Not extended in the past, Dell gave its modern XPS 15 multimedia laptop a mobile-workstation makeover and came up with a winner—the Precision 5530, our present-day Editors’ Preference among the the engineering, drafting and rendering, and scientific information-crunching established. That remaining the XPS 15 two-in-one begging for the same cure, and the outcome is the Precision 5530 two-in-one ($one,679 beginning selling price $two,860 as analyzed): a hybrid with the impartial application seller (ISV) certification chops of its clamshell cousin, moreover the capability to flip and fold from laptop to pill or presentation modes. Like all 15.6-inch convertibles, it really is much too weighty for snug use as a pill, but it really is a amazingly impressive alternative for inventive pros who want multimode overall flexibility.
Archrivals on a Chip
I say “amazingly” for the reason that the XPS 15 two-in-one failed to permit the surgical procedures that starts ninety out of 100 mobile workstation conversions, namely changing an Nvidia GeForce or AMD Radeon customer GPU with a Quadro or Radeon Professional aspect. The XPS 15 two-in-1’s Radeon RX Vega graphics silicon is constructed into the same package that holds the Intel Main i7 CPU. The same is accurate of the Precision 5530 two-in-one and its workstation model of the bundle: the Main i7-8706G, which brings together a 3.1GHz (4.1GHz turbo) quad-core processor, Radeon Professional WX Vega M GL graphics with 20 compute models, and 4GB of HBM2 exhibit memory. Codenamed “Kaby Lake-G,” the unified silicon permits a thinner method layout than a independent CPU and GPU resolution.
The $one,679 foundation design of the Precision provides a Main i5-8305G processor with the Vega M graphics, 8GB of RAM, a 128GB solid-point out push (SSD), and a whole Hd (one,920-by-one,080-pixel) touch display screen. My $two,860 test device stepped up to the Main i7-8706G, 16GB of memory (a small ceiling by workstation expectations, even though Dell states 32GB configurations are coming shortly), a 512GB NVMe SSD, and a 4K (3,840-by-two,160-pixel) touch exhibit. The corporation also sent together its $99.99 Premium Active Pen, a stylus that supports 4,096 levels of tension and tilt regulate on Wacom AES two. components. (It also works on AES one. and Microsoft Pen Protocol one.51 units.)
The Precision 5530 two-in-one is a streamlined slab in silver aluminum, with a chrome Dell symbol centered in the lid. Its carbon-fiber-composite palm relaxation helps make it seem like a silver-and-black sandwich when closed.
The convertible’s measurements (.63 by 13.9 by 9.two inches) match the XPS 15 two-in-1’s. So does its body weight of 4.36 pounds. That is very easily 3 times the heft of a focused pill, much too substantially to maintain in 1 hand and even a bit awkward to maintain in two instead of resting in a lap. But it really is easy to carry as opposed to whole-dimension clamshell workstations like the Lenovo ThinkPad P51. (That 1 steps one.02 by 14.9 by 9.9 inches, and weighs 5.6 pounds.) Its closest rival, the HP ZBook Studio x360 G5 convertible, not nonetheless analyzed right here, is heavier (5 pounds) and a bit bulkier (.seventy four by 14.two by 9.seven pounds).
On the system’s remaining edge, you can expect to discover two Thunderbolt 3 ports with USB Sort-C and DisplayPort functionality, as properly as help for the newest exterior storage, docking, and graphics remedies. There is also a microSD card slot and a minuscule button with a row of LEDs that serves as a battery gauge.
Two USB Sort-C ports—compatible, like the Thunderbolt 3 ports, with the supplied AC adapter—are on the proper side, together with an audio jack and a safety-cable lockdown slot. Missing in action: an HDMI output, and any regular USB Sort-A ports.
Keep Your Chin Up
Two 360-degree silver hinges permit you open up the lid, revealing a display screen with the tremendous-thin InfinityEdge bezels of the Dell XPS 13 and XPS 15 families—so thin that you will find no space for the facial area-recognition webcam (you will find also a fingerprint reader) in its regular area higher than the exhibit. Instead, the camera is centered under the Dell symbol under the display screen, so even though its pictures are higher than-regular in depth and properly-lit, they are going to give your Skype colleagues a fantastic see of your chin and nostrils.
“Over-regular in depth and properly-lit” is an understatement when it arrives to the Precision’s antiglare IGZO 4 touch display screen. It’s a attractiveness, with ample brightness (even with the backlight dialed down a number of notches), vast viewing angles, and great traces and impression things as sharp as 4K resolution can make them.
Colors pop whichever colour gamut you pick out. The provided PremierColor application provides a menu of Adobe RGB for print, sRGB for the World wide web, and DCI P3 for cinema, among the others, and it allows you great-tune brightness, contrast, gamma, and colour temperature. Photos, video clips, and 3D renderings all seem fantastic.
The other half of the audiovisual equation is practically as powerful: The twin speakers on the system’s bottom can very easily fill a medium-dimension space with obvious highs and potent midtones, if not a whole lot of bass. A 70 or eighty percent volume degree is a lot for most listening, and the cooling enthusiast spins up almost never and quietly plenty of so it will not disturb you.
The two-in-1’s small-profile keyboard lacks a numeric keypad (and its touchpad lacks a middle mouse button for ISV apps), but it gives focused Property, Stop, Web page Up, and Web page Down keys, moreover cursor arrows in the appropriate inverted-T arrangement instead of a row. Typing really feel is shallow but snappy, with slightly stiff, flipping-a-switch feed-back and a clatter of clicks as you press the keys.
As I mentioned, the Dell is the dimension and body weight of a desktop replacement (and its side bezels are much too thin for thumb grips), so what is actually fantastic when propped on a desk for a presentation is clumsy when held as a pill. Resting on a lap or desk in pill method, having said that, the convertible works great, supplying great palm rejection for the expensive pen. The latter keeps up with the fastest swoops and scribbles, drawing distinctive line thicknesses and supplying to start with-course Home windows Ink markups of onscreen renderings.
Keeping Up With the Clamshells
Matched from an array of slimline and whole-dimension mobile workstations, moreover its XPS 15 two-in-one progenitor, the Precision 5530 two-in-one held its very own in our effectiveness benchmarks. The method slipped just underneath the 3,000 score that we contemplate great in our PCMark eight Get the job done business office productivity test, practically unquestionably due to the overhead levied by its 4K exhibit. It also slipped underneath the tough-to-defeat 1-minute mark in our Handbrake video clip-editing exercising, even with packing only 4 CPU cores to some competitors’ 6.
The system’s Radeon Professional WX graphics could not match the Quadro P2000 GPU in the Precision 5530 clamshell, but it clobbered the entry-degree Quadro P500 in the Lenovo ThinkPad P52s. It done the workstation-particular POV-Ray rendering workflow in a brisk 154 seconds, properly in advance of the 211 seconds of the P52s and close to the 146 seconds of the Xeon-powered Dell Precision 3530.
The 5530 two-in-one was puzzlingly gradual in the SPECviewperf workstation app benchmark that utilizes a viewset from Creo (14 frames for each 2nd), but posted a creditable 83fps and 77fps in Maya and SolidWorks respectively, the two comfortably in advance of the 3530. Apart from for Creo, the only area it fell to earth was our unplugged video clip-playback test, in which it proved for the umpteenth time that 4K screens are murder on battery life—not that 7 and a half several hours is definitely undesirable, but you can discover extra endurance if you seek somewhere else.
A Convertible Different
Cellular workstations fall about into two classes: usually significant models in a position to create complex workflows and renderings, and usually lighter models acceptable for exhibiting individuals renderings to purchasers or bosses. We gave the Precision 5530 an Editors’ Preference for bridging the two, packing severe electricity into just above 4 pounds. The 5530 two-in-one isn’t really as impressive but throws convertible layout into the mix, even though what is actually a commendably light-weight body weight for a clamshell is on the ponderous side for a pill.
Even so, the Precision 5530 two-in-one fills a awesome niche in the workstation world. Particularly when it acquires 32GB of memory, it’s going to be a leading alternative for presenting animations and marking up pictures.