“The Dell Precision 5470 is small and slim, but it surely lacks the ability of a transportable workstation.”

Execs

  • Wonderful productiveness efficiency
  • Strong and enticing construct
  • Vibrant, color-accurate display screen
  • Nice keyboard and touchpad

Cons

  • Very costly
  • Skinny chassis limits efficiency
  • Nonetheless makes use of 720p webcam

Transportable workstations are a distinct breed of laptop computer. They’re aimed squarely at demanding duties, particularly those who use intense engineering, scientific, and artistic purposes. They use the quickest CPUs, as much as Intel’s Xeon processor, and depend on specialised discrete GPUs designed and authorized to work with these purposes versus GPUs made for gaming.

That additionally means a larger emphasis on efficiency over portability. Dell’s Precision 5470 modifications that up by packing workstation-class elements into a skinny and lightweight 14-inch chassis — in response to Dell, it’s the world’s thinnest and lightest 14-inch workstation.

Sadly, the Precision 5470 represents too nice a trade-off in efficiency to suit into its admittedly skinny and lightweight chassis, and it prices far an excessive amount of to be aggressive exterior the world of workstations.

Specs

  Dell Precision 5470
Dimensions 12.22 inches by 8.27 inches by 0.74 inches
Weight 3.26 kilos
Processor Intel Core i5-12500H vPro
Intel Core i7-12700H vPro
Intel Core i7-12800H vPro
Intel Core i9-12900H vPro
Intel Core i9-12900HK vPro
Graphics Intel UMA graphics
Intel Iris Xe
Nvidia RTX A1000
RAM 8GB LPDDR5
16GB LPDDR5
32GB LPDDR5
64GB LPDDR5
Show 14-inch 16:10 IPS FHD+ (1,920 x 1,200) non-touch
14-inch 16:10 IPS QHD+ (2,560 x 1,600) contact
Storage 256GB PCI 4.0 SSD
512GB PCIe 4.0 SSD
1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
4TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
Contact Optionally available
Ports 4 x USB-C 4.0 with Thunderbolt 4
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x microSD card reader
Wi-fi Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
Webcam 720p with IR digicam
Working system Home windows 11
Battery 72 watt-hour
Worth $1,929+

Efficiency is every thing

Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

My evaluate unit was loaded, sporting a 45-watt, 14-core/20-thread Core i9-12900H CPU with vPro operating at as much as 5GHz, 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM, a 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD, and an Nvidia RTX A1000 GPU. The value? A cool $3,787. That’s some huge cash for some potent elements stuffed into what appears suspiciously like a scaled-down Dell XPS 15.

And right here’s the issue: Whereas the Precision 5470 is unquestionably a quick 14-inch laptop computer, it isn’t so quick that it justifies its workstation designation or workstation pricing.

I’ll examine on to the $1,150 Dell Inspiron 14 Plus, one other 14-inch laptop computer I reviewed lately. That system used a 45-watt, 14-core/20-thread Core i7-12700H operating at as much as 4.7GHz and an Nvidia RTX 3050. This can be a notably good comparability as a result of though the CPU is (theoretically) a bit slower than the Precision 5470’s Core i9, the RTX 3050 is the gaming equal to the RTX A1000.

As we will see from our benchmarks, the Precision 5470’s efficiency was blended when in comparison with the Inspiron 14 Plus. It was barely quicker in Geekbench 5 and Cinebench R23 however a bit slower in our Handbrake video-encoding take a look at. As you progress up in dimension, the Precision 5470 falls additional behind. Observe that I’ve reported in our desk beneath each balanced and efficiency mode outcomes based mostly on the producer’s utility for managing CPU frequency and fan velocity.

The RTX A1000 GPU simply doesn’t present sufficient of a lift.

Essentially the most telling take a look at, although, is the PugetBench benchmark that runs in a stay model of Adobe’s Premiere Professional. That’s exactly the sort of utility {that a} transportable workstation is geared toward operating, and it makes use of each the CPU and the GPU in tandem. Whereas the Precision 5470 was quicker than the Inspiron 14 Plus, the distinction was solely 12% in balanced mode and eight% in efficiency mode. And the Precision 5470 as soon as once more fell behind — this time extra considerably — as we moved up in laptop computer dimension.

The Dell XPS 15 with the RTX 3050 Ti, for instance, is total 16% quicker, and a whopping 38% quicker at exporting timelines — probably due to the extra highly effective GPU. However evaluating it to Apple’s MacBook Professional 14, with its 10-core CPU/16-core GPU Apple M1 Professional, is much more damning.

We don’t have a choice of benchmarks particularly for transportable workstations, however the PugetBench benchmark serves as an honest proxy. And the underside line is that the Precision 5470 merely isn’t quick sufficient. A part of that’s as a result of the Core i9 is wasted within the skinny and lightweight chassis — it instantly hit 100-degrees Celsius and throttled again frequencies in every of our CPU-intensive benchmarks. And the RTX A1000 doesn’t present sufficient of a lift. You’re paying a major value in efficiency for a transportable workstation that’s barely simpler to hold round.

Geekbench
(single / multi)
Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
Pugetbench
Premiere Professional
Dell Precision 5470
(Core i9/12900H / RTX A1000)
Bal: 1,461 / 11,190
Perf: 1,700 / 11,980
Bal: 102
Perf: 99
Bal: 1,504 / 12,686
Perf: 1,760 / 13,235
Bal: 639
Perf: 678
Dell Inspiron 14 Plus
(Core i7-12700H / RTX 3050)
Bal: 1,671 / 10,898
Perf: 1,644 / 10,196
Bal: 117
Perf: 89
Bal: 1,718 / 8,997
Perf: 1,774 / 11,035
Bal: 569
Perf: 627
Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H / RTX 3050 Ti)
Bal: 1,470 / 9,952
Perf: 1,714 / 11,053
Bal: 100
Perf: 77
Bal: 1,509 / 11,578
Perf: 1,806 / 13,313
Bal: 760
Perf: 729
Dell XPS 17 9720
(Core i7-12700H / RTX 3060)
Bal: 1,712 / 13,176
Perf: 1,747 / 13,239
Bal: 74
Perf: 71
Bal: 1,778 / 12,696
Perf: 1,779 / 14,086
Bal: 771
Perf: 853
MSI Creator Z16P
(Core i9/12900H / RTX 3080 Ti)
Bal: 1,769 / 14,034
Perf: 1,835 / 14,051
Bal: 71
Perf: 69
Bal: 1,844 / 15,047
Perf: 1,837 / 16,084
Bal: 727
Perf: 1,042
Apple MacBook Professional 14
(Apple M1 Professional 10/16)
Bal: 1,760 / 12,307
Perf: N/A
Bal: 99
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,624 / 12,235
Perf: N/A
Bal: 911
Perf: N/A

I received’t trouble reporting on gaming as a result of the Precision 5470 isn’t meant for that use case. I’ll, although, level out that within the 3DMark Time Spy benchmark, the RTX A1000 was barely behind the standard RTX 3050. In case you resolve to run some video games on the laptop computer, you’ll be restricted to 1080p and medium or decrease graphics in most trendy titles.

Good sized, however so what?

Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

Sure, the Precision 5470 is an impressively small laptop computer. It advantages from the identical tiny bezels as Dell’s XPS line, and as I hinted above, it appears loads like a smaller model of the XPS 15. It has a darker grey aluminum lid and chassis backside and the identical sort of black carbon fiber keyboard deck, with strains which are eerily just like the XPS 15. It’s barely smaller than the Inspiron 14 Plus in peak and width whereas being across the similar thickness at 0.74 inches and weighing much less at 3.29 kilos versus 3.7 kilos. In comparison with the XPS 15, the Precision 5470 is noticeably smaller and lighter, however not a lot that it’s value giving up a lot in efficiency.

Dell engineered a stable laptop computer within the Precision 5470, that’s for certain. It’s utterly inflexible within the lid, keyboard deck, and backside chassis, simply as rock-solid because the XPS 15, and really near the Apple MacBook Professional 14. I’ve no complaints concerning the laptop computer’s construct high quality.

Once more, although, it’s exhausting to justify the Precision 5470’s dimension and value when a laptop computer that prices lower than a 3rd as a lot and is simply barely bigger performs nearly equally as nicely. Dell will argue that Intel’s vPro makes the Precision 5470 simpler for an enterprise to safe and handle, and that’s true. And the RTX A1000 is designed and authorized to run these key purposes extra reliably, which is one thing we will’t take a look at. It’s a doubtful proposition, although, that these components are sufficient to justify the value soar with out an equal efficiency enhance.

You additionally don’t get workstation-like connectivity, with 4 USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4. Workstations (and 14-inch laptops usually) usually assist extra legacy ports and niceties like Ethernet. You’ll be reaching for dongles earlier than you recognize it. The Precision 5470 does have up-to-date wi-fi connectivity, nonetheless.

An acceptable show

My Precision 5470 evaluate unit was geared up with the QHD+ 16:10 IPS show, and it’s ok to satisfy the wants of any creator who can stay with the laptop computer’s efficiency.

It’s very shiny at 549 nits, affords colours which are simply extensive and correct sufficient, and gives a particularly excessive distinction ratio that may please any consumer. If the Precision 5470 have been quicker and appealed to extra demanding creators, then the AdobeRGB gamut protection can be a bit low, however as it’s, it’s ok.

Brightness
(nits)
Distinction sRGB gamut AdobeRGB gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(decrease is healthier)
Dell Precision 5470
(IPS)
549 1,640:1 100% 83% 0.95
MSI Creator Z16P
(IPS)
461 990:1 100% 89% 0.89
Dell XPS 17 9720
(IPS)
543 1,870:1 100% 100% 0.58
Dell XPS 15 9520
(OLED)
391 28,130:1 100% 96% 0.42
Apple MacBook Professional 16
(XDR)
475 475,200:1 100% 90% 1.04

The audio is supplied by 4 audio system, two upward-firing and two downward-firing, that pump out loads of quantity with clear mids and highs and a contact of bass. They’re probably just like these discovered on the XPS 15, that means they’re among the many higher audio system you’ll discover in a Home windows laptop computer.

The whole lot else

Together with the general design, the Precision 5470 resembles the Dell XPS 15 in a number of different methods. The keyboard is one. Whereas there’s much less house on the keyboard deck, the Precision’s keyboard affords equal spacing and the identical massive, comfy keycaps. The switches additionally appear an identical, with the identical mild and snappy mechanism and exact bottoming motion. The XPS line has one among my favourite Home windows keyboards, in order that’s an actual plus.

Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

The touchpad is sort of a bit smaller than the XPS 15’s, although. It’s equally designed, with the identical easy and correct floor and quiet, assured clicks. The show on my evaluate unit was touch-enabled and labored in addition to common.

Dell stored the webcam at 720p, the identical because the XPS 15, which is disappointing. As such, the standard was much less spectacular than on another laptops I’ve reviewed these days with 1080p webcams. The infrared digicam allows Home windows 11 Hiya passwordless login by way of facial recognition, with a fingerprint reader embedded within the energy button providing one other dependable strategy to log in.

Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

The infrared digicam additionally enabled Dell’s consumer presence detection options. Onlooker Detection can inform when somebody is wanting over the consumer’s shoulder and apply a texture to the show to obscure no matter information is on-screen. Look Away Detect is aware of when the consumer isn’t wanting straight on the show and dims the display screen.

Stroll Away Lock turns off the show and locks the Precision 5470 when the consumer leaves the world, and Wake on Method wakes up the laptop computer and logs it in when the consumer returns. Every of those options labored nicely throughout my testing and needed to be turned off to allow my battery benchmarks.

Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

Lastly, we should always take into account the Precision 5470’s battery life, though that’s not a key metric for a workstation. Our testing emphasizes productiveness battery life, which implies a number of checks that don’t push the CPU all that tough.

Workstation customers will are likely to burn the battery a lot quicker with extra demanding work. So whereas the Precision 5470 was common or higher throughout our varied checks and will final a full day on a cost, workstation customers ought to plan to hold their charger with them.

Internet looking Video PCMark 10
Purposes
Dell Precision 5470
(Core i9-12900H)
8 hours, 25 minutes 14 hours, 1 minute 11 hours, 11 minutes
Dell Inspiron 14 Plus
(Core i7-12700H)
7 hours, 3 minutes 9 hours, 29 minutes 8 hours, 34 minutes
Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H)
9 hours, 38 minutes 12 hours, 40 minutes 11 hours, 14 minutes
MSI Creator Z16P
(Core i9-12900H)
4 hours, 42 minutes 5 hours, 24 minutes N/A

Too little for an excessive amount of

If I had over $3,000 to spend on a laptop computer and wanted workstation-like efficiency, I’d do some further weightlifting and choose a bigger and heavier workstation like Dell’s Precision 5570 or perhaps a mainstream powerhouse just like the MSI Creator X16P. Certain, it will be extra to lug round, however its efficiency would greater than make up for it. And whereas app choice can be extra restricted with the Apple MacBook Professional 14, it will be one other stable different if it ran the apps I wanted.

As it’s, the Precision 5470 is just too costly to justify its restricted efficiency. Merely put, if the Precision 5470 can deal with your workflow, then you definately probably don’t want a workstation-level laptop computer. You may choose from amongst a number of 14-inch laptops and get as a lot portability and perhaps even higher efficiency at a a lot lower cost.

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