Dell Latitude vs Lenovo Thinkpad: Which Laptop Is Better for Business?

Lenovo is still the #1 brand in terms of market share, accounting for 25.1% of all PC and 18.2% growth. HP follows with 23.7%, while Dell makes the top three with 17.9%.

Using this data alone, you can surmise that many people go for Lenovo instead of Dell. However, is this enough reason for you to choose ThinkPad systems over Latitude?

Let’s make the case for both sides in Dell Latitude vs Lenovo ThinkPads below. These two brands are both designed for business use, and they’re pretty much on par with each other for the most part.

Check out how Dell vs Lenovo compares in the business side of things.

1. Build and Chassis

Both Dell Latitude and Lenovo ThinkPad laptops have plastic shells. While plastic doesn’t look and feel as good as aluminum, it offers more protection for the internals. Plastic can warp and crack, sacrificing itself for the safety of the internals.

For the most part, the plastic casing feels sturdy, so it won’t bother that much. Both companies use reinforced plastics; Dell uses recycled carbon fiber to improve the durability of the plastic, while Lenovo uses fiberglass.

Both are pretty resistant to drops and a bit of roughhousing.

Either is great for business, but if you need to bring your laptop to a particularly rough location, Dell Latitude has a Rugged series that’s more robust than your other options. It has MIL-STD 810G and IP52 certification. Meaning, it has some protection against drops, dust, and water.

ThinkPad doesn’t have a laptop or series that’s in direct competition.

As for the weight and thickness, Dell might have a disadvantage. Its systems tend to be thicker and heavier compared to their Lenovo counterparts. However, they still have some slim models, and most of the time, the differences aren’t quite big, anyway.

Design

There’s no doubt that ThinkPad laptops tend to look a little too straightforward and stiff. There’s not much going on in the design department. Still, the clean lines are perfect for any serious business person.

For the higher-end laptops, though, the sleek look exudes sophistication and class. The T series, in particular, looks elegant and well worth the price tag attached.

While ThinkPad is more square-ish in design, the Latitude is rounder. Across all models, Latitude sports the signature Dell look. It can be quite sleek, as well, especially the higher-end models.

Both have simple and professional designs, so it all comes down to preferences.

2. Screen

ThinkPad has long been the standard for business laptops, although it faces many criticisms today. One is that it uses 16:9 screens, which many say is for media consumption rather than business tasks.

Over at Dell, some models have dim screens with muted colors. This isn’t always a disadvantage. It’s not a big deal if you’re only looking at documents and spreadsheets the whole time.

However, a nice screen with crisp colors is always a welcome feature. If you do graphics or you also want to enjoy watching movies on your laptop, pick another model.

Lenovo ThinkPad shines with a 4K resolution offering in the ThinkPad X1. This particular series is great even for intensive gaming, so it’s an all-around laptop. If you want the 4K version, though, you’ll have to look at the higher-end model.

3. Hardware

Intel is the choice for most ThinkPad and Latitude laptops, with the high-end variants sporting the latest processors in the market. There’s pretty much no contest in this field as you have i5, i7, and i9 options with both Dell and Lenovo.

The best choice for you would depend on your needs. Any of the three processors would be fine for most business tasks, still. If you have a more heavy-duty workload, though, your laptop must be able to keep up with it.

It also depends on your budget; the higher it is, the better the laptop it’s going to get you. The only question is, are the features you want available in the price range you can afford?

Input Devices

We can’t talk about ThinkPads without mentioning the pointing stick. IBM introduced the TrackPoint in 1992, way before Lenovo acquired the ThinkPad brand.

The pointing stick has since been a major part of the series, and it wouldn’t be right to have a ThinkPad without it.

The point of the pointing stick is to reduce the time it takes for a user to switch between the mouse and the keyboard. It acts more like a joystick, moving around based on the direction and pressure.

It can take a while before you get used to it, especially if you’ve been using traditional options all your life. Once you learn how to use it, though, it will make your life much easier.

A plus is that you can scroll infinitely without having to lift or move your finger. This makes it easier to scroll through documents and spreadsheets.

That said, it’s a useful feature even today, which is why it’s still available on ThinkPad laptops. The good news is that Dell now also has options with a pointing stick.

However, many users complain about the quality of Dell’s iteration. If this is an important consideration for you, try and feel how you like the pointing stick in a Latitude laptop first.

For others, what matters more is the typing experience on the keyboard. In this regard, Lenovo ThinkPad also edges out the Dell Latitude.

Note that Lenovo has ditched the seven-row keyboard, so it may feel different. Still, it provides a better typing experience.

Ports

The ports in Dell Latitude vs Lenovo ThinkPad are pretty similar, so there’s not much comparing to do here. There’s one thing worth noting, though; Dell has DC-in, while Lenovo has none.

This gives Latitude a small advantage in that it allows you to replace the barrel connector. Should it break, loosen up, or need a replacement, you always have this option.

However, it isn’t a big issue for many consumers. Some would even say it’s pointless to have a barrel connector over a USB-C port. It’s not something to lose sleep for, but it’s a nice feature, nonetheless.

If the port selection is important for you, though, it’s worth considering. Dell Latitude has a variety of connectors available, which might win your favor.

4. Upgradability

If you want to keep your option for upgrading open, you’ll have more luck with Dell Latitude. Dell allows users to replace the memory sticks, WWAN card, WiFi card, and storage. This is true even for the 13-inch variants.

On the other hand, Lenovo chose to solder almost everything into the mainboard. Some of its models have one socketed memory stick, which gives you the option to replace it. All soldered parts, though, removes the possibility of user replacement and upgrades.

This choice is likely due to aesthetic reasons. It might be due to the pursuit of making the laptops slimmer, which Lenovo achieved.

However, the difference in thickness is almost negligible. Dell is only about 1.7 mm thicker than its counterpart.

The soldered parts also force the consumer to buy a higher-end laptop with other specs that they may not need to get more RAM, for instance. They also have no choice but to buy the manufacturer’s RAM, which often has exorbitant pricing.

This is a serious consideration when you’re comparing similar models in Dell vs Lenovo.

5. Value for Money

Budget is not as much a big of a problem as ThinkPad and Latitude have several models with a varying price range. A high budget will get you a high-end laptop in both brands, although the processor and graphics card might vary.

A $2,000 budget, for example, can get you a Latitude 9510 packing a 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor and 8 to 16 GB RAM.

On the other hand, that kind of budget will get you a ThinkPad T590 with an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor and 8 GB RAM.

These specs only scratch the surface, so you’ll have to dive in deep to figure out the best choice for you. It would largely depend on your needs and preferences. In other price ranges, Dell may lag in specs, while in others, it may have more appealing hardware.

The best thing to do is look for exclusive deals, especially in once a year sales, like Black Friday. Shop around your local stores, Walmart, online marketplaces, and more to get the best deals. Doing these, you might be able to snag an out-of-the-budget model at a price you can afford.

Dell Latitude vs Lenovo Thinkpad: Which Should You Choose?

Considering all points, which brand should you buy as a business laptop? Well, no one can answer that but you.

Would you prefer a better pointing stick? Or, is upgradeability more important? Do you want a laptop with a touchscreen, as well?

For these considerations, refer to our guide above to help you choose between Dell Latitude vs Lenovo ThinkPad.

Of course, you shouldn’t stop here. There are other laptop brands to consider. If you need more tips, feel free to learn more from our other comparative guides and lists right here.