Dell Precision 5470 review: too small to be efficient

“The Dell Precision 5470 is small and slender, nevertheless it lacks the facility of a conveyable workstation.”


  • Glorious productiveness efficiency
  • Stable and engaging construct
  • Vibrant, color-accurate display screen
  • Nice keyboard and touchpad


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

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

That additionally means a larger emphasis on efficiency over portability. Dell’s Precision 5470 adjustments that up by packing workstation-class elements into a skinny and light-weight 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 light-weight chassis, and it prices far an excessive amount of to be aggressive outdoors the world of workstations.


  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
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 Non-compulsory
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 camera
Working system Home windows 11
Battery 72 watt-hour
Value $1,929+

Efficiency is every little thing

Dell Precision 5470 rear view showing lid and logo.Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

My review unit was loaded, sporting a 45-watt, 14-core/20-thread Core i9-12900H CPU with vPro working at as much as 5GHz, 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM, a 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD, and an Nvidia RTX A1000 GPU. The worth? A cool $3,787. That’s some huge cash for some potent elements stuffed into what seems to be 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, it isn’t so quick that it justifies its workstation designation or workstation pricing.

I’ll evaluate on to the $1,150 Dell Inspiron 14 Plus, one other 14-inch laptop I reviewed lately. That system used a 45-watt, 14-core/20-thread Core i7-12700H working at as much as 4.7GHz and an Nvidia RTX 3050. It is 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 are able to see from our benchmarks, the Precision 5470’s efficiency was blended when in comparison with the Inspiron 14 Plus. It was barely sooner in Geekbench 5 and Cinebench R23 however a bit slower in our Handbrake video-encoding take a look at. As you progress up in measurement, the Precision 5470 falls additional behind. Be aware that I’ve reported in our desk under each balanced and efficiency mode outcomes primarily based 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 dwell model of Adobe’s Premiere Professional. That’s exactly the type of utility {that a} transportable workstation is geared toward working, and it makes use of each the CPU and the GPU in tandem. Whereas the Precision 5470 was sooner 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 measurement.

The Dell XPS 15 with the RTX 3050 Ti, for instance, is general 16% sooner, and a whopping 38% sooner at exporting timelines — doubtless because of 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 number of benchmarks particularly for transportable workstations, however the PugetBench benchmark serves as a good 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 light-weight 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 big worth in efficiency for a conveyable workstation that’s barely simpler to hold round.

(single / multi)
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
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 gained’t hassle 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 everyday RTX 3050. In case you resolve to run some video games on the laptop, you’ll be restricted to 1080p and medium or decrease graphics in most fashionable titles.

Good sized, however so what?

Dell Precision 5470 front angled view showing display and keyboard deck.Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

Sure, the Precision 5470 is an impressively small laptop. It advantages from the identical tiny bezels as Dell’s XPS line, and as I hinted above, it seems to be quite a bit like a smaller model of the XPS 15. It has a darker grey aluminum lid and chassis backside and the identical type of black carbon fiber keyboard deck, with strains which can be eerily much 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 strong laptop within the Precision 5470, that’s for positive. 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’s construct high quality.

Once more, although, it’s exhausting to justify the Precision 5470’s measurement and worth when a laptop that prices lower than a 3rd as a lot and is simply barely bigger performs virtually 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 licensed to run these key functions extra reliably, which is one thing we are able to’t take a look at. It’s a doubtful proposition, although, that these components are sufficient to justify the worth leap with out an equal efficiency improve.

Dell Precision 5470 left side showing ports.

dell precision 5470 review right side

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 understand it. The Precision 5470 does have up-to-date wi-fi connectivity, nonetheless.

An acceptable show

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

It’s very shiny at 549 nits, gives colours which can be simply broad and correct sufficient, and supplies an especially excessive distinction ratio that may please any person. If the Precision 5470 had been sooner and appealed to extra demanding creators, then the AdobeRGB gamut protection can be a bit low, however as it’s, it’s ok.

Distinction sRGB gamut AdobeRGB gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(decrease is best)
Dell Precision 5470
549 1,640:1 100% 83% 0.95
MSI Creator Z16P
461 990:1 100% 89% 0.89
Dell XPS 17 9720
543 1,870:1 100% 100% 0.58
Dell XPS 15 9520
391 28,130:1 100% 96% 0.42
Apple MacBook Professional 16
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 doubtless much like these discovered on the XPS 15, which means they’re among the many higher audio system you’ll discover in a Home windows laptop.

Every thing 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 gives equal spacing and the identical giant, snug keycaps. The switches additionally appear similar, with the identical mild and snappy mechanism and exact bottoming motion. The XPS line has considered one of my favourite Home windows keyboards, in order that’s an actual plus.

Dell Precision 5470 top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

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 review unit was touch-enabled and labored in addition to regular.

Dell saved 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 currently with 1080p webcams. The infrared camera allows Home windows 11 Howdy passwordless login through facial recognition, with a fingerprint reader embedded within the energy button providing one other dependable strategy to log in.

Dell Precision 5470 top down view showing fingerprint reader.Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

The infrared camera additionally enabled Dell’s person presence detection options. Onlooker Detection can inform when somebody is wanting over the person’s shoulder and apply a texture to the show to obscure no matter knowledge is on-screen. Look Away Detect is aware of when the person 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 person leaves the realm, and Wake on Strategy wakes up the laptop and logs it in when the person returns. Every of those options labored nicely throughout my testing and needed to be turned off to allow my battery benchmarks.

Dell Precision 5470 side view showing lid and ports.Mark Coppock/Digital Traits

Lastly, we must always contemplate the Precision 5470’s battery life, though that’s not a key metric for a workstation. Our testing emphasizes productiveness battery life, which suggests a couple of checks that don’t push the CPU all that onerous.

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

Internet shopping Video PCMark 10
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 and wanted workstation-like efficiency, I’d do some additional weightlifting and choose a bigger and heavier workstation like Dell’s Precision 5570 or perhaps a mainstream powerhouse just like the MSI Creator X16P. Positive, it might 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 might be one other strong 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 doubtless don’t want a workstation-level laptop. You possibly can decide from amongst a number of 14-inch laptops and get as a lot portability and possibly even higher efficiency at a a lot lower cost.

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