July 18th 2013 9:35 am

final rating

reviewed on
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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Speed and features No comments good
  • Design and form factor Would have got 5, but the rubberised finish on the palm rest and touch pad is shiny after one week. good
  • Battery life 4 hours emailing wifi, moderate work. so-so
  • Display Can't use the QHD as win 8.1 can not scale properly, if your using software like solidworks, adobe the icons are to small so, I have to set the resolution down good
  • Durability As said before the matt rubberised finished as turned gloss after a week so-so
  • Expandability No where near the expandability of the M4600. But you are trading that in for portability. so-so
  • Noise When using with dual monitors and solidworks It's noisier than the M4600 my last laptop, that may also related to windows 8 I feel that it is slower. so-so
  • Portability (size / weight) Good not because of the weight so much it still weighs about 2.2kg but it's slim. And the power pack is light and small. good
Detailed review
The body engineering is not quite up to the MBP retina display, the finish on the hinge is rough where it is moulded plastic sprayed silver, the mat rubberised finish that looked good on the touch pad and palm rest is now gloss after 8 days where I have been using it, the touch pad is good and responsive as is the touch screen, the base is made of carbon fibre and is covered in vents so you can not put this on your lap or soft surface, the carbon is easily scratched. The lid looks good it is made of aluminium alloy (May be electro polished)overall it's sturdy, the key board is OK I miss the number pad the key travel is limited as you would expect for the size. The 130w power supply is small and light it has a smaller jack than the standard dell laptops, there are a lot of useful ports spaced vey close but it has not stopped me using all of them bar the mini dell display port. The screen is good and bright, the definition is is good but read on. The fan noise levels are ok not to distracting. The speakers are very good.
The bottom line...
Unless you need to use modeling software such as Solidworks, inventor, plus a certified graphics card or any apps that depend on Windows, buy a MacBook Pro Retina as they have the dpi scaling sorted. If you want portability and you have to go with windows save yourself some money and go for the standard display as I have not figured out how to use the QHD display with Lightroom or solidworks where the icons are not about 3mm high, that's not the fault of the hardware but Windows 8.1 and the software producers that have not bothered to allow for scaling, if you don't need so much potability go for the M4700, I have the M4600 and that has been the best workhorse of a laptop. Hope this helps. Latest update (Jan 10th):
I have downgraded to Win 7, and have recently been sent the latest drivers for Dell and can now run Solidworks 2014 with no problems.
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