When it launched the Precision M3800 mobile workstation about a year and a half ago, Dell had set its sights on the Apple MacBook Pro, offering a screen with more pixels in a form factor that was nearly identical in size. With its new updates, the company is pushing even further ahead, taking advantage of the MacBook Pro's lack of a recent major redesign.
While the MacBook Pro has possessed the same 2,880x1,800 display since 2012, the new M3800 can be configured with a 4K screen with a resolution of 3,840x2,160, which Dell happily points out is 3.4 million more pixels than Apple's Retina display. The screen is crafted from Corning Gorilla Glass NBT, uses IGZO2 technology, and includes touchscreen capabilities (as does the 1080p HD version you can choose instead).
Though Dell may have Apple beat in the screen department, it's clearly joining them by adding a Thunderbolt 2 port to the M3800. It's upped the maximum amount of storage to 2TB, which is twice the amount offered on not only the previous version, but also on the MacBook Pro (again, specifically cited by Dell in its press release). The company also continues its commitment to Ubuntu by now providing the Linux OS as an option in addition to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
One thing that is not changing with the new M3800 is the processor. While many laptops are being updated with Intel's new Broadwell CPUs, none of the initial batch of chips is powerful enough for a mobile workstation. As a result, the Dell notebook still uses a Haswell Core i7-4712HQ quad-core processor, along with Nvidia Quadro K1100M graphics.
The new M3800 is available now starting from $1,649 for a model with a 1080p HD display. The 4K version, which also doubles the RAM to 16GB and includes a 256GB SSD instead of a 500GB hard drive, costs $2,179. Note that the 1080p configurations can be upgraded to the 4K screen for $70, and choosing Ubuntu instead of Windows will slash $101.50 from the price, though this option apparently is available only on the cheapest version.