Dell Precision M6400 Covet review

Dell portable workstation is more powerful and more expensive than you can possible imagine

Dell Precision M6400 Covet
The Dell's chassis is a little blocky, but its sturdyness can't be knocked. Or rather, it can, and it won't make a difference

TechRadar Verdict

A high-end workstation with an incredible specification and a price to match


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    Massive graphics application performance

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    Unrivalled screen quality

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    Speedy processor and memory

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    High quality build


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    Astronomical price

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Dell's Precision M6400 Covet is a mobile workstation aimed at businesses needing formidable performance in a portable form factor. It's very expensive, but boasts an unrivalled specification and excellent quality.

The 17-inch display features a glossy coating that stretches to the edges of the machine – a stylish design that's only let down slightly by the reflective finish. With a 1920 x 1200-pixel resolution, images are pin-sharp and it's a pleasure to work on.

Dell has used RGB (Red Green Blue) LED backlighting for the screen – a technology rarely seen on laptops – to provide the most accurate colour reproduction currently possible. The result is stunning, with brilliantly vivid colours well suited to consumer photography and cinematography work, although this is where reflections prove most intrusive.

Those wanting to edit videos or carry out design work are supported by a powerful Nvidia Quadro FX 3700M graphics card – a high-end GPU intended for CAD (Computer Aided Design) use. With 1024MB of dedicated graphics memory, it makes light work of the most intensive applications, and you'll also be able to play games in your spare time.

This machine also boasts an amazing 8GB of fast DDR3 memory – with up to 16GB supported, making it one of the quickest machines we've seen to date. With 8GB a £660 option, however, there's plenty of money to be saved by upgrading the memory using an independent memory seller, such as Crucial.

The high-end quad-core Intel processor means you won't struggle with multi-tasking, and if your company needs a laptop for intense office or design calculations, then nothing else comes close. Performance is further aided by the use of Solid State Drives, with two 256GB drives offering ample storage.

Stunning build quality

Build quality is exceptional, with robust aluminium used for the chassis and lid, and one of the best keyboards we've used on a laptop. All the keys are responsive, firmly attached and move almost silently, and backlighting also means you'll be able to work in any lighting conditions.

Four USB ports are dotted around the chassis, although some users may be expecting a couple more on a machine of this type. A FireWire port lets you transfer data at high speeds, which is ideal for backing up large files. ExpressCard and PC Card slots let you add new and older peripherals, with VGA and DisplayPort interfaces supporting external displays.

Matching all-out performance with one of the best laptop screens we've seen to date, this is a near perfect – if very expensive – package.

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