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Dell Precision 3520

Introduction, Design, Features

An entry-level mobile workstation sounds like a counterbalance in terms. Mobile workstations are a many absolute difficulty of unstable computers, built for perfectionist pattern and systematic work and approved by eccentric program vendors (ISVs) to run specialized apps. No one would call Dell’s Precision 7520 and 7720 machines for beginners; they’re a company’s fastest, many absolute rivals to a likes of HP’s ZBook 1517 G4Lenovo’s ThinkPad P51 and P71 for users who wish sky-high levels of opening and expandability. Ditto for a Precision 5510 and 5520, skinny and light systems that offer good opening nonetheless are easy to take on a road.

But a Dell Precision 3520 is Dell’s rudimentary mobile workstation—one affordable adequate for those usually removing started ($2,386 in a exam configuration) or those who needs competence not need a strong Xeon processor and Nvidia Quadro P5000 graphics. This includes people such as illustrators, striking artists, Web developers, video creators, and podcasters, as good as some 3D displaying and CAD workers. Those doing high-end filmmaking, severe 3D animation projects and VR growth will wish to demeanour adult a line, yet contingency be peaceful to compensate a price.

Dell Precision 3520 angle 1

Apple MacBook Pro), so if you’re passed set on anticipating a thinnest and lightest 15-inch mobile workstation, a Dell 3520 is not it.

Dell Precision 3520 back angle


The Precision has ports on a left, right and back of a machine. On a left, you’ll find a USB Type-C pier with discretionary Thunderbolt 3, critical for those who work in media prolongation or with vast amounts of information given Thunderbolt 3 allows we to bond things like vast tough expostulate arrays and mixed outmost displays. There is also a USB 3.0 port, an SD label container for easy send of photos and videos from cameras and other recorders, and a Smart Card reader (for those who indeed still use those things). As is a box with many mobile workstations these days, there is no inner visual drive.

Dell Precision 3520 left side

On a right of a appurtenance is a confidence close slot, VGA outlay (in box you’re giving a speak somewhere), a SIM label container in box we wish mobile Internet, and a headphone/microphone combo jack.

Dell Precision 3520 right side

At a rear, you’ll find a energy button, RJ-45 Ethernet jack, HDMI 1.4 outlay and one some-more USB 3.0 port. There is also a fingerprint reader underneath a keyboard.

The Precision 3520 has a backlit keyboard that includes a full numeric keypad (not always found on 15-inch laptops). we found it gentle adequate to form on and pleasing feeling. It also contains a indicating hang for Lenovo ThinkPad diehards.

Dell Precision 3520 keyboard

The hold pad, that measures 4 by 3 inches, felt unusually good. It has a matte finish with a small bit of tooth, creation it gentle to use. It also responded good to opposite gestures in Windows 10. Unlike some other computers in this difficulty that have 3 rodent buttons both above and next a pad, a 3520 has 3 buttons on a tip and dual on a bottom. That’s rather intelligent as a center symbol comes in accessible in certain applications (such as 3D programs), yet vast numbers of users usually ever use two.

The IPS arrangement that came with a Precision 3520 that we reviewed was a hold shade with a fortitude of 1,920×1,080 pixels. It’s a attractive row yet rather contemplative (as is mostly a box with hold screens). For those who cite reduction a reduction contemplative display, a non-touch anti-glare full HD arrangement is also accessible (we’re ignoring a squalid 1,366×768 row on bottom models). Keep in mind that a Dell’s arrangement achieves a 72 percent sRGB tone gamut. That’s flattering good for an entry-level machine. However, those doing color-critical work, such as tone improvement or print retouching, might demeanour to higher-end yet pricier panels. Of course, we can also offshoot adult an outmost display, yet that is tough to take on a highway with you.

Dell Precision 3520 front

When it comes to audio, a Precision 3520 sounds really good. The speakers are shrill and both song and voice sound appealing. Of course, this is a laptop, so a built-in speakers can’t be compared to a good set of outmost speakers.


There are a operation of CPU options available. Our 3520 came with a seventh-generation, quad-core Intel Core i7-7820HQ processor that has a bottom magnitude of 2.9GHz and a limit turbo magnitude of 3.9GHz. It’s sufficient for lots of perfectionist applications and media prolongation tasks including video editing. Other options embody Core i5 processors as good as Intel’s Xeon E3-1505M v6.

The graphics label was an Nvidia Quadro M620 with 2GB of GDDR5 arrangement memory. The M620 is an entry-level label that’s able adequate for 3D displaying and CAD work, as good as some GPU digest software. Higher-end mobile workstations will, of course, have some-more robust graphics cards, yet depending on what you’re doing, a M620 can in many cases get a pursuit done, unless we are a critical 3D artist or VR developer, in that box you’ll wish to bill for a Quadro M2200 or P3000 or P4000—though we’re frequency articulate entry-level anymore.

Dell Precision 3520 angle 2

The Precision 3520 offers adult to 2TB of storage around a 2.5-inch SATA tough expostulate or 1TB around a SATA or PCIe M.2 solid-state drive. Oddly, Dell’s pattern Web page won’t let we mention both an SSD and a tough drive. Our exam territory had a rapid 512GB NVMe M.2 drive. Those seeking additional storage can insert outmost drives around USB or a discretionary Thunderbolt 3 connection.

In further to Windows 10 Pro, a 3520 had one of a largest batteries we’ve seen lately—a brawny 6-cell, 92WHr energy container with ExpressCharge technology. This contributed to considerable battery life, as you’ll see in a benchmarks section.

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