Dell Precision 5520 – For those who want more than the XPS 15

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There are some of us who still aren’t satisfied with what the mighty Dell XPS 15 offers but want even more. Especially for those people Dell released an even better machine in terms of computing power: The Dell Precision 5520.

This Dell machine is more like a portable workstation than a laptop but offering the same sleek and premium design as the XPS 15, as well its great and colorful display. The Dell Precision 5520 starts at an acceptable $1,399 and boasts a working powerhouse.


For all the XPS 15 lovers, you would find the design to be exactly identical. The premium looking carbon-fiber body is protected by a machined aluminum lid. Not only this, but to make your palm more comfortable, the deck is soft to touch. On top of this, the lid houses a nearly Bezel less display which adds to the beauty of the laptop.

The laptop’s elegance doesn’t just stop here, but its sleek with its thickness of just 0.7 inches. Moreover, it doesn’t weigh much since it has a mass of 4.7 pounds. Compared with the HP ZBook Studi G3 which weighs 4.6 pounds, and measures the same in thickness, the Precision 5520 is just slightly heavier, though its lighter than the Lenovo ThinkPad P50 which weights 5.8 pounds and measures 1.2 inches.


On the right side, you would find a memory card reader, a USB 3.0 port, and for security purposes, there is a secure lock slot too. While on the left side there is Thunderbolt 3 port, headphone jack, HDMI port and another USB 3.0 port.


There isn’t any optional fingerprint reader with the Precision 5520, but you can always get a model with Intel vPro technology for just $19 extra and TPM encryption for just $7.


As it is usually with Dell laptops, the Precision 5520 is known to be durable since it passed all fourteen tests MIL-SPEC durability for ruggedness.


The Precision 5520 has a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 which is Full HD making for an elegant display which is vivid. The laptop reproduced a good 113 percent of the sRGB color gamut, which is way above the category average of 94 percent. When it comes to accuracy, the laptop’s screen got 1.5 score on the Delta-E test, where the average is 2.56 keeping in mind, that lower the accuracy the better.

Not only this but the panel also recorded 335 nits on the light meter which is ahead of the 268 nits category average. Courtesy this, you can easily view the screen from an even wider angle.


The keyboard has a travel of 1.4 millimeters which is very much near the ideal 1.5 millimeters mark. On top of that the actuation force is just 58g near the 60g ideal mark, making for an adequate if not the best typing experience. Just worth mentioning that the keyboard is backlit.


The laptop has a spacious touchpad which measures 4.1 x 3.1-inches, though you wouldn’t find any discrete mouse buttons. Still, the touchpad feels marvelous to use and is quick to respond to multi-touch gestures.


The audio is loud enough to fill out a whole conference room even. You can even customize the audio settings using the Waves MaxxAudio Pro.


Running a 3.0-GHz Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6 CPU supported by 32GB of RAM, the laptop is anyone’s dream. The benchmarks speaks for themselves, as the laptop scored a whopping 15,437 on Geekbench 3.

On top of this, its Nvidia Quadro M1200 GPU with 4 GB of Video RAM essentially makes the laptop sufficient for light gaming and professional use like AutoCAD software.

Battery Life

Even being loaded with heavier specifications, the laptop’s battery life is amazing. It lasted nearly 12 hours (11 hours and 57 minutes to be exact), while being continuously used over Wi-Fi to search on the internet.


The laptop houses a 0.9 MegaPixels camera on the bottom left side – an unusual position indeed. The camera does take decent photos though making for a good substitute for an external webcam.


The Dell Precision 5520 stays relatively cool most of the time surprisingly.

Price and Configurations

The base model Precision 5520 has a price tag of $1,399. For this price you are getting a 2.8-GHz Core i5-7440 CPU, 8GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics, a 1920 x 1080-pixel display, a 500GB, 7,200-rpm hard drive and a 3-cell (56Wh) battery. In case you want an even better display, you would need to spend $299 extra to get QHD 3840 x 2160-pixel touch screen.

Though we would advise you to get the $2,659 model which packs an amazingly fast 3.0-GHz Intel Core Xeon E3-1505M v6 processor, a Nvidia Quadro M1200 GPU with 4GB of memory, 32GB of RAM, a M.2 PCIe 512GB SSD and a 6-cell (97 Wh) battery.


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