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Dell Precision M6300  (Source: Dell)
Dell's latest business notebook features Intel's new Core 2 Duo X7900 Processor

Dell is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Precision lineup with the announcement of the Precision M6300 notebook. The new notebook replaces the old Precision M90 and is aimed at the business market.

The M6300 features a 17" "Road Ready" chassis design (magnesium alloy). The use of lightweight materials has allowed Dell to trim the weight of the M6300 to 8.5 pounds compared to 9 pounds for the older M90. The M6300 also makes use of a metal display backing to aid in rigidity and durability.

When it comes to hardware specs, the Santa Rosa-based M6300 doesn't disappoint. The notebook features NVIDIA's Quadro FX 1600M with 512MB of TurboCache (256MB dedicated). Dell offers the M6300 in WXGA+ (1440x900) and WUXGA (1920x1200) screen resolutions with TrueLife or anti-glare screen coatings. Unfortunately at this time, LED backlighting will not be available for the M6300 although company representatives note that the option could be made available at a later date.

On the processor front, the M6300 will make available Intel's new Core 2 Duo X7900 processor which clocks in at 2.8GHz (800MHz FSB). As is standard fare with most Santa Rosa notebooks today, the M6300 supports up to 4GB of DDR2 memory. Dell notes that the M6300 can support the full 4GB (rather than 3GB) due to 36-bit addressing when paired with a 64-bit capable operating system.

Storage options abound for the M6300. Dell offers traditional HDDs up to 200GB in size with a 7200RPM spindle speed as well as a 120GB encrypted HDD. Dell will also make available a SanDisk 32GB solid-state disk (SSD) for those that crave the ultimate in performance and durability. Optical drive options include an 8x DVD, 24x CD-RW, 8x DVD+/-RW and a Blu-ray drive (2x writeable).

For those that need wireless connectivity, Dell offers its branded 802.11a/g/n network solutions as well as competing solutions from Intel. Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and the Dell Wireless 5510 HSDPA (AT&T) card are optional.

Other features include six USB 2.0 ports, DVI, VGA, S-video, FireWire, 5-in-1 media reader, Express Card slot and an optional UPEK fingerprint reader.

Dell claims that the M6300 will operate for up to four hours on its standard 9-cell battery and is Energy Star 4.0 compliant in all of its configurations.

When it comes to operating systems, Dell will offer Windows XP, Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. RedHat Linux 5.1 will also be made available in October.

"Customers buy workstations because they need maximum performance to get a job done, said Dell Product Group VP Vivek Mohindra. "The M6300 is ideal for customers who want to run demanding professional applications no matter where they are."

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Still lacking... IMO
By Eurasianman on 9/4/2007 12:34:16 AM , Rating: 3
My company got me the Dell Precision M90. It is a good laptop. However, I would have liked to see Dell upgrade the keyboard to include the number pad as well as a secondary hard drive bay. I'm also not quite sure if the graphics card is DX 10 or not. Overall, the laptop is pretty durable. However, mine came a bit unbalanced. The middle riser is thicker than the rest of the feet. Overall, solid product.

Lastly, they should make it to where the fan is spinning 24/7 when in use. When the fan is off, the laptop gets quite warm. I've been running Folding@Home on it and it causes the fan to run the entire time at a moderate speed. Therefore, the temps of the laptop overall are a lot cooler.

RE: Still lacking... IMO
By enlil242 on 9/4/2007 8:10:50 AM , Rating: 2
That's interesting, thanks for the mini review ... Just wondering why someone would mark this down?

RE: Still lacking... IMO
By Eurasianman on 9/4/2007 9:30:12 AM , Rating: 1
Sorry, I don't understand the rating system and why I got a -1.

@ John: There are vents on the side as well for the fans. My M90 is in a docking station and the lid is always closed, therefore, making the top vents inadequate. On idle, using Everest, CPU idles around 30C, GPU 52C, and HD 40C. Also, the DVD Drive on my M90 rattles, but that's partially my fault. I don't think the sides of the M90 are very rugged. That or Dell mounted the DVD-RW drive in a way that the door case sticks out a little to much.

RE: Still lacking... IMO
By TomZ on 9/4/2007 11:44:30 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I don't understand the rating system and why I got a -1.

Probably because you were complaining about a different Dell model than the one discussed in the article.

RE: Still lacking... IMO
By Johnmcl7 on 9/4/2007 4:47:37 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't rely on the upper vents for cooling, if your M90 is sitting in a standard Dell dock it's raised off the ground and should have sufficient cooling underneath.

However if the underside of the laptop is blocked it can pull some air in above (it doesn't seem to push hot air out of there).

As for the optical drive, not sure what causes that - I had the same vibration on a Sony DVD/CD combo on the older XPS 2 but it seemed more to be the drive rather than the chassis.


RE: Still lacking... IMO
By Johnmcl7 on 9/4/2007 9:21:43 AM , Rating: 1
I'm glad they've kept to his keyboard, you'll notice there's two vents either side of the keyboard - while they're small the do allow air through, I find the M90's cooling system to be the best I've used on a 17 inch machine.

I don't like the look of the XPS M1730 at all, glad to see Dell have kept with this design for the M90 replacement.

Not sure why the fan on yours doesn't run all the time - it does on the models I've used (XPS and Precision), one fan idles on low most of the time and as the temp goes up it turns on the second fan as needed.


By JamesHurst on 9/4/2007 4:13:16 PM , Rating: 2
This sounds pretty smok'n hot - covers nearly all the pts I've been seeking for a laptop worthy of replacing my IBM Thinkpad (which, lamentably, aren't available with WXUGA displays!).

But.. no TrackPoint? !!! Just a lousy touchpad, like every other laptop under the sun? Can't use those! The Latitude D620 I'm using at this moment has a great little blue TrackPoint, and you can disable the touchpad so your palm doesn't send your cursor in random directions.

Incidentally, the X7900 is nice, but - $1300 extra? !

Since Dell is offering X64 Windows preloaded, I wonder if we can take that as encouragement that they're providing a complete set of solid X64 drivers?

By Johnmcl7 on 9/4/2007 4:49:40 PM , Rating: 2
Thinkpads are available with WUXGA screens, at least the 15.4 inch models do which I was rather impressed by.

Can't stand trackpoints, I use the D620 as well as a few other Latitudes and I disable it straight away. For touchpads, I simply set them not to be enabled while typing which works for me.


By JamesHurst on 9/5/2007 11:42:37 AM , Rating: 2
WUXGA is 1920 by 1200 (according to accepted practice, to my knowledge), which I don't find anywhere amongst the Thinkpads. Though I could be missing something. I'd think a 15.4" screen would be rather tight for that anyway: it really calls for a 17". I had 1600-by-1200 on my previous Thinkpad A31p's 15" screen, and that was pretty tight.

By TomZ on 9/5/2007 9:12:11 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, WUXGA = 1920x1200, and last time I checked, Lenovo didn't have any WUXGA models. I've heard of 15.4" laptops with WUXGA, but I haven't seen them offered when I checked. 17" was the size of choice for that resolution, which I agree with you is about right.

By Slaimus on 9/4/2007 1:48:03 PM , Rating: 2
This looks exactly like a M90, but with an upgraded CPU. Maybe it has the new Santa Rosa chipset?

RE: M90
By TomZ on 9/4/2007 3:24:20 PM , Rating: 2
When it comes to hardware specs, the Santa Rosa-based M6300 doesn't disappoint.

Reading comprehension FTW!

Why is it so frigging thick?
By ppgreat on 9/5/2007 10:43:39 AM , Rating: 2
I like the option of adding Blu-Ray, but this thing is huge. Put it next to a MacBook Pro and it looks like something out of the Flintstones.

RE: Why is it so frigging thick?
By Pirks on 9/5/2007 7:07:21 PM , Rating: 1
Well, Dell 17" notebooks are three times cheaper than 17" MacBook Pro precisely for this reason - because Dells are three times thicker and heavier - I'd say it's a fair tradeoff. I'd go for Vostro 1700 over Apple MBP 17" any time. Don't want to pony up those extra $2K, ya know

Link to the Dell Laptop
By Nyne on 9/4/2007 10:45:49 AM , Rating: 2
Really liked the article but it actually took me a bit to find it on dell so here's the link to the laptop. - Hope it helps

You should be able to compare the older laptop with the newer one.

XPS Gen 2 redux?
By Kougar on 9/4/2007 12:10:52 PM , Rating: 2
The photo and the magnesium-alloy backed display are identical to the old 2005 XPS Gen 2 laptops. The photo looks exactly like mine. The backing still does an excellent job of protecting the display though.

Nice improvement on battery life times with that CPU, mine only got 2:40 hours best case scenario with the same size battery and undervolted Pentium M.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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