There are new 15- and 17-inch laptops including a MacBook Pro rival and a '2-in-1' laptop that flips over to become a tablet you can draw on.

Dell has updated its line of mobile workstations for Intel's 8th generation processors, and introduced its first 2-in-1 model to the Precision range.

The Precision range is aimed at creatives who need the highest level of power and reliability - and have the budget to pay for it. Each model in the range is essentially a 'pro' version of high-end consumer laptops, adding more powerful or reliable components that are qualified for use with major software packages (which matters more to those working in engineering and CAD that Digital Arts readers).

Dell Precision 5530 2-in-1

This is a Precision version of the XPS 15 2-in-1 we saw back in January.

The 'flippable' laptop has a 360-degree hinge, so you can close its 15-inch screen like a laptop, or open it up to use traditionally, or move it all the way around to create a tablet. The Dell Premium Pen is based on Wacom technology, supports tilt and offers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity when drawing on the 4K 'InfinityEdge screen'

There's a 'MagLev' keyboard where the keys 'float' magnetically - so you get the feel of a proper keyboard without requiring a thick chassis.

Dell hasn't disclosed the specs of the 5530 2-in-1 to us, but according to The Inquirer it offers a choice of three chips - 8th-gen, Core i5-8305G, Core i7-8705G, or Core i7-8706G processors. That site also notes that graphics chip is the previously unannounced Radeon Pro WX Vega M GL, which could be AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL chip found in the XPS 15 2-in-1 with more pro-focussed drivers. That has 4GB of HBM2 RAM.

The 5530 2-in-1 won't ship until August 2018, while the rest of the range should be with us from May 22. Dell says pricing for all should be announced 'closer to launch'.

Dell Precision 5530

This is an upgrade to the 5520, a rival to Apple's MacBook Pro that - until now - was our favourite 'pro laptop' for offering the best mix of power and portability. Again, it's a pro version of a consumer laptop - in this case, the latest model of the Dell XPS 15.

As with its predecessor, the 5530 ships with either an HD screen or 4K touchscreen. The 4K option boasts a better contrast ratio, picture quality and touch support than its predecessor. The screen is powered by a graphics chip, options for which top out at the Nvidia Quadro P2000.

The laptop is powered by 8th-gen Intel Core and Xeon processors, with up to 32GB of RAM now running at a faster 2.666GHz.

Dell Precision 7530 and 7730

If you need greater performance and don't mind putting on the pounds, the 7530 and 7730 are 'VR-ready' 15- and 17-inch laptops respectively - with the 7530 being the first 15-inch model to be officially 'VR-ready'. 

Largely aimed at CAD users, these two models boast 8th-hen Core and Xeon chips, a choice of AMD Radeon WX and Nvidia graphics, up to 128GB of 3200MHz 'SuperSpeed' memory, and 6TB of storage


The Dell Precision 7530

The Dell Precision 7730