Dell Precision 5520 evaluate | TechRadar

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Dell’s Precision notebooks are cellular workstations, which has meant that efficiency used to take priority over aesthetics – however lately that’s not the case. 

This machine serves up high-quality parts inside a system hewn from slick metallic and carbon fibre, and it’s slim and lightweight.

We’ve reviewed the entry-level Precision 5520, however don’t assume this machine is weak – it’s nonetheless obtained considered one of Intel’s newest processors and Nvidia graphics.

Spec Sheet

Right here is the Dell Precision 5520 configuration despatched to Techradar for evaluate:

CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-7300HQ (quad-core, 6MB cache, as much as 3.5GHz with Turbo Increase)
Graphics: Nvidia Quadro M1200
Display screen: 15.6-inches, 1,920 x 1,080 non-touch IPS
Storage: 256GB Toshiba XG3 SSD
Optical drive: No
Ports: 2 x USB 3.0, Combo audio jack, HDMI, SD card reader 

Connectivity: Intel Twin-Band Wi-fi – AC 7260, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.1
Digicam: 720p Webcam
Weight: 3.9 kilos (1.78kg)
Dimension: 0.86 x 14.1 x 9.2inches, 22 x 357 x 235mm (H x W x D)

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 Increase to three.5GHz, however there’s no Hyper-Threading – so Core i7 machines shall be higher for multi-tasking.

The reminiscence is combined. There’s 8GB put in, but it surely’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 obtained TPM 2.0.

It’s a high-quality specification, however rivals supply 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 value round £400 greater than the Dell.

Our Precision prices £2,101, and each part will 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 will be doubled for £37.

Dell’s US method is completely different. The agency sells 4 fundamental Precision fashions, with much less fine-tuning.

Probably the most reasonably priced machine prices $1,399 and has a Core i5-7440HQ, built-in graphics, a fundamental onerous 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 obtained 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 must 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 seems to be excellent, and construct high quality is sweet: the wrist-rest and the bottom barely flex, and the slim display screen reveals shocking power.

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 value 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 outstanding motion: the buttons depress with consistency and luxury, so it’s straightforward to stand 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 suggests it helps the complete vary of two- and three-fingered gestures. The floor is easy and exact, and the buttons are satisfyingly clicky.

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