Flip-flop. The Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1 goes from mobile workstation to workstation tablet with one quick twist. Can it also be a productive workstation? Here is a first look at the convertible workstation from Dell.


What is under the hood?

At first glance, it is simply a sleek, thin, light, stylish mobile workstation. As a mobile workstation, Dell’s 2-in-1 is no slouch. At the high end, the CPU options include a Core i7 8706G CPU. This 4-core processor is based on Intel’s Kaby Lake architecture. The CPU has a base clock speed of 3.10 GHz with a peak clock speed of 4.10 GHz. 



Dell Marketing Manager, Jaap Van Oostendorp, presents Dell’s Precision 5530 2-in-1 convertible workstation.

This Core i7 8706G is an Intel processor which includes integrated AMD graphics. The integrated GPU is an AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL. AMD’s GPU drives a 3840x2160 resolution display which has both pen and touch capabilities. 

The Precision 5530 2-in-1 converts to a powerful, creative workspace for artists

The system supports 16 GB of DDR4-2400 MHz memory now and will support 32 GB with new memories.  And it supports a maximum of 2 TB SSD storage. A key feature for creative professionals is the 4K resolution touch and pen-capable display. The pen support includes 4096 levels of sensitivity to provide tablet-like performance for artistic applications


Yoga-like Flexibility makes it a tablet with workstation performance

The Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1 began shipping to customers in September.  The visible feature of the machine was most clearly its 360° rotation range for the 4K touch display which transforms the system from a mobile workstation into a tablet for creative professionals. 

The thin & light Precision 5530 2-in-1 is a capable mobile workstation

The 2-in-1 unit delivers this unique workstation feature by combining the touch display with the flexibility of a 360° display rotation turning this mobile workstation into a mobile creative tablet.  Flipping the screen completely provides a landscape or a portrait format for sketching and drawing. 

Likewise, the Precision 5530 2-in-1 can be flipped into a tent-mode. Tent-mode provides a convenient means to review or present project work.

For the time being, the 16 GB RAM capacity will be underpowered for some, however that will change in the future. The 2 TB SSD storage makes the system a decent option for creative professionals on the go. The 2 TB storage is adequate for many demanding projects in video editing and special effects. 


How does it compare to the Precision 5530?

The 2-in-1 moniker is appended to the 5530 designation, so how does the configuration compare to the Precision 5530? The 2-in-1 weighs fewer than 200 grams more than the Precision 5530 - 2 kg compared to 1.78 kg. And it is just a bit thicker than the 5530 - 16 mm vs 11.1 mm. If pen and touch capabilities in a convertible format are critical for your work, that is not a noticeable difference. 


Precision 5530 2-in-1

Precision 5530


Radeon RX Vega M GL Quadro P2000

CPU / cores / clock (max turbo)

Core i7-8706G / 4 cores / 4.1 GHz Core i9-8950 HK / 6 cores / 4.8 GHz


16 GB DDR4-2400 MHz today, 32 GB RAM in the future 32 GB DDR4-2666 MHz

SSD Storage

2 TB 2 TB

Total Storage

2 TB 4 TB


3840x2160 3840x2160


The 2-in-1 supports a maximum of 32 GB of 2400 MHz RAM. At the time of this writing, the Dell site still offered a maximum of 16 GB of RAM. The 5530 can sport a more capable 32 GB of RAM today. Both workstations support 2 TB of SSD storage, although the 5530 can add up to 2TB more storage by adding a second SATA hard drive. 

Given that these workstations are the same product generation, the connectivity options are oddly different. The Precision 5530 provides compatibility with older USB devices by providing 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports. It also provides one Thunderbolt 3 port. The 2-in-1 relies on USB-C 3.1 with PowerShare, DC-In, & DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 3 with PowerShare, DC-In, & DisplayPort. Due to this difference, the Precision 5530 also provides an HDMI port for external displays and a power adapter port. The 5530 also provides a standard SD memory card reader where the 2-in-1 provides a micro-SD card reader.

Last-but-not-least, related to processor performance, the 5530 configuration includes 6-core CPUs like the i9 8950HK with a base clock speed of 2.9 GHz and a peak clock speed of 4.4 GHz along with an NVIDIA Quadro P2000 GPU. The processor options in the 2-in-1 include a 4-core Core i7 CPU with a maximum clock speed of 4.10 GHz and the integrated Radeon RX GPU.



Precision 5530 2-in-1

Precision 5530

USB 3.1 Gen 1

- 2

USB 3.1 with PowerShare, DC-in & DisplayPort

2 -

Thunderbolt 3 with PowerShare, DC-in & DisplayPort

2 -

Thunderbolt 3

- 1


- 1

Memory card reader

- 1

Micro SD reader

1 -

Power Adapter Port

- (uses Thunderbolt) 1

Headphone jack

1 (universal Audio jack) 1

Security lock

1 1

The PW Perspective

If your work benefits from a pen-capable or a touch-capable display, then this workstation could be a good option for you. This could be especially true for professionals in design, graphic arts, animation, and architecture. The 2 TB SSD storage is a decent level of storage capacity. Some users may want to wait for the 32 GB memory configurations. The 4-core Kaby Lake processor with the integrated Radeon graphics will certainly get the job done for most mobile creative professionals. 

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