I am looking at replacing my 6 year old Dell XPS, and after some brief research, i settled on the Toshiba Qosmio X500 series. It's between the X505-Q890 and X500-Q895S. As far as I can tell, the only difference is the hard drive configuration. One comes with 2x500GB SATA HDs, and the second has 1x500GB SATA HD and one 64GB SSD HD. How much difference in performance would I be looking at?
Storage is not a concern to me, I plan to get a NAS for that.
The two most frequently used apps on it will be Visual Studio and Adobe Lightroom. I would also want to use it as a media center, and maybe run some games on it. Gaming is not a very high priority, so I'd settle for anything that will let me run current gen games on medium settings.
I am open to suggestions for other laptops as well. I am located in the US.
If you plan on spending the money, you might as well go with the SSD option. I believe that the read/write speeds will aid you well in Visual Studio and Lightroom. Not to mention you can use it primarily for those programs and as a boot drive and then use the additional drive for storage.