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Dell today introduced its stylish Precision M6400 quad-core "mobile workstation", the beefy specced desktop replacement it first talked about back in August.

It also debut a variant, the M6400 Covet, which is the one with the blazing orange aluminium cover.

Dell Precision M6400

Dell Precision M6400: covetable?

Both models are based on a 17in, 1920 x 1200 display - the covet has an edge-to-edge version, exclusively - with a three-colour LED backlight, though lesser screens can be selected instead. The top-of-the-line screen supports the full range of RGB colours as defined by Adobe.

Dell Precision M6400

Fiery hued

The machines use Intel's Q43 chipset, to which up to 16GB of 1067MHz DDR 3 memory can be connected. It also allows the M6400's two hard drives - up to 1TB of them - to be configured in a variety of RAID modes: 0 and 1 to be precise.

Yes, you can spec it up with a four-core Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9300 2.53GHz, 12MB L2 processor, but it'a also availe with two-core Core 2 Duos and Core 2 Extremes for those with smaller pockets.

Dell Precision M6400

Well connected

Two Nvidia Quadro FX graphics chips appear on the configuration sheet: the 2700M, with 512MB of dedicated video memory, and the 3700M with 1GB of VRam.

Expect all the usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, mobile broadband and UWB options, and there's both an ExpressCard 54 slot and a PC Card bay to add other periphperals. There's a six-pin Firewire port and four USB ports, one of which doubles up as an eSATA connector.

Dell Precision M6400

Full-size keyboard plus numeric pad

Need to connect an external monitor? Hook it up using the M6400's DisplayPort or VGA connectors. The Qwerty keyboard's joined by a separate numeric pad - together the two fill out almost all of the M6400's width. The touchpad has a printed scrollwheel "jog shuttle" that can tie into specific apps.

The weighty, from 3.88kg (with one HDD) machines come with a nine-cell "85Whr" battery. Operating system? Windows Vista 32-bit and 64-bit, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS are the pre-load options.

The Dell Precision M6400 starts at £1479/€1809 and is available today. The M6400 Covet will be available by the end of the year, Dell said. The spec of the Covet has yet to be finalised.

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