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Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition OR HP dv6t-7000

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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July 25, 2012 7:37:38 PM

Hello,
I'm a computer science major looking for a new laptop. I'm into gaming (Starcraft II), however, I just want a reliable, sturdy laptop that will allow me to code. Any suggestions for laptops will be welcome, but this is kind of what I've been looking at. I'm trying to save some money, so any coupon codes would be welcome (or any suggestions on unnecessary upgrades I have chosen). Also, is there a difference in the warranties? To me the 2 dell warranties I added look better than the only 1 available for the HP.

Here's what I've been looking at:

Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition (Inspiron 7520)
-3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-3612QM processor (6M Cache, up to 3.1 GHz)
-Windows® 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-Bit, English
-Microsoft® Office Starter: reduced-functionality Word & Excel w/ ads. No PowerPoint or Outlook
-8GB Dual Channel DDR3 1600MHz
-750GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
-AMD Radeon™ HD 7730M 2GB
-8X Tray Load CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
-3 Year Enhanced Support
-3 Year Protection Package
-McAfee® SecurityCenter, 15-Months
-Stealth Black Anodized Aluminum
-15.6" Full High Definition (1080p) LED Display
-48 WHr 6-cell Lithium Ion Battery (i'd like a better battery but what can you do?)
-Intel® Centrino® Wireless 2230, 2x2 bgn + Bluetooth
-Waves MaxxAudio 4 + Skullcandy Speakers
-Integrated 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet card
-Dell Backlit Keyboard with Multi-touch Touchpad, English-Int'l

PRICE: $1,262.23 (without tax, free shipping)

OR

HP Pavillion dv6t-7000 Quad Edition Entertainment Notebook PC
-Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
-3rd generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3610QM Processor (2.3 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache)
-NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GT 650M Graphics with 1GB GDDR5 memory [HDMI, VGA]
-8GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
-Microsoft(R) Office Starter: reduced-functionality Word/Excel(R) only, No PowerPoint(R)/Outlook(R)
-750GB 7200 rpm Hybrid Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
-NO mSSD Hard Drive Acceleration Cache
-30% off 9 cell Lithium Ion Battery
-15.6-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit Display (1366x768)
-FREE Upgrade to Blu-ray player & SuperMulti DVD burner
-HP TrueVision HD Webcam
-802.11b/g/n WLAN
-Backlit Keyboard with numeric keypad (I like that this has a keypad)
-HP 3 Year Accidental Damage Protection w/ 3-day Onsite Response for 1-year warranty Pavilion Notebook

PRICE: $1,279.67 (with tax, free shipping)



THANKS!!!! Please answer asap! :D 
a b α HP
a b D Laptop
July 25, 2012 7:51:01 PM

Not that Dell's is bad (I wouldn't know), but HP Customer Service I found to be excellent, when I worked on a laptop belonging to a friend of my wife. I found out it was still under warranty, and my dealing with their Tech Support was painless and effective. I had diagnosed a bad hard drive, and I was not made to jump through hoops; a new drive was shipped out, including return postage on the bad one.
As to the specs, unless you need the higher resolution, I'd go with the HP for the better battery, what looks like a better hard drive, available mSATA slot, and the keypad you say you like.

Edit: And, not that HP's doesn't (you may be planning to remove it anyway), but the fact that Dell specifically includes software with ads is something I'd find intolerable. You might ask each one if they have bloatware-free software loads. I believe HP (and Compaq, and Lenovo) do, at least for some business-class systems, but I'm not sure about Dell.
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a b D Laptop
July 25, 2012 7:58:55 PM

Well, I would stay away from Dell and HP. Dell has horrible reliability (based on PAST data), and HP has the least reliable machines in the world (check out the reliability data, any set, any where on the net).

Try Lenovo and ASUS. ASUS comes with 2 year warranty, Lenovo ThinkPad's are great.
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a b α HP
a b D Laptop
July 25, 2012 8:07:51 PM

^I answered based on the two you listed, but I agree about Lenovo, specifically their Thinkpad line. Those are more durable, business-class machines. Their cheaper Ideapads are the consumer models.
As far as reliability, I had a Dell e1505 for years, and finally passed it on to a niece. A laptop that is treated properly will generally stay reliable, but laptops are often subjected to all kinds of abuse, from bumps and jars to being left in hot (or cold) cars, to having their vents smothered, and improper charging.
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July 25, 2012 8:57:16 PM

So what kind of lenovo Thinkpad would you suggest? I just went onto their website and talked to two different representatives and it was a little overwhelming. They neither one gave me exactly what I was looking for.

thinkpad
3rd gen i7 processor
750gb 7200 rpm
integrated graphics card (something that can handle Starcraft II)
web cam
15.6 screen
8GB memory
long battery life
three year best warranty
numeric keyboard (maybe backlit if you think it is worth it)
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a b D Laptop
July 25, 2012 10:54:08 PM

loveyourlily said:
So what kind of lenovo Thinkpad would you suggest? I just went onto their website and talked to two different representatives and it was a little overwhelming. They neither one gave me exactly what I was looking for.

thinkpad
3rd gen i7 processor
750gb 7200 rpm
integrated graphics card (something that can handle Starcraft II)
web cam
15.6 screen
8GB memory
long battery life
three year best warranty
numeric keyboard (maybe backlit if you think it is worth it)


I think you will be happy with a T-series. Say the 14 inch or 15 inch T series, not the ultra slim T's. Have you tried configuring something to your liking on the web or was the website a little non-intuitive ?
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July 26, 2012 12:48:23 AM

I tried customizing some but I just couldn't really find what I was looking for in the price range I was looking for.
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a b D Laptop
July 26, 2012 2:15:41 PM

loveyourlily said:
I tried customizing some but I just couldn't really find what I was looking for in the price range I was looking for.


So about 1300 bucks is your range, I suppose ?
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July 26, 2012 10:56:13 PM

Okay!!! Thank you!!! I'd prefer the least amount of money as possible. I think my family is already uncomfortable with 1200. I really like the dell warranty though. For 3 years with the two warranties I had it would include software, hardware, and drops. I like the HP computer too, but the dell seems to be a bit better of a deal. I'll check out the Lenovo and Sager also tho. I was thinking about the Full HD screen, but my family doesn't want me getting anything that's not necessary. :/  :pfff: 
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a b D Laptop
July 30, 2012 7:43:35 PM

loveyourlily said:
I was thinking about the Full HD screen, but my family doesn't want me getting anything that's not necessary. :/  :pfff: 


It's generally a bad idea not to get the 1920x1080 display upgrade, if you're buying the HP DV6. The issue isn't just that you would be missing out on an excellent display (1920x1080, matte, IPS), it's also an issue of how bad the 1366x768 display is.

1366x768 resolution in a 15.6" display makes things onscreen large, and 15.6" displays that have 1366x768 resolution tend to be low-tier LCD panels with very poor image quality due to low contrast. You should make a point to avoid this type of display when it is reasonable to do so, unless you need large text for eyesight-related reasons.

So to counter your point of it not being necessary: It is necessary, and only in very few cases should one consider buying the HP DV6 in any configuration that does not include the upgraded 1920x1080 display.

------------------------------------------

For the HP DV6, use this base configuration:

HP DV6t (i3-3110M, NVIDIA GT 650M, 15.6" 1920x1080 matte IPS display) - $724 + tax ($769 + tax w/ i5-3210M)
- http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/load_configu...
- Use coupon code: NBY8552
- Don't: Downgrade to the 1366x768 display, unless you need the large text. You generally shouldn't buy the HP DV6 in any configuration that includes the 1366x768 display. 15.6" 1366x768 displays make things onscreen large, and tend to be low-tier LCD panels with very poor image quality due to low contrast.
- Don't: Downgrade the GPU to the GT 630M unless you only plan on doing light / moderate gaming. The GT 650M is considerably faster.
- Don't: Downgrade the GPU to integrated graphics unless you only plan on doing very light / no gaming. Integrated graphics will probably provide disappointing game performance in the majority of modern titles.
- Consider: Backlit keyboard, Larger/faster HDD.

------------------------------------------

Or this base configuration for the Quad Edition:

HP DV6t Quad Edition (i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GT 650M, 15.6" 1920x1080 matte display) - $960 + tax
Saved Configuration: http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/load_configu...
- Use coupon code: NBY8552
- Don't: Downgrade to the 1366x768 display, unless you need the large text. You generally shouldn't buy the HP DV6 in any configuration that includes the 1366x768 display. 15.6" 1366x768 displays make things onscreen large, and tend to be low-tier LCD panels with very poor image quality due to low contrast.
- Don't: Downgrade the GPU to the GT 630M unless you only plan on doing light / moderate gaming. The GT 650M is considerably faster.
- Don't: Pay to upgrade to the 2GB GT 650M. The 2GB GT 650M will not provide better game performance than the 1GB GT 650M, because 1GB of memory is not a bottleneck on this level of GPU. The extra memory is a marketing trick. Get the cheaper 1GB GT 650M.
- Consider: Backlit keyboard, Larger/faster HDD.

Important notes about buying the Quad Edition over the standard edition:
- You can configure the standard edition with the i7-3612QM for cheaper than the Quad Edition with the i7-3610QM. It's lower-clocked, but a little bit more power-efficient and still quad-core.
- If its $960 price tag is outside of your budget, then you should first consider buying the standard edition with a lesser processor before you consider downgrading either the GPU or the display. The difference between the available processors will affect you less than the difference between available displays and GPUs. It is worse to have a 15.6" 1366x768 display than it is to have a Core i3 processor, and it is worse for gaming to have a slower GPU than it is to have a slower CPU.

------------------------------------------

For the alternative faster-GPU-equipped Lenovo IdeaPad Y580, follow this:

Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 (i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GTX 660M, 15.6" 1920x1080 glossy display) - $999 + tax
- Sign up and sign in here: http://shoplenovo.i2.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/na/St... (Barnes and Noble Gold discount page)
- http://shoplenovo.i2.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/barne...: (i7-3610QM, GTX 660M, 15.6" 1920x1080, 1TB 5400RPM) - $999
- http://shoplenovo.i2.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/barne...: (i7-3610QM, GTX 660M, 15.6" 1920x1080, 1TB 5400RPM + 32GB SSD for hybrid cache) - $1139
- These models come with the 1920x1080 display. There are other models that come instead with a 1366x768 display, but those models are not recommended unless you need the larger text. 1366x768 resolution in a 15.6" display makes things onscreen large, and 15.6" displays that have this resolution tend to have very poor image quality due to low contrast.
- Click the green "Activate eCoupon" button in the cart.
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