I want a new PC, mainly for work, plus other minor stuff like browsing, Netflix, and Skype. I work in economics research, therefore I need to easily work with reasonably big datasets (say, ~25Gb of data) and pure, brute computational power for simulations, model estimation, some light machine learning task. I write code mainly in R/Python/Julia/Matlab/Stata languages, plus LaTeX for writing presentations and articles. I can get some discount on Dell machines through my Uni, which restricts the options to basically two alternatives:

  • XPS 13, fully spec'ed (i7 10th gen, 16 Gb RAM, 512 SSD)
  • Latitude 7400, fully spec'ed (i7 8th gen, 16 Gb RAM expansible, 512 SSD)

Both machines fit the portability requirement, as I can also work at a conference without carrying around a stone slate. The after discount prices are close enough (<1500€).

Here comes my question then: which one should I favour, knowing my work needs? As of now, ports and expansible RAM on the Latitude are an advantage that comes at the cost of separated AC port and thickness, while the XPS has fewer ports, RAM is soldered but has more portability and is powered via USB C (one less charger to carry around)?

Please note that when I am at office I usually use a second screen if that helps in any way.

edit: 15" would be ok but are usually much more pricier and less portable.

edit II: got in touch with Dell's Sales, the Latitude 7400 can be powered by a USB-C charger (so a dock station can work, too) and not only with the barrel ('Coaxial') plug.


The XPS with a i7-10710U has more processing cores than the i7-8665U which could help it tackle multiple simultaneous programs or threads. Performance improvement in programs, which are not memory-bound will be lower. It could take advantage of faster memory access, but Dell chose slower memory for the XPS. Ouch!

The Latitude with a Core i7-8665U advantage can run at a higher operating frequency than the i7-10710U, and its memory is faster (2400 MHz vs 2133 MHz).

Since the memory is faster and more expandable, Windows 10 Pro is included (so it can join domains), and the warranty is three years instead of one, I favor the Latitude.

A more detailed comparison chart is available for review. It shows the Latitude has a USB 3.1 Gen 1 without PowerShare, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 with PowerShare (allows the battery on your laptop to charge a USB device), and a Thunderbolt™ 3 w/ DisplayPort & Power Delivery. PowerDelivery, in theory, allows charging in and charging out, but I would confirm that with Dell Latitude Sales as to power in capabilities over the Thunderbolt port; they're making bucks off the sale, they should help.

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    Thank you! Super helpful, it kind of reinforces my prior. Just one minor question: does the Latitude only have a power port or can it be powered via the Thunderbolt port? I assume it's not the case but you never know... – Ceschi May 11 '20 at 12:42
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    Last graf above amended to note its Thunderbolt™ 3 port has DisplayPort & Power Delivery – K7AAY May 11 '20 at 15:13

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