Dell’s Precision notebooks are cell workstations, which has meant that efficiency used to take priority over aesthetics – however as of late that’s not the case.
This machine serves up high-quality elements inside a system hewn from slick steel and carbon fibre, and it’s slim and lightweight.
We’ve reviewed the entry-level Precision 5520, however don’t suppose this machine is weak – it’s nonetheless received considered one of Intel’s newest processors and Nvidia graphics.
Pricing and Availability
The mannequin we’ve reviewed is the UK’s entry-level pocket book. Its Core i5-7300HQ has 4 2.5GHz cores Turbo Enhance to three.5GHz, however there’s no Hyper-Threading – so Core i7 machines can be higher for multi-tasking.
The reminiscence is combined. There’s 8GB put in, nevertheless it’s solely single-channel, and it doesn’t have ECC certification.
The CPU is joined by an Nvidia Quadro M1200, which has 640 stream processors, a 1,093MHz core and 4GB of reminiscence – and, importantly, it’s ISV-certified.
Elsewhere, there’s a 256GB SSD, the machine is protected by a three-year guarantee, and it’s received TPM 2.zero.
It’s a wonderful specification, however rivals provide extra. The HP ZBook Studio G3 has a Xeon processor, 32GB of reminiscence, a 4K display screen and a bigger SSD, and the MSI WS63 has a greater Quadro GPU, a Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM. Each are beefier, though they price round £400 greater than the Dell.
Our Precision prices £2,101, and each part may be customised. A number of Core i7 chips can be found and there are Xeons, with the E3-1505M including £270 to the worth.
Doubling the reminiscence prices £130, and there are a dozen storage choices. Upgrading to a 4K display screen provides £253, and the battery may be doubled for £37.
Dell’s US method is totally different. The agency sells 4 primary Precision fashions, with much less fine-tuning.
Essentially the most inexpensive machine prices $1,399 and has a Core i5-7440HQ, built-in graphics, a primary exhausting disk and a 1080p display screen. The $1,649 model upgrades to a Core i7-7820HQ and the Quadro M1200, and the $2,279 machine provides extra reminiscence, a 256GB SSD and a three-year guarantee.
The priciest US model prices $2,979 and it’s received a Xeon processor, 32GB of reminiscence, a 512GB SSD and the Quadro. Regardless of that, it retains the 1080p display screen.
To get 4K you’ll should spend $299. A number of tweaks can be found to storage and battery capability, however that’s it for customisation.
The gunmetal lid extends to the panel’s bevelled edges, and the inside is coated in carbon fibre. The 2-tone design appears to be like excellent, and construct high quality is nice: the wrist-rest and the bottom barely flex, and the slim display screen displays shocking energy.
Dell has constructed this sturdy system with out making it cumbersome. Its 1.78kg weight undercuts each rivals, though its 22mm physique makes it a tad thicker. It’s hardly a dealbreaker, although – this machine can nonetheless be simply carried.
It’s additionally price noting the Precision’s width of 350mm, which makes it a few centimetres narrower than rivals – achieved by cramming the 15.6in display screen inside a 14in chassis.
The Precision 5520 has two USB three ports and a Thunderbolt connection alongside a battery indicator and card reader, however no DisplayPort. There are helpful purposes to handle battery and energy, and the Precision Optimizer has profiles for frequent work instruments, like CAD and graphic design utilities.
Much less impressively, there isn’t any inner entry and the battery can’t be eliminated.
The Dell has a backlit keyboard with an excellent motion: the buttons depress with consistency and luxury, so it’s simple to rise up to hurry. There’s not a lot journey, however that doesn’t matter – the rock-solid base and snappy movement present ample suggestions.
It’s not good; there’s no room for a numberpad, the Return key’s solely single-height, and the cursor buttons are tiny.
Dell has put in a Precision touchpad right here, which implies it helps the total vary of two- and three-fingered gestures. The floor is clean and exact, and the buttons are satisfyingly clicky.
The Core i5 processor and Nvidia GPU will deal with virtually all duties, however they’re not one of the best elements we’ve seen inside workstation notebooks.
The Dell Precision 5520's GeekBench single-core results of four,004 is ok, for example, however the MSI WS63 and its Core i7-7700HQ was higher by round 800 factors.
The shortage of Hyper-Threading impacts on the multi-core check, the place the Dell scored a middling 10,404 – the MSI was 5 thousand factors faster, whereas the HP ZBook Studio G3 and its quad-core CPU was virtually three thousand factors quicker.
The Nvidia GPU offers a lift to graphical duties. Within the Cinebench graphics check the Precision managed 89.65fps, however the MSI and HP machines had been quicker. Extra pleasingly, the Dell’s 3DMark Hearth Strike rating of three,889 is 500 factors higher than the HP.
The Dell Precision 5520 doesn’t match rivals in most benchmarks, nevertheless it’s hardly a slouch. The Core i5 processor has sufficient energy to deal with all however probably the most intensive purposes, and the Quadro GPU nonetheless brings photo-editing and video work into view.
It’s received stable longevity, too. Its PC Mark battery results of two hours and 40 minutes snuck forward of the HP, and it lasted for almost seven hours in a video check – so with a little bit of cautious energy administration, this machine isn’t removed from a full day away from the mains.
Dell’s machine ran with out thermal points. The processor’s peak temperature of 91°C is just a tad excessive, and the warmth was correctly distributed – the outside remained cool. The CPU by no means throttled, and the noise by no means grew to become intrusive. That’s a much better invoice of well being than the new, whining HP.
Display screen and Audio system
The 1080p IPS panel served up stable benchmarks. Its 1,718:1 distinction ratio is beautiful, and the manufacturing facility brightness stage of 378cd/m2 is extremely vibrant. Dialling the brightness right down to an inexpensive 150cd/m2 noticed distinction stay wonderful at 1,666:1, and black ranges are unbelievable.
The Dell Precision 5520 delivered a median Delta E of two.21 – one other stable determine that demonstrates extremely correct colors.
Drill down, although, and the Precision 5520’s colour efficiency turns into a bit wayward. The temperature of seven,627Ok is chilly and robs the display screen of heat. The uniformity ranges aren’t nice, both – the backlight misplaced 13% of its energy alongside its backside row and 12% throughout the center.
The ultimate check, colour protection, proved that the Precision 5520 can render a stable 91.eight% of the sRGB gamut however solely 66.eight% of the Adobe RGB gamut.
These outcomes aren’t cheap, however they do imply the Precision 5520 isn’t fairly adequate for color-sensitive work. It’s nonetheless a wonderful display screen, and stays succesful with most varieties of work – and it’s received the chops for after-hours films and video games, too.
The audio system are mediocre. They’re loud and voices are clear, however the mid-range lacks width and readability – so it sounds muddled each time there’s a busier second. There’s hardly any bass, both.
There’s an terrible lot to admire about Dell’s skilled transportable. It’s a shocking little bit of equipment, from its carbon-fibre inside to its metallic shell, and it has nice construct high quality and ergonomics. It’s gentle, and barely thicker than the competitors – so it’s simple to make use of on the street.
The snug, elegant exterior is paired with good efficiency. The display screen provides first rate high quality, and the Core i5 processor and Nvidia Quadro GPU have sufficient energy to deal with most work purposes.
The battery is nice, too – virtually providing a full day of use away from the mains.
The Precision isn’t with out points. Its worth, for starters: the MSI WS63 with the identical core elements is round $500 (£500, round AU$630) cheaper, and the MSI WS63 and HP ZBook machines that we reviewed price £2,500 and £2,582 – however supplied way more.
The Precision’s £2,101 (round $2700, AU$3400) worth is excessive for a machine with a Core i5 chip, and customisation continues as an example its excessive price: kitting the Dell out with a Core i7-7700HQ, 4K display screen, 16GB of reminiscence and a 256GB SSD ramps the worth as much as a whopping £2,620 (round $3400, AU$4300).
Prices apart, its efficiency is overwhelmed by rivals, and the display screen might have higher color accuracy – particularly vital for photograph work.
The Precision provides stable efficiency and top quality in virtually each division. The Core i5 processor and Quadro GPU are good, the display screen is vibrant and has moderately correct colors, and the Precision is sturdy and ergonomically sound. Its battery life is nice, too.
It’s costly in any configuration, although. £2,101 (round $2700, AU$3400) is a excessive worth for a Core i5 laptop computer, and kitting the Precision out with elements to match rivals makes it costlier than the competitors. It’s a cultured little bit of equipment, however solely these with the beefiest IT budgets want apply.
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