computing. I've been covering tech from smartphones to PCs since 2013. If you see me at a trade show, come say hi and let me ask you weird questions about why you use the tech you use.

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