Earlier this year, Dell launched its new 16" Precision 5680 laptop, a powerful, surprisingly portable mobile workstation featuring your choice of 13th Gen Intel® Core™ processor and NVIDIA RTX Ada Lovelace GPU. Billed as a top-performing solution for business, creative, and design endeavors, we were excited to take the Precision 5680 out for a weeklong test drive to see how well it fared. It did not disappoint.
One of the most surprising features of the Precision 5680 is its portability. At 4.2 lb, the Precision 5680 is one of the lightest 16" mobile workstations in the world. It's also one of the most compact, featuring a footprint that's significantly smaller than most of its competitors.
However, despite its lightweight build, the Precision 5680 is plenty durable. Its aluminum chassis feels sturdy in hand and has very little give―even when you apply pressure. Likewise, the keyboard has virtually no flex and the display hinge offers just the right amount of rigidity.
The Precision 5680 is also MIL-STD-810H certified, meaning it can endure most temperature and transit shocks, vibrations, high-speed winds, dust, blowing sand, and other hazards you might encounter while traveling.
In terms of display options, you can choose between a 16" 1920 x 1200 LCD panel or a 2840 x 2400 OLED touchscreen. The OLED is obviously the more premium of the two, offering better image quality and touchscreen capability, but regardless of which panel type you choose, the bezels around the screen will be ultra slim—especially for a mobile workstation.
It's also worth noting that the 16" panel is a first for the Precision 5000 series (which originally debuted in 2015). Prior to the 5680's launch, users could choose from a 14", 15", and 17" models. The 16" Precision 5680 rounds the stable out nicely.
For ports and connectivity options, the Precision 5680 comes with two USB-C Thunderbolt™ 4 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, an audio jack, an SD card slot, as well as Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3.
There's no USB-A port, which is surprising for a mobile workstation, nor is there an Ethernet jack. We assume these omissions were necessary to maintain the 5680's super-skinny build, but the lack of USB-A connectivity was a bit of a letdown. If you do have USB-A accessories you want to connect, you'll have to supply your own adapter.
To benchmark the Precision 5680's performance, we used a demo unit featuring a 13th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-13800H processor, a NVIDIA RTX 2000 GPU, 512GB of M.2 memory, and a hefty 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM. Keep in mind that Dell offers multiple iterations of the Precision 5680, so the build you walk away with (and its subsequent performance) could be different than ours.
After a week of testing, we can confirm that the Precision 5680 is every bit the portable performance monster Dell claimed it to be. Not only did the Precision 5680 outscore every other (comparable) 16" workstation on PCMark 10's productivity benchmark, it also performed extremely well on content creation and graphics benchmarks, including stress tests for 3D modeling, rendering, and animation. In particular, the Precision 5680 posted the highest PugetBench Premiere Pro score we've ever seen from a 16" mobile workstation, meaning it should be able to handle just about any video-editing task you throw its way.
Battery performance was excellent. In fact, it was so good, we performed two additional rundown tests just to confirm our results. In each test, the Precision 5680 lasted more than 12 hours on a full charge. Compared to almost every other 16" mobile workstation, that's nearly twice as much.
As far as screen performance goes, if you opt for the 1920 x 1200 LCD panel, you'll be satisfied but probably not blown away. Don't get us wrong: It's a very good display. Colors look great and the 500 cd/m2 brightness level is top tier. However, if you're looking for absolutely brilliant, drop-dead gorgeous graphics, you should opt for the 4K OLED panel.
Most mobile workstations cost more than conventional laptops, and the Precision 5680 is no exception. Our test unit currently retails for around $2,500, and despite its stellar performance, it's technically only a mid-level rig. If you opt for the maxed-out version, you could be looking at an MSRP well over $6,000.
Of course, the reason the Precision 5680 costs so much more than your average laptop is because it's so much more capable than the average laptop. Based on its performance benchmarks, as we mention above, it's more capable than most other 16" workstations, as well.
With that in mind, we think the Precision 5680 offers great value and plenty of bang for your considerable buck. Its sleek, surprisingly portable design and class-leading performance make it a legitimate desktop replacement that can travel anywhere and tackle just about any task or workflow, be it business, design, or content creation.
The Precision 5680 is everything you could want in a mobile workstation. It is incredibly powerful, shockingly portable, and its best-in-class battery performance yields twice as much time as nearly every other workstation out there. Yes, it's a tad expensive (mobile workstations usually are), but considering what it can do, where it can go, and how fast it'll chew through your entire workflow, we think it's worth every penny.
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