Remember when Dell announced the announcement of their latest laptop last July at SIiggraph? Of course you do. The Precision M3800 is the sub-$2k lappy with loads of style that weighs less than a Maltese pup and cooks your cad models like a high-end cooktop. Today, the official release date popped up on the M3800 webpage and press releases were sent near and far, so drop the visual of cute puppies frying apple latkes at the stove and have a look at these specs.

Dell Precision M3800

For the mobile workstation connoisseur who desires performance over stretching the seams of their laptop bag, the M3800 gives you a bit more bang for your bag space, loads of power and an incredibly lighter load as you sprint in your flat front khakis through the terminal. From the release:

Less than three-quarters of an inch thin (18 mm) and starting at 4.15 pounds (1.88 kgs), dual-cooling to allow maximum performance at all times, and up to 10 hours and six minutes² of battery life with NVIDIA® Optimus™ technology that maximizes battery life for extended productivity, the M3800 enables editing video at a shoot, presenting CAD ideas to customers in style or rendering 3D animation and modeling on the road.

Less that three-quarters of an inch thin–ahh, those marketing peeps flipping the thick on us–plus doing all that dirty work on the road. I’ll do that on a desktop, my lap, or a log cut down, planed ad sealed to bring out the rich wood grain, thank you very much. The design is quite a departure from the sharp wrist-splitting edges of other precision laptops for which we’re thankful and you still get all the I/O ports to hook into including four USB ports, a 3-in-1 media card reader, plus a MiniDisplay Port and HDMI to expand your screen real estate across two additional monitors.

Dell Precision M3800
Money shot #2. The Dell Precision M3800 ultra-thin, ultra-light Workstation.

Being such a specialized size offering from Dell, you won’t see the configuration options you’re use to on other Precision products. The Intel Core i7-4702HQ quad core CPU and NVIDIA Quadro K1100M GPU are standard stuffing, but you do get the choice between the Full HD screen (1920×1080) or the Quad HD+ screen (3200×1800) with options on storage of HDD up to 1TB and SDD up to 512GB (with Mini Card storage that bumps that up another 0.5TB). Of course, you also have the option of packing up to 16GB of memory in this skinny laptop.

We’re a tad picky when it comes to screen screen sizes while out and about, so the one thing we wish this slender beastie had is an option for is a larger screen. However, that makes Dell product development giggle slightly because it completely negates the low-weight/life-changing form factor + performance that makes this new model from Dell so knuckle-slapping attractive.

The Precision M3800 shows up on and in stores Thursday, November 14th, just in time for the holiday buying frenzy with a starting price of $1,799 USD. You can catch a glimpse of the laptop if you’re in Paris today, October 22nd, at the Dell Solutions Tour and after the release at Autodesk University, December 3-5 in Las Vegas. We will see you there.

Press Release / Click to expand

Dell Delivers Ultra-Thin and Light True Mobile Workstation Blending Beautiful Design with Uncompromising Performance

  • The new Dell Precision M3800 is the world’s thinnest and lightest 15-inch true mobile workstation
  • Incredibly vivid Quad HD+ display with highest resolution available for visualizing and bringing creative ideas to life
  • Features Intel Core i7 Quad-Core processor, NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics and ISV certifications for seamlessly running top digital content creation and design applications

Paris, Oct. 22, 2013 – Dell today launched the thinnest and lightest 15-inch true mobile workstation, the Dell Precision M3800, to its family of the world’s most powerful mobile workstations. Merging beautiful design in an ultra-thin form factor with workstation-class performance, Dell has delivered an uncompromising system for digital content creators and engineers looking for portability, power and stylish design to match their image and environment.

“Dell has a long history of delivering leading-edge performance workstations for customers in engineering and digital content creation,” said Jon Peddie, President, Jon Peddie Research. “After seeing the new Dell Precision M3800 ultra-thin mobile workstation it’s like falling in love all over again. It has everything I want in a power notebook including a super processor and GPU, high-resolution and big screen, light weight, lots of I/O, great speakers and camera. What’s not to love? With the M3800, I no longer have to sacrifice performance for mobility and beautiful design.”

Less than three-quarters of an inch thin (18 mm) and starting at 4.15 pounds (1.88 kgs)¹, dual-cooling to allow maximum performance at all times, and up to 10 hours and six minutes² of battery life with NVIDIA® Optimus™ technology that maximizes battery life for extended productivity, the M3800 enables editing video at a shoot, presenting CAD ideas to customers in style or rendering 3D animation and modeling on the road.

“Our designers frequently travel, to meet with and collaborate with vendors and clients and the new Dell Precision M3800 provides workstation-class performance to power their software applications with an aesthetic design that fits into those collaborative environments and creates the impression we want,” said Curt Spence, Client Devices Engineer, Freeman.

Outstanding Performance in an Ultra-Thin and Light Workstation
Offering powerful performance in an ultra-thin form factor, the Dell Precision M3800 is available with Windows 8.1 Pro (64-Bit) or genuine Windows 7 Professional (64-Bit) and is loaded with up to 16GB³ of memory and 4th-generation Intel Core i7-4702HQ 8 threaded quad-core processor with up to 3.2 GHz clock speeds for seamlessly running professional software applications.

The M3800 is equipped with the NVIDIA Quadro® K1100M GPU with 2GB³ of GDDR5 dedicated memory, offering twice as much on board video memory as the HP Z series Ultrabook™, for a rich visual experience with graphic-intense software applications.

“The new Dell Precision M3800 is the first and only thin and light mobile workstation to offer the power of the Kepler-based NVIDIA Quadro GPUs, the industry’s highest-performing and most capable professional graphics,” said Sandeep Gupte, senior director of Product Marketing for the Quadro Professional Graphics Business at NVIDIA. “With 2GB of video memory in the NVIDIA Quadro K1100M GPU, the M3800 delivers uncompromised performance and rich visual experiences for graphics-heavy applications that creative professionals have been waiting for.”

To manage large data files while on the go, the Dell Precision M3800 offers multiple storage configurations including up to two storage devices, with a maximum of 1.5TB⁴ of storage (HDD, SSHD, or SSD), up to 35 percent more than HP’s 14-inch Z series Utlrabook™, one 2.5-inch drive and one solid state Mini-Card storage device (mSATA).

“As the traditional workplace continues to evolve, our workstation customers are requiring more portable systems, but can’t afford to sacrifice performance for their critical software applications,” said Andy Rhodes, executive director of Dell Precision workstations. “With the introduction of the M3800 we’ve not only delivered on customer requests but set a new standard for mobile workstations with the thinnest form factor, outstanding performance and highest resolution QHD+ display for designing, creating and collaborating with clients while in the office or on the road.”

Tuned and optimized for the top media & entertainment, engineering and design applications such as Adobe Creative Suite, Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite and AutoCAD, Inventor and Revit, Avid Media Composer, Dassault Catia and Solidworks, PTC Creo, Siemens NX and TeamCenter, among others, the M3800 assures mission critical applications will run as designed, and comes with optional Dell ProSupport for premium 24/7 global support from expert technicians.

Beautiful Design and Visualization
The Dell Precision M3800 features a stylish, industrial-grade design with an aluminum frame, a strong, lightweight carbon fiber chassis, and a Corning Gorilla NBT Glass display with five-finger multi-touch on all systems. Viewing fine detail is easy with the workstation’s vivid 15.6-inch UltraSharp display available in QHD+ (3200 x 1800), which is higher resolution than the Apple Mac Book Pro Retina, or FHD (1920 x 1080). The M3800 can also be paired with the high-performance 31.5” UltraSharp 32 monitor with exceptional Ultra HD 3840×2160 resolution, coming later this fall, for a powerful dual-monitor workstation combination.

Simplifying the transition from the road to a desk-based workspace, the M3800 offers multiple external monitor support with the optional Dell D3000 USB 3.0 Docking Station. For customers needing access to high-speed Ethernet access, every M3800 is equipped as standard with a USB to RJ-45 dongle. It is also designed with a backlit full-size keyboard, four USB PowerPorts (3 USB 3.0 & 1 USB 2.0), a large gesture-enabled touchpad, HD video webcam and Waves MaxxAudio Pro suite of advanced audio enhancement tools.

“We do a lot of on-location video streaming and the M3800 shaves off pounds of weight and bulk that we used to have to carry but we still have the processing power to encode multiple live HD video streams,” said Stephen Taylor, IT Manager for Web Services at Appalachian State University. “The absolutely gorgeous QHD+ screen means we are able to monitor 1080p video at full resolution on part of the screen while still monitoring our data feeds on another. When space and weight count, but performance can’t be compromised, the M3800 really delivers for us.”

Availability and Pricing
The Dell Precision M3800 will be available worldwide on Nov. 14 with a starting price of $1,799 USD. For additional information visit

Additional Information:
Dell Precision M3800
Dell Precision M3800 Video
Dell Precision M3800 Product Overview Video
Direct2Dell blog post
Dell Precision Image Gallery


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.