Hands-on: Dell's Precision M3800 is a 15-inch MacBook Pro competitor with an ultra hi-res touchscreen

This thin, light Dell laptop has a 15.6-inch touchscreen with a native resolution of 3,200 x 1,800.


Dell has taken the wraps off its its new Precision M3800 laptop – which is a mobile workstation with its sights firmly set on Apple's MacBook Pro. They popped in to show us a demo unit – and while we weren't able to test it, we did get a chance to check out its sleek design and get these exclusive photos.

This thin, light Dell laptop has a 15.6-inch screen with a native resolution of 3,200 x 1,800 – slightly more than the 15-inch MacBook Pro's 2,880 x 1,800 Retina Display (though you can get it with a good old 1,920 x 1,080 HD screen if you prefer).

Both are of similar sizes: the M3800 is 18 x 372 x 254mm while the MacBook Pro is 18 x 359 x 247mm. For the non-specs obsessed, this means that they're both beautfully thin and easy to slip in a small bag – and both taper down to an even thinner front.

They're also both impossibly light, with the M3800 at 1.8kg being even lighter than the MacBook Pro at 2kg.

Use the slideshow controls above and right to find out more about the Dell Precision M3800 and see more photos of it.

Dell Precision M3800 specs

The M3800 has an Intel Core i7-4702HQ chip, running at 3.2GHz. This is one of Intel's low-powered Haswell chips, so while its performance won't match that of what you can get in bigger laptops (such as Dell's own M4800), you should get a long battery life.

The Precision laptop has two RAM slots, supporting up to 16GB of 1,600MHz DDR3L RAM.


You can fit two drives inside the Precision M3800: one 2.5-inch hard drive up to 1TB or SSD up to 512GB – plus a M-SATA mini drive up to 512GB.

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Graphics are driven by a Nvidia Quadro K1100M graphics chip with 2GB of GDDR5 graphics RAM.

The Dell Precision M3800 runs either Windows 8.1 Pro (64-bit) or Windows 7 Professional (64-bit).

Photography: Dominik Tomaszewski


The design of the Dell Precision M3800 includes a hardened, scratchproof Corning Gorilla NBT Glass display, an aluminium frame and a strong, lightweight carbon fibre base – which should keep the temperature on your lap down.


The backlit keyboard seemed small to those of us who are used to a MacBook Pro.

The keyboard and multi-touch trackpad are surrounded by a non-slip rubberised texture, which felt a bit odd – but again that might be because we're used to the smooth feel of the MacBook Pro.

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The left side of the Precision M3800 has the power input, HDMI and Mini DisplayPort outputs, two USB 3.0 ports, headphones and batter power indicator.


The right side of the Precision M3800 has an SD Card slot, a USB 3.0 port, and a USB 2.0 port.


For wireless connection, the Precision M3800 supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi – though for faster wired connection it ships with a USB to ethernet connector (which is much better than having to buy this as an expensive accessory, Apple).

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The Dell Precision M3800 costs from around £1,149 plus VAT. It'll ship in November.