Dell Precision 15 5000 Series Mobile Workstation Review: Pro Power And Style

Introducing The Dell Precision 5510

To look at the Dell Precision 15 5510, you wouldn’t know that it sits in the middle of Dell’s workstation lineup. The laptop is thinner and sleeker than you might expect a workstation-class laptop to be and the premium carbon fiber palm rest gives the system a decidedly high-end vibe. But the Precision 15 5510 is actually Dell’s mid-range mobile workstation, and its price tag comes in as low as $1,399. It's essentially the workstation cousin to Dell's new and rather fantastic XPS 15 that we evaluated here not long ago.

Putting the power of a true workstation into a laptop is a tall order to begin with, but Dell makes the job even tougher with the Precision 15 5000 series, which is designed to be thin and light at just under 4 pounds. Dell succeeds in creating a highly portable workstation, but there are inevitably sacrifices to be made with a machine of this type, which we’ll get to a little later. For now, let’s take a look at the Precision 15's specifications and main features... 

dell precision 15 5510 headon
Dell Precision 15 5510
Specifications & Features
Operating System
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 
 Processor Intel Xeon E3-1505M 2.8GHz (3.7GHz Turbo)
 Graphics Nvidia Quadro M1000M 2GB DDR5 Memory
 Memory 16GB (2x8GB) 2133MHz DDR4 Non-ECC
 Display 15.6-inch UltraSharp UHD IGZO 3840x2160 LED-Lit Touch Screen w/Premium Panel Guarantee
 Storage 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
 Ethernet External adapter
 Wireless Connectivity
Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 8260 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 
 Interface 2x USB 3.0 PowerShare, 1x Thunderbolt 3, 1x Headphone/Mic, SD Card Reader
 Webcam HD video webcam
 Battery 84Whr Li-Ion Polymer
 Dimensions 14.06 x 9.27 x 0.45 (WxDxH)
 Weight 3.93 pounds (depending on configuration)
 Warranty Dell Utilities, including Audio pro, Command Power Manager, Command Update
 Price $2,603 (as configured) - Find It On Dell.Com

As is the case with Dell’s consumer laptops, customization is a major selling point for its commercial and enterprise-class systems. The Precision 15 5000 series has multiple processor (including Core i5, i7, and Xeon processors), memory, and storage options, to name a few. Dell chose several of these upgrades for our review system, boosting our config's overall capabilities and performance. The setup we will be showing you here is priced at $2,603, well above the base price for the Precision 15 5510 ($1399), but it has a higher-end CPU, more memory, faster storage, and a better, higher resolution display than the base model.

Among the more noteworthy upgrades is the Intel Xeon E3-1505M processor, which bumps the price by $299. Dell also chose the 16GB memory option, putting two 8GB DDR4 2133MHz modules in the laptop.

The Precision 15 5510 features a 500GB SATA drive by default, but Dell replaced it with a 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe solid-state drive in our unit, which will make for better performance and responsiveness all around. The laptop supports a secondary drive too, but Dell left this spot unpopulated in the unit it sent us.
dell precision 15 5510 back

Dell also opted for the better of the two 15.6-inch displays. The UltraSharp UHD (3840 x 2160) display in the model we looked at has a significantly higher resolution and features touch capabilities that the base model doesn't offer. It also swapped the typical 3-cell, 56Wh Lithium Ion battery with its 6-cell counterpart to make the laptop last longer when untethered to an electrical outlet. Long battery life is hard to achieve when you are building a powerful laptop, so it will be interesting to see how the better battery performs.

Dell doesn’t offer alternatives for all of the Precision 15 5510’s components, however. Graphics are handled by an Nvidia Quadro M1000M GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, whether you get the base model or max the system out.

dell precision 15 5510 ethernet dongle 2

For connectivity, Dell offers its own branded Wireless-AC and Bluetooth hardware or Intel’s Dual-Band Wireless-AC 8260 and Bluetooth 4.1 wireless card. The laptop doesn’t have Ethernet on-board, but it ships with an Ethernet dongle that plugs into the Thunderbolt 3 port that's housed on one side, should you need to hard-wire the machine to a network.

Tags:  Intel, Dell, workstation, Xeon

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