Dell Precision 5530 Review

If Dell’s XPS 15 went to engineering school, it’d graduate because the Precision 5530 (begins offevolved at $1,519; $three,647 as tested). Billed as Dell’s lightest, thinnest, and smallest 15.6-inch cell computer, the Precision 5530 isn’t always a “lite” or decrease power/greater transportable access like HP’s ZBook 14u G4. Instead, it competes with HP’s and Lenovo’s full-bore, over-five.five-pound ZBook 15 G4 and ThinkPad P51 respectively, with a mighty Intel Xeon processor and Nvidia Quadro graphics, at the same time as weighing approximately four pounds. Indeed, because it has the primary six-middle “Coffee Lake” Xeon chip we have got visible in a cell computer, the Precision outruns the ones quad-middle structures—and replaces the ZBook 15 G4 as our Editors’ Choice withinside the category.

A Serious Xeon/Quadro Loadout

The $1,519 starter configuration is decidedly modest, with a Core i5 CPU, Intel included graphics, 8GB of reminiscence, a 1TB hybrid difficult force with 8GB of cache, and a 1080p show. Soaring to $three,647, my check unit blended a 2.7GHz (four.4GHz turbo) Xeon E-2176M, 4GB Quadro P2000 graphics, 32GB of non-ECC reminiscence, a 512GB NVMe strong-nation force (SSD), and a 4K (three,840-via way of means of-2,160-pixel) contact show.

The reminiscence ceiling is 32GB; ECC reminiscence isn’t always an alternative in spite of the Xeon processor, which isn’t always even the pinnacle choice—that could be the 2.9GHz Core i9-8950HK, the identical chip provided withinside the pinnacle-give up 15-inch model of the 2018 MacBook Pro. Storage can climb to 4TB withinside the shape of 1 M.2 SSD plus one 2.five-inch difficult force. The software program preload stars Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, a unique launch for structures with 4 or greater cores. Dell bundles a Precision Optimizer software that tweaks overall performance settings for famous apps; a $a hundred seventy five top rate model applies AI evaluation to, the employer claims, dramatically enhance the throughput of your preferred applications primarily based totally on the way you work.

Style-wise, the Precision 5530 is one good-looking slab. The motif is black brushed aluminum with wraparound chrome accents, and a carbon-fiber-patterned palm relaxation and keyboard deck. It measures zero.sixty six via way of means of 14.1 via way of means of 9.three inches—trimmer than the slimline Lenovo ThinkPad P52s ($1,199.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) (zero.eight via way of means of 14.four via way of means of 9.five inches), not to mention a vast 15.6-inch cell computer just like the HP ZBook 15 G4 (1.zero via way of means of 15.2 via way of means of 10.four inches). The base version squeaks below the 4-pound line at three.ninety three pounds, aleven though the check unit I actually have in hand, with a hint display screen and a bigger 97-watt-hour battery, is towards the four.four-pound P52s. (Even so, evaluate the ZBook 15 G4 , at five.eight pounds.)

On the laptop’s left facet are a headphone jack, a Thunderbolt three port, an HDMI port, a USB three.1 Gen 1 Type-A port (we may not thoughts in case you name it a USB three.zero), and the connector for the shirt-pocket-length AC adapter. On the proper are some other USB three.1 Gen 1 port, an SD card slot, a protection lock slot, and an XPS-fashion battery-gauge button. I can pay attention purists harping that a unmarried Thunderbolt three port is skimpy as compared to the 2 of the ZBook or the 4 of Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro, however Thunderbolt three’s daisy-chaining capabilities assist offset that, and you have got were given to compromise someplace for a gadget this svelte. Dell bundles a Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet dongle withinside the box.

Leading With Your Chin

The stylishly thin bezels of what Dell calls its InfinityEdge show imply that the Precision 5530, just like the Dell XPS 13 ($799.ninety nine at Dell)(Opens in a brand new window) , has no room for a webcam above the display screen. Instead, the camera’s targeted under it, so at the same time as its snap shots are above common in brightness and honestly sharp, your Skype colleagues will specifically appearance up at your chin and into your nostrils—until you show up to kind something, wherein case all they will see are your good sized knuckles.

Your personal view may be drastically nicer, due to the fact the Precision’s IGZO-primarily based totally contact display screen is a highlight. The panel is quite reflective while switched off, however in large part freed from glare and replicate snap shots throughout use. Brightness and comparison are ample, and viewing angles are broad. Fine information pop, way to the 4K local decision of the tester’s panel, and colours are wealthy and saturated. Photos, charts, and rendered gadgets all appearance brilliant and tasty to my eyes.

In different audiovisual news, the bottom-installed audio system pump out ok sound, without difficulty loud sufficient to fill a room and sensible sufficient to experience streaming audio and MP3s. Don’t count on a good deal withinside the manner of bass response, however overall, the sound is towards FM than AM radio.

The backlit keyboard capabilities a buttonless touchpad, that’s strange due to the fact many computer impartial software program vendor (ISV) apps now no longer handiest make heavy use of mouse buttons however rely upon a center button. Still, at the least the touchpad itself glides and faucets smoothly. The keyboard lacks a numeric keypad (in addition to committed Home, End, PgUp, and PgDn keys, that are doubled up at the cursor arrows); it has a quite shallow, rubbery experience, however moderately snappy feedback. I controlled eighty four phrases according to minute (wpm) with out a mistakes in a web typing check, however I failed to experience the crisp manipulate I’ve felt with my preferred laptops.

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Major Workstation Grunt

If you observed 84wpm is impressive, you have not heard the relaxation of this Precision’s benchmark numbers.

The Precision 5530 earned over three,two hundred factors in our PCMark eight Work Conventional office-productiveness check, that’s excellent (specifically for a machine with a 4K display screen, which has a tendency to tug down that score). But its six CPU cores surely pummeled our Cinebench processor and Handbrake video-modifying exercises—it finished the latter in forty seconds, simply 1/2 of the time of the ThinkPad P52s and 17 seconds beforehand of the HP ZBook 15 G4. The Precision additionally received our Adobe Photoshop image-modifying race, albeit via way of means of a narrow margin.

Workstation and Battery Trials

Now, that is all to the good. But none of those structures is designed with gaming in thoughts, that’s why we run some computer-precise benchmarks, as well.

In POV-Ray three.7, for example, the Precision 5530 executed an off-display screen ray-tracing exercising in 112 seconds—faster than the P52s, P51, and ZBook 15 G4 (211, 143, and 161 seconds respectively).

In the ultra-traumatic SPECviewperf 12.zero.2, which renders and rotates strong and wireframe fashions the use of famous computer apps’ viewsets, the Precision controlled sixty four frames according to second (fps) in Creo, 52fps in Maya, and 100fps in SolidWorks—actually punching above its weight with the P51 (70fps, 49fps, 100fps) and ZBook 15 G4 (67fps, 45fps, 91fps).

The Precision 5530 additionally published a decent time of eleven hours and six mins in our battery rundown check, trailing more than one heavier workstations, which includes its near-14-hour Precision 3520 ($999.00 at Dell Technologies)(Opens in a brand new window) stablemate, however displaying greater than sufficient stamina to get you thru an extra-lengthy workday.

Lightest and Fastest in Class

More “Coffee Lake” 15.6-inch workstations are coming, and they may be sure to be fierce competition and Editors’ Choice contenders, however few if any may be as smooth and mild because the Precision 5530. The latter bridges the distance among vast cell workstations perfect for crunching thru datasets or developing renderings and lighter fashions meant broadly speaking for simply displaying the ones finished renderings to customers or colleagues. Like its XPS 15 sibling, it is a standout in its field.

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