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Dell upgrades Precision M3800 pro notebook

‘True mobile workstation’ gets makeover, with 4K display, Thunderbolt 2

Additions to the upgraded Precision M3800 include a 4K Ultra HD touch display, Thunderbolt 2 hardware-interface technology and a developer edition of Ubuntu.
Additions to the upgraded Precision M3800 include a 4K Ultra HD touch display, Thunderbolt 2 hardware-interface technology and a developer edition of Ubuntu.

Dell today unveiled tweaks to its Precision M3800, its high-end notebook aimed at professionals.

Billed as "the world's thinnest and lightest true 15-inch mobile workstation", it is principally designed to target video editors, graphic designers, engineers and other pro users.

Additions to the upgraded model include a 4K Ultra HD touch display, Thunderbolt 2 hardware-interface technology and a developer edition of Ubuntu.

"Dell workstation power is behind the work of some of the world's top animators, film editors and visual effects artists, so at Dell we understand the pressure these professionals experience to deliver more creative output under increasingly tighter timelines," said Andy Rhodes, global executive director for Dell workstations. "Whether it's editing video while on location, presenting CAD ideas to customers, or doing 3D modelling, animation and rendering on the road, the Dell Precision M3800 delivers the ideal blend of form and function to meet rising demands for performance on-the-go."

From today, the Dell Precision M3800 is available with 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160) resolution and IGZO2 technology on a 15.6-inch UltraSharp touch display made with Corning Gorilla Glass. That's around 8.3m pixels. For comparison, Apple's iPad Air series and its latest iPad mini have about 3.1m and the current generation of 15-inch MacBooks come with approximately 5.2m-pixel displays.

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Thunderbolt 2 is designed to deliver data transfer speeds up to 20Gbps, enabling "viewing and editing of raw 4K video, while backing up the same file in parallel", according to Dell.

Dell has also added additional storage space in the Precision M3800 by increasing the internal capacity to 2TB. The latest model has a starting weight of 1.88kg and an 18mm profile. It is powered by a fourth-generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, NVIDIA Quadro K1100M graphics, and up to 16GB of RAM.

While Ubuntu is available, the Precision M3800 has the option of Windows 7 or 8.1. It is also worth noting that the Ubuntu build does not support Thunderbolt at launch, but Dell hopes to rectify that in the coming months.

Dell commissioned research firm Principled Technologies to compare the Dell Precision M3800 to the Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display when performing a number of tasks in Adobe Premiere Pro Creative Cloud. Dell claims the Precision M3800 outperformed the Apple MacBook Pro, taking "up to" 26% less time on video transcoding, rendering video sequences "up to" 30% faster, and dropping less frames during video playback.

The Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation is available in the Middle East starting at $1,799 (AED6,600).