My quest to search out the proper Linux laptop computer has taken me across the globe searching for some type of nirvana that may verify off all my requisite containers. Said laptop computer would want to:Run Linux out of the field. Support the most recent iteration of any given Linux distribution. Be very cell. Offer greater than sufficient energy to run all the pieces I would like. Include a top-notch keyboard and trackpad. Have a shocking show.
I understand that is a reasonably heavy ask listing, however it’s a naked minimal for me in order that I can work in the best way I’m accustomed to. So when Dell supplied to ship me a Precision 5530, working Ubuntu Linux, I used to be intrigued. After all, the final laptop computer they despatched me, the Dell 13 XPS Developer version, was an unbelievable piece of . So I assumed one other laptop computer, with an identical type issue, can be equally as spectacular. Sadly, I used to be mistaken.SEE: Hardware decommissioning coverage (Tech Pro Research)
Don’t get me unsuitable, the Precision 5530 is a beast (Figure A). It checks off most of my listing. But a few points flip this from a deal maker to deal breaker.
Let’s dig in and see the place it hits and the place it misses. Figure AThe hitsFirst the hits. Let’s speak specs. Of course, you possibly can customise the 5530 so that it’s going to blow away your thought of how a laptop computer ought to carry out. However, I am going to listing off the baseline specs so the place this machine begins. Here’s the listing:CPU: Intel Core i5-8300H Quad Core working at 2.3 GHzGraphics: Intel HD graphics.Display: 15.6 UltraSharp FHD IGZ04, 1920×1080, AG, NTRAM: 8GB DDR4 2666MHz SDRAMStorage: 500GB 7200RPM SATAWireless: Qualcomm QCA61x4A 802.11 ac Dual Band 2x2Battery: 3-cell (56Wh) Lithium Ion with ExpressChargeOptimizer: Dell Precision OptimizerThose baseline specs alone ought to tick off loads of containers for many customers. And belief me after I say the Precision 5530 runs as quick as any laptop computer I used. Why? Because Dell shipped me a mannequin decked out with an Intel Core i9-8950HK six-core CPU working at 2.9 GHz and 32 GB of RAM (such a specced-out machine prices roughly $1,840.48 USD). So yeah, it screams. In reality, it is extra highly effective than my System76 Leopard Extreme desktop (which says one thing). That checks off the facility possibility in my listing.Next is the truth that the Precision 5530 helps Linux out of the field. The Dell shipped with Ubuntu 16.04 (extra on this in a bit), which runs very effectively. Applications begin up instantly and run as easily as any I’ve skilled. This checks off Linux out-of-the-box help on my listing.The keyboard and trackpad on the Precision 5530 are an identical to the XPS. In different phrases, they’re one of the best in breed. Unlike the nightmare that has develop into the MacBook Pro butterfly keys, the 5530 keys are rock stable and with the proper quantity of journey and contact. These fantastically backlit keys really feel like they may take an incessant pounding out of your fingers and by no means bat a metaphorical eye. No matter your choice for keyboards, the 5530 is certain to please you. Same goes with the trackpad. Although it is not as giant as these discovered on a MacBook (or as “glassy” feeling), the 5530 trackpad is slick and presents simply the correct amount of sensitivity.See: IT procurement coverage (Tech Pro Research)The solely caveat is that getting any stage of multi-touch gestures working is not well worth the effort. The carbon fiber floor across the keyboard makes for a really particular human to machine interface. Its buttery easy and mocks fingerprints and smudges.Although the show does have a caveat too, it nonetheless checks off the required field. The 5530 show is crisp. With about an approximate one-eighth of an inch bezel, you get tons of display actual property, which lets you tile home windows and multitask like a champ. The caveat in query? Due to the display decision, some Linux apps (resembling The GIMP) run with extremely tiny menus and toolboxes (a lot so, if you happen to’re not very acquainted with the instruments, you may discover them exhausting to work with). Standard apps (resembling LibreOffice and Firefox) don’t fall to this identical downside.The missesThere are solely two true misses with the 5530—neither of that are absolute deal breakers for everybody.The first miss (and it is a deal breaker for me) is that the 5530 doesn’t help the most recent LTS launch of Ubuntu. When I acquired the primary 5530, there was a networking difficulty plaguing Ubuntu 16.04. So, I upgraded Ubuntu to 18.04. Unfortunately, the 5530 would not help 18.04, and the one solution to get it to work was to log into Ubuntu utilizing Wayland. That was removed from optimum (although networking lastly labored as anticipated). That identical laptop computer was despatched again to me, re-imaged. When it arrived at my doorstep, Ubuntu 16.04 labored as anticipated (together with networking).After talking with a Dell rep, it seems the 5530 merely doesn’t help 18.04 in the intervening time. The difficulty is a show driver downside, one which hopefully might be resolved by the point 18.10 is launched.The subsequent miss is mobility. This is a matter of non-public style, however the 5530 is heavy. Granted it is not a 13″ ultrabook, however the beast has to weigh as a lot as my 2015 Pixelbook and my MacBook Pro mixed. Although that is not a dealbreaker, it definitely wants to come back into consideration for anybody who drags their laptop computer from shopper to shopper (or espresso store to espresso store). So if you happen to’re searching for a pleasant, light-weight laptop computer, you’d greatest head again over to the XPS Developer version. If you do not thoughts lugging round a beefy laptop computer in your bag, the facility you achieve for this measurement is certainly a tradeoff value making.ConclusionIf you are searching for a powerhouse of a laptop computer that features one of many single greatest keyboards available on the market, and you do not thoughts that it is heavy and would not (at present) help the most recent launch of Ubuntu Linux, you can’t go unsuitable with the Dell Precision 5530. It’s a monster of a laptop computer that may serve you for a very long time.
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Image: Jack Wallen