Laptop Mag Verdict
The Dell Precision 7550 offers incredible performance, a beautiful 4K display and great battery life, but all at an exorbitant price.
Powerful performance and graphics
Bright 4K display
Amazing battery life
Display could be more colorful for the price
Why you can trust Laptop Mag
If you’re looking for the king of workstations, we might’ve just found it. The Dell Precision 7550 offers incredible performance from its Intel Xeon W-10885M CPU and Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 GPU. There’s also a bright 15.6-inch, 4K display, long battery life, a comfortable keyboard and even a pair of high-quality speakers. Not to mention, this machine is super configurable.
However, you get all of that for the exorbitant price of $6,209.78, which is enough to buy a used car. To top it off, the display isn’t as colorful as the price tag would indicate. However, given all of the pros that come with this laptop, especially the battery life and power combo, the Dell Precision 7550 is undoubtedly one of the best workstations you can buy, that is, if you can afford it.
Dell Precision 7550 price and configuration options
CPU: Intel Xeon W-10885M
GPU: Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000
Display: 15.6-inch, 4K
Size: 14.17 x 9.53 x 1.08 inches
Weight: 5.5 pounds
The Dell Precision 7550 I tested costs $6,209.78, trust me, I know that sounds like a lot, but you can customize it to lower the cost. This particular laptop comes with an Intel Xeon W-10885M vPro processor, 32GB of RAM, an Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 GPU with 16GB of VRAM, a 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe Class 50 SSD and a 4K display.
If you want to save some money, you can choose the base model, which starts at $1,789 and comes with an Intel Core i5-10400H CPU, 8GB of RAM, Intel UHD Graphics, a 256GB M.2 NVMe Class 35 SSD and a 1080p display.
Let's say you need a lot more from your laptop than what the base model offers or even the model we reviewed. At a ridiculous $10,802.55, you can get an Intel Xeon W-10885M vPro processor, 128GB of RAM (yes, RAM), an Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 GPU with 16GB of VRAM, three 2TB M.2 PCle NVMe Class 50 SSDs and a 4K display with HDR400 support.
If the Dell Precision 7550 doesn’t fit your budget, check out our best cheap gaming laptops under $1,000 page, which includes laptops that can also work as workstations.
Dell Precision 7550 design
The Dell Precision 7550’s chassis is similar to other Dell laptops, like the Precision 5540, flaunting a sleek, yet interesting aluminum design. The hood is a shiny light-silver color that shimmers nicely against the glossy Dell logo located in the center.
The inside of the laptop contains a dark-gray smooth deck with a moderately sized keyboard and numpad. Three sides of the bezels are small, but the chin on the bottom, which features a glossy Dell logo, is very thick and prevents the overall footprint of this laptop from being any smaller.
Weighing in at 6.2 pounds and measuring 14.2 x 9.5 x 1.1 inches, the Precision 7750 is a bit heavier compared to some of its competitors, but the size is comparable to other workstations. The MSI WS65 9TM (4.3 pounds, 14.1 x 9.8 x 0.7 inches), and the Asus ProArt StudioBook Pro W700G3T (5.4 pounds, 15.0 x 11.3 x 0.7 inches) weigh significantly less, but are of a similar size, while the Precision 7540 (6.2 pounds, 14.7 x 9.9 x 1.0 inches) (not to be confused with this Precision 7550) is nearly identical in weight and size.
Dell Precision 7550 ports
For a workstation laptop, the Dell Precision 7550 has what it needs to provide a good PC setup.
The ports on the Precision 7550 are basically the same as the Precision 7540, just located in different areas. Located on the left side are two Thunderbolt 3 ports and the Dell Smart Card Slot, which can be used for two-factor authentication.
The right side features a Noble lock slot, two USB 3.2 ports, the headphone jack and an SD card slot. Meanwhile, the back has a Mini DisplayPort, an HDMI 2.0 port, an RJ45 Ethernet port and the power jack.
Dell Precision 7550 security and durability
The Precision 7550 comes with loads of different security features, which include Intel vPro technology, the Dell Smart Card (both contact and contactless), and a fingerprint reader. Another feature is an IR Camera for Windows Hello and Express Sign-in, which recognizes when you walk up to or away from your laptop and will lock it when you are away.
You don’t need to worry about durability with the Dell Precision 7550. The Precision 7550 passed 17 MIL-STD 810G tests, making it even more durable compared to the Dell Precision 5540. This means that it can withstand extreme temperatures, altitudes, sand, dust, humidity, shock and more.
Dell Precision 7550 display
The 15.6-inch, 4K display was absolutely beautiful to stare at. You know when you put on glasses for the first time and you’re like “whoa, so this is what it's like to actually see.” Well, the same could be said with the Precision 7550. The anti-glare screen provided the best visuals for watching shows on Netflix and music videos on YouTube. Of course, the model I reviewed had a 4K display, but there are other cheaper options available.
Viewing anything on this laptop will make your jaw drop. While watching the trailer Tenet, I felt like I was sitting in a movie theater. The different tones of color in the city were stunning, with shades of blue, green and black popping during night scenes. The panel proved that it is not only colorful but also that it is bright enough to pick up details even in the darkest setting. During a boat scene, the waves crashing into the ocean were sharp, and as the foam began to form, the screen did a good job of capturing each detail.
At 464 nits, the Precision 7550 has a much brighter screen compared to the MSI WS65, which peaked at 393 nits, and the StudioBook Pro, at 292 nits. However, the Precision 7550 just barely passed the Precision 7540, which reached 462 nits, as well as the workstation average of 424 nits.
Our colorimeter testing determined that the Precision 7750 produced 164% of the sRGB color gamut, which falls short of the 197% workstation average. It does a tad better than the StudioBook Pro, which got 162%. It can’t even compare to the Precision 7540, which nailed 227%, or the MSI WS65, which scored a mighty 251%. For the price of this laptop, it’s not great, but it’s good.
Dell Precision 7550 keyboard and touchpad
The Dell Precision 7550 has a decent size keyboard and the keys are very comfortable to type on thanks to the soft-touch finish. The keys are even quiet, which is perfect for the work environment.
I managed to get 49 words per minute on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, which isn’t too far off from my average of 53 words per minute. The keys were extremely easy to type on, as the gentlest touch registered perfectly on the laptop. The palm rest provided a secure station for my palm thanks to its rubbery texture.
The keyboard has three different backlight settings, allowing the user to choose from no light, dim and bright. I like to work in a darker setting, so the keyboard light on the highest setting isn’t very bright to me.
The 4.1 x 2.6-inch touchpad was very smooth, but it seemed to struggle to keep up with my movement. Below the touchpad are buttons to signify the left-, right-, and center- click buttons. Personally, I’m not used to having these extra buttons and feel as though they take up a lot of space that could have been incorporated elsewhere.
Dell Precision 7550 audio
The Dell Precision 7550’s speakers have to be some of the best I have ever heard on a laptop. The dual speakers, which are located above the keyboard, played amazing beats.
While listening to “Low” by Lund, the instrumental intro was so satisfying. I was worried that the bass would come over scratchy and muffled, but it played with no issues whatsoever. The sound was very clear and crisp, with the voice sufficiently echoing through the speakers. The Precision 7550 picked up the bass and instruments quite well while balancing the vocals with the tune.
You can find audio software tools in the Dell optimizer app, but there are no actual settings. The only thing it allows you to do is either enable or disable the presets as well as change the 3D audio settings to best suit your needs.
Dell Precision 7550 performance
This machine is packing an Intel Xeon W-10885M vPro processor with 32GB of RAM, which was able to run five 1080p YouTube tabs with well over 50 Google Chrome tabs before it began to show signs of slowing down.
On the Geekbench 4.3 overall performance test, the Precision 7550 scored an incredible 33,636, which soared past the workstation average of 24,481. It even surpassed the MSI WS65 (22,936, Intel Core i7-9750H), Precision 7540 (29,813, Intel Xeon E2286M) and the StudioBook Pro (21,434, Intel Xeon E-2276M).
It took the Precision 7550 an effortless 7 minutes and 13 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p while using the Handbrake benchmark, staying well below the average of 9:29, and was unmatched by the MSI WS65 (10:36), Precision 7540 (7:50) and StudioBook Pro (10:30).
In our file transfer test, the Precision 7550 copied 5GB of files at a rate of 1,092 megabytes per second, which is within range of the workstation’s average of 1,101 MBps. It managed to beat the MSI WS65 (727 MBps), but couldn’t match the Precision 7540 (2,036 MBps) and the StudioBook Pro (1,272 MBps).
Dell Precision 7550 graphics and professional performance
The Precision 7550 comes outfitted with an Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 GPU, which scored 16,314 on the 3DMark Fire Strike synthetic graphics benchmark, surpassing the 13,439 workstation average. It also outperformed the MSI WS65 (15,364, Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000) and the StudioBook Pro (12,075, Nvidia Quadro RTX 3000). However, the Precision 7540 (Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000) scored a tad bit better with 16,390.
Although the laptop isn’t really meant for gaming, the Precision 7550 still has a pretty strong graphics card. On the Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm benchmark (Medium settings), it averaged 78 frames per second on 1080p, and 65 fps at 4K. 4K at 60-plus frames is great for a workstation laptop.
We also ran the PugetBench Adobe CC v0.91 benchmarks to give you an idea of its performance running Adobe apps. The Precision 7550 scored 810.7 on AERender, 969 on After Effects, 805 on Lightroom Classic, 912.3 on Photoshop and 603 on Premiere Pro.
Dell Precision 7550 battery life
There are two batteries you can choose from when customizing your Dell Precision 7550:the 6-cell 95 watt-hour ExpressCharge Capable Battery and the 6-cell 68 Wh ExpressCharge Capable Battery.
The laptop I reviewed had the 6-cell 95 Wh ExpressCharge Capable Battery and lasted for 8 hours and 45 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which flew by the average workstation battery life of 6 hours and 30 minutes. It also outclassed the MSI W65 (6:57), Precision 7540 (7:24) and the StudioBook Pro (6:23).
Dell Precision 7550 webcam
The webcam on the Precision 7550 isn’t the greatest, but it definitely isn't the worst, either.
Located in the center of the top bezel, the camera itself is 720p, thus the picture appears a little blotchy and hazy. It doesn’t have any issues with capturing enough light, but the colors do seem a little off. The color of my lips came out a lot more peach than they normally are, but it also picked up on the rosy tones in my skin that some other cameras couldn’t.
Dell Precision 7550 heat
The Precision 7550 stayed pretty cool after it streamed a 15-minute, fullscreen 1080p video. The underside of the laptop reached 95-degrees Fahrenheit, matching our 95-degree comfort threshold. The center of the keyboard reached 93 degrees, while the touchpad reached 79 degrees. The laptop’s hottest point was on the bottom panel, where it measured 104 degrees.
Dell Precision 7550 software and warranty
Dell has a number of useful utilities to optimize your experience. Dell Command and Update which, as you probably guessed, checks for updates on the laptop. Dell Digital Delivery contains the software purchases you made from Dell (including the McAfee Small Business app). Dell Power Manager allows you to configure the battery’s power status based on personal preferences. Finally, the Dell PremierColor allows you to optimize your experience by adjusting the colors to best fit your needs by adjusting the color temperature of the screen.
The highlight app the Precision 7550 comes with is Dell Precision Optimizer, which allows you to adjust the performance in applications, enhance audio and microphone performance, improve battery life via the power settings, and adjust the proximity sensor, which essentially detects whether you are in front of your laptop. Apart from all of these Dell apps, there seems to be no bloatware on this laptop.
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m loving the Dell Precision 7550 for its customization options, amazing 4K display, and long battery life that will last you a full workday. However,the laptop can get pricey depending on how it's configured and the display could be more colorful.
If you’re looking for a workstation that offers similar specs but at a cheaper price, check out the Dell Precision 7540. And even though the 7540 was released earlier than the Precision 7550, it’s got the 7550 beat in some categories.
But overall, the Dell Precision 7550 wowed me in a lot of the areas I look for in a laptop.