The more interesting but not surprising additions to the new workstation line are the graphics and 3D capabilities. The M6700 features NVIDIA's 3D Vision Pro, which combines wireless active shutter glasses, an integrated RF communication hub, and software to transform traditional CAD/CAM/CAE, digital content creation, and seismic visualization applications, among others, into full stereoscopic 3D. The inclusion of this capability (which Dell calls a first for its mobile workstations) as a core, integrated feature is a nod to just how far immersive 3D has come from the days of being limited to expensive, out-of-reach CAVEs found typically in corporate or university R&D labs.
The new workstations also can power three simultaneous displays when undocked and up to five displays when docked -- another plus for engineering teams looking for flexibility and power when visualizing complex assemblies and models.
Obviously, using a system this powerful out in the field can invite all kinds of problems that could degrade performance. Dell has put some design muscle into addressing those issues. For example, the workstations feature all-day battery life and an MIL-STD 810G tested chassis made from a durable aluminum and magnesium alloy. Battery-extending features include the NVIDA Optimus technology, which intelligently and automatically optimizes the system to deliver high-end graphics performance only when needed.
In the coming months, Dell said, the M6700 will become the first mobile workstation to offer optional 10+ finger multitouch. For users working with large volumes of sensitive data or designs that require frequent swapping of hard drives, the design calls for an ejectable primary hard drive caddy.
The new workstations are ISV-certified from most of the leading 3D CAD and CAE vendors. Pricing starts at $1,649 for the M4700 and $2,199 for the M6700.