The only concern I have is that the Lenovo has an ATI Fire GL V5250 - and while it will be used mostly for work and watching DVD's, I do want to play the occasional game of Civilization IV, Company of Heroes and hopefully Neverwinter Nights 2 on it.
The ASUS will do everything I need I think - but I can't help but feel that the Lenovo might be built better - as per reviews and the Thinkpad reputation too. (Haven't gone to the shop yet to compare) Plus at roughly the same price the Lenovo comes with an extra GB of ram, and seems to have a much much better battery, seems to have a better screen, has a faster HD, and supports wireless N and has a fingerprint reader for an extra coolness factor.
Now I really like the features of the Lenovo - but the 2 factors making me keep going back to the ASUS is that the Lenovo has Vista Business vs Home Premium for ASUS (accdg to comparisons, Vista Biz doesn't have the Media Center - not sure what that is if it's worth having or not? I do want to watch lots of DVDs on it) and the video card.
From what I can see the ATI Fire GL V5250 *might* be an X1700. But from what I've read they were optimized for CAD and other stuff and not for games - so I'm concerned how this will perform in games vs the ASUS with a Geforce GO 8600 M GS?
That ibm ati card should do fine for light gaming even though its a workstation card.
Asus notebook is more a gaming and multimedia book imho.
IF you want battery life then go ibm.. otherwise the Asus if your best bet for the gaming end of the deal.
Id go asus, for the gaming.
I just bought a Inspiron E1505 yesterday so you might look into that also, guy on the phone got a 1.87ghz core 2 duo and 2gb ram with x1400 256mb video card and max warrenties with ME BREAKING it warrentys for 1480$ so ya. Call up dell and see what they can offer you.