Dell Precision M6800 review

This monster laptop impresses with its power and versatility

Dell Precision M6800
This laptop boasts some high-end components, but a hefty price tag

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The M6800 is clearly built for business, from its hard-wearing chassis and versatile exterior to the superb keyboard and powerful professional components. It's a powerhouse, but it's thick and heavy, battery life isn't great, and the screen falls short of expectations in some departments.

We liked

The Precision's exterior impresses – it's rock solid, and with every conceivable port and socket. The interior is accessible, the keyboard is excellent, and the good trackpad is helped by the inclusion of a trackpoint.

The processor has enough grunt to motor through tough workloads, and the ISV-certified GPU offers more power than other workstation notebooks.

The screen is sensibly designed and has top-notch sRGB coverage and colour accuracy, which are important qualities for colour-sensitive tasks.

We disliked

The 17.3-inch screen and heavyweight design means that the M6800 is chunky, so you'll need a big bag to take this notebook into the field.

The screen's impressive colour accuracy is let down by brightness and contrast figures that are bettered elsewhere, and the hard disk has good capacity but lacks speed. We never expect good battery life from powerful laptops, and that's the same here: you won't get through half a day without plugging in.

Final verdict

The M6800 is impressive, but it's a niche product. Few employees will truly need the versatility and power offered by this machine, especially when it's this bulky and expensive. If you can justify investing in such a powerful notebook, it excels in every important area, which makes it an excellent high-end workstation.

Mike has worked as a technology journalist for more than a decade and has written for most of the UK’s big technology titles alongside numerous global outlets. He loves PCs, laptops and any new hardware, and covers everything from the latest business trends to high-end gaming gear.