Hands-On Review: Dell Latitude 9430


Earlier this year, Dell released the Latitude 9430 laptop, a follow-up to last year’s well-received 9420. On paper, the new model appears to be more of an incremental upgrade of its predecessor than an overhaul—which isn’t a bad thing considering the 9420’s popularity. To see just how much of an upgrade the latest Latitude is, we took it for a week-long test drive.

Latitude 9430 laptop

Latitude 9430 laptop


At first glance, the newest Latitude laptop doesn’t look drastically different from its predecessor. In fact, according to Dell’s official spec sheet, the 9430’s starting weight and dimensions are identical to the 9420’s. Those similarities include the 9430’s display panel, port configuration, mic-and-speaker setup, and battery.

If you’re looking for a conspicuous difference between the Latitude 9430 and its predecessor, you’ll need to dig a little deeper—specifically, under the hood, where you’ll find the 9430’s biggest upgrade: a 12th Gen Intel® Core™ processor (either i5 or i7, depending on the configuration).

Of course, the new CPU isn’t the only update—just the most impactful. The total amount of installed memory remains unchanged at 16GB, though this time around we got LPDDR5 RAM, which yields a noticeable performance upgrade over the 9420’s LPDDR4.

Other hardware upgrades include a boost in webcam resolution from HD to Full HD (720p to 1080p) and the newest version of Bluetooth.


To clock performance, we tested a rig featuring an Intel® Core™ i5-1245U 8-core processor, an Intel® Iris™ Xe graphics card, and 16GB of soldered LPDDR5 RAM.  As with most of its computers, Dell lets you spec the Latitude to your liking, so the build you walk away with could be different than ours. That’s something to keep in mind when considering performance.

After several weeks of testing, we found that the Latitude 9430 offers a noticeable performance boost overs its predecessor. We benchmarked generic office tasks like web browsing and video teleconferencing and, across the board, the Latitude 9430 scored higher than the 9420. The scores weren’t astronomically higher, but enough that a user should notice the difference between the two.

Multitasking, on the other hand, is a different story. Comparing the multi-thread performances of the Latitude 9430 and the 9420, we saw a huge uptick in scores—in some tests as much as 50%. In other words, multitaskers (users who regularly have multiple applications and windows running) will reap the most noticeable benefit from the upgraded model.

As we mentioned before: the Latitude 9430’s display is the same 14" 1920 x 1200 panel we saw in the 9420 model, so the performance hasn’t changed, and the display is great for both digital artwork and post-production. However, it is a solid panel, especially for a business-class laptop. Colors look great and the 500 cd/m2 brightness levels means that visibility is top tier.

Our Take

Unless you’re talking about multi-thread performance, the Latitude 9430 isn’t a whole lot different than its predecessor.

But we loved its predecessor, and everything that won us over about the Latitude 9420 returns in the 9430: gorgeous design, fast performance (especially multi-thread), solid all-around display, etc.

Dell added some nice upgrades like a new Intel® chip, DDR5 memory, and the improved webcam, all of which made one of our favorite business laptops of last year even better this time around.

If you already own the Latitude 9420, we don’t necessarily think you need to upgrade to this model—especially with the next generation likely on the way. However, if you’re in the market for a high-performance office laptop that can multitask with the best of them, the Latitude 9430 is a premier performer that won’t do you wrong.