Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
It was 20 or so years ago that I first passed through airport security with a laptop. I recall the security people thinking it so cool how small “they were making computers these days.” Truth is, I felt more like a door-to-door anvil salesman than a coolster. The beast probably weighed 20 pounds.
That incident crossed my mind yesterday when Dell announced its new Precision M2300 mobile workstation. Weighing in at just a smidge more than 5.3 pounds, this thing is already certified for heavyweight MCAD applications like AutoCAD, Pro/Engineer, and SolidWorks.
The base model of the Precision M2300 comes with a 64-bit Intel dual-core processor running 2GHz and supporting 2MB of L2 cache and an 800MHz front side bus. Standard is an 80BG drive, 1GB of RAM, and a 24x CD. For graphics, it uses a 14.1-inch WXGA+ LCD display and the NVIDIA Quadro FX 360M card equipped with 256MB TurboCache (128MB dedicated). It runs Windows Vista or XP.
You can top out the Precision M2300 with 4GB of RAM, a 160GB drive, and a 2.6GHz processor with 4MB of cache. There’s also an option for a 32GB solid state drive (SSD). These are neat things — no seek time and fast reads. You could use it as your boot drive, which would give you near instant-on capability loading Windows Vista. (Unfortunately, they’re still a little pricey and 32GB isn’t a lot of space. But keep your eye on SSD technology. Higher capacities are just around the corner, the price will come down over time and, for their ability to handle the shock of a fall alone, they will brush aside hard disks in notebooks before you know it.)
What this all means is that you can be working on something important like SolidWorks or Call of Duty (remember a patch for Vista) while COSMOS runs in the background. I suppose Norton grinding away would be the real test, but I have not tried that.
There’s a lot more to be said about the Dell Precision M2300 mobile workstation, such as networking and security features. One thing that I’m not so sure about is price. Initially, I thought it was $2,075. But when it went online yesterday, Dell had it at $1,915. When I was online checking details this morning, the price had dropped to $1,657.
Be that as it may, at less than six pounds, the Dell Precision M2300 mobile workstation is ready to take on your heavyweight design and engineer applications at the office or on the road without stretching your arm down to your toes. You can get the lowdown on the Dell Precision M2300 mobile workstation from today’s Pick of the Week write-up, where you’ll also find links to its page on the Dell website.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large Desktop Engineering magazine