I'm trying to replace an old Dell XPS m1530, which I love but which is definitely coming to the end of its life. There are three main use-cases:
1) Both my wife and I use it for work on a regular basis, at home and away - mainly office applications, but some scripting and java from me;
2) We both use it for watching DVDs and BluRays at home and when on the move;
3) I occasionally use it for some gaming - not the bleeding edge, some fps (Modern Warfare is typical).
Ideally, my wife would like something a little smaller and lighter, but we both agree that the screen size is about right. We'd like to move up to 1080p for movie watching and productivity (although I'd happily play games on lower res). A BD reader is a must, writer would be preferable.
At the moment, the only two candidates are a Dell XPS 15 and a Sony Vaio (the VPC-SE2C, in fact). The Sony is currently in the lead due to its lighter weight and slimmer chassis (plus, it looks better!), but its a lower spec and I'm slightly wary about buying Sony (primarily because of reliability worries).
Frankly, I'd buy a MacBook in a heartbeat if they came with BD drive.
I'm largely brand-agnostic and I have a budget of around £2000, although there is some scope for flexibility as this will be a company purchase.
XPS M1530? what an awesome laptop it was !
Anyway,within your budget,you can easily customize AW M14x with some decent specs or you can go with the XPS 15(again with great specs)also,if the weight doesn't matter,you can just get the ASUS G73SW(which you can find for under 2K)
It was indeed an awesome laptop - there seems to have been little progress in laptop design in the 4 years I've owned it. If it wasn't for the fact that it's starting to get a little flaky (it sometimes won't boot and is blue-screening fairly regularly - it's now set on a 2-fan cooler, which has helped but not eliminated the problems) I'd be sticking with it. Unfortunately, both my wife and I are using it regularly for work and reliability is important.
Unfortunately, both of the AlienWare and the ASUS are bigger and heavier than the current machine - plus, frankly, they're both desperately fugly; if they had mothers, they'd both have been strangled at birth! The XPS 15 is a contender, but that's definitely been hit with the fugly stick too.
Another contender is the Sony Vaio VPCSE2C5E - smaller and lighter than any of the three you mentioned, BD and 1080p. Is it worth considering?