Dell sets new low price point with new entry level Precision mobile workstation models

The new Dell Precision 3540 provides a new low price point for Dell entry level workstations, while the more powerful Dell Precision 3541 becomes what Dell says is a new price-performance leader for the segment.

The Dell Precision 3540

Dell has strengthened the low end of their entry level workstation portfolio with the introduction of two net-new models, the Dell Precision 3540 and 3541 mobile workstations. They bring a new low price point to the Dell portfolio, to compete more aggressively in the price-sensitive part of the mobile workstation market.

“The whole intent of our 3000 series is to provide the best price-per-performance,” said Amit Bhaga, Client Technologist (Canada) for the Client Solutions Group at Dell. Software and Peripherals Specialist at Dell Canada. The series occupies the “Good’ rung in a Good-Better-Best ladder, with the 5000 and 7000 series being the top two rungs. “Customers are demanding a more affordable product, and that’s where the need for this comes from. We have addressed this part of the market before with our 3520 and 3530 series, but the 3540 was created to be our most affordable mobile workstation, and respond to this market demand.

The Dell Precision 3540 has 4-core Intel Core 8th generation processors, with i5 or i7 options, and a 15.6” display. It also has up to 32GB of DDR4 memory, AMD Radeon Pro graphics with 2GB of dedicated memory and 2TB of storage. Bhaga described the Precision 3541 as offering a step-up in performance. It adds 9th generation 8-core Intel Core and 6-core Intel Xeon processor options, as well as Nvidia Quadro P620 graphics with 4GB GDDR5 of dedicated memory. It too has a 15.6” display, and also has what Dell says is extreme battery life for this class of product.

The Dell Precision 3541

Both the Precision 3540 and the Precision 3541 come with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and optional security features like fingerprint and smartcard readers, an IR camera and a camera shutter, the latter of which is a first for Dell. The Dell Precision 3540 weighs 4.04 pounds, while the Dell Precision 3541 starts at 4.34 pounds.

“Both of these models also have Dell Reliable Memory Technology [RMT] which specifically protects work from potential crashes that take place in memory, by detecting and mapping out memory errors in real time,” Bhaga said. “Dell Precision machines also come with Dell Precision Optimizer software, which lets you tune the workstation to run popular applications like Adobe Creative Cloud, SOLIDWORKS and AutoDesk. It learns behavior, optimizes the machine using machine learning, and applies performance improvements to any application, to provide up to a 394 per cent increase in performance. There is also a premium edition for a nominal fee.”

These machines are also available in a developer edition, in either a Windows 10 or Ubuntu flavour.

Bhaga said that Dell doesn’t really expect the new price point to open up new markets for a product like the workstation whose market is pretty defined, but they do expect these models to be a stronger option in their existing markets.

“K-12 – from junior high up – as well as college and higher ed are all asking for this type of system,” he stated. “Lots of them are now binging in STEM labs, and an entry level workstation makes it easier to do those workloads.”

The Dell Precision 3540 is available now, with prices starting at $USD 799. The Dell Precision 3541, which is slated for availability around the end of the month, starts at $USD 879, which Dell says will make the model a price-performance leader in this class.

“These will make a great price point offering for partners, especially in the small business and medium business segments,” Bhaga said.

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