Dell Precision M3800 - 2013!

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by slimpower, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. slimpower

    slimpower Notebook Consultant

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    So this new M3800 is an entirely new entry into the Precision line up is it? If so, then we should still have announcements to come on the M4800 and M6800.

    I am not really impressed by what I have read and seen about the M3800.

    Ethernet is very important to me, and I definitely do not want to have to remember any more adapters or add-ons each time I travel.

    I do not currently use a dock but have in the past, and they are very useful for switching between office and travel modes, so that is another downer.

    I also do not like how it looks, seems to be all plastic and cheap looking, and there is not even a number pad which I have grown to appreciate.

    I also cannot see a fingerprint reader (not that mine on the M6600 has ever worked, but still nice to have one, would be even better if it did actually work.

    I am glad to see screen resolution improving, and hope they can do something even more special with their M6800 because they way I see it, whether we like it (and need it) or not, 4K video is on its way big time.

    My id is slimpower so sure I would like a M6800 as thin as my Sony Z, but that just is not going to happen. I must say I am very underwhelmed by this M3800.

    What are your thoughts on this? Who is Dell reaching out to with this particular model?
     
  2. Pirx

    Pirx Notebook Virtuoso

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    Me neither. Another "meh" entry in a field of also-rans. And people wonder why the PC market is declining. With entirely uninspiring offerings like that, what do you expect?

    That one I could see living without, with the new ac standard coming up, and the associated ultrafast WIFI networks just around the corner.

    Yes, that's a very serious issue. To alleviate that, at least a Thunderbolt port would be a must. Sadly, it doesn't seem to have that, either.

    Yep, those looks are a complete disaster. I mean, yeah, Dells have never been all that great in that department, but this one looks like crap. I really wouldn't want to be seen with a wart like that, sorry.

    That one is fixable: Dell never officially told us, but you can install the newer firmware and drivers they have for the 6700, which will allow your reader to work, more or less, kind of. I got it to work on my M6400 even, years after Dell stopped selling this machine...

    No clue, beats me. With that kind of product design, who knows if they will still be in this business a year from now. Shame, really.
     
  3. mr_handy

    mr_handy Notebook Consultant

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    It seems to me it's going after the Macbook Pro, and while the lack of docking and ethernet via adapter only (no word that I've seen whether thunderbolt or just USB3; probably USB3 since if they had thunderbolt, the next step is a thunderbolt dock!) are a bummer, this thing will be really popular with my coworkers, who currently hate the weight and bulk of the W530 we buy.

    I hated having the keyboard offset from center, and most of the coworkers I had evaluating the one M4700 we tried felt the same way. The number-pad was one of the reasons I returned the E6530 eval from work and bought my own E6430. OTOH, I've got friends for whom it is a must-have feature. Sadly, I'm not aware of any machine where it's optional.

    As for the design, it looks like a hybrid of the present Dell Latitude/Precision and the newer XPS models. Nothing fancy, but not bad given the older Dells and the big comptetition being from Lenovos.
     
  4. slimpower

    slimpower Notebook Consultant

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    Why would they release a workstation aimed at professionals without Ethernet? Are there no longer security concerns with regards to Wi-Fi?

    mr_handy - I know what you mean about the keyboard being off centre. I think it is one of those things that you get used to. I could type with my eyes closed now, and while the numberpad does not get used a great deal, I am happy to have it.

    I also agree with you that it is similar in design to the new XPS models, but I prefer how the M6600 and M6700 looked sturdier, more solidly built and less plastic. It looked like I feel a Precision should, this M3800 looks like it should be in the new XPS line.

    Can they not build a MXXXX with carbon? That's light and strong, isn't it?

    How does the graphics card compare to the Quadro 4000M of the newer versions?

    Pirx, thanks for the tip on the newer drivers for the fingerprint reader. I tried them when they came out, and just gave up on it as never could get it to work, though like you I know many have done.

    All in all is this a good sign for the M4800 and M6800 do you think? Surely they cannot make the same errors in those two flagship machines can they?
     
  5. tijo

    tijo Sacred Blame Super Moderator

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    Agreed on the looks, it looks like a XPS or a Latitude rather than a Precision. It also looks like it has a chicklet keyboard rather than the usual keyboard. :( The picture could just not be doing it justice though, so I'll deserve my final judgement on the looks and feel, but things aren't looking good at first glance. I'm hoping the M4800 and M6800 keep a more traditional look. I would have preferred a chassis made of the same metal alloy and bronze color for the M3800 actually.
     
  6. coercitiv

    coercitiv Notebook Consultant

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    Professionals who travel a lot.

    The chassis looks to be derived from XPS 13, so expect lots of carbon fiber and magnesium, not plastic. The lack of ethernet port is not really a big deal, USB adapters and docking solutions can solve most connectivity problems (on the road and on the desk).

    This is clearly not addressed towards people who currently use their workstations with real docks.
     
  7. slimpower

    slimpower Notebook Consultant

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    Really, what makes you think that?

    I travel a lot internationally and this does not interest me in the slightest. I have enough adapters and other stuff in my bag to not want another one, so no ethernet port for me is an issue. Sure some things can be done over wifi, but I prefer to do other things over a wire connection.

    In addition to the M6600, I also have a XPS and I thought that was made of plastic with silly bits of chrome styling around it. Bit like what you see on the M3800.

    What are your thoughts on the resolution? Are we likely to see the same on the M4800 and M6800 or could there be even greater resolution, and what issues will that create?

    I do hope Dell release some teasers about the M4800 and M6800 soon because I am not impressed with this baby precision.
     
  8. coercitiv

    coercitiv Notebook Consultant

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    How would you feel about packing one more adapter if your new machine was 1kg lighter overall? Volume should also come down considerably. I'm not defending them for ditching the ethernet port, but that is something most people should be able to live with.

    To be honest, thermals are my main concern here. First sign of throttling and it's game over.
     
  9. slimpower

    slimpower Notebook Consultant

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    Good point, though to be honest the M6600 gives me a good workout at times!

    Another thing that concerns me is normally with Dell and in particular Precision there is a lot of customisation, but with the M3800 there does not seem to be, thus far at least, any mention of how it is customisable apart from the screen resolution. 16G of RAM is pretty standard stuff these days.
     
  10. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Precision Enthusiast

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    I've been thinking that they should push out an "ultrabook"-style Precision. Obviously there will have to be some compromises to fit the machine in a smaller case, but if they stick with the things you're used to seeing in the Precision line like top-notch build quality, good internal components, and easy accessibility for upgrade/repair (as much as possible for such a machine), then this could be a good machine to have around.

    The display is interesting. Since it is 15.6" I wonder if we will see the same display available for the M4800 (which will hopefully be more like the M4600/M4700 in terms of design and expandability). Of course it would be cool to see a 17" version for the M6800 as well.

    As for the target market of the M3800... Who is going to buy this thing? Obviously the lack of a dock is an issue for a lot of people who want a "workstation"-style laptop, as that is one of the core features that you would expect. If it performs well, it might be able to grab some of the video production market from people who normally use Apple notebooks, I know there are plenty of people who don't like the direction Apple is going in this area. Otherwise, maybe there is room for something between the high end of the Latitude range and the low end of the Precision range that they will be able to get at with this machine.

    Hopefully Microsoft will continue to press forward with getting the use of high-DPI displays to be more reasonable. Windows 8.1 is a decent start but I think they have a ways to go yet.
     
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