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Dell beefs up Precision mobile workstations

These days, many consumers have been trained to expect high-performance notebook computers come with glow-in-the-dark cases, lots of bling, and art that (at best) makes the owners look like they cashed in huge Groupons for tribal-meets-skatepunk tattoos. But sometimes sedate covers can hige a wealth of power, and Dell’s new Precision M4600 and M6600 mobile workstations might be just the thing. They aren’t certified to offer guaranteed Crysis frame rates; instead, they’re ISV certified to run a huge range of workstation software (think rendering and serious data-crunching)—but that doesn’t make them useless for mortals.

Dell Precision M4600 and M6600 mobile workstations

Both the Precision M4600 and M6600 sport second-generation Intel Core i7 (Sandy Bridge) processors, with the M4600 touting a 15.6-inch screen and the M6600 stepping up to a 17.3-inch display—HD and FHD options are available for both systems. Both offer Nvidia Quadro graphics processors with twice the number of CUDA cores as previous Precision mobile workstations—meaning the systems excel at both video- and graphics-intensive tasks—along with HDMI output for pushing content to a big screen.

The M4600 can support up to 32 GB of RAM, 750 GB of hard drive storage, and offers RAID 0/1 support via an SSD MiniCard AMD FirePro M5950 and Nvidia Quadro 1000M and 2000M graphics are available with support for up to 2 GB of dedicated video memory. The M6600 sports three storage options: an optical drive, an optional second hard disk, and a 128 GB SSD MiniCard with RAID 5 support, and will offer serious graphics options: AMD FirePro M8900, Nvidia Quadro 3000M, and Nvidia 4000M—and, soon, Nvidia Quadro 5010M with a whopping 4 GB of onboard video memory.

Sound tempting? Wait, there’s more. Like all Dell Precision mobile workstations, the units sport interchangeable batteries, optical drives, keyboards, and HDD carriers, 4 DIMM slots, five USB ports (two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, and one combo USB/eSATA), 1600MHz memory options, and DisplayPort and VGA video output options. Oh—and they’re MIL-STD 810G certified against temperature extremes, dust, altitude, and shocks.

Dell hasn’t announced pricing for these systems—if you have to ask, you probably don’t want to know—but they’ll be available for sale worldwide on May 10.