Dell upgrades Precision workstation and pro laptop lines

Across the line you'll find new chips, faster RAM and a laptop screen that puts the MacBook Pro's Retina Display to shame.

Dell has rolled out new desktop and mobile workstations to give its Precision line a complete overhaul.

New Precision laptops

The 15.6-inch M4800 and 17.3-inch M6800 replace the M4700 and M6700 respectively. Both gain fourth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors – including the Core i7 Extreme Edition if you have big pockets – and support up to 16GB of 1,866MHz RAM.

You've a choice of AMD FirePro or NVidia Quadro graphics chips, with the M6800 offering the Quadro 5100M chip with 8GB of graphics RAM. The laptops use either AMD's Enduro or Nvidia's Optimus technology – depending on which manufacturer's chip you have inside it – to tune-down the graphics chip to save power when high-performance isn't needed (such as when you're doing your email), and extend the battery life. Dell describes the M4800 and M6800 as having 'all-day battery life', based on its tests using the MobileMark 2007 benchmark.

Both laptops support Dell's WiGig wireless docking stations and use Waves MaxxAudio Pro technology to enhance audio output.

The Quad HD+ IGZO screen option for the Precision M4600 gives it an overall resolution of 3,200 x 1,800 – higher even than the MacBook Pro's Retina Display at 2,880 x 1,800. However, as with the MacBook Pro, to take advantage of this resolution you need applications that support it. tools with large Mac audiences such as Adobe's Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign all do, but many of the tools you'd buy a Precision M4600 for currently don't – so users of software such as Maya and After Effects can expect fuzzy or eye-strainingly small interfaces to these tools until support is added. You can opt for a 1,366 x 768 or HD 1,920 x 1,080 display instead.

The M6800 doesn't have the option of a HiDPI screen – we're not sure why but we'll be speaking to Dell this afternoon and will update this story afterwards. Instead Dell offers a touchscreen HD screen alongside the standard HD and 1,600 x 900 resolution options. The touchscreen supports 10 fingers simultaneously and works with Windows 8.

Pricing starts at £1,152 for the M4800 and £1,380 for the M6800. They ship on Thursday (September 12)

New Precision workstations

The Dell Precision T3610, T5610, and T7610 are near identical to their predecessors: the single-Xeon-chip T3600 and the dual-processor medium-sized T5600 and large T7600. The key differences are support for what Dell calls "next generation workstation-class processors" – which is undoubtably a reference to Intel's Xeon E5-2600 V2 processors that are being launched this week (one of which is used in the new Apple Mac Pro that's likely to be formally launched tomorrow night alongside new iPhones).

Other new features are aimed at enterprise-level customers: support for Nvidia's Quadro K6000 graphics card with 12GB of graphics RAM; Intel's Xeon Phi co-processor 3120A PCIe card, PCIe SSDs and Intel's Cache Acceleration Software – Workstation (CAS-W).

The new workstations also ship on Thursday, with pricing starting at £796 for the T3610, £1,441 for the T5610, £1,870 for the T7610.

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