May 08 2020

Review: Dell OptiPlex 7470 All-in-One Provides Ease of Use Plus Security

The compact desktop has the power and features needed to drive most applications.

The concept of an all-in-one desktop that integrates everything a federal user could ever need into a single, efficient design isn’t new. But only recently have various components, such as fast processors, thin monitors and solid-state drives, come together to make all-in-ones more effective in smaller footprints. Dell’s OptiPlex 7470 all-in-one incorporates the latest technology as well as some innovative design features to make it an attractive choice for almost any agency environment, from a GS-11’s cubicle to the Office of the Secretary.

The unit I tested had a 23.8-inch LED monitor with a powerful speaker bar underneath, yet it sat mounted to a thin black stand with a tiny, 10-square-inch footprint at its base.

From the initial setup, the 7470’s features and ease of use were impressive. It was out of the box and running in just a few minutes. With integrated wireless, a power cord is all that’s needed to drive the system and connect it to a network. And although it may be necessary to get inside it, the 7470 offers tool-free access for tasks such as adding memory.

Dell's Optiplex 7470 Handles the Hard Work

Despite a modest footprint, the 7470’s performance is impressive. With an Intel Core i7 processor and 16 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM, it scored 5,087 on the PassMark PerformanceTest benchmarks, putting it in the 90th percentile of all current-generation business desktops.

In terms of real-world performance, the 7470 was able to crack open everything from complex Excel spreadsheets to data-rich multimedia presentations without any noticeable delays.

Everything about the 7470 is designed for simplicity and flexibility. For example, it has a USB Type-C connection mounted on the side of the monitor for easy access when fast file transfers are needed. A separate USB Type-A port with PowerShare can charge devices like smartphones even if the computer is powered down. The chassis even supports both HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort for driving extra monitors, projectors and other display devices.

The OptiPlex 7470 all-in-one has all of the power and features needed to drive most government applications in a compact package. Agencies looking to efficiently modernize their computing infrastructure should consider adding the 7470.

Dell OptiPlex 7470

Feds Can Keep Their Data Safe

The OptiPlex 7470 has several standard features — as well as a couple of optional ones — that are ready to protect a federal agency’s information from unauthorized access and snooping.

Starting with the integrated features, the 7470’s case has chassis intrusion switches tied into the Trusted Platform Module 2.0 security chip. Should anyone try to open the unit to tamper with it, the system will alert its owner. Depending on how it’s configured, it may not even allow the unit to boot until cleared by IT teams.

The HD camera works great for things like teleconferences but could be a liability if not for the innovative design of the 7470 chassis. When needed, the camera pops out of the top of the monitor with a slight push to activate the spring. When not in use, it can be pushed back inside. 

Anyone looking through the camera when it’s locked down — whether a hacker or simply someone you are taking a break from talking with — will see only a black screen. It’s easy to tell right away if the camera is ready for action or locked inside the monitor.

MORE FROM FEDTECH: Find out how file integrity monitoring can help feds improve cybersecurity. 

An Infrared Camera That Works in Low Light

The camera’s HD and infrared capabilities can work in conjunction with Windows Hello to add facial recognition as part of the login process. When used in conjunction with a PIN or password, this provides easy two-factor authentication with very little setup. And as an infrared camera, it will work even in low light conditions or in total darkness.

Our test unit came equipped with an optional Dell MS819 mouse with an integrated fingerprint reader. The mouse has an ultramodern design with a steep curve in the middle of the unit that was surprisingly comfortable.

Near the top of the curve, an unobtrusive sensor functions as a fingerprint reader for quick logins. Highly secure offices could combine the fingerprint reader with Windows Hello and a password for three-factor authentication. Despite all those layers of protection, adding everything wouldn’t slow down authorized users much during login.

A privacy monitor filter made by 3M for Dell computers easily attaches to the front of the display to provide even more security. It’s polarized so that someone looking directly at the monitor can work normally, but anyone seated just a little off center won’t be able to see anything (or record any images) on the screen. It’s a nice addition for desktops in public or semipublic areas to prevent snooping by unauthorized viewers. And the newest privacy screens are thin enough that they won’t restrict use if mounted to a touch-screen display.

Security is clearly important to the federal government. The protections offered by Dell for the OptiPlex 7470 are very easy to implement, effective and not overly intrusive to authorized users.

Dell Optiplex 7470

Processor: Intel Core i7-9700
Hard Drive 256GB SSD
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Operating System: 64-bit Windows 10 Professional
Dimensions: 21x13.5x2.1 inches
Weight: 13.32 pounds
Display: 23.8-inch InfinityEdge

Dell