• Price: 2281

  • Company: Dell

  • Pros: Very powerful; outstanding screen.

  • Cons: Expensive; heavy.

  • Our Rating: We rate this 8 out of 10 We rate this 8 out of 10

The Dell Precision M6500 notebook has powerful graphics and superior LED technology in its 17-inch screen. However, it’s heavy, somewhat cumbersome, and on the pricey side.

We looked at one of the top-of-the-line, special-edition Covet models that has a stylish – though not subtle – orange chassis. The performance of this notebook is equivalent to what we saw in mid-range workstations a year ago; the 17-inch screen with its 1,920 x 1,200 resolution is top of the line for laptops and the envy of many desktops; and the keyboard is full-sized – not nearly full size, but truly full-sized. It measures the same across as Dell’s desktop keyboard.

The Dell Precision M6500 is a monster machine, then – and more of a desktop upgrade than a desktop replacement. As we mentioned above, though, you pay a price for this – both financially, and in terms of having to lug its bulk around. Let’s look at all these aspects in more detail.

The Dell Precision M6500 comes with a few processor offerings. The version we tested had the most powerful CPU: a quad-core Intel Core i7 x920 processor running at 2GHz. This is one of the first Nehalem mobile processors to ship. It supports Hyper-Threading, so it has up to eight execution pipelines to get the most from your creative apps.

These are fed by an 8MB cache that in turn can be fed by up to 16GB of DDR3 memory running at 1,333MHz. On our machine, the system had 4GB of RAM (using two DIMMs).