The Dell Precision 5560 (2021) is a 15.6 inch mid-range mobile workstation. It sits between the lower-end Precision 3000 series and the higher-end Precision 7000 series in Dell's lineup, and it replaces the Precision 5550 model from 2020 with Intel 10th Gen CPUs and NVIDIA Quadro T1000/T2000 GPUs. The Precision 5560 is mainly an internal upgrade as the outer design looks almost identical to its predecessor. The CPU gets an upgrade to Intel 11th Gen, and there are also new GPU options, the NVIDIA Quadro T1200 and RTX A2000. The USB-C ports now support Thunderbolt 4, and the storage slot supports PCIe Gen 4 SSDs.
Our Dell Precision 5560 has an Intel Core i7-11800H CPU, an NVIDIA Quadro T1200 GPU, 16GB of memory, and 512GB of storage. You can also configure the laptop with an Intel Core i5-11500H, i7-11850H, i9-11950H, or Core Xeon W-11955M CPU. There's only one other GPU option: the NVIDIA RTX A2000. The memory is configurable up to 64GB, and you can choose between non-ECC or ECC memory; however, the ECC memory is only available on models with an Intel Core Xeon W-11955M CPU.
The Dell Precision 5560 is good for school use. It's a well-built laptop with a thin and light design that makes it easy to carry around. The keyboard feels comfortable to type on all day, and the touchpad is large and responsive. The 1080p display is decently sharp and gets bright enough to combat glare, and you can also upgrade to a 4k panel if you want even sharper text and images. The battery lasts about nine hours of light productivity, which is enough to get through a typical school day, though you might still need to plug it in if you perform more intensive tasks. Its Intel CPU and dedicated NVIDIA GPU are powerful enough to handle demanding workloads, like graphic design or 3D animation.
Although the Dell Precision 5560 isn't a gaming laptop, it's still decent for gaming. Its Intel CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs are powerful enough for 1080p gaming, though you'll have to lower some settings in graphically demanding titles to get smooth gameplay. Unfortunately, you can only configure the laptop with a 1080p or 4k 60Hz display, and both panels have a slow response time with no variable refresh rate support to reduce screen tearing. Also, it gets hot under load.
The Dell Precision 5560 is good for media consumption. It's portable thanks to its thin and light design, and its battery lasts around seven hours of video playback, enough time to get through a couple of full-length movies. You get a bright and colorful 1080p display with good color accuracy out of the box, and you can also upgrade to a 4k display if you want even sharper images. Unfortunately, although the speakers sound full and get very loud, they cause a buzzing sound at higher volume levels. Also, its IPS display isn't ideal for dark room viewing as it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks appear gray in dim settings.
The Dell Precision 5560 is a great workstation. It's available with Intel 11th Gen CPUs and discrete NVIDIA GPUs, which are powerful enough to handle demanding workloads like graphic design, 3D animation and modeling, and video editing. It has a fast SSD for quick file transfers, a comfortable keyboard that you can type on all day, and its memory and storage drive are user-replaceable. However, it gets hot under load, and there's some thermal throttling on the CPU.
The Dell Precision 5560 is good for business use. It feels well built, and it's easy to carry around thanks to its thin and light design. It has a comfortable keyboard, a large and responsive touchpad, and a display that gets bright enough to combat glare. The battery lasts a little less than nine hours of light productivity, so depending on your workload, you might have to plug it in for a quick charge to get through the day. Its Intel CPU performs well and can handle demanding workloads like large number-crunching in Excel. Unfortunately, it doesn't have any USB-A or HDMI port, and the webcam's video quality is mediocre as the image looks soft, underexposed, and noisy.
The Dell Precision 5560 is a sleek and premium-looking laptop with an aluminum chassis, a carbon fiber keyboard deck, and very thin bezels. It's almost identical to the Dell XPS 13 (2021) but with grills on both sides of the keyboard (like the XPS 15). There are airflow vents on the bottom and the back of the laptop, and the speakers are also on the bottom near the sides.
The Dell 5560's build quality is excellent. The chassis is a mix of aluminum and some plastic, and the keyboard deck is carbon fiber. It feels solid and sturdy overall, with a finish that doesn't easily scratch or pick up fingerprints, and there aren't any obvious flaws in the construction. There's a little bit of flex in the display but none in the keyboard deck. It has a heft to it, and the weight feels evenly distributed.
The Dell Precision 5560 has outstanding hinges. They feel smooth when opening and closing the lid, and they're very stable, exhibiting no wobble at all. You can open the laptop with one hand, a nice quality-of-life feature that makes the device feel more premium.
The Dell Precision 5560 is a thin and relatively light laptop that's easy to carry around. The power adapter is a little bulky but lightweight.
The Dell 5560's serviceability is good. You can access the internals easily; you just have to remove eight T5 Torx screws and remove the bottom panel. Once inside, you can replace the memory, storage drive, and battery. Models with 8GB of RAM have only one memory module running in single-channel mode. You can see the service manual here. Opening the laptop and changing the hardware may void the manufacturer's warranty.
You can configure the Dell Precision 5560 with a 1080p IPS or 4k IPS display. It's more precisely 1920 x 1200 and 3840 x 2400, respectively, as both panels have a 16:10 aspect ratio, which gives you more vertical space so that you don't have to scroll as much when reading a document or website. The 1080p display is decently sharp at this screen size, though you can still see individual pixels if you're close enough. The 4k is significantly sharper but drains the battery much faster. There's no touchscreen option.
The Dell 5560's 1080p display has a basic refresh rate typical of most productivity-focused laptops. The response time is slow, causing noticeable ghosting, and it doesn't support variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing when gaming, so it isn't the best option for viewing fast-moving content or gaming. The 4k display performs similarly as it has the same refresh rate and advertised response time.
As far as IPS panels go, the Dell Precision 5560 has a great contrast ratio. However, it's still a relatively low number, and blacks still look grayish in dim settings. If you want deeper blacks for a better dark room viewing experience, it's best to get a laptop with an OLED panel or even a Mini LED display like the Apple MacBook Pro 14 and 16 with Apple silicon. The 4k panel has roughly the same advertised contrast and will perform similarly. The contrast ratio can vary between individual units, but the difference is usually minor and isn't noticeable.
The Dell Precision 5560's display brightness doesn't quite hit the advertised 500 cd/m², but it's bright enough for use in most environments, even outdoors in broad daylight. If you often view content in the dark, the screen gets very dim at the lowest brightness setting to help reduce eye strain. The 4k panel will perform similarly as it has the same advertised brightness. If you need a laptop with a brighter display, check out the newer Dell Precision 5570 (2022).
The Dell Precision 5560 has good reflection handling. Its matte coating does a great job of diffusing and reducing the intensity of bright, direct reflections, like a lamp or open window during the day. Reflections aren't an issue when viewing light-color content with the screen at maximum brightness, but they're distracting when viewing dark content.
The Dell Precision 5560's black uniformity is great. It looks a little patchy, but it's hard to notice unless you really look for it. Also, it's only visible when viewing dark content in a dark setting. Black uniformity varies between individual units due to manufacturing tolerances; you may get some backlight bleed, which is common for IPS panels, but you can expect the rest of the screen to be fairly similar.
The Dell 5560 has good horizontal viewing angles. The image remains accurate until you reach a moderately steep angle to the left or right, meaning you can share the screen with someone else, even for color-critical work, as long as the other person isn't too far off to the side.
The Dell 5560 has okay vertical viewing angles. Image accuracy doesn't degrade much when viewing from slightly above or below, which is handy when you don't have space to tilt the screen to your liking, like on an airplane or a bus. That said, it's best to look at the screen straight on if you need perfect image accuracy.
The Dell 5560 has good color accuracy out of the box. Most color inaccuracies are minor and hard to spot, and the white balance is only off at higher brightness levels. The gamma doesn't follow the sRGB curve at all, making dark scenes too dark and bright scenes too bright. Color accuracy varies between individual units, but the difference is usually minimal.
The Dell Precision 5560's 1080p display has an excellent color gamut. It has full coverage of the commonly-used sRGB color space. It has great coverage of wider color spaces like Adobe RGB and DCI P3, but still not enough for color-critical work. If you need a wider color gamut, it's best to get the 4k display as it has an advertised 100% Adobe RGB and 94% DCI P3 coverage.
The Dell Precision 5560 laptop has a flicker-free display, which helps reduce eye strain for people sensitive to flickering.
The Dell Precision 5560 has a great keyboard. It feels spacious, and it has a fairly standard layout that's easy to adapt to. The plastic used for the keycaps feels high-quality, and the keys are relatively stable. The scissor switches have a good amount of travel, don't require much force to actuate, and provide satisfying tactile feedback. The keyboard doesn't feel tiring to type on over an extended period, and it's relatively quiet, so it shouldn't bother others in a noise-sensitive environment. You can toggle between two backlight brightness levels or turn it off completely using F5.
The Dell Precision 5560 has an outstanding touchpad. It's large, smooth, and responsive, with a polling rate hovering between 140Hz and 150Hz, sometimes as high as 160Hz. It tracks all movements and gestures well, and there aren't any issues with palm detection or double clicks. The click doesn't feel particularly satisfying, but the upside is that you can click anywhere on the touchpad.
The Dell Precision 5560 has excellent speakers. They sound full and deliver clear, forward vocals. There's some bass, but not a whole lot. They get very loud with minimal compression at max volume; however, there's some buzzing and rattling when the volume is around 50% or more. It's likely an issue that only affects certain units, so your mileage may vary.
The Dell Precision 5560 has a mediocre webcam. The image looks soft, underexposed, and slightly washed out, and there's also a fair amount of noise. Voices come across loud and clear over the microphone, but there's a lot of static in the background as well as some distortion.
The Dell 5560's port selection is okay. The right USB-C is a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port with up to 10Gbps data transfer speed, and it supports DisplayPort Alt Mode and Power Delivery (up to 15W). The two USB-Cs on the left are Thunderbolt 4 ports with up to 40Gbps data transfer speed, and they support two external 4k displays at 60Hz or one 8k display at 60Hz. You can charge the laptop via any of the three USB-C ports. If you want a mobile workstation with a wider port selection, check out the Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 (2021).
The Dell 5560 has an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 wireless adapter.
The Dell Precision 5560 is available with the following Intel 11th Gen CPUs:
The Intel Core i5, i7s, and i9 CPUs are mainstream multi-purpose processors typically found in gaming laptops and mobile workstations. The Core i5-11500H is the lowest-end configuration and a fairly capable CPU, but for professional-level work, it's worth getting at least a Core i7 as the additional cores will improve performance significantly. The two Core i7s and the Core i9 only differ in clock speeds, so upgrading from the i7-11800H to the i7-11850H or i9-11950H will only give you a slight performance boost. The Intel Core Xeon W-11955M is essentially the same CPU as the Core i9-11950H and will perform similarly, but it supports ECC (Error Correction Code) memory for better system stability. If you want a mobile workstation with newer Intel 12th Gen CPUs, check out the Dell Precision 3571 (2022).
The Dell 5560 is available with the following NVIDIA dedicated GPUs:
The NVIDIA Quadro T1200 and the RTX A2000 are discrete GPUs designed for production workloads like 3D modeling and graphic design. The Quadro T1200 is roughly equivalent to an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650/1650Ti, while the RTX A2000 is roughly equivalent to an RTX 3050/3050Ti. The RTX A2000 is about 20% to 40% faster than the Quadro T1200, depending on the workload. It also has ray-tracing support as well as AI Tensor cores that can improve performance significantly in heavy computational workloads. If you want a similar workstation with more powerful GPU options, check out the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 (2021).
You can configure the Dell 5560 with 8, 16, 32, or 64GB of memory. You can choose between non-ECC or ECC memory; however, you can only get ECC memory on models equipped with an Intel Core Xeon W-11955M CPU. ECC (Error Correction Code) RAM is a type of memory typically found in workstations and servers. It checks and corrects any data corruption to provide better system stability. The 8GB configuration runs in single-channel mode, but the rest is dual-channel.
You can configure the Dell Precision 5560 with 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB of storage. Dell's specifications indicate that the storage slot supports an M.2 2230 or 2280 PCIe Gen 4 x4 NVMe SSD, but the laptop comes with a slower PCIe Gen 3 x4 SSD.
The Dell Precision 5560's overall score in Geekbench 5 is outstanding. While the Intel Core i7-11800H's single-thread performance isn't as good as Apple's M1 SoC, it's still fantastic and among the best for x86 CPUs of its generation. Its multi-thread performance is excellent; however, it's a bit worse than expected as it scores lower than the Intel Core i5-11400H in the HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15 (2021), which has two fewer cores. That said, the Core i7-11800H is still powerful enough to handle any type of workload, including demanding tasks like graphic design and 3D modeling.
The NVIDIA Quadro T1200 performs well in GPU compute tasks, scoring in the same ballpark as the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650Ti, an entry-level discrete gaming GPU. The NVIDIA RTX A2000 will perform 20% to 40% better than the Quadro T1200 in most workloads but can be significantly more in applications that can use the RTX A2000's Tensor cores.
The Intel Core i7-11800H CPU in the Dell 5560 performs exceptionally well in Cinebench R23, making it suitable for CPU rendering and other related tasks. The i7-11850H, i9-11950H, and Xeon W-11955M will only perform slightly better, but the i5-11500H will be slower due to its smaller core count.
The Dell Precision 5560's performance in Blender is excellent. Although the CPU can complete the render fairly quickly, it's still better to use the GPU as it's significantly faster, especially if you use NVIDIA Optix API hardware acceleration. The NVIDIA RTX A2000 is faster and will likely complete the same render in under 30 seconds.
The Dell 5560 with an NVIDIA Quadro T1200 GPU performs decently well in the Basemark GPU benchmark. It scores about the same as an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, like the one in the HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15 (2021), but it'll perform slightly worse in real games due to the lack of optimized drivers. It can handle 1080p gaming, but you'll have to play at low settings in most titles to get smooth gameplay. The NVIDIA RTX A2000 is faster and will easily reach 60 fps in most games at 1080p with high settings.
The Dell Precision 5560's storage drive performance is outstanding. It has fast read and write speeds that make the system feel snappy and shortens the time it takes to boot up, launch apps, and transfer files. That said, it's a PCIe Gen 3 SSD even though the storage slot supports PCIe Gen 4, meaning you can get much faster speeds if you replace it with a PCIe Gen 4 SSD. The speed of the SSD may vary depending on the size, as larger SSDs tend to perform better.
The Dell Precision 5560 has decent battery life. It lasts long enough to get through a typical workday of light productivity, but just barely, so you might still need to plug it in for a quick charge depending on your workload. Video playback consumes a little more power than web browsing, but it still lasts long enough to get you through a couple of full-length movies. Gaming and other demanding tasks like video editing drain the battery very quickly, so you'll have to use the laptop plugged in most of the time. Models with a 4k panel will have a much shorter battery life. Battery life varies greatly depending on your usage and the laptop's configuration.
Borderlands 3 runs poorly on the Dell Precision 5560. The game is very choppy at high settings. It's a lot smoother at low settings, but it still stutters at times. Models with an NVIDIA RTX A2000 will perform better, though you might still need to lower some settings to get to an average of 60 fps.
The Dell Precision 5560 performs reasonably well with Civilization VI. The average frame rate at high settings is decent, and there are only occasional, barely noticeable stutters. You only need to lower a few settings to get the frame rate over 60 fps. The NVIDIA RTX A2000 will reach 60 fps at high settings without any issues. The average turn time is also decent and within the expected range for an Intel 11th Gen H-series CPU. The other CPU configurations will only affect the turn time slightly, not enough to make much difference.
CS:GO runs very smoothly on the Dell Precision 5560. The average frame rate is high, and there aren't any noticeable stutters. Every configuration of this laptop can run this game without any problems.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider runs decently well on the Dell Precision 5560 with an Intel Core i7-11800H CPU and an NVIDIA Quadro T1200 GPU. It doesn't quite reach an average of 60 fps at 1080p with high settings; however, it's still playable, and you only need to turn down a few settings to get the frame rate above 60 fps. There are some stutters, but they don't happen often. The NVIDIA RTX A2000 will perform slightly better and get you closer to 60 fps with fewer tweaks in the settings.
The Dell Precision 5560 has mediocre thermal and noise handling. In an idle state, the keyboard deck is only a little warm, and the fans are completely silent. The fans remain relatively quiet and aren't distracting under load; however, the keyboard gets uncomfortably hot, with the hottest spot being right in the middle of the keyboard. The bottom of the laptop also gets warm, but it isn't uncomfortable to the point of being unusable on a lap. If you want a laptop with better thermals, check out the ASUS ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED (2021).
The Dell Precision 5560's performance over time is great. The GPU is relatively cool under load and doesn't throttle at all. However, the CPU gets very hot and throttles quickly. The performance loss on the CPU is noticeable, so you can expect renders and other demanding tasks to take longer to complete than on another laptop with the same CPU but better cooling. The other CPU and GPU configurations will likely perform similarly.
The Dell 5560 has a few pre-installed software applications, including:
The Dell 5560 has a fingerprint sensor built into the power button and a Windows Hello compatible IR camera. You can use either one to log in, authorize purchases on the Windows Store, or auto-fill saved passwords on supported websites.
We tested the Dell Precision 5560 with an Intel Core i7-11800H CPU, an NVIDIA Quadro T1200 discrete GPU, 16GB of memory, and 512GB of storage. The screen, CPU, GPU, memory, and storage are configurable; you can see the available options in the table below.
Our display and performance results are only valid for the configuration we tested. If you come across a different configuration option not listed above, or you have a similar Dell Precision 5560 that doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update it. Some tests, like black uniformity and color accuracy, may vary between individual units.
You can see our unit's label here.
The Dell Precision 5560 is a great workstation that stands out for its thin and light design and sturdy build, as well as for the quality of its keyboard and touchpad. However, there are newer laptops with more powerful CPUs and GPUs, like the newer Dell Precision 5570 and the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021) with Apple silicon.
The Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021) is better than the Dell Precision 5560 (2021). Although both are premium devices, the MacBook Pro 16's build feels sturdier overall. The MacBook Pro 16 has a wider port selection and a much better webcam, and it doesn't get as hot or loud under load. The MacBook Pro's M1 Pro and M1 Max SoCs perform better than the Precision 5560's Intel 11th Gen CPUs, and they're more power-efficient, allowing the MacBook Pro 16 to last much longer on battery.
The Dell Precision 5560 (2021) is better than the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2019). The Precision 5560 performs better as it's a newer device with more powerful Intel 11th Gen CPUs and NVIDIA dedicated GPUs. It also has a more comfortable keyboard, and its memory and storage drive are user-replaceable, which you can't do on the MacBook Pro 16. However, the MacBook Pro 16 has a sturdier build and a much better webcam.
The Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 (2021) and the Dell Precision 5560 (2021) are both mobile workstations. Choosing between them depends on what you care more about. If you just want performance, the Lenovo is a better choice as it has higher-end GPU configurations, and its more robust cooling system allows the GPUs to run at a higher wattage. On the other hand, if you prefer a sleeker and more portable device that offers a better user experience, then go with the Dell.
The Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2021) is better than the Dell Precision 5560 (2021). The MacBook Pro 14 is a more compact and portable device with a sturdier build. It has a wider port selection, a better webcam, and a Mini LED display with a better contrast ratio, a faster refresh rate, and higher peak brightness. The MacBook Pro's M1 Pro and Max SoCs perform better than Intel's 11th Gen processors, and they're more power efficient, leading to longer battery life. However, the Precision 5560 is more serviceable as its memory and storage drive are user-replaceable, and its speakers get significantly louder.
The Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4 (2021) and the Dell Precision 5560 (2021) are both thin and light Windows mobile workstations with Intel 11th Gen CPUs and NVIDIA discrete GPUs. The Dell is slightly more compact, making it easier to carry around, and its build feels sturdier. It also has a much better touchpad and longer battery life. On the other hand, the Lenovo has more ports and doesn't get as hot as the Dell under load. Performance is very similar between them with the same configuration; however, the Lenovo offers more powerful GPU options, up to an NVIDIA RTX A5000 and GeForce RTX 3080.
The Dell Precision 3571 (2022) and the Dell Precision 5560 (2021) are both mobile workstations from the same lineup; however, the 5560 is a mid-range model, while the 3571 is an entry-level model. The differences between them have to do with the physical aspect of the laptop and the user experience. The 5560 has a sleeker and thinner design, a better keyboard and touchpad, and longer battery life. Performance-wise, the 3571's Intel 12th Gen CPUs perform better than the 5560's 11th Gen processors, but the 3571's thermally-limited chassis also causes more throttling.
The ASUS ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED (2021) and the Dell Precision 5560 (2021) are both premium Windows mobile workstations with Intel 11th Gen CPUs and NVIDIA discrete graphics. Choosing between them depends on whether you prefer as much performance as possible or a more compact and portable device. If you want performance, go with the ASUS because it has more powerful GPU options; otherwise, the Dell is a better option for portability. The ASUS' OLED display has better picture quality, but keep in mind that there's a risk of permanent burn-in, and it also flickers, which might cause eye strain for people sensitive to screen flickering.
The Dell Precision 5570 (2022) is a newer version of the Dell Precision 5560 (2021). They're identical in design, so it's mainly an internal upgrade and some tweaks here and there. The newer 5570 has Intel 12th Gen processors instead of Intel 11th Gen and an NVIDIA RTX A1000 GPU option. It also has a slightly tweaked keyboard with more travel and tactility. Unlike the 5560, the 5570 isn't available with Intel Xeon processors, which means it doesn't support ECC memory either.