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Dell Precision Laptop Will Have 3200x1800 display

By - Source: Engadget | B 37 comments

Hot on the heels of confirming with Acer that it's working on a new Iconia W3 Windows 8 tablet, Dutch site Tweakers.net reports that Dell plans to launch a 15.4 inch notebook with a crazy-high 3200 x 1800 resolution. It will be a Dell Precision mobile workstation, and likely have a starting price between $1,699 and $1,999, depending on the configuration.

According to the report, the laptop will have matte black surfaces and aluminum edges. It will also sport Intel's Core i7-4702MQ quad-core "Haswell" processor, a 2 GB Nvidia Quadro K1100M GPU, up to 16 GB of RAM, and storage options including a 512 GB SSD or a 1 TB HDD. The laptop's overall size will supposedly be just 0.71 inches at its thickest point, and weigh around 4.41 pounds. The base model will only sport a 1080p resolution.

Engadget reports that the laptop will be dubbed as the M3800, and will not have the integrated docking feature as seen on other Dell Precision models. It also won't feature an Ethernet port, so wired networking will have to be accomplished using a USB network adapter (if Wi-Fi isn't an option). So far an actual release date is unknown at this point, but Dell has confirmed that the laptop, "the thinnest and lightest workstation ever" according to the company, is in the works and will be available later this year.

"The Dell Precision M3800 is the first mobile workstation that is less than 3/4 of an inch, at 18 mm, weighs only 4.5 lbs and offers certified performance and dependability for creative professionals," the company said. "We are not releasing or confirming any additional details today but stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks."

Currently Dell offers the 15.6 inch Precision M4700 Mobile Workstation for a starting price of $1498 USD and the 17.3 inch Precision M6700 Mobile Workstation for a starting price of $2145 USD. Both models have multiple starting points actually, spanning three options for the smaller laptop and four options for the larger. Have fun there.

By comparison, the Retina display crammed into Apple's premium 15.4 inch MacBook Pro has a 2880 x 1800 resolution, and the cheapest model is priced around $2,199 USD. Thus it will be interesting to see if Dell really will sell a 15.4 inch laptop with a 3200 x 1800 resolution for under $2,000 USD. Then again, it would be an excellent way to undercut its fruity rival while also packing Haswell and Quadro graphics.

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  • 1 Hide
    drewhoo , July 20, 2013 3:20 PM
    There's a huge point. The iPhone 4's pixel density is 326 px/in. The pixel density of that monitor would be 235 px/in. So it would be *awesome*.
  • 7 Hide
    InvalidError , July 20, 2013 3:44 PM
    Quote:
    There's a huge point. The iPhone 4's pixel density is 326 px/in. The pixel density of that monitor would be 235 px/in. So it would be *awesome*.

    15.4" is the diagonal. This is a 16:9 screen so the display itself would be 11.7" wide and that translates into 324ppi.

    Unless you work all day with your laptop display stuck to your face though, there isn't much point going above 200ppi at a healthy seating distance.

    What people forget when fawning over "retina" displays is that whether or not any given display meets "retina" criteria is determined in pixels per arcsecond which is as much a function of density as it is a function of viewing distance. 200ppi @ 2' (a fairly typical desktop/laptop viewing distance) is equivalent to 400ppi at 1' for a phone or tablet. (and not particularly healthy for your eyes.)
  • Display all 37 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , July 20, 2013 4:01 PM
    Do the higher resolutioned screens hurt anything? Sure, theoretically battery life could suffer but they may compensate for any difference with a bigger battery. That said, I'm all for the higher resolutioned screens, but, on a 15" its wouldn't be appreciated as much as on a 17".
  • 3 Hide
    none12345 , July 20, 2013 4:15 PM
    "Do the higher resolutioned screens hurt anything?"

    No....and yes.

    It depends, for office software, probably not, the extra resolution will probably make fonts look better. 200dpi over 100dpi should be noticeable in this regard. But 320 vs 200, you probably wouldn't notice.

    However, for anything graphics related, you will need almost 3x the power to draw the 1 frame. Unless you have your face in the screen you wont see all the pixels, but extra pixels still need to be drawn. 3200x1800 vs 1920x1080 is 2.78x as many pixels, which means it needs a 2.78x larger GPU to draw them at the same fps. Or in other words your framerate will tank by 60% with the same GPU on the larger display.

    The other option is for the GPU to not draw the extra pixels, but just render at a lower resolution then upscale the image, but this will make everything blurry. This still takes some extra hardware but not as much.
  • 1 Hide
    slomo4sho , July 20, 2013 4:16 PM
    And when will there be a GPU to support these resolutions for gaming?
  • 0 Hide
    sullivang , July 20, 2013 4:22 PM
    AT LAST!!! It has been so frustrating not even being able to get even a measly 1200 pixels vertically for about 5 years now. Heck - even my 10 year old Compaq NW8000 was 1600x1200, which in some ways is better than 1920x180. My current Dell Latitude E6500 is 1920x1200, which is nice, and I have been holding off upgrading simply because they don't make laptops with 1200+ lines any more. This is LONG overdue.
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , July 20, 2013 5:01 PM
    Quote:
    "Do the higher resolutioned screens hurt anything?"

    No....and yes.

    It depends, for office software, probably not, the extra resolution will probably make fonts look better. 200dpi over 100dpi should be noticeable in this regard. But 320 vs 200, you probably wouldn't notice.

    However, for anything graphics related, you will need almost 3x the power to draw the 1 frame. Unless you have your face in the screen you wont see all the pixels, but extra pixels still need to be drawn. 3200x1800 vs 1920x1080 is 2.78x as many pixels, which means it needs a 2.78x larger GPU to draw them at the same fps. Or in other words your framerate will tank by 60% with the same GPU on the larger display.

    The other option is for the GPU to not draw the extra pixels, but just render at a lower resolution then upscale the image, but this will make everything blurry. This still takes some extra hardware but not as much.


    I'm hoping that since this is a Precision Workstation that the employed GPU can handle the display they're marrying it to well enough. Have the Retina'd MacBook Pros been shown to be struggling supporting their displays with typical workloads? Hopefully, Dell makes wise choices here in the GPU dept.

  • 0 Hide
    laststop311 , July 20, 2013 5:21 PM
    3200x1800 is exactly double 1600x900. So it may run like the retinas do and give you a 1600x900 actual workspace like physical room to work with is identical to 1600x900 but everything is super crisp since there is 4 pixels to every 1 in normal 1600x900
  • 0 Hide
    laststop311 , July 20, 2013 5:22 PM
    you could probably run it like a full 3200x1800 as well
  • 1 Hide
    drewhoo , July 20, 2013 5:43 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    There's a huge point. The iPhone 4's pixel density is 326 px/in. The pixel density of that monitor would be 235 px/in. So it would be *awesome*.

    15.4" is the diagonal. This is a 16:9 screen so the display itself would be 11.7" wide and that translates into 324ppi.

    Unless you work all day with your laptop display stuck to your face though, there isn't much point going above 200ppi at a healthy seating distance.

    What people forget when fawning over "retina" displays is that whether or not any given display meets "retina" criteria is determined in pixels per arcsecond which is as much a function of density as it is a function of viewing distance. 200ppi @ 2' (a fairly typical desktop/laptop viewing distance) is equivalent to 400ppi at 1' for a phone or tablet. (and not particularly healthy for your eyes.)



    I don't follow your math about 324ppi. I'm still getting 235 ppi. I get that figure by dividing the diagonal resolution by the diagonal size. Perhaps you're talking about PPI in some different sense.

    It's very easy for me to see pixels on my laptop's 1440x900 display, which is just over 100ppi. Maybe folks who use laptops as their primary computer and/or don't use laptops for multimedia wouldn't see a point to it. But if I'm editing photos or cutting together a video, that extra resolution is extremely helpful to me.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , July 20, 2013 6:12 PM
    Quote:
    I don't follow your math about 324ppi. I'm still getting 235 ppi. I get that figure by dividing the diagonal resolution by the diagonal size.

    Seems I hallucinated a 3800.
  • 2 Hide
    chicofehr , July 20, 2013 6:48 PM
    My Dell 30" is only 2560x1600. I would like them to explain that to me.
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , July 20, 2013 7:57 PM
    Quote:
    What i don't understand is, what's the point? Honestly, I doubt there would be any noticeable difference between that and 1920 x 1080, especially on a 15 inch screen.


    for simply watching a movie? Probably not. For playing games? probably better to have low res for the sake of frame rate.

    But for professional work? I honestly think they have the opposite issue. If we are going to go with a beautifully insane resolution then why not go the extra bit for a 4K display? Yes, it will be expensive now, but as it will become a standard before long the price will drop much more quickly than an odd 3200x1800 display.
    For photo editing, video editing, CAD, and other work that does not demand a high frame rate this should be amazing. But I cannot imagine running this resolution on a mobile GPU... that has to be terribly painful for anything with a lot of moving graphics. Even a desktop would have a hard time pushing that many pixels around... and mobile is years behind desktop in raw power.
  • -1 Hide
    InvalidError , July 20, 2013 8:12 PM
    Quote:
    But I cannot imagine running this resolution on a mobile GPU... that has to be terribly painful for anything with a lot of moving graphics. Even a desktop would have a hard time pushing that many pixels around.

    It isn't any worse than 1080p with 4x over-sampling FSAA like some people have already been doing on higher-end GPUs. You simply skip the downsampling/filtering and output the native 4k frame buffer.
  • 2 Hide
    typicalGeek , July 20, 2013 8:14 PM
    The screen width of 11.7" given by InvalidError is an Invalid Error. (Funny how that worked.)

    On a 16:9 screen the width is given by: diag measure / sqrt(16^2+9^2)*16
    So substituting: w = 15.4 / sqrt(256+81) * 16
    = 15.4 / sqrt(337) * 16
    = 13.4"
    Dividing the horizontal resolution of 3200 / 13.4 gives a pixel density of about 238 ppi.
  • -1 Hide
    JPNpower , July 20, 2013 9:14 PM
    Plowing through pages upon pages of machine created Excel worksheets makes high res a thing sent from heaven. All you gamers please kindly stfu. Thanks to your whining about unnecessariness, these high res laptops have been long overdue.
  • 1 Hide
    vinhn , July 20, 2013 9:20 PM
    Damn that pick some serious pixel density.
  • 0 Hide
    brisa117 , July 20, 2013 11:44 PM
    All I'm saying is good luck finding a wallpaper for that resolution. Haha. Then again, the target audience would probable just make one.
  • 1 Hide
    smeezekitty , July 21, 2013 12:20 AM
    For many people this is more resolution then needed. But there is also plenty of others that might need more resolution for some reason or another so it is good to have the option.

    Hopefully cheap desktop monitors come out with standard resolutions nearing this soon.
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