1. You may have noticed things look a little different around here - we've switched to a new platform (XenForo) and have some new forum styles and features. This how-to guide will help you find your way around. If you find anything that looks strange, post it in this thread.

M4600 vs. W520 vs. 8560w

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by sgogeta4, May 31, 2011.

?

Which of the three would you pick?

  1. Dell Precision M4600

    32.9%
  2. Lenovo W520

    43.4%
  3. HP Elitebook 8560w

    23.2%
  1. sgogeta4

    sgogeta4 Notebook Nobel Laureate

    Reputations:
    2,389
    Messages:
    10,416
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Which would you get and why? I've made a little table of the features that are relevant to me.

    From my recent experience, HP > Dell > Lenovo for build quality and Dell > HP > Lenovo for customer service and looks (subjective).

    I hope users with any of the following laptops can post up some actual weights with their configuration, the weight of their power supply (and their wattage), and fill out any "?" in the table. Most of the other options are the same between the laptops or don't affect my decision, so I didn't include them in the table but if they matter to you, tell me about it!

    Also, if anyone knows how to get rid of the space below my table, I would appreciate it!

    Code:
    <table border=1>
      <tbody>
        <tr>
          <th>Laptops</th>
          <th>Dell M4600</th>
          <th>Lenovo W520</th>
          <th>HP 8560w</th>
        </tr>
        <tr>
          <td>Quad core capable</td>
          <td>Y</td>
          <td>Y</td>
          <td>Y</td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
          <td>4 DIMMs</td>
          <td>Y</td>
          <td>Y</td>
          <td>Y</td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
          <td>Best nVidia GPU</td>
          <td>2000M 2GB GDDR3**</td>
          <td>2000M 2GB DDR3</td>
          <td>[B]2000M 2GB DDR3*[/B]</td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
          <td>Best AMD GPU</td>
          <td>M5950 1GB GDDR5</td>
          <td><b>none</b></td>
          <td>M5950 1GB GDDR5</td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
          <td>10-bit IPS panel</td>
          <td>Y</td>
          <td><b>N</b></td>
          <td>Y</td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
          <td>mPCIe SSD</td>
          <td>Y</td>
          <td>Y</td>
          <td><b>N</b></td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
          <td>Listed weight (lbs)</td>
          <td>6.15</td>
          <td>5.95</td>
          <td><b>6.94</b></td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
          <td>USB 3.0/2.0/powered/eSATA</td>
          <td>2/2/[B]0[/B]/1</td>
          <td>2/[B]0[/B]/1/1</td>
          <td>2/1/1/1</td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
          <td>Numpad</td>
          <td>Y</td>
          <td>[B]N[/B]</td>
          <td>Y</td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
          <td>Large/slice battery (WHr)</td>
          <td>97/[B]none[/B]</td>
          <td>94/94</td>
          <td>[b]83[/b]/100</td>
        </tr>
      </tbody>
    </table>
    
    * = no Optimus
    ** = no Optimus with IPS panel
    
     
  2. jtreminio

    jtreminio Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm in the middle of deciding between these, actually.

    Question: Is this considered HP's IPS panel: 15.6-inch diagonal LED-backlit FHD UWVA anti-glare DreamColor (1920 x 1080 resolution) with Camera

    Because with Dell I've chosen this: 15.6" UltraSharp&#8482; FHD(1920x1080) PremierColor IPS RGB Anti-Glare LED-backlit Premium Panel Guarantee
     
  3. sgogeta4

    sgogeta4 Notebook Nobel Laureate

    Reputations:
    2,389
    Messages:
    10,416
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes, DreamColor is HP's IPS panel and should be comparable to Dell's PremierColor IPS panel. Though, I'd like to hear from users who actually have used or seen both before I comment further. But based on specs alone (price in the US, lack of miniPCIe SSD options, heavier weight, and lower battery capacity), I'd most likely pick the Dell. I'm pretty biased towards that right now, hence why I put this post up so that I can get other perspectives in case I've overlooked any glaring flaws or missed an important factor that might make me reconsider.
     
  4. Althernai

    Althernai Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    890
    Messages:
    1,994
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    0
    For the Lenovo, the "2000M 2GB ?" should be "2000M 2GB DDR3" (look at their configurator). In fact, it is that parameter which makes this choice hard.

    The Lenovo is attractive because it is the only one which offers a high-quality display (their 1920x1080 has 95% color gamut) without charging $500 for it. The DreamColor and PremierColor IPS screens are better, but at those prices, the difference is probably worth it only if you're a professional photographer or something of the sort. Unfortunately, they make up the price difference in the graphics card. Compared to every other GPU option in these laptops 1000M is a pitiful card -- the cheaper M5950 is much faster in all applications not specifically optimized for Nvidia. The 2000M is expensive and it might have been worth it with GDDR5 (then it would basically be a GTX460M), but with DDR3, it's only worth it for professional who don't need memory bandwidth.

    I don't know much about the HP. As far as I can tell, they have one decent model for $1549 and then the DreamColor one for $2199. Depending on the quality of the 1920x1080 display, the $1549 model may be worth it. The DreamColor is very good, but that price... Also, I don't understand why the 8560w is 0.8 pounds heavier than the Dell and a full pound heavier than the Lenovo. It winds up slightly heavier than even the ye-olde laptop I have right now.

    The Dell is probably my favorite of the three, but this depends on whether I would be able to talk the representative into giving me a sizable discount. It has the best set of features, the problem is the price. Its main drawbacks are that Dell charges an absurd price for both RAM and storage so you're better off buying them separately. Configuring it with the IPS display and the options that I want (2720QM, 97Wh battery) brings the cost to roughly the same $2200 as the HP. People on the Dell forum have gotten large discounts (you can't do it with the pre-configured HP models) so this is probably what I would try.

    Personally, I am choosing between the M4600 and giving up on a high-end laptop for this generation and going for the HP dv6t Quad-Edition the next time they have a 20-30% off sale (assuming the rumors of the 95% color gamut screen pan out). It's practically the same hardware (the only difference is that it doesn't have 4 DIMMs), but of course consumer rather than business grade. It probably won't last that long, but I can use it to wait until Haswell or maybe Rockwell (or perhaps AMD will come up with a worthwhile CPU, but I'm not holding my breath for that).
     
  5. visiom88

    visiom88 Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    621
    Messages:
    318
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'd choose Lenovo. I'm not sure what determined your previous experience with Lenovo , but I have never had any better experience with Dell and HP in terms of build quality.
     
  6. sgogeta4

    sgogeta4 Notebook Nobel Laureate

    Reputations:
    2,389
    Messages:
    10,416
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm not saying that my previous experience with Lenovo was bad (in fact it was pretty good), but it was just not as good as my experience with Dell.

    I've used the T61, T400 and T410 models for a brief time and while they're a step up compared to most notebooks, I've felt that there has been a noticeable decline in quality especially if you've ever taken apart your old T61 and compared it to the current Dell and HP laptops.

    If you were to ask me a few years ago, I'd definitely put Lenovo as #1 but in the most recent generations, Dell and HP have caught up and exceeded Lenovo in build quality and I feel Lenovo needs to step up their game in order to be the best.

    They're all great laptops and I would not hesitate to recommend any of these over any other laptops but between these three, what I stated is just my opinion based on my experience.

    Btw thanks Althernai, changed that entry above.
     
  7. afhstingray

    afhstingray Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    351
    Messages:
    4,662
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i voted for the dell. the lenovo is very tempting but i cant stand the thinklight. backlit FTW!

    my M4600 will probably be here tomorrow, i can answer any questions u have when i get it, feel free to PM me
     
  8. neoduffer

    neoduffer Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A very tough decision. I'm leaning towards HP this time around.

    HP looks very aggressive on their pricing with their Smart Buy configurations. An HP 8560w XU085UT configuration is about $300 less than a comparable Dell, strictly looking at prices at HP and Dell. Factor in the HP retailers that throw in extra savings and the difference is close to $500 in favor of HP.

    -------------------
    [work] Dell m2300 | Core2 T7700 | 8GB RAM | 500GB HD | Win 7 Pro x64
    [home] iPad1 & a Nook Color running Android 2.3
     
  9. afhstingray

    afhstingray Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    351
    Messages:
    4,662
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    have u tried calling up both hp and dell? usually they'll price match if you have a legit quote from another vendor
     
  10. neoduffer

    neoduffer Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would call Dell if they would call us back. :confused: The last 3 times we tried to talk to a rep, we got pawned off to someone who would call us back. What happened after that? No call back, name, email, or apology. We used to get such good service in the past. Our account is in Sales Rep limbo.

    I'll give it a shot and see what Dell can do for us. Thanks for the tip. The Dell backlit keyboard and slot loading DVD is drawing me in. :cool:
     
  11. niffcreature

    niffcreature Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    1,741
    Messages:
    4,066
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dell m4600.

    Its the best weight compromise. It has the IPS screen.
    The build of precisions is honestly the best I've seen.
    The warranty service is supposed to be a lot better...
    Its the cheapest...

    AND apparently it uses MXM. So you can probably get an AMD 7000 series card in the future (or one of the new quadros).
     
  12. afhstingray

    afhstingray Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    351
    Messages:
    4,662
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    weird. did you try online chat? i did that last night as i needed a quote from another country, chat started immediately, and i had a quote within the hour emailed to me
     
  13. neoduffer

    neoduffer Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Chatted with Dell small and med business (SMB) and they said the best price is on the website. Asked if 4-5 systems didn't get a discount and got referred to Large Business. Called Large Business and got routed to a live SMB account manager who got us a quote. Still a $200 difference for similar systems, but much closer. I don't have favorable experiences with past HP chassis and would prefer the Precision m4600 based on past experience. Hard to ignore the price advantage of the HP.
     
  14. ksna

    ksna Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    105
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hmm, just bring up that other people have been getting similar discounts? I got $200 off (a $3800 system) just by talking to a rep through chat, and then I called in and get $550 off and then after I purchased, I got them to upgrade my warranty for free.
     
  15. MidnightSun

    MidnightSun Emodicon Moderator

    Reputations:
    6,641
    Messages:
    8,011
    Likes Received:
    174
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Another factor that may or may not be important to you (it's not directly in your table, though): battery life. The W520 is the only one with switchable graphics, so it will likely run the coolest when not under heavy graphics load and will get significantly better battery life.

    Also something to consider: HP has the most lenient return policy, so it may be worthwhile to order an Elitebook and use it for a while and see if you like it. If not, you can return it (I think HP even pays shipping) with no restocking charges within a certain period.

    So, personally, since unfortunately I always have a limited budget, I would choose the W520 for its improved battery life, keyboard, and a few other qualities (I wish it had the FirePro GPU, though). My choice, unconstrained by budget, would be the Elitebook, for its rock-solid build, IPS display, and general design.
     
  16. interestedparent

    interestedparent Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am nowhere near computer savy as anyone in this forum, but from a practical standpoint your decision chart should include 'keypad': for anyone entering numeric data routinely (accounting/math/engineering/stats/etc) a number keypad is essential/functional.

    Maybe the younger generation has learned to use the top row numbers and I'm nothing but an old fogey, but those are my $0.02. For that reason the W520 dropped from my list, although I could obtain an employer sponsored discount. It may be a coin toss between the other two, but I am leaning towards the HP.
     
  17. afhstingray

    afhstingray Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    351
    Messages:
    4,662
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    the utility of the number pad is negated by the annoying offset keyboard and touchpad IMO, plus you can get a USB num pad for 3 bucks on ebay
     
  18. sr.agent.riot

    sr.agent.riot Notebook Consultant

    Reputations:
    22
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Actually, the Dell also has switchable graphics (Optimus) if it is configured with either nvidia GPU. I would guess that the HP would, as well, given that it comes with an nvidia GPU.
     
  19. sgogeta4

    sgogeta4 Notebook Nobel Laureate

    Reputations:
    2,389
    Messages:
    10,416
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A good point, though from the last generation, switchable graphics from Lenovo hasn't exactly been stellar. Would Dell or HP ever have switchable graphics in their machines or is the hardware not installed?
     
  20. ksna

    ksna Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    105
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Post above yours. M4600/6600 both have Optimus with the Quadro cards, and can be turned off in the bios.
     
Similar Threads: M4600 W520
Forum Title Date
What Notebook Should I Buy? precision m4600, thinkpad w520 or a local notebook option Mar 24, 2012
What Notebook Should I Buy? Dell precision m4600 vs Lenovo thinkpad w520. Feb 17, 2012
What Notebook Should I Buy? W520 vs M4600 Nov 9, 2011
What Notebook Should I Buy? Lenovo W520 vs. DELL Precision M4600 - FIGHT! Sep 23, 2011
What Notebook Should I Buy? Precision M4600 vs Lenovo Thinkpad W520 vs HP Elitebook 8560W Jul 27, 2011

Share This Page