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M4600 vs. W520 vs. 8560w

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

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Which of the three would you pick?

  1. Dell Precision M4600

    33.0%
  2. Lenovo W520

    43.6%
  3. HP Elitebook 8560w

    23.3%
  1. Out of the Maelstrom

    Out of the Maelstrom Notebook Evangelist

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    "What?!!! Opinions without facts??!! Hey, Callahan, over here with the weed whacker!! We found another one." :)


    Seriously, though, when it comes to the top shelf products, the Precision and Elitebook lines *look* every bit as durable as the Thinkpad T and W series, those considered "business" notebooks (I've owned two). Both the Dell and HP top-lines have passed some fairly tough US military standards for drop strength and other hazards, and I would like to think that neither Dell nor HP have skimped on the quality/durability of the components they use in these models. Not having owned or used either of them for any length of time, however, I'd be open to hearing from those who have.
     
  2. alyjen

    alyjen Notebook Enthusiast

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    I was using Elitebook of previous gen, I was happy with it's durability when it comes to "feeding" it with tea, dropping it etc. I could not scratch it with normal use for over a year. But then mobo/gpu started acting weird and during long tree months HP support could not fix it, I gave it up when after last fix (another mobo/gpu replace) my BT module was broken and I had to call support again. I loved the laptop thou it's just the support in my country I guess.

    I went for M4600 for better support and better design tbh than this generation Elitebooks (I liked 8540 design better than 8560) and lower price than W520 (at least in the configuration I wanted)

    Dell of course have some disadvantages, like:
    1. you can't have mSata and WWLAN modem at the same time as they share the expansion slot (not sure if you can do it with Elitebook or W520 thou)
    2. it's not as durable, I've already (1 month?!) scratched it during normal use
    3. cooling system need some tweaks (constant spin up, spin down if room temperature is low) but this will be corrected via next bios I've heard

    So for me it was Dell but I guess for some it may be Thinkpad or Elitebook depends what you want, all 3 are top-notch with HP lagging a bit behind with it's weight I'd say
     
  3. mgoldshteyn

    mgoldshteyn Notebook Guru

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    Did anybody actually price out that HP 8560w? I'm already at $3,243 and that's before taxes and shipping (another $400) and that's just with a Quadro 1000M! I could get two comparable W520s for that price (sans IPS). Where are the 50% off HP workstation coupons???
     
  4. jin07

    jin07 Notebook Deity NBR Reviewer

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    You can get some good configs on the 8560w from Cost Central.



    What laptops did everyone end up picking?
     
  5. 3dmike

    3dmike Newbie

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    I order the hp 8560w 2 months ago and was informed of further shipping delays. After this third delay I cancelled the order with HP and am going with the Dell m4600. I am a CG professional and will not deal with a vendor that can't meet their promises (even the third one).

    In the case of the HP 8560w and the Dell m4600 the configurations were the highest part performance offered. A standard configuration probably will not result in the delays that I have experienced.

    As for the Lenovow520, it fell just short of some of the features I was looking for, but I have had Thinkpads in the past and the company's customer service is as good as it gets.
     
  6. jin07

    jin07 Notebook Deity NBR Reviewer

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    Picked the W520.

    i7 2720
    FHD Screen
    Nvidia Quadro 2000M
    Color Sensor
    4 GB RAM (bought 12 GB separately to get total to 16 GB)
    500 GB HDD
    Intel 310 80 GB
    Centrino Ultimate N 6300
    1 Year (will get an upgrade if needed)

    Total: $1575 (not including the price for the extra RAM and SSD), without the color sensor it would have been closer to $1500


    I'll also go through my thought process between the 8560W, M4600, and W520.

    The first laptop to be cut was the 8560W. It has some great features, such as the DC2. However, it simple weighs too much. It's a pound heavier by itself. Plus, if I want to carry it with me, I'd basically be forced to bring the charger which adds another 1.5-2 pounds. A 3 pound weight difference is huge to me considering it's half the weight of the M4600 and W520.

    Another downside is that it can't take an mSATA. I love the combo mSATA and HDD. You get the benefits of an SSD with the storage of an HDD. What's not to love?

    Now someone might say, "well you can always add a regular SSD and get a slice battery." That's true. However, the slice battery is still an extra 1.5 pounds and a 2.5" SSD will add more weight then the mSATA. So while that may solve some problems, it doesn't address the weight and it makes the 8560w even bulkier.

    Onto the M4600. This seemed like a great middle ground between the two laptops. It has some great features like its IPS display and a great physical layout with easy access to components. However, again I ran into the weight problem coupled with mediocre battery life. There's also another downside in that the IPS MUST come with the Quadro 2000M. Those upgrades quickly raise the price. So in the end, the I didn't go with the M4600 for similar reasons to the 8560W and because it would be more expensive.

    Sure, I could go without the IPS and still have a nice laptop. Yet again though, I run into the battery life problem. When I buy a laptop, I want to be able to take it with me. If I wanted my laptop to stay at my desk, I'd simply buy a desktop for a fraction of the cost which would also be several times more powerful than any laptop for the same price.


    Now here am I with the W520. I have a laptop with plenty of power that's on par with the other big hitters. It can have an mSATA. It's the lightest out of the three and if I wanted I could take out the DVD drive to lighten it even more, though I won't. It also has a top notch FHD screen which is one of the best around. Does it match an IPS, not really. It also doesn't cost as much as the IPS upgrades on either system and still stands up to them relatively well. All this with incredible battery life which means I don't have to carry a charger with me.
     
  7. sgogeta4

    sgogeta4 Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    After extensive reading, I'd have to agree with all your points, jin07. This current generation, despite not caring for Lenovo's looks, I'd have to give the win to the W520. If that was not an option, then the M4600 would be my next choice, followed by the 8560w.
     
  8. afhstingray

    afhstingray Notebook Prophet

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    have the W520's throttling issues been sorted then?
     
  9. ShadowFox19

    ShadowFox19 Notebook Enthusiast

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    How did you get that price for those specs?
     
  10. jin07

    jin07 Notebook Deity NBR Reviewer

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    Nothing special. Just the BN Gold Discount and the 10% coupon Lenovo is advertising for the BN Gold Discount members.

    Lenovo - Barnes and Noble Gold

    Yes, signing up is free and there's really nothing to do except signing up.
     
  11. ShadowFox19

    ShadowFox19 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Cool. Thanks!
     
  12. o.maille

    o.maille Newbie

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    I've been contemplation this choice for a while, if I was in the US I'd go for a sager or asus. But I'm not hence I also can't configure the HP so that's out.
    I've only ever had and heard bad things about dell product especially overheating and screens, that said there is little to chose between the two w520 and m4600;
    2820QM, 8gb ram, 128ssd,1080p 15.6" = €3,000 (inc 3yr on site and accident) for both

    M4600 has 1600 ram, but it's a dell
    w520 has optimus but seeminly has issues with more than 2 external displays

    was thinking of adding the lower res multi-touch display (I use CAD) to the dell....discuss...
    also thinking of just settling for the t520 due to the fact you can get a dock and there is 10% off at the mo
     
  13. Regnad Kcin

    Regnad Kcin Notebook Evangelist

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    Old thread but it's exactly the question I have.

    I may be in the market for one of these machines. I currently have a Dell M4400 but due to odd circumstances I might have the opportunity to upgrade. I'm considering the above suspects. I'm hoping you guys can help me a bit. The catch is my budget is limited to about $1600 and I can't wait more than about 2 weeks for delivery. The delivery window I think rules out any custom HP system. It also might rule out some Dell configurations. The price point rules out any of the IPS screens. I can upgrade memory at a later date so even 4gb is fine for the moment.

    Screens: Currently I my M4400 has the 1920x1200. Unfortunately mine isn't the RGBLED version and the color quality is at best OK. I have used the W520 with the FHD screen and was impressed by the color quality. Can anyone comment about the quality of the HP and Dell non-IPS, FHD screens in comparison to the TP?

    The Dell preconfigured unit has a rather lame CPU. It's an i5 which is hardly more powerful than the C2X X9100 in my current computer. The HP and W520 both would come with quad core i7s. This and the fact that the Dell config I could purchase only comes with 4GB (which would need to be upgraded) vs 8GB has me leaning away from the Dell. In Dell's favor, I already have a number of Dell power bricks and I know their service is top notch (I know it too well). With either the HP or Lenovo I would end up needing to get additional bricks as I hate always carrying them around.

    The base graphics cards in these systems are either the Nvida 1000M or the AMD 5950 (or something like that). It appears the AMD is the better of the two base cards. It's the standard on the Dell and HP but not available on the TP. This computer will get used for non-cad work and it seems that for my non-cad work the AMD is the best card. This is perhaps the only strike against the W520.

    I'm leaning away from the Dell because the preconfigured system has an i5 CPU. My current system has the C2X X9100 which is about as powerful as the base i5 in the Dell. Basically to get the Dell equipped nicely required more $ than I can spend (this is going through corporate buying so I can't play to many games to get discounts). My company is most comfortable ordering from Dell. Can anyone compare the non-IPS screen to the TP? I know my current screen has lousy color in comparison.

    The W520 would be a done deal if I felt like the graphics card was as good as the AMD for non-cad work. Non-cad work includes a few custom medical applications that wouldn't use Nvidia specific accelerations as well as a 3D games on occasion. I like that I know the screen is good. The battery life and keyboard are also good selling points (save for the lack of a number pad). Even though the battery life is a plus, I normally am not running on battery. When I need battery power I will normally use my Thinkpad x120e instead.

    The HP is looking perhaps the best of the bunch. It has all the right specs and the price is right. Basically the only question is screen quality vs the TP. Any thoughts?

    Thanks for all the help!
     
  14. r00bin

    r00bin Notebook Geek

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    I'm in the market as well. Leaning towards the dell m4600 because when configured to my specs, is much cheaper than the rest.

    Important to note that if configured with an ATI graphics card, you can't run switchable graphics. This means you'll get 3ish hours of batt life on 9cell instead of 6ish (owners please correct me if I'm wrong).

    @Regnad Kcin, it sounds like the nvidia card is a better option if you're concerned about battery life or heat generation. Screen quality of the dell 4600 1920x1080 non ips is said to be damn close to ips RGB quality
     
  15. r00bin

    r00bin Notebook Geek

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    Wow, that's a killer deal. A similarly spec'ed dell is 1750$! 250$ cheaper with the lenovo....hummm decisions....
     
  16. Regnad Kcin

    Regnad Kcin Notebook Evangelist

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    Thanks for the info. In the end things changed again. We have ordered a Thinkpad x220 which will not replace my M4400. We ended up having to use the M4400 because we needed to run some software in XP and we can't compromise on the graphics. These meant we needed XP drivers. The M4400 has a full set of XP drivers. In order to avoid putting XP on my HD we got a spare and now we simply swap drives.
     
  17. seb87

    seb87 Notebook Evangelist

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    if i can't tke ips panel on m4600 and dremcolor on 8560w...what laptop has the best monitor wled ?
     
  18. prosetheus

    prosetheus Notebook Consultant

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    Old topic I know, but any great deals going on with these for Black Friday? What would be the best time to buy one of these machines? Black Friday, Christmas, or New year?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  19. d1p

    d1p Newbie

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    Hey,

    I am still trying to decide, this is where i am so far :
    * Lenovo W520 / HP 8560w

    w520 looks like the best option all in one, but the panel is the most important thing for me, plus i really like the long battery life.

    i would like to hear from 8560w owners about battery life with the slice battery (i wouldn't mind the extra weight if i get some decent working time)

    my config is for photography, all the rest is normal usage.

    which would you pick ?

    btw - if 8560w is the option, would you pick the M5950 / 2000M ?

    10x.
     
  20. Ryan

    Ryan NBR Moderator Moderator

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    W520 has a 95% gamut TN panel,

    HP 8560W has a 118%? 120%(I've heard this somewhere) gamut IPS.

    W520's panel is a cheaper alternative to the RGB, it's the B+RG.

    If budget is not an issue, I see no reason to take the W520 as it is inferior to the 8560w.
     

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