Hi everyone. This forum is awesome and I have learned immensely from it. Since there are so many well educated people on here concerning notebooks I would like to get some help on choosing a new one. I am in the market for a desktop replacement which I will use at school (graduate school) and home. I do some occasional gaming (WoW). I would like decent graphics and processor speed. I am currently considering a HP or Dell but I would like opinions on other brands if there is something better out there in the price range with similar features. I am trying to stay under $3,000.
Also I was wondering if there was a major difference between T7400 and T7200?
OK here are the specs at the two machines (Sorry for the long post):
$2,193.66 Dell - I get a discount through work for this price)
Inspiron E1705 Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T7400 (2.16GHz, 4MB L2 Cache, 667 MHz FSB) Operating System (Office software not included) Genuine Windows® XP Media Center, CD and Ext USB TV Tuner, Remote
LCD Panel 17 inch UltraSharp™ Wide Screen UXGA Display with TrueLife™
Memory 2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz
Video Card 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ Go 7900 GS
Hard Drive 100GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
Network Card Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem
Adobe Software Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 7.0
Combo or DVD+RW Drive 8x CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability
Sound Options Integrated Sound Blaster® Audigy™ HD Software Edition Wireless Networking Cards Intel PRO/Wireless 3945a/g
Primary Battery 80 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
Hardware Warranty 3Yr Ltd Warranty and At-Home Service
Dell On Call Dell On Call, 30day, Getting started Assistance, unlimited incidents Accidental Damage Protection (Except in Florida) Add CompleteCare Accidental Damage Service to 3Yr Lim Warranty
Bluetooth Options Dell Wireless 355 Bluetooth Internal (2.0 + Enhanced Data Rate) Bluetooth Options ExpressCard Media Remote for Bluetooth-enabled Notebooks
Upgrade to Windows Vista Express Upgrade to Windows Vista Home Premium from XP Media Center Edition
$2287.96 HP DV9000t - Get a printer with this set up after rebate
Operating System - Genuine Windows XP Media Center
Processor - Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Duo processor T7200 (2.0 GHz)
Display 17.0" WXGA+ Ultra BrightView Widescreen (1440x900)
Graphics Card 512MB NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) Go 7600
Personalization FREE Upgrade: HP Imprint Finish/Microphone/Webcam
Memory 2048MB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)
Hard Drive 160GB 5400RPM SATA Dual Hard Drive (80GB x 2)
Primary CD/DVD Drive LightScribe Super Multi 8X DVD+/-RW w/Double Layer
Networking Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network w/Bluetooth
HP ExpressCard Analog TV Tuner w/remote
Primary Battery 8 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
Special Printer Offer HP Deskjet F380 All-in-One
HP extended service plans 3-year HP Accidental Damage Protection with Express Repair extended service plan
If any additional info is needed please let me know!
I cannot make a recommendation for one laptop over the other. However, in my opinion I suggest getting a hard disc drive with 7200 rpm (if you pick the HP or another configuration of different brand).
Also, I do not think there is too much of a difference between the T7200 and T7400 (a speed difference of 2.16 Ghz to 2 Ghz). For Core 2 Duos greater than the T7200 you are getting a large (4mb) L2 cache as well. Here is a link on Intel mobile processors, specifically the Core 2 "Merom." Click on Laptop processor specifications.
For your price range I would imagine a number of options available. As a student, my univ. provides discounts through bookstore purchases, so this may be an option for you as well.
Based on what you posted, the Dell is a much better deal. It has a faster CPU, GPU, harddrive and it has a better screen. My brother has the Inspiron 9300 (1705's predecessor) and likes it a lot. As far as your proc question, the only thing I can say is that the T7400 will be faster and has a larger L2 cache. Like I said, for the money the dell is better. Good luck with your purchase!
You can play WOW on less hardware than these provide. Still, planning for future gaming the Dell is better equiped. I think the HP looks much better however and it will actually provide quite a bit more mobile time if you should need it. If you want to get a reall kick butt desktop replacement and can spend up to 3000, I'd recommend a Clevo 570U at RJtech for example. It can be found at sever other retailers and will destroy your Dell 1705. This is a true DTR IMO. Dell may be cheaper if you can get student discounts and coupons, but the Clevo 570u is way cooler.
Also, a 3 year warranty is nice to have, but not if you have to spend retarded money on it. You should not invest more than 25 percent the value of the laptop in warranty. Infact, i'd advise much less unless you're just plain careless with electronics. Most real hardware failures, if they are going to occur, will happen in the fist year of use. Since you won't be taking it constantly.. Accident insurance seems a little overboard. Just don't let your buddies drink beer near it.