Menu
Dell mobile workstation rewards the strong

Dell mobile workstation rewards the strong

Dell Precision M6300 proves that a laptop can greatly exceed the capabilities of most desktop systems without costing an arm and a leg, or at least a leg

The world of laptops is riven by pulls in two opposite directions. At one pole is the group of users that greatly favors portability. They see in the Apple MacBook Air a thing of beauty, because it's so light and thin; the limitations of an 80GB hard drive, a single USB port, and unchangeable batteries do not disturb them. At the opposite pole are users who favor functionality and don't mind lugging additional weight if it gives them the equivalent of a true desktop environment. Users in the latter group will find much to like in the Dell Precision M6300, which bills itself as a workstation in the form factor of a laptop.

I reviewed the M6300 over the course of several weeks and found it to be a superb portable for the demanding user. The ideal user would be a scientist or engineer who needs the full 3D graphics capabilities of the system, the wide screen, the fast processor, and the numerous ports, and who is willing to haul the extra pounds that provide this firepower. The one thing that user won't have to do is lighten his wallet, the M6300 is surprisingly affordable.

Big on the inside

The system I examined had an Intel Core 2 Duo processor (model T7700: dual core, 2.4GHz, 4MB L2 cache, 800MHz front side bus), 4GB DDR2 667 RAM, an Nvidia FX 1600M graphics card with 512MB (of which 256MB is discrete) driving a 17-inch WXGA+ LCD screen; plus an 80MB hard drive spinning at 7200 RPM, Gigabit Ethernet, and 802.11a/g/n high-speed wireless, all that and some more for a street price of A$3,630.

In addition to a remarkable capability to interact with numerous peripherals, the M6300 workstation has a veritable constellation of ports. The rear panel contains two video display jacks (one VGA, one DVI), an S-video jack, four USB ports, and the usual network and modem jacks. The side panels add two more USB ports, a FireWire 1394 jack, a slot for SD/MMC or xD cards, and jacks for microphone and audio out. An Express is also built-in. In terms of other peripherals, the M6300 I examined had an 8x read-write DVD drive. In short, if there's any connectivity this side of SCSI that you're looking for, this laptop has the goods. For my needs, I found the six USB jacks to be a rare blessing.

The M6300 is designed for rugged use (a typical use case according to Dell is a mobile desktop system for engineers working in the field). It has a magnesium alloy chassis that has been stiffened, shock-mounted hard-drives (with free-fall-sensing disks available), and steel hinges for the screen. Although not completely ruggedized, this is a rugged system. This extra strength, though, likely contributes to the workstation's biggest drawback ' its weight. As configured above, the M6300 tips in at 3.88 kilograms. It's not excessively unwieldy, however: the outside measurements are 11.25 by 15.75 inches with a height of 1 and a quarter inch.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar with a bumper crowd of partners, distributors and vendors descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kick-start 2018. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018
Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

In 2017, merger and acquisitions fever reached new heights in New Zealand, with a host of big name deals dominating the headlines. Reseller News recaps the most important transactions of the Kiwi channel during the past 12 months.

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017
Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

The channel in New Zealand came together to celebrate the close of 2017, as the final After Hours played out in front of a bumper Auckland crowd.

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours
Show Comments