Lenovo L520 vs Dell Vostro 3550

Hello,
I am going to college next fall and I am deliberating what laptop to get. After 5-6 years of using Macs, I want to go back to a PC. Anyways, I am right now between the Lenovo L520 and Vostro 3350. When I configured them, both are about the same at approx. $1050-$1100.

Specs for the L520:
-Intel i3 Processor (2.1 GHz w/ 3MB L3 cache)
-Integrated graphics
-6GB of RAM (though I might downgrade to 4)
-128 GB SSD

Vostro 3550:
-Intel i5 processor (2.30 GHz, supposedly able to OC to 2.90 GHz, cache not stated)
-ATI Radeon 6630 with 1GB of VRAM
-6GB of RAM
-320 GB 7200 RPM HDD

Basically, each has a major trade off. On one hand, if I get the Lenovo, I get a uber fast SSD and probably a tougher computer (since Lenovo/IBM is known for durability). One the other hand, the Dell has a pretty decent dedicated graphics card and a better CPU, also a backlit keyboard (ableit a minor advantage). Basically, I am at a crossroads, is an SSD worth getting over a better GPU? I want some gaming power, but I do only light-moderate gaming (ie games like Spore, Black and White 2). Anyways, I was also wondering...

1) Does the Vostro 3550 have a durable chassis?
2) Has Dell gotten any better? I haven't had a Dell since my nightmarish Inspiron I got about 7-8 years ago.
8 answers Last reply
More about lenovo l520 dell vostro 3550
  1. Hello xkatz92;

    Is that i5 CPU the i5-2410M?
  2. Looks like both models are the newer Sandy Bridge CPUs.

    Thinkpad Core i3-2310M
    Vostro Core i5-2410M

    For any reasonable chance at gaming I think the better CPU/GPU combo is for you.
    The SSD would be nice for snappy responsiveness. But overall performance wise you'd get more with the better CPU/GPU.
  3. Intel Core i5 2410M review
    Intel Core i3 2310M review

    AMD Radeon HD 6630M review
    Intel HD Graphics 3000 review

    What that means for gaming is something like this:
    HD 6630M doesn't have any review scores yet but based on what's known it's performance is expected to fall between the HD 5650 and HD 6550M.
    http://img860.imageshack.us/img860/8956/ss149.jpg
    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
  4. Thanks for the input! Do you also know how sturdy and durable the Vostro is?
  5. Overall the whole Dell business lineup (Latitude and Vostro) is quite good, as are most of the major MFGRs business class lineups.


    It's not easy to get up-to-date data on reliability/durability on new models. But one study by SquareTrade found this:
    http://www.squaretrade.com/htm/pdf/SquareTrade_laptop_reliability_1109.pdf
    (with the usual caveats like they're measuring older & different models, and only from customers who purchased extended warranties)
    Lenovo didn't agree with the conclusions and I personally believe they have a point. SquareTrade wants to sell more extended warranties.

    http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/764/ss150t.jpg
    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
  6. Also, what would battery life be like for each?
  7. *Cough* Bump *Cough*
  8. xkatz92 said:
    Hello,
    I am going to college next fall and I am deliberating what laptop to get. After 5-6 years of using Macs, I want to go back to a PC. Anyways, I am right now between the Lenovo L520 and Vostro 3350. When I configured them, both are about the same at approx. $1050-$1100.

    Specs for the L520:
    -Intel i3 Processor (2.1 GHz w/ 3MB L3 cache)
    -Integrated graphics
    -6GB of RAM (though I might downgrade to 4)
    -128 GB SSD

    Vostro 3550:
    -Intel i5 processor (2.30 GHz, supposedly able to OC to 2.90 GHz, cache not stated)
    -ATI Radeon 6630 with 1GB of VRAM
    -6GB of RAM
    -320 GB 7200 RPM HDD

    Basically, each has a major trade off. On one hand, if I get the Lenovo, I get a uber fast SSD and probably a tougher computer (since Lenovo/IBM is known for durability). One the other hand, the Dell has a pretty decent dedicated graphics card and a better CPU, also a backlit keyboard (ableit a minor advantage). Basically, I am at a crossroads, is an SSD worth getting over a better GPU? I want some gaming power, but I do only light-moderate gaming (ie games like Spore, Black and White 2). Anyways, I was also wondering...

    1) Does the Vostro 3550 have a durable chassis?
    2) Has Dell gotten any better? I haven't had a Dell since my nightmarish Inspiron I got about 7-8 years ago.
    i am on vostro 3550. its great build with anodized finish. 2.0 mp web cam. good 3.0x2 + 2.0x1 port. but amd switchable 6630 has a problem. u cant find it physically. all properties are that of intel 3000. but if u dont game heavy its good outdoors.(fingerprint reader is added)
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