The DELL M3800 – A Thin and Light Mobile Workstation Worth Drooling Over

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pr15 lnb 00035rf110 500x500 The DELL M3800   A Thin and Light Mobile Workstation Worth Drooling Over

When it comes to the difference between a workstation notebook and a gaming notebook, you often have to wonder why you would want to pay more for something that carried a GPU that couldn’t game, but had similar specs otherwise. And then there’s the matter of design as most “workstation” notebooks had these really chunky looking designs that were clearly made for utilitarian function. Unfortunately, for folks that have to use those professional CAD apps that require a Quadro GPU, the only option is a workstation class notebook. Luckily, DELL has come up with something that tries to inject some style into the substance and they call it the DELL M3800 Workstation.

Announced earlier this year, the DELL M3800 is a radical departure in design from their previous Precision Series workstation notebook designs. In fact, the new M3800 has sleek lines like the RAZER Blade Pro, but packs the hardware in a way that makes it much better suited for work. For example, the M3800 uses an mSATA for the system drive, and has room for an additional secondary SSD or hard drive for scratch/cache or storage. The new K1100 Quadro GPU by NVIDIA is based on the new Kepler architecture and has 2GBs of GDDR5 memory onboard, allowing it to drive an available Ultrasharp QHD+ (3200 x 1800) 15.6 inch display. And it’s a full five finger touch screen covered in Gorilla Glass 2 for durability.

Although you might be squinting at your Adobe Premiere Pro CC timeline on the road, this also means that you can plug it into an external monitor and enjoy Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 resolution when back in the office. This is truly “beyond retina” in a mobile package.

Rounding things off are an INTEL Haswell Core i7 processor and room for up to 16GBs of memory. This all sits in a package that is less than 4.15 lbs and about 18mm thick, inside a crafted aluminum and carbon fiber chassis. And with enhanced battery performance of Haswell coupled with NVIDIA Optimus technology, DELL claims it’ll get just a hair over 10 hrs of battery life when you’re on the road. Did I mention the built in SD card reader and three USB3 ports, plus an Ethernet Dongle in the box?

The DELL M3800 will be launching worldwide on November 14th and Canadian can buy it starting at $1799.99. US pricing will likely be about a hundred less. And while you still won’t get the bang for the buck of most gaming notebooks with similar specs, what you wont’ get in a gaming notebook is that beautiful and thin carbon/aluminum chassis and that crazy 3200 x 1800 resolution screen or that 10 hrs of battery life claimed. Looks like this isn’t such a bad value after all and we do have it on good authority that the Quadro K1100 will play Starcraft II no problem. Full press release and video overview below.

Full Press Release »

Dell Delivers Ultra-Thin and Light True Mobile Workstation Blending Beautiful Design with Uncompromising Performance

  • The new Dell Precision M3800 is the world’s thinnest and lightest 15-inch true mobile workstation
  • Incredibly vivid Quad HD+ display with highest resolution available for visualizing and bringing creative ideas to life
  • Features Intel Core i7 Quad-Core processor, NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics and ISV certifications for seamlessly running top digital content creation and design applications

TORONTO, Oct. 22, 2013 – Dell today launched the thinnest and lightest 15-inch true mobile workstation, the Dell Precision M3800, to its family of the world’s most powerful mobile workstations. Merging beautiful design in an ultra-thin form factor with workstation-class performance, Dell has delivered an uncompromising system for digital content creators and engineers looking for portability, power and stylish design to match their image and environment.

“Dell has a long history of delivering leading-edge performance workstations for customers in engineering and digital content creation,” said Jon Peddie, President, Jon Peddie Research. “After seeing the new Dell Precision M3800 ultra-thin mobile workstation it’s like falling in love all over again. It has everything I want in a power notebook including a super processor and GPU, high-resolution and big screen, light weight, lots of I/O, great speakers and camera. What’s not to love? With the M3800, I no longer have to sacrifice performance for mobility and beautiful design.”

Less than three-quarters of an inch thin (18 mm) and starting at 4.15 pounds (1.88 kgs)¹, dual-cooling to allow maximum performance at all times, and up to 10 hours and six minutes² of battery life with NVIDIA® Optimus™ technology that maximizes battery life for extended productivity, the M3800 enables editing video at a shoot, presenting CAD ideas to customers in style or rendering 3D animation and modeling on the road.

“Our designers frequently travel, to meet with and collaborate with vendors and clients and the new Dell Precision M3800 provides workstation-class performance to power their software applications with an aesthetic design that fits into those collaborative environments and creates the impression we want,” said Curt Spence, Client Devices Engineer, Freeman.

Outstanding Performance in an Ultra-Thin and Light Workstation

Offering powerful performance in an ultra-thin form factor, the Dell Precision M3800 is available with Windows 8.1 Pro (64-Bit) or genuine Windows 7 Professional (64-Bit) and is loaded with up to 16GB³ of memory and 4th-generation Intel Core i7-4702HQ 8 threaded quad-core processor with up to 3.2 GHz clock speeds for seamlessly running professional software applications.

The M3800 is equipped with the NVIDIA Quadro® K1100M GPU with 2GB³ of GDDR5 dedicated memory, offering twice as much on board video memory as the HP Z series Ultrabook™, for a rich visual experience with graphic-intense software applications.

“The new Dell Precision M3800 is the first and only thin and light mobile workstation to offer the power of the Kepler-based NVIDIA Quadro GPUs, the industry’s highest-performing and most capable professional graphics,” said Sandeep Gupte, senior director of Product Marketing for the Quadro Professional Graphics Business at NVIDIA. “With 2GB of video memory in the NVIDIA Quadro K1100M GPU, the M3800 delivers uncompromised performance and rich visual experiences for graphics-heavy applications that creative professionals have been waiting for.”

To manage large data files while on the go, the Dell Precision M3800 offers multiple storage configurations including up to two storage devices, with a maximum of 1.5TB⁴ of storage (HDD, SSHD, or SSD), up to 35 per cent more than HP’s 14-inch Z series Ultrabook™, one 2.5-inch drive and one solid state Mini-Card storage device (mSATA).

“As the traditional workplace continues to evolve, our workstation customers are requiring more portable systems, but can’t afford to sacrifice performance for their critical software applications,” said Andy Rhodes, executive director of Dell Precision workstations. “With the introduction of the M3800 we’ve not only delivered on customer requests but set a new standard for mobile workstations with the thinnest form factor, outstanding performance and highest resolution QHD+ display for designing, creating and collaborating with clients while in the office or on the road.”

Tuned and optimized for the top media & entertainment, engineering and design applications such as those in  Adobe Creative Cloud, Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite and AutoCAD, Inventor and Revit, Avid Media Composer, Dassault Catia and Solidworks, PTC Creo, Siemens NX and TeamCenter, among others, the M3800 assures mission critical applications will run as designed, and comes with optional Dell ProSupport for premium 24/7 global support from expert technicians.

“The M3800 from Dell is elegant and incredibly powerful for its size. My work looks amazing in the DirectX 11 capable viewport inside Maya at a whopping 3200×1800 screen res, and working with Mudbox using the touch screen controls is really nice. It’s fast, ultra-quiet, and has more than enough horsepower for my needs. The only question I have is – how did they fit all that goodness into such a slim design?” said Mathew Doyle, Media & Entertainment Technical Marketing, Autodesk.

Beautiful Design and Visualization

The Dell Precision M3800 features a stylish, industrial-grade design with an aluminum frame, a strong, lightweight carbon fiber chassis, and a Corning Gorilla NBT Glass display with five-finger multi-touch on all systems. Viewing fine detail is easy with the workstation’s vivid 15.6-inch UltraSharp display available in QHD+ (3200 x 1800), which is higher resolution than the Apple Mac Book Pro Retina, or FHD (1920 x 1080). The M3800 can also be paired with the high-performance 31.5” UltraSharp 32 monitor with exceptional Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 resolution, coming later this fall, for a powerful dual-monitor workstation combination.

Simplifying the transition from the road to a desk-based workspace, the M3800 offers multiple external monitor support with the optional Dell D3000 USB 3.0 Docking Station. For customers needing access to high-speed Ethernet access, every M3800 is equipped as standard with a USB to RJ-45 dongle. It is also designed with a backlit full-size keyboard, four USB PowerPorts (3 USB 3.0 & 1 USB 2.0), a large gesture-enabled touchpad, HD video webcam and Waves MaxxAudio Pro suite of advanced audio enhancement tools.

“We do a lot of on-location video streaming and the M3800 shaves off pounds of weight and bulk that we used to have to carry but we still have the processing power to encode multiple live HD video streams,” said Stephen Taylor, IT Manager for Web Services at Appalachian State University. “The absolutely gorgeous QHD+ screen means we are able to monitor 1080p video at full resolution on part of the screen while still monitoring our data feeds on another. When space and weight count, but performance can’t be compromised, the M3800 really delivers for us.”

Availability and Pricing

The Dell Precision M3800 will be available in Canada on Nov. 14 with a starting price of $1,799 CDN.

About

Stephen is Futurelooks' Editor-In-Chief and front man. He also held the Tiger Direct Charity PC Race record for 2 years between 2011 and 2012. Stephen's interests include all things techie, but in particular, computer hardware. When he's not geeking out, he's a family man with daughter Lexi and another one on the way.

  • Jorge

    For architectural purposes (CAD, 3d modeling and rendering, Adobe), which one would you go for: the $1999 MacBook Pro or the $1799 M3800?

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