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Refurb. Dell vs Lenovo face-off - durability/value for money?

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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January 28, 2013 6:44:59 AM

Hello. My last post was very wordy, jumbled and useless so quite rightly nobody replied. Will try to do better this time:

Two laptops I'm considering:

1)

2)


My budget is £400 MAX.

I need a laptop for these tasks:

- General office bull****

- Cubase 5 (or more recent) music production (I have an external sound-card)

- Casual gaming - I'd be happy if I could run, for example, Left 4 Dead 2 and Civilization 4/5

Important factors I'd like opinions on:

- Durability - I know someone with a Dell Latitude and they're built like bricks. I like this. I've never seen someone with an IdeaPad but I'm worried it's a tacky plastic consumer laptop that will break within about 2 years.

- Value for money - clearly the Lenovo is £100 more expensive. This is a significant sum for little old me - I've already taken into account the VASTLY improved 1TB HDD, which is an attractive addition BUT I do have an external HDD, so it's not of vital importance. Based on the other specs and my needs, would you consider it worth spending the extra money?

Many thanks in advance!
January 28, 2013 7:00:00 AM

I'd say take the Lenovo, it would suit your needs fine. The graphics in it are much better then the dell. It would run the games you mentioned moderately well. The only trade of is its CPU is relatively weak compared to the dell. For what you would do it wouldn't be noticeable. I.E render a recording a few seconds faster.
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January 28, 2013 7:29:00 AM

Lowlyworm said:
I'd say take the Lenovo, it would suit your needs fine. The graphics in it are much better then the dell. It would run the games you mentioned moderately well. The only trade of is its CPU is relatively weak compared to the dell. For what you would do it wouldn't be noticeable. I.E render a recording a few seconds faster.


Ok, sounds promising. I'm nearly convinced. Can I just clarify - does that imply that the Dell's inferior graphics would NOT run Left 4 Dead 2 at all? I've been scouring the internet for more information about the i5 processor and the integrated graphics/capabilities but the BigPockets website doesn't give much info about what generation it is etc... I'm guessing second generation?

Also, any idea about the Lenovo's durability? I travel a lot and really appreciate a good, solid laptop that isn't made of rice-paper and will last for at least 5 years.
January 28, 2013 7:38:44 AM

Oh - also - I see that the AMD processor in the Lenovo is apparently Quad-core, whereas the i5 in the Dell is (depending on generation) probably 2 cores. Does this mean that, despite the nominally weaker 1.9Ghz, the AMD would perform better in terms of multitasking? I'm a bit ignorant when it comes to this stuff...
January 28, 2013 11:36:55 PM

I'm sorry I have no idea about the Lenovo durability. Or build quality.
www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2012/05/28/intel-hd-4000-inve...

The Dell could run L4D2 on the integrated graphics.

It's not about clock-speed or cores, it's all about the efficiency of the architecture and in is regard for the 2nd & 3rd Gen I-series have really outdone themselves. They run more IPC. As for multitasking nearly all computers these days can multitask. The biggest limitations nowadays is due to lack of ram from upwards of 40+ Internet tabs.
January 29, 2013 10:30:51 AM

Ok, thanks a lot for your help. All this talk of cores and numbers is pretty confusing at first glance... It's tempting to just let Apple spoon-feed me... but I will resist...

One final point, I've been hunting around for more details about that particular laptop - and I think it's running the slightly older i5-520m - which, according to the Intel website, has 500Mhz integrated graphics... am I right in thinking this is a step below the HD 4000 (that you linked)? I thought that perhaps the newer i5s had better integrated graphics than the previous generation.
January 29, 2013 10:52:11 AM

Yep, your right. But it's 2 seps below. 2 Generations previous. :) 
January 29, 2013 1:09:56 PM

Cool. Lenovo it is then! To be honest, even if the 520m is faster in single-thread performance, any new chip will be so much faster than what I'm currently running that the problem is academic... Cubase'll run fine plus I'll get to slaughter zombies... if that doesn't sell a laptop, I don't know what will. Thanks Lowlyworm! Later!
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