Dell Precision M3800 Mobile Workstation Review

Software and First Boot

Dell sent out a Precision M3800 review system with Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit installed, though users can also opt for Windows 7 Professional 64-bit or even Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Either Windows option will be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10 when it comes out later this summer.

Dell Precision M3800 Desktop

Kudos go out to Dell for not burying the desktop beneath a layer of bloatware, as OEMs are sometimes apt to do. Being a mobile workstation, it's important not to have useless utilities and other junk robbing the system of performance, and Dell understands that. What you see above is a clean desktop, minus the benchmarks we installed.

You can, however, have Dell pre-install certain software. Not just Microsoft Office and McAfee Security Center (neither of which was included on our review unit), but workhorse software like Autodesk AutocCAD and Adobe Creative Cloud.

For the most part, you'll install whatever software it is your work requires. This is where ISV certification comes into play. There's a long list of applications that have been certified to run smoothly on Dell's collection of hardware, which you can reference here (PDF).

Dell Precision M3800 Backup

By default, the M3800 doesn't ship with backup media, nor does the mobile workstation have an optical drive built into it. However, you can use Dell's backup software to create recovery media and backup applications and drivers. You have the option of backing up to an external hard drive drive, USB flash drive, or a recordable disc, the latter of which will require an external optical drive.

Dell Precision M3800 Resolution

The M3800 now offers an optional 4K Ultra HD touch panel option, giving users up to a 3840x2160 resolution. That translates into a lot of real estate. It can also present scaling issues in certain programs, and even Windows, though the situation is quickly improving as developers embrace the move to 4K.

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