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Which laptop? Lenovo Edge 420s or HP Envy 14

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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September 4, 2011 1:43:44 PM

Dear All,

I am a little stuck as to which laptop I should choose, both roughly have the same specs with a few small differences and both are roughly the same price. Unfortunately, I am living in the UK and for some stupid reason I cannot find any UK pages which allow me to customise a HP Envy. Similarly the Lenovo page says you can upgrade the Edge 420s to an i7 CPU, but I cannot find this option when you go through the customise process, anyway this isn't too important for me.

Here are the spec sheets, I have just opened them with Google Docs viewer for easy access;





Both have a i5 2410m CPU.

The first difference is in the chipset. The Edge 420s has an Intel QM67 Chipset, and the Envy 14 has an Intel HM65 Chipset. Which is better?

The second difference is the GPU. On the spec sheets the Edge 420s has a an AMD 6630M Switchable graphics card at 2GBvram, and the Envy 14 has an AMD 6630M Dedicated graphics card at 1GB ddr3. I am not sure of the differences between vram/ddr3. But ultimiately, my question is which GPU is better?

The only other difference that is important to me is the HDD but I am not bothered about having a 320GB with the lenovo, over 500GB with the HP.

Another prioty is build quality, I know that lenovo have a good reputation. I am also aware that the Edge 420s doesn't have the rollcage technology of the other thinkpads, but is this model still made of magnesium alloy? I like the look of the HP Envy 14 but I don't like the look of the plastic bottom of the model.

I basically need this laptop for university, but I would be able to play some games, so I guess the more important factor is the GPU. I know that the 6630 is a mid ranged product, and I don't expect to play crysis on this but I would like to play some CoD. Also, I know the I could wait and wait and get the newest, fastest computer/laptop but if everyone did that, nobody would buy a computer, but how future proof is this laptop?

Thanks in advance!

Rob
September 4, 2011 2:27:08 PM

Hi WR2,

Thanks for the speedy response! The reviews proved really useful, I will use that website again.

I know they are both more powerful, however I have saved up over the past year because I want a good computing experience.

One question, in the E420s review the model didn't have the dedicated 6630m GPU, whilst the Envy 14 did. Does this mean that if I go with the E420s, I could expect a similar performance as the Envy 14. Also, the Edge 420s comes with a 2gb 6630m unlike the 1gb of the Envy 14, would this increase the performance by much?

Thanks again,

Rob
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September 4, 2011 2:35:58 PM

@ 1366x768 LCD resolution the 2GB/1GB VRAM difference is something you'd never notice.
Likewise, any performance difference when both have the i5 2410 CPU and HD 6630 GPU.

I think the differences where you'd be making your decision are the same ones you can detect using those two reviews (or similar independent reviews).
September 4, 2011 2:52:31 PM

Cool, I think I am plumping more towards the lenovo. I prefer the look, as I think the paisley pattern on the HP is a little over the top for me.

I will plug the laptop up to my 22" monitor, with has 1080p resolution. So in this scenario, would the extra gigabyte of power from the e420s' GPU provide a better experience when the monitor is connected?

I understand that they are pretty much both specced the same, and that i should expect the same performance. But sometimes, similarly specced models not always perform the same, strange?

The final deal breaker, is if the material used in the contruction of the lenovo. Can you confirm if it is magnesium alloy, or the material they normally use? Because, I have watched videos that say it is magnesium alloy and seen some that say it is plastic and read similar thing. I do know that this model of the Lenovo doesn't have the roll cage technology though.

Thanks

Rob
September 4, 2011 3:00:05 PM

I cannot confirm anything more than the website or the reviews show about the material used.
@ 1920x1080 resolution you might get some extra benefit for the larger frame buffer size 2GB VRAM would give you. However, with a mid-range laptop card like the HD 6630M and using that higher resolution its unlikely you'd turn up the AA/AF settings high enough or use the higher graphics settings (Ultra) where the larger buffer would come into play.
Bottom line, you should not expect to get any extra performance from 2GB VRAM over 1GB. The HD 6630M has roughly the same performance as a $50 desktop Radeon HD 5570 graphics card.
!