Consumer tests and product reviews

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Using the Dell Precision 3520 laptop in 2021

Dell Precision 3520 is a powerful machine that is couple of years old but is it any good in 2021? Check our feedback and comments for this mobile workhorse

Dell Precision 3520 - review in 2021

About a year ago we realized that we needed another machine for work purposes, mostly for editing photos and videos on the go. We also didn't want to spend too much and decided to buy second hand laptop in "as new" condition. What we bought was the Dell Precision 3520 and we have been using it all the time since then. 

Today we will share our feedback and comments about the Precision 3520 mobile workstation so you can decide if it is worth buying second hand in 2021.

Dell Precision 3520 - general feedback

Our general impressions with this laptop are very good and positive. It served us well in the past year and didn't let us down. Yes, we wish it had a more powerful video card, that would help a lot but still 2GB of dedicated NVIDIA Quadro M620 video memory does the job in Lightroom and Premiere Pro most of the time. 

For heavier and more demanding projects we have to switch to another more powerful machine but editing short 4k videos is just fine on the Precision 3520. Full HD edits in Premiere Pro are more than adequate and you can render these relatively shortly. 

Other than that the Precision 3520 is a very stable machine, both as a hardware piece and working with different software as well. 

Dell Precision 3520 - display

The Full HD IPS display of the Precision 3520 is one of its best features. We really love this display, it is big enough for work and media with its 15-inches and colors are just great. Really nothing to complain from the display, even by 2021 standards. 

Dell Precision 3520 - hardware performance

Intel processor sticker

The Precision 3520 is couple of years old but still holds on a pretty good level. That is mostly thanks to its powerful Intel Core i7 7820-HQ processor, 16GB of RAM and a fast 256 NVMe SSD. For our daily tasks the laptop behaves as a modern computer - it is generally fast in almost any situation and software used. 

As we mentioned earlier, the average performing video card holds it down a bit, modern video cards have much more powerful characteristics but still it is a dedicated video card, rather than embedded chip with shared memory (Intel HD Graphics 630 on the chipset). 

Dell Precision 3520 - keyboard and touchpad

Typically for Dell laptops the keyboard is very comfortable. I wish the keys were just a bit bigger with less spacing among each other but still it is a very solid keyboard without and squeaks or strange sounds. 

Dell Precision 3520 keyboard and touchpad

Same can be said for the touchpad which is big enough and also quite responsive, nothing else to comment here really. 

One month with the Dell Precision 3520

To summarize our feedback - we are really glad that we bought this laptop, especially on the price we got it (quite low). I hope it will last for couple more years before we decide it is time for another upgrade.

If you are interested in something newer though, I would recommend you to check the Dell Latitude 5411 which we tested by the end of 2020.