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Toshiba A505-S6040 vs Dell Studio 17

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April 26, 2010 4:19:27 AM

Hello.

Today I checked out ASUS, SONY, DELL, and LENOVO as well as the original Toshiba Satellite i7 I am interested in, and read tons of User reviews for each brand. I have pretty much decided it's between the Toshiba A505-S1640 and a Dell Studio 17 laptop.

Here are the specs that are important to me for each:

Toshiba CPU is i7-720Qm, with 6gb DDR3 1066 RAM, 500gb HDD 7200 rpm, 16" 1366 x 768 display, Nvidia GeForce GT 330M 1GB GDDR3 GPU, 6-cell battery, for $1150. On the negative side, it doesn't have bluetooth and its 6 in 1 card reader doesn't include CF, either. My Canon uses Compact Flash.

Dell CPU is i7-720Qm, with 6gb DDR3 1333 RAM, 500gb HDD 7200 rpm, 17.3" 1600 x 900 display, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650 1GB GDDR3 GPU, 9-cell battery, bluetooth, for $1344. Dell doesn't include info on the 8 in 1 card reader.

The reason I was at first leaning toward the Toshiba is because of two reviews from people who primarily use the laptop for intensive (Photoshop) photo work. One was a professional photographer and since this is my #1 reason for getting a new laptop, his review resonated with me. Also, I have a 6 year old Toshiba Satellite laptop that has worked well from day one with no problems at all., so I am fond of Toshibas. But Photoshop does take a long time to load and Uncle Sam was generous this year, so I am ready to take the plunge and get a new laptop. I will admit my old Toshiba appears to be slowing down and probably needs to be retired. And I am seriously thinking of getting into videography which would never work with my current laptop.

On the surface it looks like the Dell Studio 17 is the better deal, but I would like to get some feedback from the experts on this forum. Is the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650 better than the Nvidia GeForce GT 330M? I looked at Notebookcheck.com and the ATI seemed to better the Nvidia in most tests, but I really don't know which of those tests would be relevant to my photography applications. I will not be using this laptop for gaming, so again; I don't know how important these tests are in relation to what I will be using the laptop for. And is the 1333 RAM worth the extra money over the 1066 RAM? So the question is, which laptop would be the best one for me?

I would really appreciate your feedback. Thank you!
a b D Laptop
April 27, 2010 1:29:56 AM

Out of those two, I'd shoot for the Dell, as it i the best deal in my opinion. You are getting a bigger screen, better battery, slightly faster RAM, and a slightly better GPU, i.e. the 4650 ranks 50th on notebookcheck.com's benchmark tests, while the 330m ranks 54th; it's marginal, I know. Both are reliable brands, I have a toshiba laptop and have had no problems with it, while various family members have dells and they have never had any issues either. So either way I think you'd be fine in terms of reliability.
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April 27, 2010 4:01:58 AM

buwish said:
Out of those two, I'd shoot for the Dell, as it i the best deal in my opinion. You are getting a bigger screen, better battery, slightly faster RAM, and a slightly better GPU, i.e. the 4650 ranks 50th on notebookcheck.com's benchmark tests, while the 330m ranks 54th; it's marginal, I know. Both are reliable brands, I have a toshiba laptop and have had no problems with it, while various family members have dells and they have never had any issues either. So either way I think you'd be fine in terms of reliability.


Thank you for the feedback. I was leaning towards the Dell, but I have two friends who have had terrible experiences with Dell support, so I have been a little hesitant. I know that Toshiba is high on the list of reliable laptops, but the specs are a little less than I want. I did go online today and configure the Toshiba to what I wanted (more or less) and it came up to $1509, which is higher than the Dell. So it does appear that you get more bang for the buck with the Dell. Now I just have to believe in Dell...
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April 27, 2010 9:43:53 PM

I am not a huge fan of dell (in fact wouldn't normal recommend them) in fact I am personal a Toshiba guy but in this case friend had one of the Toshiba I7's for about a week before he returned it. It seem to get extremely extremely hot and after that it started to run slower and slower until finally it wouldn't start in fact most the Intel Toshiba's in there house have had funky problems. Personal I run a Toshiba AMD laptop with 0 issues. So in this very rare case i say go dell my friend
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Best solution

April 27, 2010 10:46:48 PM

I have Worked with Both Toshiba & Dell on ad off in my 20+ years being a Computer Tech.
I have found Toshiba to of the Highest Quality and Dell to be Sub-Par, Including Support. That is the Reason you Seem to get More with Dell, as Dell will use Lower Quality Parts to lOOk like they are a Better Value than the Competition.
I have am on my 3rd Toshiba Computer, Mostly because I have a Friend with a Different Brand that has died and they Like My Toshiba, so I sell it to them & Upgrade.
I currently have the Toshiba Satellite A505-S6030 and it is a GREAT Laptop, Very Fast too.
I would say for the Money you spend on the Toshiba you will get a GREAT Laptop. And I would Rank Toshiba Tech Support one of the BEST in the Business, Dell No so good.

Good Luck with your Purchase.
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April 28, 2010 3:48:23 AM

Best answer selected by cattypurry.
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April 28, 2010 3:52:04 AM

I have since learned that the Dell will not work for me because the summer release of Adobe CS5 has some new features that require Nvidia's CUDA architecture.

I will do some more research to see if the Toshiba Nvidia GeForce GT 330M 1GB GDDR3 GPU is going to work with CS5. If so, that will be the one I go for.

Thanks everyone for your excellent advice.
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