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You are here: Home / Hardware / Dell Beefs Up Precision Laptop
Dell Beefs Up Thinnest, Lightest Precision Laptop
Dell Beefs Up Thinnest, Lightest Precision Laptop
By Dan Heilman / Sci-Tech Today Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
The Dell Precision M3800, which the company calls the world’s thinnest and lightest 15-inch mobile workstation, is now available in an updated model that includes a 4K Ultra HD touch display option, Thunderbolt 2 technology and an Ubuntu-based developer edition. The flagship Dell mobile workstation was developed as a direct competitor to Apple’s MacBook Pro.

The MacBook Pro has had the same display, 2,880 x 1,800 pixels, for almost three years. Meanwhile, the new M3800 can be configured with a 4K screen with a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160. The screen is made of Corning Gorilla Glass NBT, uses IGZO2 technology, and includes touchscreen capabilities.

This is the first time Dell has offered a developer edition of the Dell Precision M3800. The company said that was a result of feedback from the developer community.

With more than 8 million pixels, the 4K Ultra HD screen option is the highest-resolution panel available on a 15-inch mobile workstation, according to Dell. The company said it has 3.4 million more pixels than the Retina display on the Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch, allowing users to experience 59 percent higher resolution. The Precision M3800 display also features 10-finger multi-touch. The new M3800 is priced starting at $1,649 for a model with a 1080p HD display, which also includes touchscreen capability. The 4K version costs $2,179.

No Apple Killer

While some news outlets played up the "Apple killer" angle of the new Dell release, Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Utah-based Jackdaw Research, told us such descriptors are usually overblown.

"All Dell really innovates on here is hardware, which may well make it a more compelling Windows laptop," he said. "But (that) doesn't really address the features that would make someone choose a MacBook Air, or any other Mac -- the tight integration of software and hardware that sets Apple computers apart."

Greater Transfer Speeds

The addition of the Thunderbolt 2 port to the Dell Precision M3800 will let users take advantage of transfer speeds up to 20 Gbps. That will enable a video editor to view and edit raw 4K video while backing up the file being worked on in parallel. Thunderbolt 2 simultaneously supports high-resolution displays and high-performance data devices through a single port.

With that same eye toward users who work in video, the new Precision also includes additional storage options and increased total available internal storage up to 2 TB, which is double the solid-state drive storage capacity offered by the Apple MacBook Pro. The new Dell model has a starting weight of 4.15 lbs. and measures about 0.71 inches thick. It also includes a fourth-generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, Nvidia Quadro K1100M graphics, and up to 16 GB of memory.

"I think PCs are improving significantly at the moment, but very few people are going to choose a computer solely based on specs or screen resolution," Dawson said. "This isn't likely to switch anyone from the Apple camp to the Dell camp."

Tell Us What You Think


Scott Deagan:
Posted: 2015-03-18 @ 3:34pm PT
I'm a Linux fanboy, and have ordered the Dell Precision M3800 Developer Edition. I'll release a detailed YouTube review once I've used it for a week or so.

Consumers Benefit fr Comp:
Posted: 2015-02-03 @ 8:39pm PT
Dell? Carbon fiber? Aluminum? 4k? Up to 2 TBs of solid state drive? Have to say, Dell's kind of smacked Apple in the chops lately. Apple makes pretty products, though.

What a breath of fresh air for those needing the utility of a workstation and those of us who can utilize it for Adobe. The comparison between this thing and the MBP for Adobe Creative Cloud is incredible.

Dell, you surprised us. I wonder where this battle goes next.

Posted: 2015-01-30 @ 6:54am PT
Jan Dawson is probably an Apple zealot. She's right though. Apple has brainwashed the general public into believing that a brand name and product appearance has higher value than actual specifications and quality. Aplle doesn't have tight integration with anything except it's own ecosystem. Wintel systems have and always will embrace integration with anything and everything - just like the general purpose machines that computers are supposed to be - not toys.

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