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Dell Precision M3800, A Macbook Challenger?

For many years, Apple ruled the roost when it came to media creation. Even current Apple commercials appeal to a certain media creation genre. Sleek lines and Retina Pro displays knocked spots off any Wintel combination that dared to tussle with it. That was then, this is now. The ease of use and super-powerful slim notebooks that run Windows 8 are throwing serious competition Apple's way.

Jumping into the area of a pro media creation laptop is the Precision M3800. This isn't just a midrange refresh but a brand new fire-breathing laptop. So what's so different from many, many other laptops? First, the display. For media creation, of course, the screen is one of the most important parts. According to Dell, the new 15.6-inch M3800 blows Retina displays out the proverbial water, boasting a 3840x2160 resolution on a 4K HD Ultra display -- 3.4 million more pixels than the MacBook Pro 15.

Such an outstanding display would be wasted without a good graphics card to pair with it. Dell has put a lot of thought into this and gone with an Nvidia Quadro K1100M card that has 2 GB of dedicated VRAM.

Further, there's support for 4th generation quad-core Intel Core i7 CPUs and up to 16 GB RAM. These specs should satisfy even the most hungry mobile media worker.

You may be thinking that this is going to be a huge "luggable" laptop like the mobile workstations of old, where style and size were sacrificed for maximum performance. This isn't the case with the new M3800. The design is sleek, and thin, having a wedge like appearance of the Macbook Air, albeit slightly thicker at 18mm. As for the weight of this ultra device, it weighs in at 1.88 KG, a whole 22 grams lighter than the current generation of 15" Macbook.

Included in the package is a range of SSD and standard HDD options, up to 2 TB. In terms of peripheral connectivity, the M3800 offers Thunderbolt 2 to support a range of ultra fast external devices.

What makes the M3800 really stand out, however, is the fact that although it runs Windows as standard, it extends Dell's foray into Linux-based laptops if so desired. The fact that this ultra powerful laptop works out the box with Ubuntu means it is going to appeal to not only to mainstream media professionals but also Linux power users. It is a beast of a machine in a small and appealing package.

  • Kunari
    Mac users won't care, but it's good news for us PC users. :)
    Reply
  • dovah-chan
    Odd GPU combination. Or might I say an odd VRAM combination. If it comes with 2GB base then that's fine and dandy but if the highest species model has only 2GB then it's a big problem.

    That's just so weird seeing how there are a surprising amount of notebooks with 4GB+ of VRAM with something like a 970M or 880M. At least 4GB of VRAM is a must when dealing with content creation apps.

    *cough*Ubuntu worst distro*cough* (okay maybe not the worst)
    Reply
  • kawininjazx
    "That's just so weird seeing how there are a surprising amount of notebooks with 4GB+ of VRAM with something like a 970M or 880M. At least 4GB of VRAM is a must when dealing with content creation apps. "

    Those are gaming cards, not workstation grade, big difference.
    Reply
  • MrMaestro
    How about you guys publish an actual review instead of an advertorial? And the resolution isn't 4K/UHD; it's 3200 x 1800 QHD+.
    Reply
  • lostandwandering
    15170386 said:
    And the resolution isn't 4K/UHD; it's 3200 x 1800 QHD+.

    Either they edited after your post or you didn't read:"... boasting a 3840x2160 resolution on a 4K HD Ultra display..."

    Reply
  • ticker47
    "How about you guys publish an actual review instead of an advertorial? And the resolution isn't 4K/UHD; it's 3200 x 1800 QHD+."

    How about you look at the actual product page before you tell people they're wrong. It comes in 1080p/4k versions:
    http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/precision-m3800-workstation/fs
    Reply
  • MrMaestro
    We have begun ordering this model at my workplace and I know the specs. If you care to look up some reviews you will see I am correct and the product page is wrong.

    Like I said, an actual review instead of regurgitating Dell's incorrect PR would be good.
    Reply
  • sullivang
    Still waiting for a 17" ultra-HD (3K would be fine) laptop, and it doesn't even have to be "fire breathing". Why on why won't they make any ultra-HD 17" screens? What's the problem?
    Reply
  • Vlad Razvan
    @sullivang - "Still waiting for a 17" ultra-HD (3K would be fine) laptop, and it doesn't even have to be "fire breathing" - WHY? Why do you need 4K on a tiny 17" pannel? I ca BARELY tell the difference between a 27" 1080p pannel and a 27" 4K one - don't tell me your eyes are that good!

    I've got a better idea! Bring back the 18,4" form factor - I shopped around for an 18,4" gaming machine for a whole year and had to settle for an ASUS ROG G751JY because the only 18.4" alternative is a 3600$ alineware machine witch was way-WAY over my budget.
    Reply
  • ticker47
    @MrMaestro - "We have begun ordering this model at my workplace and I know the specs. If you care to look up some reviews you will see I am correct and the product page is wrong."

    So you're telling us that the order page is wrong and if I ordered this with the 4K screen I wouldn't receive that? I have a hard time believing that they'd have something so colossally wrong on their website. It'd be one thing if it was just a PR page, but their order page shows its 4K.

    This is what I can select as my display options
    15.6" UltraSharp™ FHD Touch (1920x1080) Wide View LED-backlit with Premium Panel Guarantee 15.6" UltraSharp™ IGZO UHD Touch (3840x2160) 4K2K Wide View LED-backlit with Premium Panel

    And I did look at reviews. CNETs was for last years model (review dated May 2014), which did have a 3200x1800 res screen. This article is talking about the updated 2015 version, which has a newer processor (i7-4712HQ vs i7-4702HQ) in it and a better screen. So before you complain that someone is regurgitating wrong PR, do a little research and make sure you're looking at the right thing first. This was just released and they likely haven't received a review model yet, which is why this is just a spec article.
    Reply