Looking for potential replacement for Dell Precision M6500

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by rlk, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. rlk

    rlk Notebook Guru

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    Yes, the P650 was up on my list. The problem is that the UHD screens on that machine are almost all Pentile-type with poor color rendition, which defeats the purpose of using it for photo editing. Eurocom is the one exception, but it's substantially more expensive.

    I'm most likely to go with a used Dell 7510 or 7710 and bite the bullet on the external drive. The Dell has a particularly good screen and I wouldn't need an additional power adapter (I already have three that are compatible), plus spare parts are plentiful and inexpensive. The graphics adapters aren't as fast, but I'm not looking for gaming.
     
  2. rlk

    rlk Notebook Guru

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    So I just bought a 7510 on eBay with the UHD screen, T-bolt, and i7-6920 for $1009, with 14 days return. This will let me decide whether I'm comfortable with the 15" screen or not.
     
  3. rlk

    rlk Notebook Guru

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    I think I've finally come to a decision.

    The 15" screen simply doesn't work for me, so I'm going to return it. That 10% or so of real estate does make a lot of difference.

    My eventual decision was a dark horse...Lenovo P70. That does meet all of my original requirements: high res, high quality screen, high end mobile processor, 2 2.5" drive bays, 17". I found a refurb from an eBay seller with 5000 feedback and 100%: UHD, E3-1505Mv5 (yes, slightly slower than i7-6920HQ, but not much), 32 GB, Quadro M4004M, $1800. Based on what else I've seen sold, that's a good price. 500 GB NVMe, but I'm not too interested in that part because I'm at least primarily going to run Linux on it. I'm going to keep that drive around for if/when I need to run Windows for anything.

    I had been watching P71's, but I neglected to look at P70's also. The P71's were more expensive, but of course those should have been compared against 7720's, not 7710's. I didn't even look closely at the P70 until last night; I don't really know why.

    The decision factors:

    Plus:
    • 2x2.5" drive bays (important, was one of my original criteria)
    • Particularly highly rated keyboard (important when I thought about it; it's also spill-resistant so hopefully it will put up with some of my more abusive habits resulting in peanut crumbs getting inside the keys)
    • Two T-bolt 3.0/USB 3.1 ports vs. 0 or 1 on the 7710. The extent to which that matters now is probably negligible; it may (or may not) become more important down the road.
    • Screen calibration built-in. This is probably a wash in practice, unless I can find a way to make it work under Linux, now or in the future. If I can make that work, it's a plus.
    Minus:
    • Screen: the 7710 has simply the best screen in the business. But the Lenovo isn't far behind; it's about 90% Adobe RGB rather than 100%. Either way it's far better than my current M6500, or than most of the other displays out there.
    • Performance: the highest performing processor that's easy to find on the Lenovo is the E3-1505v5; the Dell goes two notches higher. But the E3-1575v5 is quite expensive and not very common; the others are only 100 MHz (3% or so) different. It's still faster (a bit) than an i7-6820HQ. A lot of the reviews show somewhat worse performance for the Lenovo, but it appears likely to be the case that the configuration they reviewed had only one DIMM, so single channel. Why Lenovo sells a default configuration of this beast with a single DIMM is, well, a question perhaps best left to the imagination.
    • Need to buy another power brick: I have three Dell power bricks, and will need a second Lenovo one.
    • Comfort factor: I've owned a lot of Dells but never a Lenovo, so it's a bit of terra incognita. But the 7710 isn't very similar to the M6500.
    • Warranty: 3 years for Dell, 1 year for Lenovo.
    Wash:
    • Build quality: both are described as rock solid.
    • Serviceability: both have similar provisions for user install (namely, "easy"). And Lenovo installs the first two DIMMs under the keyboard. I don't anticipate needing to go to 64GB, but the option's there if I want it.
    • Linux: both seem to run Linux fine by pretty much all accounts. They use basically the same components.
     
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