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2021 Dell Latitude 5520 : Our In-Depth Review!

2021 Dell Latitude 5520 : Our In-Depth Review!

Made with bioplastics from trees, the Dell Latitude 5520 is not only more powerful, it promises a longer battery life and other improvements.

Join us for a close look at the new 2021 Dell Latitude 5520 business laptop!

 

Dell Latitude 5520 : 15.6-inch Business Laptop

The Dell Latitude 5520 is a 15.6-inch business laptop powered by the latest 11th Gen Intel Core processor, with a longer battery life.

The first Dell laptop to be made with bioplastics from trees, it offers environmentally-conscious businesses a way to minimise their ecological footprint.

 

Dell Latitude 5520 : Specifications + Options

The Dell Latitude 5520 can be configured to suit your requirements.

Here are the options available in Malaysia. You may get different options in other countries.

Specifications 2021 Dell Latitude 5520
Display Size 15.6-inch
Display Options Full HD IPS (1920 x 1200, 250 nits)
HD TN (1366 x 768, 220 nits)
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64 bit)
CPU + GPU Options Intel Core i7-1185G7 + Iris Xe Graphics
Intel Core i5-1145G7 + Iris Xe Graphics
Intel Core i5-1135G7 + Iris Xe Graphics
Memory Options DDR4-3200 (8 / 16 GB)
Storage Options PCIe NVMe SSD (256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB / 2 TB)
Audio Realtek Waves MaxxAudio Pro audio
2 x 2 watt speakers
Dual array microphones
3.5 mm audio jack
Wireless Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (2×2)
Bluetooth 5.1
External Ports 2 x Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type C) ports
– with Power Delivery and DisplayPort
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 port with PowerShare
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 port
1 x HDMI 2.0 port
1 x 3.5 mm audio port
1 x RJ-45 Ethernet port
1 x microSD card slot
1 x (optional) micro SIM tray
1 x (optional) smart card reader
Camera 720p webcam only
720p webcam + IR camera
1080p webcam + IR camera
Fingerprint Sensor Optional, integrated into Power button
Keyboard Backlit keyboard
with numeric keypad
Battery 3-cell 42 Whr lithium-ion battery
4-cell 63 Whr lithium-ion battery
Charger 45 watt USB Type C charger
Dimensions 357.8 mm wide
233.3 mm deep
19.87 mm thick
Weight Starting from 1.59 kg

 

Dell Latitude 5520 : Box Contents

The Dell Latitude 5520 comes in a plain brown cardboard box, with minimal materials to waste. Inside, you will find :

  • Dell Latitude 5520 laptop
  • Dell Latitude 5520 quick user guide + safety and regulatory information
  • 65 watt compact charger with USB Type C cable
  • Localised power cord

Next Page > Dell Latitude 5520 : A Closer Look!

 

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Dell Latitude 5520 : A Closer Look!

15.6-inch IPS Display

The Dell Latitude 5520 comes with a large 15.6-inch IPS display, with a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It does not have touch capability, which is not needed by most business users.

It has a maximum brightness of 250 nits, which is good enough for indoor use. However, you may have issues using it outdoors in bright sunlight.

For companies on a budget, Dell also offers a HD display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, and a lower brightness of 220 nits.

Built-In Privacy Shutter

Our review unit came with a high-resolution 1080p webcam, with an IR emitter and camera for Windows Hello facial authentication.

Dell also offers a cheaper 720p webcam, with and without the IR camera.

Both options come with a built-in privacy shutter – a critical feature for security-conscious business users.

Performance

Our Dell Latitude 5520 is powered by the 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1185G7  processor – a 4-core, 8-thread processor with 12 MB of cache and Iris Xe graphics.

You can also opt for the Core i5-1145G7 or the Core i5-1135G7 – both 4-core, 8-thread processors with Iris Xe graphics.

The processor and its integrated graphics are kept cool by the Dual Opposite Outlet fans, with side venting for improved airflow and cooling performance.

Our unit came with 16 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory running at 3200 MHz, and a 512 GB Western Digital SN730 NVMe PCIe SSD.

Ports

Despite its large 15.6-inch form factor, the Latitude 5520 is slim at just under 20 mm.

Even so, its slightly thicker chassis lets Dell fit in more ports than slimmer designs like the XPS 13.

On the left side, you will find two Thunderbolt 4 (USB 3.2 Gen 2) Type C ports, both of which support PowerDelivery and DisplayPort output.

The Latitude 5520 is charged using a USB Type C cable, so it must be plugged into one of these two USB Type C ports.

There is a large row of cooling vents, and a slot for the optional Smart Card reader.

On the right side, you will find a microSD card reader, a 3.5 mm microphone and headphone combo port, with two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type A ports.

And next to them are a full-sized HDMI 2.0 port, an RJ-45 LAN port, and a wedge security lock.

Keyboard + Touchpad

The Dell Latitude 5520 has a full-sized backlit keyboard, with a numeric keypad.

Business users will love the numeric keypad, but it may need some getting used to for those who are migrating from “regular laptops”.

The touchpad is reasonably sized, but offset to the left – something you may need to get used to.

Connectivity

Our Dell Latitude 5520 comes with the Intel AX201 module, which offers Wi-Fi 6 connectivity with 2×2 antennas and Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity.

On top of that, it comes with an RJ-45 LAN port built-in, giving you access to the best and fastest possible network connectivity.

Audio

The Dell Latitude 5520 features two front-firing speakers with 2 watts power output, powered by Realtek Waves MaxxAudio Pro.

It also comes with a 3.5 mm microphone / headphone combo jack, and dual microphone array.

Next Page > Dell Latitude 5520 : Performance + Verdict!

 

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Dell Latitude 5520 : Performance

Our Dell Latitude 5520 is powered by the 28 watt Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, with 4 cores and 8 threads, and Iris Xe Graphics with 96 Execution Units.

This processor has 12 MB of L3 cache, a 3.0 GHz base frequency that ramps up to 4.8 GHz during intensive tasks.

Our review sample came with 16 GB of DDR4-3200 memory – in dual memory channels, of course, and a 512 GB Western Digital SN730 SSD.

Work Performance : PCMark 10

The Intel Core i7-1185G7 is a 28 watt processor that can be configured to run at a lower TDP of 12 watt – to improve battery life and reduce thermal output.

Dell left it at the full 28 watt TDP for maximum performance, so it delivered PCMark 10 scores in excess of 4800.

This makes the Dell Latitude 5520 about 15% faster than the HUAWEI MateBook X Pro, which uses the Intel Core i7-10510U 25W processor, and 25% faster than the XPS 13, which uses a down-clocked Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor at 15 W.

Gaming Performance : 3DMark Time Spy

The Dell Latitude 5520 is not meant to be a gaming system, but it has surprisingly decent gaming chops.

The Intel Core i7-1185G7 comes with integrated Iris Xe Graphics, with 96 execution units and maximum clock speed of 1.35 GHz.

That gave it a 3DMark Time Spy score just shy of 1190. That makes it about as fast as the NVIDIA GeForce MX350, and a little faster than the Radeon RX Vega 5 integrated graphics used in Ryzen 4000 Mobile processors.

Battery Life : YouTube + Modern Office

Our Dell Latitude 5520 came with a 4-cell lithium-ion battery, that has a rated capacity of 63 Whr.

To test its battery life, we locked the brightness at 50% – higher than the average of 40% – to see how it performs in these worst-case scenarios :

YouTube Streaming

The Dell Latitude 5520 lasted 8 hours 18 minutes streaming YouTube videos in the theatre mode using Wi-Fi, before its battery dropped to 10%.

PCMark 10 : Modern Office

The Dell Latitude 5520 lasted a phenomenal 11 hours before it powered off while running the Modern Office benchmark!

Battery Recharging Speed

Its 45 watt compact fast charger supports ExpressCharge Boost, which lets it deliver up to 35% charge in about 20 minutes, or up to 80% charge in an hour.

In our test, its fast charger took 29 minutes to charge from 10% to 35%, and took about 82 minutes to hit 80%. For a full charge to 100%, it took 142 minutes.

Here are our recorded recharging time from 10% :

  • 16% – 6 minutes 36 seconds
  • 22% – 13 minutes 38 seconds
  • 25% – 17 minutes 25 seconds
  • 31% – 23 minutes 53 seconds
  • 35% – 29 minutes 15 seconds
  • 40% – 35 minutes 12 seconds
  • 45% – 41 minutes 19 seconds
  • 51% – 48 minutes 18 seconds
  • 60% – 59 minutes 34 seconds
  • 66% – 65 minutes 22 seconds
  • 71% – 71 minutes 19 seconds
  • 76% – 77 minutes 19 seconds
  • 81% – 83 minutes 14 seconds
  • 90% – 95 minutes 16 seconds
  • 95% – 107 minutes 18 seconds
  • 100% – 142 minutes 10 seconds

This gives it a battery life : recharging time ratio of 3.5 : 1 for video streaming, and 4.7 : 1 for office work.

As a general rule of thumb, you will need to recharge its battery about 17 minutes for every hour of battery life.

 

Dell Latitude 5520 : Verdict

The Dell Latitude 5520 is not a sleek ultralight laptop like the XPS 13, it is a large, powerful business laptop.

Its large 15.6-inch display makes it a great desktop replacement, and yet is surprisingly thin and light – it is less than 2 cm thick, and weighs only 1.6 kg.

We strongly recommend the Full HD IPS panel, over the low-resolution HD TN panel option, which would look blurry / blocky on such a large display.

Built around the latest 11th Gen Intel Core processor, with integrated Iris Xe Graphics, it offers more than enough processing power for business users for many years to come.

 

Business users will appreciate the availability of at least two USB-C and two USB-A ports, as well as an actual RJ-45 LAN port and a HDMI 2.0 port too!

If you input a lot of numbers, you will also appreciate the keyboard which comes with a numeric keypad, which is not available in most consumer laptops.

On top of that, the Latitude 5520 comes with a built-in physical shutter for the webcam – a must-have for security conscious users!

If you are a road warrior, we definitely recommend getting the 4-cell battery for extended battery life, which should last you about 11 hours!

All-in-all, this is a solid, no-nonsense business laptop that lets you get work done as quickly and efficiently as possible, no matter whether you are working from home, or on the road.

Finally, we should mention Dell’s truly excellent onsite warranty. With the Latitude 5520, you get 3 years of ProSupport and Next Business Day Onsite Service!

For people who count on their laptops to make a living, NBD onsite service is a MUST!

 

Recommended Reading

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11th Gen Intel Core (Tiger Lake) : What You Need To Know!

Intel just unveiled Tiger Lake – the 11th Gen Intel Core mobile processor family, built on the 10nm SuperFin process technology!

Here is what you need to know about the new 10nm mobile processors that will soon come to a laptop near you!

 

11th Gen Intel Core (Tiger Lake) : A Quick Primer!

11th Gen Intel Core, codenamed Tiger Lake, is the newly-launched mobile processor family, designed for thin and light laptops.

Built on the new Willow Cove microarchitecture, and fabricated on the 10 nm SuperFin process, it offers a bevy of new features :

  • LPDDR4X Support : allows for fast and more power-efficient LPDDR4X memory.
  • New Intel Iris Xe graphics : significantly improved graphics performance, with up to 96 EUs
  • New Intel DL Boost instruction set : enables neural network inferencing on integrated graphics, with native support for INT8
  • Hardware Security : through Intel Control Flow Enforcement Technology (CET) and Intel Total Memory Encryption.
  • AV1 CODEC Support : hardware decoding for power-efficient 4K streaming
  • PCI Express 4.0 Support : allows for higher PCI Express bandwidth
  • Dolby Vision Support : allows for 20% better power consumption
  • Thunderbolt 4 Support : adds support for up to four Thunderbolt 4 ports

 

11th Gen Intel Core (Tiger Lake) : Official Tech Briefing

For those who want an in-depth look at the 11th Gen Intel Core (Tiger Lake) mobile processors, what’s better than the official Intel tech briefing?

 

11th Gen Intel Core (Tiger Lake) : Specifications

Intel is offering their Tiger Lake processors in two package designs, with two variable TDP ranges.

UP3-Class 11th Gen Intel Core Processors (12-28W)

Specifications Core i7
1185G7
Core i7
1165G7
Core i5
1135G7
Core i3
1125G4
Core i3
1115G4
Fab Process 10 nm
Core / Thread 4 / 8 2 / 4
Base Clock (28W) 3.0 GHz 2.8 GHz 2.4 GHz 2.0 GHz 3.0 GHz
Single Core Turbo 4.8 GHz 4.7 GHz 4.2 GHz 3.7 GHz 4.1 GHz
Multi-Core Turbo 4.3 GHz 4.1 GHz 3.8 GHz 3.3 GHz 4.1 GHz
L2 Cache 5 MB 2.5 MB
L3 Cache 12 MB 8 MB 6 MB
Graphics Cores 96 80 48
Graphics Clock 1.35 GHz 1.3 GHz 1.25 GHz
Memory Support DDR4-3200
LPDDR4x-4266

DDR4-3200
LPDDR4x-3733

TDP 12 W to 28 W

UP4-Class 11th Gen Intel Core Processors (7-15W)

Specifications Core i7
1160G7
Core i5
1130G7
Core i3
1120G4
Core i3
1110G4
Fab Process 10 nm
Core / Thread 4 / 8 2 / 4
Base Clock (15W) 1.2 GHz 1.1 GHz 1.1 GHz 1.8 GHz
Single Core Turbo 4.4 GHz 4.0 GHz 3.5 GHz 3.9 GHz
Multi-Core Turbo 3.6 GHz 3.4 GHz 3.0 GHz 3.9 GHz
L2 Cache 5 MB 2.5 MB
L3 Cache 12 MB 8 MB 6 MB
Graphics Cores 96 80 48
Graphics Clock 1.1 GHz
Memory Support LPDDR4x-4266
TDP 7 W to 15 W

 

11th Gen Intel Core (Tiger Lake) : Performance

Intel is targeting their top-of-the-line Tiger Lake processor – the Core i7-1185G7 – against the AMD Ryzen 7 4800U.

We have to point out that this may not be quite a fair comparison since the Ryzen 7 4800U is an 8-core, 16-thread processor with an 8-core Vega GPU and a 15W TDP.

But that’s what Intel is showcasing – a face-off between their Core i7-1185G7 and the AMD Ryzen 7 4800U.

 

Intel Evo : Project Athena Second Edition

Intel is also introducing the Intel Evo platform, as part of the Project Athena Second Edition program.

Based on 11th Gen Core processors with Intel Iris Xe graphics, Intel Evo laptops must meet the Project Athena Second Edition experiences :

  • Consistent responsiveness on battery
  • System wake from sleep in less than 1 second
  • Nine or more hours of real-world battery life on systems with FHD displays
  • Fast charging with up to a four-hour charge in under 30 minutes on systems with FHD displays

To qualify for the Intel Evo platform and branding, laptop designs will have to meet or exceed these minimum specifications :

  • Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) 802.11ax
  • Thunderbolt 4
  • ≥ 256GB PCIe / NVMe SSD
  • ≥ 8GB Dual Channel Memory
  • Bluetooth 5 with Audio Offload
  • > 2 digital microphones of at least 63dB Signal to Noise ratio and +/- 1dB matching
  • High fidelity audio codec / speaker tuning and Intel Smart Sound Technology
  • Speaker Sound Pressure Level >78dB @ 50 cm and bass frequency <353 Hz
  • User-facing camera ≥ HD/720p @ 30fps
  • Voice Assistant with WoV – Cortana Premium Far Field requirements (≥4 m effective)

 

Recommended Reading

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