I currently have a Envy 15 (HP) with a few days left before returning. My issues with it are:
1) 6-cell battery life is 1.5 hours. 15-cell battery life (with 9-cell slice) is 3.5 hours. The slice adds quite a bit of weight.
2) On battery power, despite the shortened life, HP has throttled the Core i7 720qm to a 7X multiplier (931 MHz).
I'm contemplating returning it and getting a Lenovo W510.
Pros on the Lenovo:
- better battery life
- better CPU throttliing on battery (I think it just turns off turbo boost) but still much better than 931 MHz)
- Lenovo has better reliability and durability than HP...at least per reviews. I'm not sure how good their customer support is.
- I'm in the military and while Envy seems to have good build quality I have heard great things about the Thinkpad series.
Cons on Lenovo:
- Screen is only 1440 x 900 (The HP is a 1920 x 1080). I'm not sure how much difference this makes...if anyone has any experience, please post.
- Video card is lower. The Lenovo has a Nvidia Quadro FX 880M and the HP an ATI 5830. I'm not a gamer, but do value good graphics. Thoughts?
- The Lenovo costs a little bit more.
With this in mind, please shoot any recommendations? On an i7, is 931 MHz on battery power such a huge drop that lesser CPUs are now more powerful? Should I keep the Envy or go with the Lenovo?
Well, with the HP you can turn off the turbo boost manually in the BIOS or you can select a different power power plan, but that would cut down further on your battery life. Keep in mind that the i7 is a 4 core CPU, so even though it is clocking down, it can still handle quite a bit more than lesser CPU's (and it has HT). If you are a big game player, I'd stick with the HP, however, if that isn't a consideration, the Lenovo may be a better choice, especially if you are on battery power a lot.
In terms of reliability, I've had horrid luck with HP's (went through 3 laptops in roughly 3 years), but others have no complaints. The main thing to consider here is what you use the computer for mainly: Off AC power web surfing etc... or a lot of gaming and such.
Thanks. Actually, I can't do anything in the BIOS, and HP has locked any changes in the Power settings in Windows. Even if I set the processor to 100% in the power settings it still goes to 931 MHz...and locked.
No...they will let you do that. But some of the settings don't do anything. For example, when we found that the processor was throttled to 931 MHz on battery power, people immediately checked the power settings. You can set high performance, power saving, etc., but even on high performance, and setting the processor to 100%, putting it on battery power negates that and it automatically drops to 931 MHz. It's lame.
In this case, my decision is whether to stay with a laptop with good video card and screen, but lower performance processor on battery power, or a better processor performance on battery, and lesser video card and screen resolution.
I would be buying a custom one...same hard drive in both (500 GB 7200 RPM), same RAM (8 GB), etc. The Lenovo also has dedicated graphics. The difference is that the Nvidia Quadro FX 880M isn't quite as good as the ATI 5830. Also, right now the HP has a 1920 x 1080 screen, while the Lenovo is only a 1440 x 900 screen. I'm not sure how much difference that makes. Still open to others' opinions. I can't seem to get answers elsewhere.
The HP Envy is kind of horrible, as thinkpads, macbooks, and ideapads are already the head of the portable-yet-powerful market. HP not only has cheap and unreliable parts, it is also overly expensive. The Lenovo is what I would buy, but that's just me.