Dell Precision M4500 review
A highly configurable workstation offering top-of-the-range components in a genuinely mobile frame
Review Date: 25 Jun 2010
Reviewed By: Darien Graham-Smith
Price when reviewed: (£1,619 inc VAT)
Dell’s Precision range of mobile workstations promises serious performance, and equally serious prices. The 17in Precision M6500, which we reviewed in early May, came in at £3,090 exc VAT.
The new M4500, though, is a more modest offering. With its 15.6in screen and 3.6cm depth you could almost mistake it for a regular laptop. From the outside only the severe magnesium chassis sets it apart from the ranks of mid-range notebooks. That, and the unusually comprehensive set of ports: you get four USB 2 sockets, four-pin FireWire, EC/34 and SmartCard slots, plus a multi-format card reader, Gigabit Ethernet and DisplayPort and D-Sub video outputs. There’s no USB 3, alas, but one of the USB 2 ports also supports eSATA.
Open the lid and things remain low-key. The plain black design bespeaks function rather than style. The keyboard is slightly spongy, but the sheer weight of the keys feels reassuringly professional. It’s not overburdened with custom keys, but you do get volume controls, plus a shortcut to Dell’s clever Reader 2 application that lets you access Outlook email, contacts, tasks and calendar without having to boot up the OS.
In business-friendly style, the M4500 offers a trackpoint as well as a touchpad, each with its own set of buttons, and instead of a numeric pad, there are speakers either side of the keyboard. These are surprisingly loud and clear – you could happily use them for an informal presentation – but certainly not audiophile quality, with no bass response whatsoever.
Power and punch
The screen on our review model was businesslike too: a matte 1,600 x 900 panel, which is predictably lacking in vibrance but very bright and crisp. Depending on your needs you can alternatively choose an antiglare display, which we suspect would restore some of the missing depth, in either 1,366 x 768 or Full HD resolutions.
But it’s under the hood where the M4500 offers most choice. Our review unit came with a Core i5-520M, but you can take your choice from the whole range of mobile Core i5 or i7 processors (excluding low voltage parts), all the way up to Intel’s flagship Core i7-920XM.
And you’ve almost as much freedom with the memory and hard disk. We tested a 4GB configuration with a 320GB hard disk, but you can go up to 8GB (or down to 2GB) and upgrade to a half-terabyte drive or a solid state drive in 128GB or 256GB capacities. There’s also the option of a 64GB SSD that connects to a mini-PCI slot, so you can partner it with a regular 2.5in drive.
Business laptops with enhanced performance
currently i work for Dell. I think Dell precision m4500 is an ideal business laptop for an high end corporate needs. As per my personal point of view, its kind of mobile workstation which you take it anywhere along with you and work. You can check more varieties of business laptops with enhanced performance at Dell store at http://www.dell.com/uk/p/laptops. Overall nice post, Thanks for sharing.
By jd251986 on 5 Mar 2012
- Sky Android apps attacked
- BBC admits £100 million IT project was a "waste"
- ISPs offer network-level porn filters to dodge "regulatory threats"
- Intel: PC designs "not compelling enough"
- Microsoft reinstates the Start button – on a mouse
- Facebook tells EE to stall launch of HTC First
- Google considers $1 billion bid for satnav firm Waze
- Hyperoptic extends 1Gbit/sec broadband beyond London
- PC Pro Enhanced: an update
- Samsung racks up ten million Galaxy S4 shipments
- Is it worth upgrading a media centre to Windows 8?
- Flickr redesign: is it enough to tempt photographers back?
- Hands on with the new Google Maps
- Nokia Lumia 925 review: first look
- Why I won't subscribe to Creative Cloud
- GoPro camera strapped to a remote-control helicopter: the ultimate boy's toy
- Acer Iconia A1 review: first look
- Acer Aspire P3 review: first look
- Acer Aspire R7 review: first look
- How we produce the PC Pro podcast
- 38 best iPad apps
- 35 best web apps
- Software subscriptions return us to a life of servitude
- Dropbox: everything you need to know
- Best smartphones for 2013
- The best broadband speed tests
- iPhone apps for business travel
- How to get a job as a mobile games developer
- 25 best Windows 8 apps
- Introducing Arduino - a simple Raspberry Pi alternative
- The ICO's shame-faced u-turn on cookies
- Start8 and ModernMix: making Windows 8 work on a desktop
- How to boost your mobile reception
- How to fix Facebook: Social Fixer
- Taking the stress out of WordPress updates
- Where to download free web fonts
- Turn your tablet into a Sky+ remote control
- How to measure the success of a new IT system
- Three years on: the state of the tablet market
- Windows 8: what works and what doesn't
There are dozens of exciting prizes up for grabs on PC Pro Competitions. All our competitions are free to enter. Try your luck.ENTER NOW