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Topic Summary

Posted by: M.
« on: March 31, 2014, 16:48:16 »

Prospective buyers beware: If you go for the FHD option, Dell will reckon you’re a budget shopper and will treat you accordingly with some bluish-backlit TN LCD with miniscule color gamut.

It is naïve to assume that the FHD option means what Notebookcheck reviewed last year in M4700. Don’t get yourselves duped like that. Don’t make such assumptions. Did Dell promise anywhere in their spec sheets or order forms that the FHD option would be wide gamut or premium color or IPS or anything like that? No, they didn’t.

Sadly, there is no way of knowing what screen you’re getting before you open the box and run the beast. Mine got AUO B156HW02, which did not win much praise from Notebookcheck in Latitude E6540. Other reported panels are LP156WFC (a slightly better review by Notebookcheck in Latitude E6530) or even Chimei Innolux N156HGE.

In top-of-the-line 15″ Precision? Beats me.

Sheesh, I went for a workstation mostly because I wanted a great LCD in an overall powerful laptop. And I got Latitudesque crap instead—precisely what I wanted to avoid.

The screen can supposedly be replaced with anything physically and electrically compatible, and I’ll suck it up for the time being.

Had I known this in advance, I would still have not changed my mind about buying M4800, actually. There are not that many options on the market. Lenovo W540 seems poorly built in comparison, and I just couldn’t stand the chiclets on the rest of the pack.
Posted by: M.
« on: March 22, 2014, 09:16:04 »

Its keyboard is only acceptable, not great. Its feel is roughly comparable to similarly looking non-islet keyboards of business Dells.

It’s a sad story of disappeared great laptop keyboards of yesteryear (such as those on older Fujitsus) that it is impossible to buy a well-built Haswell mobile workstation with a great keyboard. Such is just not on the market. Not a single one.
Posted by: PCjabber
« on: February 15, 2014, 09:12:46 »

It seems I don't have the choice of returning the system or asking for my money back. I just got off the phone to a manager at tech support, who tells me that under the terms of the Dell warranty, no matter what the age of system they will never replace a complete system due to technical issues. They will only replace components. My system was delivered on 7th January 2014. I informed Dell of the graphics issue on 26th January 2014 having spent a week assuming the glitches I was seeing came from corruption in my own MXF files.

FWIW, I work for a company that buys a lot of Dell, and we have had an entire machine replaced in the past...but they are certainly reluctant to do it, if they still do it at all. I had an issue with a rackmount workstation a couple months ago that took almost four weeks to resolve (and they didn't replace the machine,  per se, but they replaced almost every component when it was done, except the HDDs & chassis). I requested that they replace the whole machine and they wouldn't (but it was an older machine, maybe 4.5 years, but still in-warranty).

I recently had another support request (for a week-old rackmount workstation), and I insisted that they send ALL of the potential "problem components" & have the tech replace them all at once so they didn't waste another three weeks of my company's time. Dell obliged & the workstation was up-and-running the next day after the tech swapped the parts.

BTW, sorry to hear of your experience with this machine & hope they'll resolve it to your satisfaction. Make some noise to the support team if you aren't satisfied...someone follows up with me on every case I submit (usually the day after it's closed by the tech) & they've taken care of post-service issues for me (although not always immediately, as evidenced by the first story in my post).
Posted by: Gio
« on: February 08, 2014, 19:06:50 »

@giles - If you do get your money back, place your bet on the Lenovo workstations. Overall I think Lenovo has a better place when it comes to solid, powerful workstations. There's a sale going on now for the w540. Same gpu en UHD display.
Posted by: Craig
« on: February 08, 2014, 16:13:39 »

Wow!  I was all for the M4800 until I read these comments.  Now I'm not sure what to buy.  A comparably equipped,

 - i7 4800
 - Windows 7
 - 1929 x 1080 +
 - 15.6"
 - 1 TB or 512 SSD SAT A3

With the above I think my choices are:

 - HP Z Book 15
 - Toshiba Tecra W50-A1500
 - Lenovo ThinkPad W540
 - Dell M4800

Any help?  To me it boils down to quality of product, service, reliability
Posted by: Giles Stogdon
« on: February 06, 2014, 14:19:36 »

My system is M4800 with 16GB RAM, i7 4900QM CPU, 250GB SSD

The Saga continues. Here is a digest of the correspondence with Dell tech support and with reps via Spiceworks forum:

So, now tech support have swapped out the GPU and talked me through reinstalling Windows 7 and all the drivers... Getting to this point has taken a week of phone calls and many hours I should have been working. I can see the display errors in Vimeo and other graphics applications, and even on the black and white Dell logo display when I first switch on the system...

The problem remains and I am becoming very frustrated that it has taken many hours of my working time to come to the same point we were at a week ago. It is clear to me that a new system should have been ordered in the first place rather than putting me through all this.

Just as frustrating is the time I will now have to spend downloading and reinstalling my Avid software and calling their technical support people to authorise my new installations...

I'm so angry that I spent all this time pointlessly calling tech support and reinstalling Windows and all the drivers. I still have the same graphics issues. I am getting near the point where I ask for my money back and go and buy a Mac. No.. no.. that's not a good solution but what choice do I have? I need a high spec mobile workstation that allows me to get on with my work.

It seems I don't have the choice of returning the system or asking for my money back. I just got off the phone to a manager at tech support, who tells me that under the terms of the Dell warranty, no matter what the age of system they will never replace a complete system due to technical issues. They will only replace components. My system was delivered on 7th January 2014. I informed Dell of the graphics issue on 26th January 2014 having spent a week assuming the glitches I was seeing came from corruption in my own MXF files.

He also said that he was "sure that replacing the motherboard might resolve the issue" with the graphics display on my workstation. I think that's called a tautology, but what the hell.

He kindly offered to escalate the case and ask if they will replace the system but said there was little chance of this request being successful. If there is no possibility of a system exchange, he will offer me an engineer to be send out to replace the system board.

I'm beginning to feel I am a guinea pig, used to test Dell workstation hardware - at my own expense.

I think many people would be interested to know about these terms in the Dell warranty.

As an addendum (now I've calmed down a bit) the tech support guys now think the graphics issue is caused by a conflict between the Intel HD processor on the CPU and the Nvidia Quadro K2100... Maybe that's a vulnerabilty to consider when making a choice about which mobile workstation to adopt for you high end video editing and processing workflow.

I can understand Dell's approach to some degree. They have built these precision mobile workstations to be very accessible to engineers swapping out parts. However, from the end user's point of view, I felt I was getting a little more than a bunch of components thrown together.

I believed I was getting a mobile video/audio editing solution that is fully compatible with the industry standard software I use, much in the same way as someone might buy a MacBook Pro. With the latter system you get guaranteed performance over the range of tasks you are likely to carry out.

This "no replacement, only component swapping" policy, adhered to by Dell ProSupport suggests that a bunch of components is exactly what I have payed over £2000 for.

As to the "M" question, I differ form many freelancers I work with, in that I am committed to staying with Windows and I really don't want to go down the Mac/Apple route.
Posted by: Gilesy
« on: February 05, 2014, 20:59:36 »

I bought a Dell Precision M4800 largely on the strength of this review, so it’s only fair to post two extracts form my correspondence with Dell (through Spiceworks):

1. I recently bought a Dell Precision M4800 and I’m having issues with the GPU, which is an Nvidia Quadro K2100. There are flickering and artifacts across the top of the display during playback, especially during panning shots, rapidly changing images, etc. This occurs on the laptop monitor and on external monitors/projectors. Either there is a fault in the GPU, the drivers aren’t up to scratch, or the Quadro card isn’t up to the job.

Anyone else having these problems?

A week later…

2. So, now tech support have swapped out the GPU and talked me through reinstalling Windows 7 and all the drivers… This process has taken a week of phone calls and many hours I should have been working. I can see the display errors in Vimeo and other graphics applications, and even on the black and white Dell logo display when I first switch on the system…

The problem remains and I am becoming very frustrated that it has taken many hours of my working time to come to the same point we were at a week ago. It is clear to me that a new system should have been ordered in the first place rather than putting me through all this bollocks. I have lost a lot of time going through this unnecessary procedure. How are Dell going to make this up to me? It had better be good.

Just as frustrating is the time I will now have to spend downloading and reinstalling my Avid software and calling their technical support people to authorise my new installations…
Posted by: drakkan
« on: January 21, 2014, 09:22:39 »

Hi,

several users reported lockup and freeze problems:

http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/391875-new-dell-precision-m4800-few-probs-should-i-send-back

did you experinced the same during your tests? Is there some 4800 owner with a fully working laptop?

thanks
Nicola
Posted by: Micha
« on: January 06, 2014, 23:34:01 »

You can add two more memory cards in the back side of the m4800, mine came with 8Gb which are installed under the keyboard, so there another two empty memory bays on the backside, I added 16 GB on the back and got total of 24 GB in the machine without needing to take out the 8GB which came with the PC.
Posted by: armin tey
« on: December 31, 2013, 02:53:34 »

if I get a base model of m4800 with 8G of RAM, can I make it 16G later? because the website does not let me to customize the m4800 series unlike the m4700s, their options for 16G memory on m4800 are really expensive and my budget only fits the base model with 8G of RAM, other specs of it are perfect for me except the memory. thanks
Posted by: andrew
« on: December 09, 2013, 20:43:04 »

I bought one copy of this (DELL PRECISION M4800)  item but after few week video card breaks.

Assistance of DELL is completely inexistent.

DON'T trust of DELL. DON'T trust of DELL. DON'T trust of DELL.
Posted by: Andrea
« on: December 09, 2013, 18:16:16 »

Precision m4800 bought directly from DELL site, with full configuration.

On first time, it works for two days with no CPU load.

The notebook now is broken, DELL on site Pro support business assistance don't know where is the problem.

At now after 3 week and 3200 Euro spent i can't utilize it and i don't know when it shall be possible.

Be aware, DELL is not a good solution for you.
Posted by: vincentfr44
« on: November 26, 2013, 12:25:15 »

Hello, I want to know if the QHD+ screen can do 1920x1080 ? and if it's look good.
Posted by: LJ
« on: November 15, 2013, 06:18:06 »

Trying to decide b/w this and the thinner brother, M3800. Notebookcheck, are you guys going to do a review any time soon? Thanks! Love the site btw
Posted by: Stuart Brown
« on: November 12, 2013, 15:23:18 »

Have bought an M6800 and M4800. Both good but prefer M4800. As a previous Dell M6600 and M6400 the speed and low temps on both new machines are a welcome improvement. Only thing I do not like is M6800 is not as quick as anticipated and screen on M4800 seems difficult to art up with decent size type. Buy one!

 
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