I wanted to get an opinion for a laptop for my wife.
Like the thread title says... But, I want to know which would be better, and my dilemma stems from the manufacturers offerings.
Laptop has to be 15" or larger. At least 4GB RAM. No Toshiba, Acer, or HP lol!
First, the laptop will be used mainly for browsing and media playback. Maybe some browser games and such. But, it will also be used for VPN connections to work servers, and occasional heavy office apps. I would like it to be responsive as possible, but no SSD. This thing will be in 24/7 hibernate and sleeping. I would also like it to power HD movies streaming and to an HD TV with no lag whatsoever.
Generally speaking, either one should be fine for your wife's intended use.
An Ivy Bridge CPU would be better if by "heavy office apps" you mean financial or scientific modelling or database processing. If it's just general Excel and Access usage, then it really doesn't matter.
A Trinity based laptop should be a little less expensive than an Ivy Bridge laptop and if your wife should get tired of playing browser games and "graduate to real games", then the integrated graphic core in Trinity is way to go since it is more powerful than the Intel HD 4000.
VPN should have very little CPU overhead, the most limiting factor would be the internet connection. Using a land line would be better than wireless in my opinion since an actual physical connection to the internet is still much faster than wireless.