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Editor’s Pick: Entry-Level Mobile Workstation Certified for Engineering

SCDear Desktop Engineering Reader:

This one goes into your “check back later” file because it’s not yet available but should be soon.

Dell recently announced a new 15-in. mobile workstation that, it says, will be optimized for engineering performance and certified to run applications like Autodesk Inventor, PTC Creo and SolidWorks. Called the Dell Precision M2800, this mobile workstation will have a starting price of $1,199 and will be available “this spring,” according to Dell.

Like Dell workstations and mobile units in general, the M2800 will be configurable to meet your needs. CPU options according to Dell include fourth-generation Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 processors, which are dual-core and quad-core devices respectively. The unit will use the AMD FirePro W4170M professional-level graphics card, which is equipped with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 video memory. System memory can go up to 16GB, and can accommodate up to 1TB of storage.

The M2800 will have a 15.6-in. Dell UltraSharp display with HD or Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution. This mobile workstation will also come with what’s known as the Dell Precision Performance Optimizer (DPPO), a technology that automatically adjusts your system settings for optimizing specific applications.

Miscellaneous features include external multi-monitor support and docking compatibility. Those features represent more ways this unit is very interesting, in addition to its starting price and application-certification. This capability means that this mobile system can serve as a road warrior’s desk and mobile workstation. And that means you can grab the M2800 and go with it to visit a client or worksite. Since you can run Inventor or something on it, you can show up at some joint and make changes to a design while the dude or dudette who hired you explains what they want instead of sitting at your desk struggling to interpret a string of texts or incoherent emails.

Dell describes the M2800 mobile workstation as bridging the gap between business-class laptops and mobile workstations by offering an affordable, applications-certified system with professional graphics and processors. What they mean by that is that lots of designers and engineers use business or home computers rather than a workstation optimized for engineering work because they don’t think they can afford them. Offering the M2800 with its engineering-tuned features at a low entry price means that more designers and engineers can maximize their software investment and, I may add, productivity by using an engineering workstation they can afford.

So, even though you know that you’ll pay more than the M2800’s starting price once you trick it out a bit, it still begins and ends up at a price that makes it an attractive alternative engineering workstation with the mobility bonus. You can read more about the new Dell Precision M2800 mobile workstation from today’s Pick of the Week write-up. Sorry, there are not a lot of links to indulge in today. It’s just too soon. But keep this message hanging around and circle back to the link at the end of the main write-up to get the full skinny on the Dell Precision M2800 when it’s available.

Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood

Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

Read today’s pick of the week write-up.

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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.
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