I'm looking at the Sony Z and the HP Envy 14 as a laptop for college. My budget is pretty high (around 2 grand) so I want something that will last me at least 3-4 years. Both of these choices looked viable to me.
The specs of the laptops which I compared are as follows
Intel® Core™ i5-540M processor (2.53GHz) with Turbo Boost up to 3.06GHz
Windows 7 Home Premium
256GB (128GBx2) SSD with RAID 0 Technology
4GB DDR3 RAM
Price: $2219 (Sony doesn't offer any education discount on the Z )
Windows 7 Home Premium
Intel Core i7-740QM Quad Core processor (1.73GHz, 6MB L3 Cache) w/Turbo Boost up to 2.93 GHz
6GB DDR3 RAM
1GB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 5650 Graphics - For Quad Core Processors
Price: $1948 (with education discount )
As of now, I'm leaning towards the HP, for several reasons. Obviously, the starting price of the Sony is MUCH higher than the HP, and the upgrades also cost a lot more...the HP has slightly more bang for the buck. The Envy also has a slightly larger screen, which I like. The Envy is still quite new, so I haven't seen any definitive review yet, but if any of you already own one, I would really appreciate some advice on these issues:
First, I'm concerned about battery life; I think HP advertises around 5 hours, but with a quad core i7 (which doesn't support switchable graphics), I have to wonder if this will hold true.
Second (and I know this is very general), I wanted to know the overall build quality of the Envy. The Z is highly esteemed for its premium build quality (and I guess it carries a premium price tag as a result), but HP often gets mixed reviews. Right now, I own a Pavilion dv7 laptop, and have had quite a few problems with it, like for example, it had hard drive issues right out of the box. What's the story with the Envy?
I think the Sony packs a 13.3 in. 1600x900 screen, and the HP has 14.5 in. for the same resolution. Regarding the processor, if I were to downgrade to the i5 520m (the next step down), what would be the performance loss? I'll probably be using this laptop for some video editing, watching movies, and regular tasks, though not much gaming.
OK, I'll probably end up going with the i5 just for the sake of battery life. I'm now leaning heavily for the Envy. My question now is: how much would I benefit, if at all, from having 6 gb ram rather than the standard 4?