IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Dell Precision M6700 review

This 17in workstation features an robust design, plenty of ports and can be configured to suit your business needs.

Clever on the inside

The M6700 is one of the most modular laptops we've ever seen, in contrast other devices such as the MacBook Pro, which offers no upgradeable parts. After removing the battery and screws, the bottom slides out of the way, and there's plenty to like on the inside. There are two memory slots, one of which is occupied on our review sample, and both of the cooling fans can be removed quickly.

There's plenty of room to expand: spare mini-PCI Express and mSATA sockets can be used for improved Wi-Fi chips or additional storage, and the existing wireless card is slotted into a half-height mini-PCI Express socket, with a spare one alongside.

Dell Precision - Inside

The life of the device can be extended by upgrading parts as and when required

Dell has paid attention to the tiniest detail, with even four screws provided to fit extra parts. These sit alongside an empty hard disk cage. Holes for screws are identified with letters based on which parts they connect to, and it's possible to easily remove the shroud covering most of the motherboard as it stretches across the machine. The hard disk, meanwhile, pops out of its own socket on the right-hand side of the base and is unlocked by flicking a switch underneath the battery.

Performance

Our review sample was fitted with modest specifications. Processing power was provided by the Core i5-3320M, a mid-range Intel Ivy Bridge chip running at 2.6GHz with a maximum Turbo Boost of 3.3GHz. It scored 0.68 in our benchmark, so it has enough grunt to handle commonly used work applications - but it'll balk when tasked with resource hungry software. Those looking for more power might consider the MacBook Pro, which scored 0.92 thanks to its Core i7 processor.

Graphical power is middling, too. The AMD FirePro M6000 is a reasonable workstation chip - after all, it's based on the Radeon HD 7870M - and it scored 33fps in our 1,920 x 1,080 high quality Crysis test. This'll translate to fine performance in graphical applications, and it's also a frame quicker than the Apple's consumer graphics chip managed.

Elsewhere, there's 4GB of RAM, a DVD writer and a 320GB hard disk. The inclusion of single-band wireless is a disappointment alongside Gigabit Ethernet, but the battery improved the situation: the nine-cell powerpack on offered lasted 5hrs 27mins, which is two hours longer than the 2010 version of the Precision. This compares well to the MacBook Pro's 4hrs 32mins in Windows, but trails when compared to OS X. When running its native OS, the MacBook Pro lasted 10hrs 34mins away from the mains.

Several useful software applications are included, but Dell's packages can't match the extensive suite of apps included on Lenovo's ThinkPads. Backup, data encryption and wireless configuration tools are included, and we're pleased to see ISV certification, which guarantees plenty of business software will work without any issue.

Featured Resources

Big data for finance

How to leverage big data analytics and AI in the finance sector

Free Download

Ten critical factors for cloud analytics success

Cloud-native, intelligent, and automated data management strategies to accelerate time to value and ROI

Free Download

Remove barriers and reconnect with your customers

The $260 billion dollar friction problem businesses don't know they have

Free Download

The future of work is already here. Now’s the time to secure it.

Robust security to protect and enable your business

Free Download

Recommended

Armari Magnetar M64TP-RW2000G3 review: Don’t call it a comeback
Hardware

Armari Magnetar M64TP-RW2000G3 review: Don’t call it a comeback

12 Sep 2022
Scan 3XS GWP-ME A124C review: An Intel-powered workhorse that holds its own
Hardware

Scan 3XS GWP-ME A124C review: An Intel-powered workhorse that holds its own

23 Aug 2022
Dell XPS Desktop 8950 review: Commendable, but uninspiring
Hardware

Dell XPS Desktop 8950 review: Commendable, but uninspiring

19 Aug 2022
Cyber resiliency and end-user performance
Whitepaper

Cyber resiliency and end-user performance

17 Aug 2022

Most Popular

How to secure your hybrid workforce
Advertisement Feature

How to secure your hybrid workforce

23 Sep 2022
What your hybrid workforce needs from their laptops
Advertisement Feature

What your hybrid workforce needs from their laptops

21 Sep 2022
Why collaboration is key to digital transformation
Sponsored

Why collaboration is key to digital transformation

13 Sep 2022