Are you on the hunt for a robust mobile workstation that doesn’t compromise on power? Dive into this comprehensive Dell Precision M4800 review to unravel a laptop designed for professionals.
Itechguides’ Take on Dell Precision M4800
The Dell Precision M4800 is a powerful mobile workstation designed for professionals, offering impressive performance and a durable build. The laptop offers a good amount of ports and multiple configuration options. However, it lacks in the battery department, and it’s quite heavy.
- Impressive overall performance
- Dedicated GPU
- Enough ports
- Poor battery life
This review offers detailed insights into the M4800’s design, specifications, and overall performance. We’ll delve into critical components such as the CPU, RAM, storage options, GPU, and battery life.
This provides you with a better understanding of what this laptop brings to the table. Furthermore, we’ll explore how well the Dell Precision M4800 fares in various benchmark tests and among its rivals.
To provide a comprehensive evaluation, each section will conclude with a rating based on performance and a subjective viewpoint. By the end of this review, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision.
Dell Precision M4800: At a Glance
The Dell Precision M4800 proves Dell’s commitment to providing professionals with a mobile workstation that offers solid performance and portability. The laptop was introduced as part of the Precision series, which has been synonymous with reliability in the workstation realm.
Dell’s Precision series has a rich history, dating back to the early 2000s when the first Precision workstation – the Precision 400 – was launched. Over the years, the Precision line has consistently evolved, keeping pace with advancements in technology.
Hence, Precision workstations earned their stripes in industries where computing power is not just a luxury but a necessity. The M4800, introduced in 2013, arrived at a time when the demand for mobile workstations was surging.
Equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor and generous memory options, the laptop aimed to be a versatile workhorse. The inclusion of a high-resolution display, a variety of ports, and a robust build underscored its positioning as a tool for professionals.
But, do all these features outweigh some of its downsides? Let’s find out.
Dell Precision M4800 Design, Display, Ports, and Connectivity Review
At first glance, the M4800 exudes a professional aesthetic. It showcases a well-crafted chassis that blends metallic finishes with subtle Dell branding on the back.
While the laptop basically uses the same chassis as its predecessor, the solid build instills confidence in its durability. This is crucial for a device likely to endure the rigors of demanding work environments.
In fact, the laptop passed various MIL-STD-810G test, demonstrating its resistance to extreme temperatures, dust, vibration, and shock. However, lifting the M4800 out of the box, you’re immediately reminded that this isn’t your run-of-the-mill, featherweight laptop.
Weighing a massive 2880.3 g, it’s not the kind of device you’d sling over your shoulder without a thought. Moreover, it weighs more than the Apple MacBook Pro 2014, which weighs just 1570 g.
Nonetheless, the heftiness of the M4800 translates to a reassuring sense of sturdiness. It’s the kind of weight that says, “I’m here to handle serious business.”
Measuring 376 x 256 x 36.2 – 39.9 mm, the M4800 occupies a footprint that places it firmly in the 15-inch laptop category. Nevertheless, these dimensions are a direct result of the components housed within.
That being said, opening the lid of the laptop reveals a beautiful 15.6-inch display supported by sturdy hinges. The bezels surrounding the display strike a balance between modern aesthetics and practicality.
While not as thin as some of the latest ultrabooks on the market today, they’re far from being distracting. In fact, the bottom bezel adds a touch of elegance with a shiny “Dell” inscription at the center.
Moreover, Dell offers three display models for the M4800 – HD (1366 x 768), FHD (1920 x 1080), and QHD+ (3200 x 1800). However, my review unit comes with a QHD+ display.
Dell Precision M4800’s QHD+ display, with its stellar 3200 x 1800 resolution, is nothing short of a visual triumph. The moment you power up the laptop, the vibrancy and sharpness of the visuals are apparent.
Whether you’re working on complex designs or watching movies, the QHD+ display showcases every pixel with clarity and precision. Blacks are deep, whites are crisp, and everything in between is a canvas waiting to be explored.
To top it all up, the display has wide viewing angles. Thus, viewing the display from sides or acute angles shouldn’t be a problem.
For instance, you’re in a meeting, everyone’s gathered around, and you want to share your screen. The M4800’s display’s viewing angles mean that everyone gets a clear view, no matter where they’re sitting.
Upon laying hands on the keyboard, the tactile feedback is satisfying. The keys feel responsive, and the inclusion of a dedicated numeric keypad is a nod to professionals who often deal with numerical data.
The backlit keyboard enhances usability in low-light conditions, emphasizing the device’s adaptability to different working environments. As with most workstation laptops, a tiny, red beacon is strategically positioned at the center of the keyboard.
For those who relish the tactile precision of a pointing stick, the M4800’s Trackpoint is a gem. It’s a functional tool for those who crave pixel-level accuracy.
With dedicated buttons above the touchpad, the Trackpoint ensures that you can navigate without lifting your hands off the keyboard. Speaking of touchpad, the M4800’s touchpad is quite small and positioned conveniently beneath the keyboard, attached with dedicated click buttons.
However, its smooth, textured surface is a pleasure to navigate, responding seamlessly to gestures and taps. Hence, whether you’re zooming in/out or executing multi-finger gestures, the touchpad is your trusty companion.
The integration of Windows Precision drivers adds an extra layer of responsiveness. It makes every swipe and click feel like a deliberate command.
Impressively, the M4800 is not lacking in the connectivity department. It accommodates a variety of peripherals and external devices.
Specifically, it features a Kensington lock, two USB 3.0 ports, audio jacks, and a DVD drive on the left side. Still on the left, you will find a card reader, SmartCard reader, and ExpressCard 54/34.
Meanwhile, the right side of the laptop offers a Wireless switch, an EasyEject drive bay, two more USB 3.0 ports, and DisplayPort. That’s not all, the laptop’s rear has LAN, VGA, eSATA/USB 2.0 combo, HDMI, and power ports.
Dell Precision M4800 Processor (CPU) Performance Review
At the heart of the Precision M4800 lies the formidable Intel Core i7-4910MQ processor. Boasting a quad-core architecture, this 4th-generation CPU runs at a base clock speed of 2.9 GHz and max speed of 3.9 GHz.
Complemented by 8 MB of cache memory, this processor is engineered to handle demanding workloads with finesse. Whether you’re crunching complex data, rendering 3D models, or running resource-intensive applications, the i7-4910MQ never breaks a sweat.
The processor doesn’t just power through tasks; it does so effortlessly, creating an environment where productivity thrives. Hence, it’s no surprise the laptop exceeded on our Geekbench 3 benchmark test.
For those wondering, Geekbench 3 assesses the CPU performance of a computer by running a series of synthetic tests. It then provides a numeric score to quantify the system’s overall performance.
On our Geekbench 3 test, the Precision M4800 scored 13,559 points, surpassing the category average of 9,047 points. The laptop not only beat the category, but it also performed better than most of its competitors.
For instance, the HP ZBook 15 with an Intel Core i7-4800MQ processor scored 12,797 on the same test. Meanwhile, the Apple MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i7 CPU scored 11,928 points.
All in all, I will rate the Dell Precision M4800 a nine out of ten in this section due to its impressive CPU performance.
Dell Precision M4800 Memory (RAM) Performance Review
The Precision M4800 comes equipped with DDR3L SDRAM. This is a reliable and energy-efficient memory type that aligns seamlessly with the demands of professional workloads.
With configurations offering up to 32GB of RAM, this mobile workstation stands ready to tackle memory-intensive tasks with finesse. Besides, the laptop comes with 4 SO-DIMM slots.
Due to this, you can configure the laptop to have up to 4 memory sticks, divided between the memory slots. That being said, the Precision M4800 I am reviewing today features 16 GB RAM divided between two slot – 8 GB RAM on each slot.
The 16 GB DDR3L RAM, coupled with the Precision M4800’s robust architecture, delivers commendable performance. It ensures that your applications launch in an instant, multitasking is a breeze, and large datasets are handled with ease.
So, whether you’re juggling multiple Chrome tabs while editing high-resolution videos, you should experience a swift and responsive operation. This isn’t just about raw speed – it’s about a cohesive and efficient memory design that complements the system’s overall performance.
Want to know more about the laptop’s performance? Well, you’re in luck as we also put the Precision M4800’s memory through a PCMark 7 benchmark test.
PCMark 7 is a benchmarking tool designed to evaluate the performance of a computer system in real-world scenarios. It assesses a system’s capabilities by running a series of tests that mimic common tasks and activities users perform daily.
Based on all that, it is only right to rate the Precision M4800 a nine out of ten in this section.
Dell Precision M4800 Storage Options and Performance Review
In the realm of mobile workstations, the Dell Precision M4800 stands tall, and its storage options are no exception. To give more detail, the laptop offers a diverse range of storage options, catering to the varied needs of users.
From the reliable 2.5″ 7200 RPM SATA HDD to the lightning-fast mSATA SSD, Dell ensures there’s a storage solution for every user. With a maximum storage of 750 GB, the traditional 7200 RPM SATA HDD provides a spacious haven for users with voracious storage appetites.
Ideal for those dealing with large media files, this option combines ample space with tried-and-true reliability. Meanwhile, balancing security with storage, the FIPS SE HHD offers a maximum storage of 1 TB.
This is perfect for users prioritizing data security without compromising on capacity. For those who crave speed without sacrificing too much space, the 2.5″ SATA SSD with a maximum storage of 512 GB is a game-changer.
This option transforms data access into a seamless experience, making every read and write operation a breeze. Lastly, with a maximum storage of 512 GB, the mSATA SSD takes compactness and performance to new heights.
Ideal for users valuing speed and space efficiency, this option excels in delivering rapid data access in a small form factor.
With all that being said, my review unit comes with a 256 GB SATA SSD. With this storage option, boot times are snappy, applications launch without hesitation, and data transfer speeds are commendable.
Speaking of data transfer speeds, the laptop was able to copy 4.97 GB of multimedia files in just 24 seconds. That equates to a transfer rate of 212 MBps, which is way over the category average of 52 MBps.
While the MacBook Pro also with a 256 GB SATA SSD was close, it fell short at 196 MBps.
The Dell Precision M4800’s storage options promote versatility. Whether you’re a content creator, a professional, or a casual user, the laptop ensures there’s a storage solution tailored to your requirements.
Due to this, I will rate the laptop a nine out of ten in the storage department.
Dell Precision M4800 Graphics Card Performance Review
While not being a gaming laptop, the Precision M4800 offers three dedicated graphic card options. These graphics cards are AMD FirePro M5100, NVIDIA Quadro K1100M, and NVIDIA Quadro K2100M.
While they all have a dedicated VRAM of 2 GB GDDR5 each, their speed differs. To be more specific, the AMD FirePro M5100 has a base and boost GPU frequency of 725 MHz.
Meanwhile, the NVIDIA Quadro K1100M and NVIDIA Quadro K2100M have a standard GPU frequency of 705 MHz and 667 MHz, respectively.
Because each GPU option has dedicated VRAMs, they don’t have to depend on the laptop’s system memory to perform. Therefore, regardless of the GPU option you choose, handling graphic-intensive workloads should be easy.
Furthermore, in rendering complex 3D models or performing advanced graphics in multimedia projects, each GPU does so with poise. Their 2 GB dedicated VRAMs not only ensure adequate graphics performance but are a catalyst for seamless, high-fidelity visual experiences.
In professional spaces, the GPUs create a path for efficiency and accuracy, reducing rendering times and enhancing creative processes.
For gaming enthusiasts, these GPUs ensure that gaming is not merely an escape but a visual spectacle. Whether you’re exploring vast open worlds or engaging in fast-paced action, the GPU options guarantee a pleasant gaming experience.
For example, I recorded 97 fps while playing World of Warcraft at 1080p on the M4800 with NVIDIA Quadro K2100M GPU. Comparatively, the HP ZBook 15 got a frame rate of 42 fps while playing the same game.
While the Precision M4800 is able to run most title AAA games, some latest games like Cyberpunk 2077 will test its limits. So, while playable, expect some compromises in frame rates and visual details.
Regardless, the Precision M4800 deserves an eight out of ten rating in this section.
Dell Precision M4800 Battery Life and Performance Review
Dell offered two battery options for the Precision M4800 – 6-cell 65 Whr and 9-cell 97 Whr Li-Ion. The 6-cell 65 Whr battery option is the embodiment of efficient power.
Perfect for users on the move, it strikes a balance between portability and endurance. However, for those requiring an unwavering powerhouse, the 9-cell 97 Whr battery is the definitive choice
While bulky and adds to the laptop’s weight, this battery option delivers a better battery compared to the first option. To give more detail, with the 9-cell 97 Whr battery, the M4800 delivered a battery life of about 4 hours on a continuous browsing test.
Sadly, this battery life is less than the category average of 5 hours and 35 minutes. Also, compared to some of its major competitors, such as the HP ZBook 15 and Apple MacBook Pro, this battery life is poor.
Specifically, on the same test, the HP ZBook 15 delivered a battery life of 7 hours and 46 minutes. On the other hand, the Apple MacBook Pro lasted for 8 hours.
Considering all this, I will rate the Dell Precision M4800 a seven out of ten in the battery department.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Precision M4800 comes with a 4th-generation Intel Core i7-4910MQ processor. This processor runs at a base clock speed of 2.9 GHz and a max speed of 3.9 GHz.
The Dell Precision M4800 was released in 2013.
The laptop offers several dedicated GPU options that can comfortably run some title AAA games like World of Warcraft. However, the laptop will struggle to play latest games like Fortnite or GTA V.
Yes, the Precision M4800 comes with Bluetooth for wireless connectivity.
Yes, the M4800 is quite heavy, weighing around 2880.3 g.
Factors to Consider Before Buying
In the realm of laptops, the Dell Precision M4800 isn’t just a device. It’s a game-changer for professionals seeking a powerhouse that seamlessly blends performance, durability, and adaptability.
Whether you’re a designer navigating complex CAD projects or a professional juggling complex tasks, the M4800 is your humble ally. It transforms your work into a symphony of efficiency, where every task is executed with precision and speed.
However, the price of power is paid in bulkiness. To be precise, this laptop is not the lightweight companion you toss around without a second thought.
Apart from its heftiness, the M8400 struggles in the battery department. Specifically, the battery life is on the shorter side, making it clear that unplugged productivity might not be its strongest suit.
For users constantly on the move, these limitations can be a major problem.
Now, does this mean the M4800 is unfit for you? Not necessarily – it’s a matter of perspective.
If you’re seeking a lightweight, marathon-running laptop, the M4800 might not be your first pick. However, if you’re after enough power for resource-intensive tasks, a bit of extra weight might be a fair trade for the performance it brings to the table.
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