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Editor’s Pick: Dell Announces Next Generation Mobile Engineering Workstations

By Anthony J. Lockwood

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

I love my laptop. Well, tops. I have three of them, each with a different lot in life. But I’m tempted to get me a fourth. A little over a week ago, Dell announced what it calls its “next generation” of mobile workstations for engineers running CAD/CAM/CAE, oil & gas visualizations, and similar applications that beat on your computer’s memory and graphics capabilities.

The Dell Precision M4700, the M6700, and the M6700 Covet Edition seem to be serious affairs that enable you to take a fixed workstation’s power with you. They’re built around Intel Core i5, i7, and Extreme Edition processors with Turbo Boost Technology. Dell offers them with an assortment of professional-level graphics subsystems, including the NVIDIA Quadro K-series GPUs and AMD FirePro graphics. Dell also reports that the M6700 is “the first and only to offer AMD FirePro M6000 with PCIe x16 Gen 3.” That means really fast data throughput.

Like a fixed workstation, these mobile workstations have lots of ports: two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, one eSATA / USB combination, and integrated VGA, HDMI, and DisplayPort 1.2 video ports. You can run three simultaneous displays when undocked or as many as five displays when docked. Speaking of displays, the M4700 is a 15-inch unit while the M6700 measures 17 inches. The M4700 has a total storage capacity of 1.8TB while the M6700 offers up to 2.8TB.

The M6700 is offered with NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro technology. This hardware and software system turns some CAD/CAM/CAE and other applications into full stereoscopic 3D automatically. And if that’s not cool enough for you, Dell says that sometime in the next few months the M6700 will also be the first mobile workstation to offer optional 10+ finger multi-touch capability.

The Covet Edition of the M6700 comes in red and has edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla Glass 2, which provides brighter images as well as better resilience and protection. It’s 17-inch display supports resolutions of up 1920×1080, and memory is 8GB. Standard memory on the other units is 2GB. Memory is expandable to 16GB or 32GB, depending upon the model purchased.

These are just the starting positions for Dell’s next generation of Dell Precision Workstations. Like all Dell systems, they are customizable in most every respect. Oh, and they are certified for major applications from outfits like ANSYS, Dassault, PTC, and Siemens. Pricing, BTW, begins at $1,649 for the Dell Precision M4700, $2,199 for the M6700, and $3,579 for the M6700 Covet Edition.

You can learn more about Dell’s new Precision mobile workstations for engineers from today’s Pick of the Week write-up. Hit the links at the end for greater details and to play with the customization feature.

Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

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About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.